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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers 466

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-long-until-they-give-you-a-stool dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "AP reports that U.S. airlines are taking out old, bulky seats in favor of so-called slimline models that take up less space from front to back, allowing for five or six more seats on each plane. This gives airlines two of their favorite things: more paying passengers, and a smaller fuel bill (the seats are slightly lighter). Whether the new seats are really closer together depends on how you measure. By the usual measure, called 'pitch,' the new ones are generally an inch closer together from front to back as measured at the armrest. The seats Southwest has put on nearly its entire fleet are 31 inches apart, about an inch less than before, allowing them to to add an extra row of six seats to each plane. International passengers are feeling crowded, too. As recently as 2010, most airlines buying Boeing's big 777 opted for nine seats across. Now it's 10 across on 70 percent of newly-built 777s, Boeing says. American's newest 777s are set up 10-across in coach, with slightly narrower seats than on its older 777s. Airlines say you won't notice. And the new seats are designed to minimize this problem. Airplane seats from 30 years ago looked like your grandmother's BarcaLounger, says Jami Counter, senior director at SeatGuru.com, which tracks airline seats and amenities. 'All that foam cushion and padding probably didn't add all that much comfort. All that's been taken out,' he said. 'You haven't really lost all that much if the airline does it right.'"
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

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  • by magic maverick (2615475) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:21AM (#45163217) Homepage Journal

    I recently flew on a rather old African owned plane (run by a state airline). It being my first experience with this style of airline (the only other African airline I'd flown was SAA, which is no better or worse than the average European airline), it was interesting. E.g. there was heaps of leg room! It was amazing compared to the other airlines I'd been flying. Economy class was actually comfortable for me, even without pushing the seatback back (which I never like doing if there is someone behind me, I think airlines should remove that option).

    On the newer planes though, I always have to get an aisle seat, otherwise I am uncomfortable the entire flight.

    Fuck the airlines.

    • by Bongo (13261)

      Most memorable ride for me was on some kind of prop flying low in Zambia, to Lusaka. Lovely view of giraffes. Horrible, terrible turbulence. But great view. Don't recall any problem with seat space.

    • by Durrik (80651) <{pwright} {at} {ryksyll.com}> on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:38AM (#45163315) Homepage
      You might have the same problem I have. But I don't think I'll notice the change personally. I'm 6'4" tall (190cm) and I'm in pain if I don't get up from those seats at least every two hours and walk to the bathroom. I have a hard time getting into them now as it is, and usually I fly on short notice and I'm stuck in the middle. I'm quite sure that the airlines are having some sort of joke on the big guys, and see how many they can sit next to each other.

      The last time I flew internationally (10 hour flight from Seattle to Amsterdam) I got lucky and upgraded to 'comfort' class and the booking agent apologized that I was tuck in the bulkhead row. Stuck? Man that was comfortable I could stretch out. But she was able to do better on the way back, and got me a proper seat. That was painful, and cramped. I had to get the guy on the aisle to let me out 5 times, and each time I was moving like an old man (and I'm not that old).

      So I don't think I'll notice the loose of 1 little inch. My knees already run into the back of the seat in front of me. My shoulders already overflow onto the seats besides me. I might notice that my butt will be snug in the seats though.

      But if they're jamming more people onto the plane, are they increasing the overhead bin capacity? When I fly I always take a small roller bag for my clothes and a laptop bag. I usually get these stowed (roller bag up top and laptop bag under the seat in front of course) but its usually cramped, and people who come in late always seem to try to jam in on top of everything. Somehow I doubt it as that is passenger convenience, and some airlines (I'm looking at you American) are charging for every checked bag you have. They're currently offering the checked carry on for free, but that might change in the future.
      • by rickett81 (987309) on Friday October 18, 2013 @10:00AM (#45164107) Homepage
        I'm 200cm tall.
        On a flight from the US to Brazil, I was stuck in the back of the plane and my legs physically wouldn't fit in the seat. The flight attendant told me that I would have to get my legs in there or the flight couldn't take off. I had her call another flight attendant over and then I said "I will get in here, but something is going to break. It will be the seat in front, my seat, or my legs."
        I then jammed myself into the seat which broke the rivets/screws of the seat in front of me which slammed the seat forward (with someone in it) making the seat unusable. I foresee this happening again and more often if the airlines continue this stuff.
        • by isorox (205688)

          I'm 200cm tall.

