Shrinking Airline Seats Are Becoming a Safety Issue

Megalith

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It is being called “the case of the incredible shrinking airline seat”: a US appeals court panel is putting pressure on the FAA to regulate the size of airline seats, as small seats bunched too close together results in safety issues ranging from the slowdown of emergency evacuations to travelers developing vein clots. The airline industry has long opposed the regulation of seat size.

Airlines have steadily reduced the space between rows to squeeze in extra seats and make more money. On discount carrier Spirit Airlines, the distance between the headrest of one seat and that of the seat in front of it a distance called “pitch” is 28 inches (71cm), which, after accounting for the seat itself, leaves little legroom for the average passenger. This year, news leaked that American Airlines planned to order new Boeing 737 jets with just 29 inches (74cm) of pitch in the last three rows to make room for an extra row of premium-priced seats toward the front of the plane.
 

Master_shake_

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its called the tuna can syndrome.

your being stewed in your own juices.

and airlines have long since bought the FAA congress and senate.

on behalf of all airlines everywhere, ha ha ha ha ha ha shut up and pay.
 

Drewis

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haha ive flown a lot over the past few years, im a big guy. 6'5 350.... I have no issue getting in or out of the seat but i usually book front of plane or emerg exit for extra legroom. but i can tell that they are def shrinking and they are trying to cram more shit into the cabin.

most flights i go on theres very rarely first class available. (im from canada)
 

Azphira

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nutzo

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Any they wonder why so many people hate flying......
Between the TSA, extra fees and shrinking seats, I'd rather travel by any other method.

Can't wait until I can buy a car with a full self driving mode, so I can sleep overnight while the car does the driving.
Doubt it will be an all electric car either, as I'd want something that has at least a 650 mile range (65mph x 10 hours)

I'd rather spend 15 hours relaxing, sleeping, looking at scenery, playing video games, etc, than to spend 5 hours standing in lines, dealing with security, crunching into a tiny seat, and trying to find my checked bag they lost.
 

Exavior

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haha ive flown a lot over the past few years, im a big guy. 6'5 350.... I have no issue getting in or out of the seat but i usually book front of plane or emerg exit for extra legroom. but i can tell that they are def shrinking and they are trying to cram more shit into the cabin.

most flights i go on theres very rarely first class available. (im from canada)

what airline are you flying? 6'1 and 250lb and I have been on a few airlines that i can barely fit into. One flight a few years ago required me to have my knees up at my chest the entire time as I couldn't fit into the seat other. I have also had flights where the width of the seat barely fit me and my 38 inch waist. That isn't the same on all, but i definitely know not to try to fly the low end budget companies.
 

Krenum

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Probably just a nice way of saying, "Your passengers are too fat".
 

AshG

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Flying can be an expensive proposition for me; I'm 6'7" and 400 lbs. and can actually fit into a standard seat without much of a width problem. Unfortunately, I'm disabled (right leg amputee) and not supposed to sit in the emergency exit row seats.

The last flight I was on, the gentleman in front of me kept trying to force his seat back. The constant slamming of the tray table against my socket caused my suction sleeve to puncture, leaving my prosthetic held on by an oversized rubber band. My suction sleeves are about $150 a pop and insurance would only pay for two a year. That was my second one. Thankfully, my prosthetist had an open box extra sitting in the back room that he "threw away" into my van.

And I know it's not seat related, but the added hassle of flying since losing my leg has convinced me a couple times to suck it up and drive. I spend at least 20 minutes in the TSA holding room with my pants off because they have to take my leg and check inside the socket, shin, and foot for bomb and drug contraband. And they don't even buy me dinner after the pat down...
 

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steakman1971

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I'm not a big guy and find the seats uncomfortable. Sounds great, make them smaller. Also, feel free to remove some of the foam padding the reduce the weight of each seat.
I think I heard on Bob & Tom a few weeks ago how one of the airlines was trying to have "standing seats". The airline was reporting how they could fit more passengers on each flight. Hoping this was just a joke.
 
D

Deleted member 278999

Guest
Flying can be an expensive proposition for me; I'm 6'7" and 400 lbs. and can actually fit into a standard seat without much of a width problem. Unfortunately, I'm disabled (right leg amputee) and not supposed to sit in the emergency exit row seats.

The last flight I was on, the gentleman in front of me kept trying to force his seat back. The constant slamming of the tray table against my socket caused my suction sleeve to puncture, leaving my prosthetic held on by an oversized rubber band. My suction sleeves are about $150 a pop and insurance would only pay for two a year. That was my second one. Thankfully, my prosthetist had an open box extra sitting in the back room that he "threw away" into my van.

And I know it's not seat related, but the added hassle of flying since losing my leg has convinced me a couple times to suck it up and drive. I spend at least 20 minutes in the TSA holding room with my pants off because they have to take my leg and check inside the socket, shin, and foot for bomb and drug contraband. And they don't even buy me dinner after the pat down...

