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Air Plane seats

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  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,122 Member
    edited May 2018
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    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Generally speaking I think air travel is a privilege and the market likely works to allocate what people actually care about most (cheaper fares), and the current model seems to be more options to pay more for better (more roomy) seats even beyond the old first class option.

    Complicating factor is that you have a very restricted market due to limited airport gates and thus limitations on the ability of new airlines to enter into the market. Also, whoever decides how to allocate the gates (airport authorities = the gov't) has a lot of control over the market.

    I feel like air travel is one of those areas where what we *do* doesn't match what we say we want. We say we want more space, but how many of us actually buy tickets based on that criteria? I hate being squished into a seat (and I'm pretty small), but I'm still looking for the cheapest ticket when I have to fly. When I'm offered the chance to pay more for a better seat or nicer amenities, I never take it.

    I got randomly upgraded to first class a few years ago and it was wonderful . . . but somehow not something I think is worth paying for. Maybe I'm weird that way.

    (I am sure there are people who make their purchases based on those criteria, I just think the bulk of people are more like me and looking to get to their destination for a cheap price).

    When I fly I go off price I know that much. Not even sure if there is an option to pay a little bit more for some more leg room or not other than first-class which is a big price difference.

    Either way I am sure that airlines have done market research to determine if people would pay more for more legroom and they have clearly determined that they would not. If they could get people to pay more then why wouldn't they offer it?

    It's called various names, but several airlines offer a mid-size between first class and coach. You pay a bit more and you aren't quite as cramped.

    Well then people who feel cramped should purchase those tickets and the more people purchase those tickets the more airlines will offer legroom or seat space. Not sure what entitles people to assume that seats with more room should cost the same as seats with less room or why airlines wouldn't attempt to minimize the cost of flights when clearly people want cheap flights.
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,590 Member
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    My problem with the airplane seats is that the headrest juts forward (and is not adjustable) so that it makes you sit like a turtle and causes neck and upper back pain. I HATE this. I almost never fly though unless there is some kind of family emergency because I am pretty broke. I do think it would be smarter to give people more leg room in planes. I barely fit and I'm five three. I have no idea how ppl 6 feet and taller manage at all. I also think it would discourage stupid kids from kicking your butt and thumping your back during the entire flight. The width of the seats... I am not sure. I would have to talk to men and women in the average/medium category of height and weight and see how they fit. Even when too thick I am still a munchkin so it's hard to judge. I think the whole cramming in of people like sardines is not because it's "reasonable" per se but to maximize profit for the airline.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited May 2018
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Generally speaking I think air travel is a privilege and the market likely works to allocate what people actually care about most (cheaper fares), and the current model seems to be more options to pay more for better (more roomy) seats even beyond the old first class option.

    Complicating factor is that you have a very restricted market due to limited airport gates and thus limitations on the ability of new airlines to enter into the market. Also, whoever decides how to allocate the gates (airport authorities = the gov't) has a lot of control over the market.

    I feel like air travel is one of those areas where what we *do* doesn't match what we say we want. We say we want more space, but how many of us actually buy tickets based on that criteria? I hate being squished into a seat (and I'm pretty small), but I'm still looking for the cheapest ticket when I have to fly. When I'm offered the chance to pay more for a better seat or nicer amenities, I never take it.

    Yes, I think that's true. Most people prioritize cheap seats above almost anything. I think the airlines aren't unreasonable to think that if, say, United had nicer seats but was uniformly more expensive than American, that American would be preferred on a head to head.

    I had a series of bad experiences with United, and kept saying I'd never take it again, and yet if the fare was better I usually would. But then part of that is how good the schedule is for a particular trip (the MOST significant thing when traveling for business), and United is often very competitive for me from O'Hare for that. For whatever reason I've been fine with United lately, not had a bad experience for a couple of years. And I now have a ton of miles on United (and a United credit card I've been using), so will prefer United for that reason.

    (Actually I was in a discussion with a number of people who fly around the same amount as I do for business, and most had chosen one preferred airline for miles and tended to prefer that if everything else was close, but business travel is different since employer/client pays.)
    I got randomly upgraded to first class a few years ago and it was wonderful . . . but somehow not something I think is worth paying for. Maybe I'm weird that way.