          On a flight from the US to Brazil, I was stuck in the back of the plane and my legs physically wouldn't fit in the seat. The flight attendant told me that I would have to get my legs in there or the flight couldn't take off. I had her call another flight attendant over and then I said "I will get in here, but something is going to break. It will be the seat in front, my seat, or my legs."

          I then jammed myself into the seat which broke the rivets/screws of the seat in front of me which slammed the seat forward (with someone in it) making the seat unusable. I foresee this happening again and more often if the airlines continue this stuff.

          It sucks, but tall people, and fat people, need more room than 5' people. It's not your fault, but if you expect everyone else to pay for it that's a very socialist viewpoint.

          Buy a seat appropriate to your size. I find it hard to believe that a US-Brazil flight didn't have a business class option.

          And the flight would have left if you didn't fit in. You wouldn't.

      • I always make sure to move around enough. Not that I'm as tall as you.

        And I hear you on the cabin baggage thing! Air France (who I've flown most in recent years) doesn't seem to bother enforcing their limits. So there are people cramming two or even three big bags into the overheard bins.

        And business class... Oh, even if it's a crap airline, it's still better than economy class on the average airline... Except that I can't justify the cost...

      • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday October 18, 2013 @11:16AM (#45165089) Homepage Journal

        My knees already run into the back of the seat in front of me.

        The most reasonable measure of airplane seating would be a tuple: the distance from the seat to the seat back in front - the latter in both in upright and reclined mode.

        I'm an inch shorter than you, and frankly I'd rather sit on a metal chair with no cushioning and humanitarian leg room than a cushioned seat with no leg room.

        Heaven forbid there's ever an accident - tall people will probably wind up with fractured femurs or hips or both. No safety specs on that?

      • by Solandri (704621) on Friday October 18, 2013 @01:26PM (#45166747)
        The summary doesn't make it clear, but while the seats are getting closer, your legroom is remaining the same because the reduced inch is coming out of the seat's thickness. What's more worrying is the switch to narrower seats. 10-abreast seating in 777s was the normal configuration in Asia, where people tend to have narrower waists (there was an uproar at the 1988 Seoul Olympics because some of the stadium seating was too narrow for Western behinds).

        If you want more legroom and the bulkhead seating is taken, arrive for your flight early and ask to be moved to an emergency exit row. In the U.S. at least, the airlines are not allowed to assign people to this row until the agent can visually confirm that the person is fit and capable of opening and lifting the emergency exit door (weighs about 35-50 lbs). The seats don't recline, but you'll get tons of legroom as they're spaced far enough apart to make an aisle for people to exit the aircraft through.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:51AM (#45163427) Journal

      without pushing the seatback back (which I never like doing if there is someone behind me, I think airlines should remove that option)

      Why? If the person in front of me in a flight pushes their seat back, then it moves the bottom forward very slightly, so I get about half a centimetre of knee room, and it moves the (small) screen of the in-flight entertainment system closer to my eyes. The seats are designed not to be made more uncomfortable when the person in front of you leans back...

      • by blackm0k (2589601) on Friday October 18, 2013 @09:17AM (#45163653)
        I do not share this experience. Typically, when the seat in front of me is pushed back, it collides with my knee-caps, sometimes in a fairly painful manner. After that the flight becomes a few hours of my legs being restricted to one fairly uncomfortable position.
      • by smpoole7 (1467717)

        > If the person in front of me in a flight pushes their seat back ...

        You get an extra inch, and you also win one (1) free head right in front of your face. If you're lucky, this person doesn't wear overpowering cologne or use some kind of hair gel that makes your eyes water. Or have a high-voltage hairdo that tickles your nose.

        What I love, when a plane gets full, is that the rear of the plane tends to "drag down" a bit. SO, when you go to the lavatory, you get to run downhill on the way, then climb uphi

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday October 18, 2013 @09:39AM (#45163869) Homepage Journal

          I'm 6'7". I do my best not to fly (don't really want to be sexually abused) but when I have to, I am fucking miserable. Most airlines seem to now only give you preferred seating if you're part of some kind of high-mileage club, so I usually don't get to pick the bulkhead. I'll regularly see short people seated there but they never seem to want to swap me; the people with the seat they don't need and the airline employees are both assholes. It doesn't just impact me; my knees are firmly against the seat before me, which cannot be reclined. If the person tries I will shove the seat forward, and hard; if you don't look before you recline, you're an asshole. And if they look back at me for more than the half-second it should take to figure out that I don't fit in the seat, then I look them right in the eye and explain that they don't get to recline their seat, and please stop looking back here.

