It turns out you didn’t pack on as many vacation pounds as you thought on the way home from your last vacation.
Airline seats are getting smaller.
According to the Associated Press, last summer air travellers squeezed into the least amount of personal space in the history of flying.
The shrinking size of airplane seats has caught the attention of the U.S. Transport Committee.
Though the diminishing size of airplane seating may turn more profits for the carriers, they come at a cost to uncomfortable passengers.
And we don’t have to tell you that uncomfortable passengers are hell to deal with.
Today, an advisory committee heard testimony on the matter from expert witnesses, which included the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, the Centers for Disease Control, and the inventor of the Knee Defender, a kind of genius albeit highly controversial gadget designed to prevent airline seats in front of you from reclining.
The committee can make non-binding suggestions to government regulators.
And it’s not just about the lack of legroom; the issue of safety was front and centre
Tightly packed seats could make evacuation more difficult in the event of an emergency. A representative from the FAA said that the tests conducted by an organization on how quickly passengers can evacuate the plane are based on planes with 31 inches of seat pitch between airplane rows.
Most airlines, however, now offer a lower pitch than that.
In fact, both seat pitch – meaning, the number of inches from a given point on one airline seat to the same point on the seat in the next row – and seat width in economy class have decreased on planes operated by the world’s largest carriers over the last 30 years.
If you’re used to flying first class, however, you probably have no idea about the plight of the peasants in coach – many airlines are making premium classes more spacious and luxurious as ever before.
That’s what the curtain’s for.