    I'll pay for it if it's a long flight and not a high price to upgrade (often the case if you got stuck paying full fare for a flight, and again more the case for business travel). Usually I won't, and it's a last minute decision (and I'll take into account that I'll save the money I'd pay for checking a bag if I'm checking a bag).
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Generally speaking I think air travel is a privilege and the market likely works to allocate what people actually care about most (cheaper fares), and the current model seems to be more options to pay more for better (more roomy) seats even beyond the old first class option.

    Complicating factor is that you have a very restricted market due to limited airport gates and thus limitations on the ability of new airlines to enter into the market. Also, whoever decides how to allocate the gates (airport authorities = the gov't) has a lot of control over the market.

    I feel like air travel is one of those areas where what we *do* doesn't match what we say we want. We say we want more space, but how many of us actually buy tickets based on that criteria? I hate being squished into a seat (and I'm pretty small), but I'm still looking for the cheapest ticket when I have to fly. When I'm offered the chance to pay more for a better seat or nicer amenities, I never take it.

    I got randomly upgraded to first class a few years ago and it was wonderful . . . but somehow not something I think is worth paying for. Maybe I'm weird that way.

    (I am sure there are people who make their purchases based on those criteria, I just think the bulk of people are more like me and looking to get to their destination for a cheap price).

    When I fly I go off price I know that much. Not even sure if there is an option to pay a little bit more for some more leg room or not other than first-class which is a big price difference.

    Either way I am sure that airlines have done market research to determine if people would pay more for more legroom and they have clearly determined that they would not. If they could get people to pay more then why wouldn't they offer it?

    It's called various names, but several airlines offer a mid-size between first class and coach. You pay a bit more and you aren't quite as cramped.

    Well then people who feel cramped should purchase those tickets and the more people purchase those tickets the more airlines will offer legroom or seat space. Not sure what entitles people to assume that seats with more room should cost the same as seats with less room or why airlines wouldn't attempt to minimize the cost of flights when clearly people want cheap flights.

    There used to not be an option between first class (which was priced insanely differently) and coach, so it was all how early you made the reservation/luck, but now the airlines are reserving the bad seats for regular fare (or super extra crappy economy basic or whatever its called) and offering a variety of different priced upgrades for better seats, as well as for preferred boarding and so on.

    It's annoying and feels like they are trying to get extra payments every which way, but in fact it's fairer as they let the people who care pay for better seats.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,122 Member
    edited May 2018
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Generally speaking I think air travel is a privilege and the market likely works to allocate what people actually care about most (cheaper fares), and the current model seems to be more options to pay more for better (more roomy) seats even beyond the old first class option.

    Complicating factor is that you have a very restricted market due to limited airport gates and thus limitations on the ability of new airlines to enter into the market. Also, whoever decides how to allocate the gates (airport authorities = the gov't) has a lot of control over the market.

    I feel like air travel is one of those areas where what we *do* doesn't match what we say we want. We say we want more space, but how many of us actually buy tickets based on that criteria? I hate being squished into a seat (and I'm pretty small), but I'm still looking for the cheapest ticket when I have to fly. When I'm offered the chance to pay more for a better seat or nicer amenities, I never take it.

    I got randomly upgraded to first class a few years ago and it was wonderful . . . but somehow not something I think is worth paying for. Maybe I'm weird that way.

    (I am sure there are people who make their purchases based on those criteria, I just think the bulk of people are more like me and looking to get to their destination for a cheap price).

    When I fly I go off price I know that much. Not even sure if there is an option to pay a little bit more for some more leg room or not other than first-class which is a big price difference.

    Either way I am sure that airlines have done market research to determine if people would pay more for more legroom and they have clearly determined that they would not. If they could get people to pay more then why wouldn't they offer it?

    It's called various names, but several airlines offer a mid-size between first class and coach. You pay a bit more and you aren't quite as cramped.