          Americans are getting bigger; not just fatter but taller. But they're reducing the available room on the planes. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is bullshit.

          • by epine (68316) on Friday October 18, 2013 @10:01AM (#45164121)

            I'm 6'7". I do my best not to fly (don't really want to be sexually abused) but when I have to, I am fucking miserable.

            Yeah, tell me about it. I'm 6'4" (plus a 1/2" extra in the morning) but I have an especially long torso, so we'd probably be eye to eye sitting down. I don't know about you, but the seat in front of me prevents me from slouching the least bit, when I lean my head back on the head rest, my gaze is vertical. It's pretty close to a 90 degree bend, which I try out just for shits and giggles, while other people find ways to sleep.

            Pro tip for tall fliers: the foam cushion usually rips off the aluminum seat frame (Velcro). If your ass can handle sitting on the hard, cold metal you might manage enough of a head rest to get a half hour snooze in the mid-flight red-eye hour of total desperation. I've done this many times.

            I got stuck on the apron at Schiphol once while they replaced a starter motor. The middle-aged Germanic woman beside me had tree-trunk thighs, clad in tight black neoprene. Our thighs met in a thermonuclear embrace on my side of the arm rest for our entire stay on the apron, plus the return flight to Montreal.

            At this point, the airlines can go fuck themselves. I'd rather not leave the ground.

            • by kwbauer (1677400)

              epine has got to be making that Schiphol incident up and he didn't do a very good job. Everyone knows that only Americans are overweight/oversized.

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          ...you also win one (1) free head right in front of your face. Ah, modern technology. :)

          Pro tip: Aim your air vent right at their head when they do that. It annoys the hell out of them.

      • by dj245 (732906)

        without pushing the seatback back (which I never like doing if there is someone behind me, I think airlines should remove that option)

        Why? If the person in front of me in a flight pushes their seat back, then it moves the bottom forward very slightly, so I get about half a centimetre of knee room, and it moves the (small) screen of the in-flight entertainment system closer to my eyes. The seats are designed not to be made more uncomfortable when the person in front of you leans back...

        This depends on the plane. Newer Airbus designs do this quite well (the 330? but not the 320/319), sliding the entire bottom portion of the seat forward. Generally Boeing intrudes the seat back into the person behind's space (not sure about the 787 though), and the seatback TV, if one exists, becomes quite difficult to view, even if it is the tilting kind. Regional jets (CRJ, ERJ) are similar to Boeing. It can be done well but it usually is not.

      • Some of us try and use laptops on flights. And the lose of space when the seat in front reclines is significant for me for that purpose. Moreover, even trying to eat the provided meals is harder when the seat in front is reclined. The seats maybe meant not to be uncomfortable when reclined, but if I am trying to do anything with the tray, it's a pain in the neck.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Greyfox (87712)
      I haven't flown on a commercial airline in about a decade, but last time I did the International flights used to be a lot more comfortable than domestic ones. I was born in the 70s and flying back then seemed like more of a upscale and trendy thing to do. Since then it's gone to being more like being an an airborne Greyhound bus. If I have the time, I'd much rather drive or take a train. Trains are underrated -- sure they take a couple of days but they're a lot more comfortable than flying, you get to see t
      • Once you start hanging out at a municipal airport, general aviation starts looking a lot more feasible

        If you have deep enough pockets to fly transcontinental (or intercontinental) via private plane then just buy a business class ticket on a commercial flight instead. You'll get free bags, move to the front of the queue at security, board first, get a comfortable seat, legroom, free meals and still money over flying privately..

    • The main problem I see is that the airlines factor in only butts, and forget that passengers also have arms. A flight I was on a couple years ago had me in an aisle seat on a 3-3 narrowbody, and I had to spend the entire flight uncomfortably leaning into the aisle due to a broad-shouldered neighbour. Thankfully, it was only a two-hour hop, and the next flight was less full.

    • I've flown on some lightweight seats with Lufthansa on a short haul flight recently. Even on a 2 hour flight, they were the most uncomfortable airline seats I've ever sat in. The seats were very thin, padding was practically non existent & the experience was more like being sat in a waiting room chair. If I knew the seats when I booked then it would influence my choice of airline. So, think we won't notice? I'm not so sure.
    • I'd be interested to know what impact this new seat design will have on the incidence of DVT's
    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "it was interesting. E.g. there was heaps of leg room!"