Call up AMEX and make a claim ;)
 

bburk1964

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Can't wait until I can buy a car with a full self driving mode, so I can sleep overnight while the car does the driving.
Doubt it will be an all electric car either, as I'd want something that has at least a 650 mile range (65mph x 10 hours)
By the time they make a car like that, I would think the electric ones should be able to pull up to a fast charge station to 'fuel up' all by themselves while you sleep...
 

krotch

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I'm a smaller guy 5' 7", 180 lbs and I've noticed the shrinking space. It's not a huge problem for me, but I definitely see it being a problem for others. My main annoyance is having the seat in front in my chest when they recline it back.

Most of my air travel is long distance. I just finished my flying in July. My Germany to Atlanta flight was like 7-8 hours, while my Salt Lake City to Amsterdam was 9-10 hours.
 

Iratus

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It's the shoulders that get me, I'm very broad shouldered so I'm always uncomfortable.

Heck my last flight was BA business class and my shoulders were too wide for the shell so I sat hunched for hours. I've had a lot of economy flights that were more comfortable.

Luckily I've got short legs
 

Riccochet

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I'm not a big guy by any stretch, 5'10" 170#, and even I can't stand economy seating. It's annoying when I get bumped from business to economy. More than one occasion I've had to endure a flight next to a large person that clearly should have paid for 2 seats since they were overflowing in every direction. Airline staff doesn't give a shit either.

Seats are too damn small, too close together and uncomfortable. I only fly business/first class now.
 

russnuck

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I was listening to an interview about this on the radio. The number of people they can fit onto a plane is determined by evacuation test.

The test goes like this: Half of the planes exits are disabled and you have 90 seconds to fully evacuate the plane. This determines how many people you can legally fit.

Problem with that versus the real world is that, in the tests they use all young, skinny, physically fit people. No children, no one over 25, etc. The interviewer likened their test subjects to athletes (humorously called them "circus performers" at one point). So remember your safety is based off a stacked test that does not reflect reality in any way.
 
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Calavaro

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Flying can be an expensive proposition for me; I'm 6'7" and 400 lbs. and can actually fit into a standard seat without much of a width problem. Unfortunately, I'm disabled (right leg amputee) and not supposed to sit in the emergency exit row seats.

The last flight I was on, the gentleman in front of me kept trying to force his seat back. The constant slamming of the tray table against my socket caused my suction sleeve to puncture, leaving my prosthetic held on by an oversized rubber band. My suction sleeves are about $150 a pop and insurance would only pay for two a year. That was my second one. Thankfully, my prosthetist had an open box extra sitting in the back room that he "threw away" into my van.

And I know it's not seat related, but the added hassle of flying since losing my leg has convinced me a couple times to suck it up and drive. I spend at least 20 minutes in the TSA holding room with my pants off because they have to take my leg and check inside the socket, shin, and foot for bomb and drug contraband. And they don't even buy me dinner after the pat down...
Stop being so tall citizen.
 

sfsuphysics

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To be fair seats haven't shrunk, its the spacing between the seats that have shrunk. Now airlines could do a solid by simply making the seats not recline at all. Or create a series of only reclined seats where they're stacked link old sleeper cars on trains, of course you gotta get rid of overhead compartments and leave carry on luggage to amusement park ride pouch size.
 

infin@

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I hate this, I don't want to have to resort to painkillers to make it through a flight. I'm 6'3" and 185lbs, I shouldn't have to spend a flight with my knees jammed into the seat in front of me and my shoulders impacting people beside me. No problems for my 5'6" 120lbs wife though....yet.

+1 for the no asshat recline option on all seats
 

raz-0

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To be fair seats haven't shrunk, its the spacing between the seats that have shrunk. Now airlines could do a solid by simply making the seats not recline at all. Or create a series of only reclined seats where they're stacked link old sleeper cars on trains, of course you gotta get rid of overhead compartments and leave carry on luggage to amusement park ride pouch size.

They have also shaved nearly 2 inches off of seat width over the years. About an inch to an inch and a half since the mid 90s.
 

zkostik

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That was the first thing that came to my mind.

These guys in the picture had more leg room and free tickets! j/k I saw a slave ship in Bermuda museum and it is impossible to imagine how so many people could be crammed onto the ship.
 

GDI Lord

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I work for an airline and I am *SO* glad that our CEO has said that, while the option to reduce seat space and seat size is available, he refuses to even consider it because he (and we!) value our customers as people and don't see them as cattle.
 

chenw

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And here I thought FAA was the epitome of commercial airline safety enforcers...
 

Jagger100

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I work for an airline and I am *SO* glad that our CEO has said that, while the option to reduce seat space and seat size is available, he refuses to even consider it because he (and we!) value our customers as people and don't see them as cattle.
people will volunteer to be cattle to save $5 and then bitch about it.
 

MavericK

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I recently flew to Iceland with my wife and we ended up getting 3 seats in a row (I am a pretty big guy). It was okay, although the seats in front lean back far enough that the seat back feels like it's about 6 inches from your face. If you were taller than me (I'm 6'1") I can see having a problem with leg room as well.
 
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