    Well then people who feel cramped should purchase those tickets and the more people purchase those tickets the more airlines will offer legroom or seat space. Not sure what entitles people to assume that seats with more room should cost the same as seats with less room or why airlines wouldn't attempt to minimize the cost of flights when clearly people want cheap flights.

    There used to not be an option between first class (which was priced insanely differently) and coach, so it was all how early you made the reservation/luck, but now the airlines are reserving the bad seats for regular fare (or super extra crappy economy basic or whatever its called) and offering a variety of different priced upgrades for better seats, as well as for preferred boarding and so on.

    It's annoying and feels like they are trying to get extra payments every which way, but in fact it's fairer as they let the people who care pay for better seats.

    Here is the thing with that though. If prices remain the same over 30 years so that a roundtrip flight in the 2010s cost the same as it did in the 1980s it actually means they are getting cheaper and cheaper. So if airlines are maintaining flight prices at roughly the same cost then they are scrounging for extra cash to basically cover the fact that there seat cost is getting cheaper and cheaper relative to their expenses.

    So all the little fees for taking on luggage and nickle and diming you for seat space might not be about gouging you, it might be about struggling to maintain the same price on tickets despite increased operating costs due to inflation. Seats are smaller, meals are crappier and luggage is more cramped because airfare is cheaper than it has ever been on a cost to income level.

    air12.jpg
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    I agree with that -- have made the same argument myself! It just IS annoying when one flies. Flying was a better experience when it was more expensive and people flew more rarely, but for obvious reasons it's good for it to be cheaper and more available for everyone.

    Similar, perhaps, to how maybe (maybe, I'm not saying this is actually do) food was tastier and more special when it was more often made from scratch and you only got strawberries during your local strawberry season and so on, but now it's cheap and enormously available and much as that correlates to increased obesity, food being cheap and available is, unquestionably, a good thing.

    It's not exactly the same, you can still buy seasonally and make things from scratch, but there is an analogy there.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,034 Member
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    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Generally speaking I think air travel is a privilege and the market likely works to allocate what people actually care about most (cheaper fares), and the current model seems to be more options to pay more for better (more roomy) seats even beyond the old first class option.

    Complicating factor is that you have a very restricted market due to limited airport gates and thus limitations on the ability of new airlines to enter into the market. Also, whoever decides how to allocate the gates (airport authorities = the gov't) has a lot of control over the market.

    I feel like air travel is one of those areas where what we *do* doesn't match what we say we want. We say we want more space, but how many of us actually buy tickets based on that criteria? I hate being squished into a seat (and I'm pretty small), but I'm still looking for the cheapest ticket when I have to fly. When I'm offered the chance to pay more for a better seat or nicer amenities, I never take it.

    I got randomly upgraded to first class a few years ago and it was wonderful . . . but somehow not something I think is worth paying for. Maybe I'm weird that way.

    (I am sure there are people who make their purchases based on those criteria, I just think the bulk of people are more like me and looking to get to their destination for a cheap price).

    When I fly I go off price I know that much. Not even sure if there is an option to pay a little bit more for some more leg room or not other than first-class which is a big price difference.

    Either way I am sure that airlines have done market research to determine if people would pay more for more legroom and they have clearly determined that they would not. If they could get people to pay more then why wouldn't they offer it?

    It's called various names, but several airlines offer a mid-size between first class and coach. You pay a bit more and you aren't quite as cramped.

    Well then people who feel cramped should purchase those tickets and the more people purchase those tickets the more airlines will offer legroom or seat space. Not sure what entitles people to assume that seats with more room should cost the same as seats with less room or why airlines wouldn't attempt to minimize the cost of flights when clearly people want cheap flights.

    I used to live in FL and returned to MA a few times a year. I had lots of options for airlines so zeroed in on the ones that gave me the best experience. Once I saved over $100 on a ticket with AirTran but then they stranded me in BOS for 48 hours, and when I finally arrived in FLL, my luggage didn't.

    So it's worth it for me to pay more with airlines with better service, and direct flights.