      That was no legroom, that was a hole in the floor.

  • by Bruce66423 (1678196) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:22AM (#45163223)
    Every plane trip you go on will offer you a life jacket. In the past 60 years, I'm confident that a life jacket hasn't saved a life, but it's cost a fortune in fuel over that time...
    • by confused one (671304) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:34AM (#45163291)
      Funny you're so confident about that. You should go back and look at the water landings and ask the survivors if they used their flotation seats or life jackets. Life jackets and flotation seats were added, FAA rules making them mandatory, for a reason. While most of the water landings included fatalities, I'm confident the fatality rate would have been higher without the life jackets.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I read an extra Coke can costs about $500 a year in fuel. Still that's not that much per flight, like less than a dollar.

        I'll happily budget less than a dollar per flight, for me anyway, don't know about the gp, for a floatation device.

        As for fuel itself, I'll happily burn all the oil in Saudi Arabia to save my life.

      • by mark_reh (2015546)

        You must work for an airline. Water landing? That airline speak for "crash".

        • by geogob (569250)

          Or it's coming from someone understanding between a controlled landing, albeit not on a runway, and an uncontrolled flight into terrain... or crash, if you prefer.

    • by gnalre (323830)

      There have been occasions where life jackets have save lives, however it probably is marginal.

  • Can I just stand? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bongo (13261) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:25AM (#45163235)

    Would be comfier at this rate.

    • Don't give them any ideas.

    • Would be comfier at this rate.

      Don’t give any more fuel to that fire... [go.com]

    • by plover (150551)

      Would be comfier at this rate.

      Heck, they'll just shorten the ceilings then and stack in two tiers of passengers.

      The only trust I have in airlines is in their ever increasing capability of making passenger flight uncomfortable.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      If you can cram enough people in, think of all the money you could save in seating! And they'll be so jammed together that even if the plane is bouncing like a basketball, no one would be going anywhere! You wouldn't even need seatbelts! Genius! The airlines could use some sort of people-horn device. Like a shoehorn, but for people!
  • slim is good :) (Score:5, Interesting)

    by l3v1 (787564) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:28AM (#45163255)
    I'd start by saying that I'm bigger than the average. Still, having sat in the slim seats for several travels, I have to say they are more comfortable than the old ones, even in a 3-4-3 row setting. I actually feel like having more leg space (especially for my knees) even if the seat in front of me is reclined. If they all will be like the slim seats on transatlantic LH flights, then I'd take them anytime over the old style seats.
    • I've sat in just about every possible configuration of plane and seat, including these new "ultra-light" seats (which are on a number of United's planes). The seats are slimmer, but the problem is that they are also stiffer, and the material is both harder and less supportive than the standard seat.

      I'm usually able to deal with just about any seating situation, but I found myself getting uncomfortable after 30-45 mins in the new seats, particularly my back. I actually had to consistently stretch and turn

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:31AM (#45163271)

    I've more or less stopped flying because of all the nuisance fees combined with the delay/hassle of security screening at the airport. If I need to get somewhere REALLY far away, I'll bite the bullet, but for the most part I've switched to trains and driving.

    • by captbob2002 (411323) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:45AM (#45163377)

      My last vacation I took the train (Amtrak Autotrain, Lorton VA to Sanford FL) it was a wonderful experience. Excellent service and food on the southbound trip. Northbound was...okay - I would say very good, except that the southbound trip crew was awesome.

      That said, even the "okay" service on the northbound trip was FAR better than any airline experience I have ever had- even when I've flown first class.

  • Abolutely Shameful (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'm 6'5" (1.96m) and the biggest problem I have is the seat width. Thing is, I'm not fat, not particularly broad built or even unusually tall. It's just really difficult to get in them, especially when the arms are fixed. The seats as it stands are made for people who are 5'8" or smaller.

    This isn't progress, it's shameful profiteering.

  • by gnalre (323830) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:36AM (#45163299)

    Jami Counter, senior director at SeatGuru.com, which tracks airline seats and amenities. 'All that foam cushion and padding probably didn't add all that much comfort. All that's been taken out,' he said. 'You haven't really lost all that much if the airline does it right.'"

    He shouted from business class.

