If you’re an international traveler, you’ve no doubt been subjected to shrinking airline seats that seem to shrink with each passing year. The good news is, the airlines are finally waking up to the fact that passengers want room to stretch their legs, relax their spines and relax their eyes.

In the last two months, several new airlines have started shrinking their seats in order to make more room for business class. The trend started with Scandinavian airlines in their long-haul flights and now appears to be spreading to Europe and the United States.

The airline industry is expected to make $1 trillion in additional revenue by 2034, according to a new report from the market intelligence firm IdeaWorks Partners.  That’s more revenue than the automotive, consumer electronics, and pharmaceutical industries combined. Part of the revenue will come from an arms race to shrink airline seats into as small a footprint as possible while still allowing for the maximum number of passengers. This will require increasing the number of seats on each plane to accommodate as much passengers as possible.. Read more about airline news and let us know what you think.


Is it Sexist to Reduce the Size of Airline Seats?

on July 25, 2021 by Gary Leff

In a highly debated article, Gillian Sisley argues that “shrinking aircraft seats” are a feminist problem since less room on flights fails to “accommodat[e] women’s bodily nature.”

She asserts,

  • On average, women have broader hips than males.
  • Men encroach on women’s territory.
  • Women are less inclined to speak out in order to protect their personal space.

As a consequence, women are subjected to patriarchal discomfort by the aviation business. And as a frequent flyer, I’d like to add, “Right on, sister!”

Even if her three main reasons are true, her assertion about aircraft having less room is nonsensical. That’s because, although legroom (or, more precisely, seat pitch – the space between seat backs) has shrunk, her main concern is about seat breadth. That hasn’t altered on domestic narrowbody planes.

In other words, her main gripe is with the breadth of an airplane’s fuselage. Boeing jets, for example, aren’t as broad as similar Airbus planes, therefore seats on Boeing flights are often an inch narrower than those on Airbus planes.

On widebodies, for example, airlines have crammed in more seats. In economy, Boeing 777s typically feature 10 seats per row, while they formerly had 9 seats per row.

Sisly, on the other hand, attributes this to airlines doing “everything they can to maximize profit.” State-owned airlines Emirates and Air France were among the first to adopt the practice, with American and United following later. I’m not sure what sector she’s been following, but United’s statement of an anticipated profit in the current quarter.

What would happen if seat sizes were regulated? It would really disadvantage women, particularly those traveling with families and needing to purchase additional tickets.

  • Pitch, or legroom, has been the main subject of seat size regulation and legislation.
  • However, establishing minimal criteria here effectively criminalizes Spirit and Frontier.
  • This makes rate competition from ultra-low-cost carriers unlawful, although it is unlikely to have any impact on big airlines.
  • As a result, costs will rise, and fewer women (and men) will be able to afford to fly at all.

While I would love for the #MeToo era to usher in free Economy Plus for everyone, it’s worth noting that even totalitarian North Korea’s Air Koryo provides several service levels.

(Thanks to Tommy L. for the tip.)

More From the Wing’s Perspective

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • aviation news philippines 2018
  • airways route
  • routesonline news
  • virgin airlines news
  • ch aviation jobs
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