    JetBlue offers seats with extra legroom. My 6'4" ex springs for that. If I were too wide for a regular seat, I'd pay for the bigger seat. I wouldn't want to pay double, but I think some extra fee is fair and reasonable.
  • lmsaa
    lmsaa Posts: 51 Member
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    This thread came to mind when I saw this news about decreasing airplane bathroom size:
    American Airlines’ Tiny New Bathrooms Test Limits Of What U.S. Passengers Will Put Up With [Forbes]

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2018/05/30/american-airlines-tiny-new-bathrooms-test-limits-of-what-u-s-passengers-will-put-up-with/#2c7bedde5fc2

    "… the airline that flies more people more miles than any other in the world is, for the most part, ignoring the complaints of its own flight attendants — and those of airline bloggers and consumer advocates — that at just 24 inches wide the tiny restrooms installed on its brand new Boeing 737-MAX airplanes are too small and problematic for use by most adults. …

    … American Airlines officials believe – and may well be right – that they hold most or all of the cards and can get away with forcing 156 coach passengers to share just two lavatories that are so small a passenger only has room to wash one hand at a time. Indeed those restrooms are so narrow that passengers reportedly must decide before entering whether to walk in facing the toilet or to back in. That’s because once inside with the door closed there’s not enough room to turn around..."

    Getting back to the OP's question, I'd agree with her friend that airline seats and legroom have gotten so small and tight that they do not fit her friend's "real sized people," even if the market has allowed the airlines to continually reduce passengers' room. In fact, last year, the US Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit sided with the consumer group FlyersRights.org against the F.A.A., which claimed that it did not have to evaluate seat size, and ordered the F.A.A. to review seat size and spacing as related to health issues, such as deep venous thrombosis. and plane evacuation (http://fortune.com/2018/02/26/faa-airline-seats-regulation-safety-comfort/. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/07/31/case-incredible-shrinking-airline-seat-tells/524972001/). I am short and stay within a normal BMI, usually between the lower and mid-range, and I am terribly uncomfortable on today's planes.

    I think Aaron_K123 hit the nail on the head when he asked, "Is air-travel a right or a privilege?" We live in an age in which air travel is commonly required; it is not just a luxury. This is part of a larger political and philosophical question of which businesses should be private and only operated according to profit, and which should be either heavily regulated private industries or be public non-profits. Can necessities be trusted to "free" markets (in quotes because corporations have been hugely advantaged by laws and policies of the last few decades)? Should the airlines have tighter regulation and also government subsidization, if subsidization is necessary for them to operate and maintain a decent level of quality (routes, safety, comfort, etc.) for the public good? If 40 percent of American adults do not have $400 available to cover an emergency (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/22/fed-survey-40-percent-of-adults-cant-cover-400-emergency-expense.html), can they really spend more money for larger seats? Do they have the alternative option of taking days off from work to drive or take a bus, which for trips between all but the larger cities in the US are very inefficient and would take much longer than driving oneself by car? How many train routes are there across the US? How many of you live in smaller mid-western cities where there is no effective competition between airlines (perhaps, at best, indistinguishable duopoly service to a given destination)? Is this a functioning market?

    These policy questions have larger implications than just the price of a ticket and the amount of seat space and legroom. A couple of years ago, I read a very interesting article about how the economy of St. Louis was adversely impacted by deregulation and the lack of anti-monopoly and anti-trust protection:
    https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/maraprmay-2016/the-real-reason-middle-america-should-be-angry/
    One of the items highlighted in the article was airline service:

    "St. Louis also profited from some of the best airline connectivity in the nation...

    St. Louis also benefited from healthy competition between two local air carriers. One was TWA... The other was the homegrown Ozark Airlines. Ozark started out as a “local service” airline licensed by the federal government’s Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to provide air service to small communities in the Midwest. But by the mid-1970s, having won permission from CAB to compete with major carriers on more profitable routes between major cities, the upstart airliner boomed. Flights extended deep into the Southwest, Mountain West, South, and East...

    The rich connectivity was great, of course, for the city’s booming convention business. But it also was valuable to St. Louis’s corporate community. In 1985, Lambert’s 1,170 daily takeoffs and landings made doing business nationally or even internationally easy. It kept St. Louis competitive and at the center of the action, figuratively and geographically...