    I wonder if we made a law that said all airline executives had to fly economy whether they would be so keen to make these changes

  • by trout007 (975317) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:38AM (#45163313)

    If people just go to their favorite travel website and sort flights by cost this will continue to happen. Consumers are giving the signal they care about nothing other than cost. If it becomes uncomfortable enough that people select airlines based on comfort over price the airlines will respond. They just want the money. If they could get away with charging more for bean bag seats they would respond.

    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday October 18, 2013 @09:03AM (#45163521)

      If people just go to their favorite travel website and sort flights by cost this will continue to happen. Consumers are giving the signal they care about nothing other than cost. If it becomes uncomfortable enough that people select airlines based on comfort over price the airlines will respond. They just want the money. If they could get away with charging more for bean bag seats they would respond.

      Is there even a way to sort flights by leg room (or other seat size parameter) on any travel website? Even if one knew the seat pitches in the aircraft that a given airline uses from external sources, one doesn't necessarily know what "equipment" is being used for any given flight. And even then, they're not all necessarily furnished identically. And your plane could change any time between booking and boarding. If you know of a way to do it, I want to know.

      And besides, even wishing for this sort of thing will surely prompt some Slashdot griefer to call me "entitled" for stating my product and service preferences.

      • Seatguru.com. Shows you the seat configuration for each airplane type on each airline.

        Here's how my flight selection works: figure out who flies to where I want to go and get into a ball-park area for price. Identify the planes they use, and look up their general seat configuration on seat-guru. Identify who has the most legroom (generally economy+ class or some similar thing), check if the price is still affordable, and take that.

        Fun fact: the economy+ class seats on an Air France Airbus A380 have more leg

    • by Kjella (173770)

      They already do that here in Norway on long charter trips, if you want to sit a) less cramped or with b) more legroom or c) the full space near the emergency exists you will pay extra. But for the typical 45-90 minute flight time I honestly don't care. I could sit on a bicycle seat in almost standing position if it'd pass safety regulations and brought decent savings.

      • by gnalre (323830)

        I could sit on a bicycle seat in almost standing position if it'd pass safety regulations and brought decent savings.

        Please do not give RyanAir any ideas. They are doing perfectly well in making flying the travel equivalent of water boarding themselves without any extra input

        • They already do this. The front row and the overwing exits can be reserved for an additional fee.

    • by smpoole7 (1467717)

      > sort flights by cost

      I'm willing to pay a little more for a better seat, but flying from a smaller airport (Birmingham, AL), there aren't that many choices. You're gonna be stuck on a CRJ most of the time. You don't fly in those things, you wear them. :)

      My wife and I have driven 2-1/2 hrs to the Nashville airport in the past just to get a better plane. Of course, the security is lot more of a hassle at a larger airport. It's a beautiful thing. Compensation: getting to watch all the musician wannabes wal

    • by evilviper (135110)

      If people just go to their favorite travel website and sort flights by cost this will continue to happen.

      Except ALL the airlines are squeezing passengers. There is no expensive carrier you can select to get more room. Paying more for nothing is just throwing money away...

      I've long wanted something between coach and first/business class... but nobody offers it. A little more legroom both in front and to the sides, a seat that reclines significantly more, and TWO OF MY OWN DAMN ARMRESTS YOU BASTARDS!

      If th

  • I'm a big guy. Not necessarily that I'm fat; but, I have a large frame and wide shoulders. Knowing this I always try to get a window or aisle seat. I found the seats on my last flight to be so tight and I had to lean to one side to avoid constantly rubbing shoulders and arms with the person sitting next to me. Take out another inch of width away and I'm just not going to fit.
  • by twicepending (936496) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:41AM (#45163341) Homepage Journal
    "The seats Southwest has put on nearly its entire fleet are 31 inches apart, about an inch less than before"
    " Boeing says. American's newest 777s are set up 10-across in coach"

    I'm 6'6" (198cm) and on behalf of tall people everywhere can I express a warm and heartfelt welcome to this policy of even further reducing the amount of room available, if this trend continues soon the we tall people will only be able to fly coach by adopting the Dwi Pada Sirsasana pose which if nothing else should please yoga instructors.
  • by aclarke (307017) <spam@cla r k e .ca> on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:41AM (#45163345) Homepage
    I've wondered for a long time why airline seats are so (seemingly) heavy. It seemed like a no-brainer that they'd be spending money on lighter weight seats. So, I was really surprised upon reading the article that the guy from Recaro said that 5 years ago, their seats weight about 29 lbs. That's surprisingly light for a seat that size and apparent heft when you look at them. Even more incredible is they've managed to save a further 9 lbs off that with their lightest current seat.