    In 1978, Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act, which swept away the Civil Aeronautics Board and paved the way for massive industry restructuring. In the mid-1980s, Northwest purchased Republic Airlines. US Airways acquired PSA Airlines and Piedmont Airlines. Continental swallowed Texas International, New York Air, and People’s Express.

    Invariably, this activity soon reached St. Louis. In 1986, TWA bought Ozark. This didn’t help price competition, but when TWA made Lambert its hub, the city’s air connectivity increased. That is, until American purchased TWA in 2001 and later moved much of its operations to Chicago O’Hare. In 2014, only five hundred aircraft took off and landed daily at Lambert, a fraction of the all-time high of 1,400 in 1997. Moreover, the airport serviced only 1,176 international flights, down from 3,826 in 2002. While some airlines like Southwest partially have filled the void, an entire terminal still sits empty."

    I highly recommend the article in full. Food for thought, calorie free.
  • Mandylou19912014
    Mandylou19912014 Posts: 208 Member
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    This is always a tricky discussion to have. My personal view is that yes the seats should be slightly bigger because it’s more comfortable and will cater for those who are larger. But I guess these companies are about making the most money so they would rather have more smaller seats .. I do agree with you that if all the seats were made much bigger to cater for anyone who is obese then this doesn’t motivate/encourage them to lose weight.. if you can’t fit into a plan seat then I guess that could be th wake up call for people to kick start their weight loss journey
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    Interesting discussion.

    Most comments appear to he about domestic US flights. Not too much on longer haul flights other than US coast to coast ones.

    I fly a lot. I fly internationally and have had many 10 hour plus flights. Many years I have been top tier frequent flyer status.

    I am 177 cm 75 kg range. My height is in my body so I have short legs. I can survive in most airline seats but do find the Asian carriers a little cramped since the majority of their customers are smaller than I.

    What class ticket I buy depends a lot on the duration of the flight and what I will be doing there on arrival. If I have a long transatlantic flight with the expectation that I be able to work on arrival, I’ll buy a business class ticket. If it is a vacation where I will have time to recover I’ll usually get a premium economy ticket. If a short haul less than 3 hours, I’ll just suck it up and take economy although I may pay a slight extra for an exit row seat for the extra room plus the opportunity to be the first off in an emergency. No matter what the duration I’ll take an aisle seat if available.

    I have never had an employer that would pay for more than a premium class seat so all business upgrades have been on my own cost. I have bought business class for vacation travel.

    Bottom line the airlines offer what they offer, reasons why are immaterial, and I can either accept or reject what they offer, I have some options in picking a different flight class and if I think it is worth it I’ll pay for the better class.

    Only a few of times have I been seated next to someone obese enough to cause significant discomfort. Simply touching shoulders with my seat mate is not a significant issue. Not being able to lower the armrest and having my full seat width available to me is a significant issue. Being trapped in a window seat beside someone not able to get up and deplane in an emergency is a significant issue.

    I simply politely explained to the cabin crew that I paid for a seat and wanted what I paid for. I was moved to a different seat, sometimes because of my frequent flyer status it was a class upgrade but in general it was to a different seat in the same class. I didn’t always get the aisle seat but on a short haul I’ll suck it up and take the middle seat if need to. It has never happened to me on a completely full flight.

    As airlines reschedule flights to increase load factor, and as people get increasingly obese, and as flight rage becomes more and more common then the airlines will have to address this issue. I predict that there will be a couple high profile incidents, that go viral on YouTube, to precipitate the changes.

    My proposal is that the person not fitting in their seat to the significant discomfort of the person next to them is the one who has to move or be rescheduled. If the move is a class upgrade then they should be expected to pay for it since they knew their size at the start and had the opportunity to have purchased an upgrade at the start and chose to take the risk of their being available extra seating.

    I have never seen an obese person buy a sub-compact car
    . They pay the extra for a vehicle that they would fit into. If the cost of the cloth was a significant factor in the cost of clothes, would you expect an obese person to buy smaller clothes than their size to save money or would they buy more expensive clothes that fit? Why should airline seats be any different? They should pay for what then need to fit into.

    Not an obese person but a few years back I had a coworker who was 6'8"+ 240ish. Drove a tiny subcompact. He looked very much like the Strong man competitors wearing the car when the do the walk for distance.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
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    Industries are not always good judges of what would benefit them long term. Most people I know avoid flying today because of bad treatment, yet planes are desperate for customers and treating people decently is free.
  • GOT_Obsessed
    GOT_Obsessed Posts: 817 Member
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    Interesting discussion.

    Most comments appear to he about domestic US flights. Not too much on longer haul flights other than US coast to coast ones.

    I fly a lot. I fly internationally and have had many 10 hour plus flights. Many years I have been top tier frequent flyer status.

    I am 177 cm 75 kg range. My height is in my body so I have short legs. I can survive in most airline seats but do find the Asian carriers a little cramped since the majority of their customers are smaller than I.

    What class ticket I buy depends a lot on the duration of the flight and what I will be doing there on arrival. If I have a long transatlantic flight with the expectation that I be able to work on arrival, I’ll buy a business class ticket. If it is a vacation where I will have time to recover I’ll usually get a premium economy ticket. If a short haul less than 3 hours, I’ll just suck it up and take economy although I may pay a slight extra for an exit row seat for the extra room plus the opportunity to be the first off in an emergency. No matter what the duration I’ll take an aisle seat if available.

    I have never had an employer that would pay for more than a premium class seat so all business upgrades have been on my own cost. I have bought business class for vacation travel.

    Bottom line the airlines offer what they offer, reasons why are immaterial, and I can either accept or reject what they offer, I have some options in picking a different flight class and if I think it is worth it I’ll pay for the better class.

    Only a few of times have I been seated next to someone obese enough to cause significant discomfort. Simply touching shoulders with my seat mate is not a significant issue. Not being able to lower the armrest and having my full seat width available to me is a significant issue. Being trapped in a window seat beside someone not able to get up and deplane in an emergency is a significant issue.

    I simply politely explained to the cabin crew that I paid for a seat and wanted what I paid for. I was moved to a different seat, sometimes because of my frequent flyer status it was a class upgrade but in general it was to a different seat in the same class. I didn’t always get the aisle seat but on a short haul I’ll suck it up and take the middle seat if need to. It has never happened to me on a completely full flight.

    As airlines reschedule flights to increase load factor, and as people get increasingly obese, and as flight rage becomes more and more common then the airlines will have to address this issue. I predict that there will be a couple high profile incidents, that go viral on YouTube, to precipitate the changes.

    My proposal is that the person not fitting in their seat to the significant discomfort of the person next to them is the one who has to move or be rescheduled. If the move is a class upgrade then they should be expected to pay for it since they knew their size at the start and had the opportunity to have purchased an upgrade at the start and chose to take the risk of their being available extra seating.

    I have never seen an obese person buy a sub-compact car
    . They pay the extra for a vehicle that they would fit into. If the cost of the cloth was a significant factor in the cost of clothes, would you expect an obese person to buy smaller clothes than their size to save money or would they buy more expensive clothes that fit? Why should airline seats be any different? They should pay for what then need to fit into.

    Not an obese person but a few years back I had a coworker who was 6'8"+ 240ish. Drove a tiny subcompact. He looked very much like the Strong man competitors wearing the car when the do the walk for distance.

    I am picturing those old Volkswagen beetles with a bunch of Clowns climbing out.
  • VUA21
    VUA21 Posts: 2,072 Member
    Options
    Interesting discussion.

    Most comments appear to he about domestic US flights. Not too much on longer haul flights other than US coast to coast ones.

    I fly a lot. I fly internationally and have had many 10 hour plus flights. Many years I have been top tier frequent flyer status.

    I am 177 cm 75 kg range. My height is in my body so I have short legs. I can survive in most airline seats but do find the Asian carriers a little cramped since the majority of their customers are smaller than I.

    What class ticket I buy depends a lot on the duration of the flight and what I will be doing there on arrival. If I have a long transatlantic flight with the expectation that I be able to work on arrival, I’ll buy a business class ticket. If it is a vacation where I will have time to recover I’ll usually get a premium economy ticket. If a short haul less than 3 hours, I’ll just suck it up and take economy although I may pay a slight extra for an exit row seat for the extra room plus the opportunity to be the first off in an emergency. No matter what the duration I’ll take an aisle seat if available.