    At 6'4 I'm pretty protective over my legroom. In my opinion they should improve coach by just not allowing reclining seats. I know that will never "fly", but it really pisses me off when some 5'1 person in front of me reclines their seat all the way back into me once the plane takes off. I just pretend the seat is back in its upright position, and if that means they get bumped every two minutes, they can just move their seatback forward. I guess it's only going to get worse. Or, I have to get a lot richer and start flying in a more expensive class.
  • Other news (Score:5, Funny)

    by mdsolar (1045926) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:44AM (#45163371) Homepage Journal
    Sardines claim conditions cramped in tin.
  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:54AM (#45163437) Homepage Journal

    A bunch of tubes (or padded cubes) where the passenger slides in, a hatch is closed behind them and soothing music is piped in to help them sleep (or gas, whichever works best).

    [John]

  • by ad454 (325846)

    Rather than do this incremental changes, why don't the airlines simply jump to their end game: drug economy class passengers, slap diapers on them, and put them in cargo?

    I am sure that people are working on promoting this as a anti-terrorist measure. (Won't someone think of the children?) Kind of reminds me of slowly boiling a frog in water, except we are the frogs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog [wikipedia.org]

    If only we had decent high-speed rail options in North America. Whenever I fly to Europe, I typicall

  • I love it:

      'All that foam cushion and padding probably didn't add all that much comfort. All that's been taken out,' he said. 'You haven't really lost all that much if the airline does it right.'

    Pure speculation at its finest and spoken by a person who probably doesn't travel much.

  • So, we all get to stand up like sardines? Fit a few more in the overhead bins....like right out of M.A.D. magazine's "No Frills Airlines" series.

    I still remember taking a flight home on Icelandic Air in the late 1980's....it was a tight fit...but, the food was amazing and the manner they treated us went way beyond exemplary. British Airways was the same way when I flew business class and, in one case, flying home sick (really bad sinus infection (non-infectious, btw)). They did everything they could to

  • My first experience with the newer thin seats was on Continental maybe ten years ago. Within fifteen minutes of sitting down, half the muscles in my back were spasming. The only position I could stand was leaning far forward with my elbows on my knees. After that, I refused to fly Continental except for one case where the usual emergency reschedule landed me on one flying from Atlanta to Phoenix. Spent the whole trip "in the position" -- and I noticed that there were several others, incuding the woman n

  • It's the Ryanair, low cost airline effect. It's all about the price, squeeze every penny, charge for baggage, (pretend to) charge for toilet usage, just get them from A to B for the minimum advertised price and them make them pay for it in discomfort, inconvenience, or extra charges later.

    And there's something to be said for this model. It has brought affordable, regular, international, air travel to the masses -- for the prices mentioned above.

    But, look, let me put it this way: I will pay the extra â100 or even â200 euros per flight to fly with Aer Lingus or BA, in some modicum of comfort, without the mental overhead of restrictions, and to be dropped off in an actual city instead of an airport 80km from where I want to go. There are limits to how low people will go for the right price and I think the airline industry has already hit that mark.

  • by Alioth (221270)

    Every so often I fly on BA from London to Houston. I swear that the seats in economy on BA have less room than the seats on easyJet. Also after about 4 hours, the BA seats feel like slabs of concrete.

    I'm not complaining though, the round trip on BA is stupidly cheap, and it includes free booze (which alleviates the concrete seat problem somewhat).

  • airlines need to be required to have a demo seat for cattle-class to try out at the check-in counter. Set it up with a pokey wall to the left where the passenger division is, so you know you won't be sticking your elbow in the other fellow's lap. And have the front partitioned to show the seat in front of you reclined.

    Similar on topic, I'd like to see someone do a volumetric comparison between airline seats, all now, and comparing against previous years. A nice graph to show hard numbers of how seating s

  • at 6'7", economy on most airlines is beyond tolerable: the seat pitch is less than the length of my knee to butt.
    Last night I was on a United flight that theoretically had "economy plus" but was given the lame excuse that it's a brand new airplane and "hasn't been reconfigured yet" -- never have I heard such refined bullsh*t.

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.

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