    I have never had an employer that would pay for more than a premium class seat so all business upgrades have been on my own cost. I have bought business class for vacation travel.

    Bottom line the airlines offer what they offer, reasons why are immaterial, and I can either accept or reject what they offer, I have some options in picking a different flight class and if I think it is worth it I’ll pay for the better class.

    Only a few of times have I been seated next to someone obese enough to cause significant discomfort. Simply touching shoulders with my seat mate is not a significant issue. Not being able to lower the armrest and having my full seat width available to me is a significant issue. Being trapped in a window seat beside someone not able to get up and deplane in an emergency is a significant issue.

    I simply politely explained to the cabin crew that I paid for a seat and wanted what I paid for. I was moved to a different seat, sometimes because of my frequent flyer status it was a class upgrade but in general it was to a different seat in the same class. I didn’t always get the aisle seat but on a short haul I’ll suck it up and take the middle seat if need to. It has never happened to me on a completely full flight.

    As airlines reschedule flights to increase load factor, and as people get increasingly obese, and as flight rage becomes more and more common then the airlines will have to address this issue. I predict that there will be a couple high profile incidents, that go viral on YouTube, to precipitate the changes.

    My proposal is that the person not fitting in their seat to the significant discomfort of the person next to them is the one who has to move or be rescheduled. If the move is a class upgrade then they should be expected to pay for it since they knew their size at the start and had the opportunity to have purchased an upgrade at the start and chose to take the risk of their being available extra seating.

    I have never seen an obese person buy a sub-compact car
    . They pay the extra for a vehicle that they would fit into. If the cost of the cloth was a significant factor in the cost of clothes, would you expect an obese person to buy smaller clothes than their size to save money or would they buy more expensive clothes that fit? Why should airline seats be any different? They should pay for what then need to fit into.

    Not an obese person but a few years back I had a coworker who was 6'8"+ 240ish. Drove a tiny subcompact. He looked very much like the Strong man competitors wearing the car when the do the walk for distance.

    I am picturing those old Volkswagen beetles with a bunch of Clowns climbing out.

    car-carry.jpg

    Now that's one way to save on gas money.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
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    lmsaa wrote: »
    This thread came to mind when I saw this news about decreasing airplane bathroom size:
    American Airlines’ Tiny New Bathrooms Test Limits Of What U.S. Passengers Will Put Up With [Forbes]

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2018/05/30/american-airlines-tiny-new-bathrooms-test-limits-of-what-u-s-passengers-will-put-up-with/#2c7bedde5fc2

    "… the airline that flies more people more miles than any other in the world is, for the most part, ignoring the complaints of its own flight attendants — and those of airline bloggers and consumer advocates — that at just 24 inches wide the tiny restrooms installed on its brand new Boeing 737-MAX airplanes are too small and problematic for use by most adults. …

    … American Airlines officials believe – and may well be right – that they hold most or all of the cards and can get away with forcing 156 coach passengers to share just two lavatories that are so small a passenger only has room to wash one hand at a time. Indeed those restrooms are so narrow that passengers reportedly must decide before entering whether to walk in facing the toilet or to back in. That’s because once inside with the door closed there’s not enough room to turn around..."

    Getting back to the OP's question, I'd agree with her friend that airline seats and legroom have gotten so small and tight that they do not fit her friend's "real sized people," even if the market has allowed the airlines to continually reduce passengers' room. In fact, last year, the US Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit sided with the consumer group FlyersRights.org against the F.A.A., which claimed that it did not have to evaluate seat size, and ordered the F.A.A. to review seat size and spacing as related to health issues, such as deep venous thrombosis. and plane evacuation (http://fortune.com/2018/02/26/faa-airline-seats-regulation-safety-comfort/. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/07/31/case-incredible-shrinking-airline-seat-tells/524972001/). I am short and stay within a normal BMI, usually between the lower and mid-range, and I am terribly uncomfortable on today's planes.

    I think Aaron_K123 hit the nail on the head when he asked, "Is air-travel a right or a privilege?" We live in an age in which air travel is commonly required; it is not just a luxury. This is part of a larger political and philosophical question of which businesses should be private and only operated according to profit, and which should be either heavily regulated private industries or be public non-profits. Can necessities be trusted to "free" markets (in quotes because corporations have been hugely advantaged by laws and policies of the last few decades)? Should the airlines have tighter regulation and also government subsidization, if subsidization is necessary for them to operate and maintain a decent level of quality (routes, safety, comfort, etc.) for the public good? If 40 percent of American adults do not have $400 available to cover an emergency (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/22/fed-survey-40-percent-of-adults-cant-cover-400-emergency-expense.html), can they really spend more money for larger seats? Do they have the alternative option of taking days off from work to drive or take a bus, which for trips between all but the larger cities in the US are very inefficient and would take much longer than driving oneself by car? How many train routes are there across the US? How many of you live in smaller mid-western cities where there is no effective competition between airlines (perhaps, at best, indistinguishable duopoly service to a given destination)? Is this a functioning market?

    These policy questions have larger implications than just the price of a ticket and the amount of seat space and legroom. A couple of years ago, I read a very interesting article about how the economy of St. Louis was adversely impacted by deregulation and the lack of anti-monopoly and anti-trust protection:
    https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/maraprmay-2016/the-real-reason-middle-america-should-be-angry/
    One of the items highlighted in the article was airline service:

    "St. Louis also profited from some of the best airline connectivity in the nation...

    St. Louis also benefited from healthy competition between two local air carriers. One was TWA... The other was the homegrown Ozark Airlines. Ozark started out as a “local service” airline licensed by the federal government’s Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to provide air service to small communities in the Midwest. But by the mid-1970s, having won permission from CAB to compete with major carriers on more profitable routes between major cities, the upstart airliner boomed. Flights extended deep into the Southwest, Mountain West, South, and East...

    The rich connectivity was great, of course, for the city’s booming convention business. But it also was valuable to St. Louis’s corporate community. In 1985, Lambert’s 1,170 daily takeoffs and landings made doing business nationally or even internationally easy. It kept St. Louis competitive and at the center of the action, figuratively and geographically...

    In 1978, Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act, which swept away the Civil Aeronautics Board and paved the way for massive industry restructuring. In the mid-1980s, Northwest purchased Republic Airlines. US Airways acquired PSA Airlines and Piedmont Airlines. Continental swallowed Texas International, New York Air, and People’s Express.

    Invariably, this activity soon reached St. Louis. In 1986, TWA bought Ozark. This didn’t help price competition, but when TWA made Lambert its hub, the city’s air connectivity increased. That is, until American purchased TWA in 2001 and later moved much of its operations to Chicago O’Hare. In 2014, only five hundred aircraft took off and landed daily at Lambert, a fraction of the all-time high of 1,400 in 1997. Moreover, the airport serviced only 1,176 international flights, down from 3,826 in 2002. While some airlines like Southwest partially have filled the void, an entire terminal still sits empty."

    I highly recommend the article in full. Food for thought, calorie free.

    Deregulation wasn't the primary issue causing TWA to move hubs....this was a direct result from disastrous St. Louis anti-business politics.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Y'all have nothing to complain about until you fly Space Available on a poorly sound-insulated C-5 in which the sets are set in backwards and the plane makes three approaches to each airport before landing and then strands you in Alaska for three days (none of which was disclosed before boarding) :lol:

    However, it did only cost $10 so there's that.

    LOL. were each of those 3 approaches standard or combat profile? :) Love me some combat profile landings.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,034 Member
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    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Y'all have nothing to complain about until you fly Space Available on a poorly sound-insulated C-5 in which the sets are set in backwards and the plane makes three approaches to each airport before landing and then strands you in Alaska for three days (none of which was disclosed before boarding) :lol:

    However, it did only cost $10 so there's that.

    LOL. were each of those 3 approaches standard or combat profile? :) Love me some combat profile landings.

    Not sure a big cargo plane like the C-5 can even do a combat profile :dizzy: