It seems airlines are now turning to what used to be the no touch rule, airline seats, in a bid to scrutinize new ways to extract profits.
Two such airlines exploring such avenues include Spirit and Southwest (the nation’s largest domestic carrier) who have taken to examining the amount of leg room and reclining motion seats offer passengers and ways to shave inches off to offer new rows of paying airline seats.
In a report via the nytimes, Spirit Airlines now gives coach passengers the least amount of room, after installing seats that measured to have just 28 inches per person.
As a result, the airline fits 178 people on their Airbus A320 planes rather than the general standard of 150.
One of the ways that they were able to accomplish such a feat was by taking away passengers ability to move their seats back on their own accord.
Instead, Spirit’s coach seats are unmovable, set permanently to lean three inches back.
Interestingly airline spokespersons are trying to sell this as a benefit to passengers.
Told Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson: ‘Customers appreciate the fact that there is no longer interference from the seat in front of you moving up and down throughout the flight.’
Whether they necessarily enjoy the restriction of such ‘upright’ arrangements is another thing all together.
Southwest may for now have resisted on the doing away with reclining chairs but the airline is limiting passenger options as newly designed chairs allow for going back two inches rather than the previously-standard three.
While passengers may not enjoy the change, company higher-ups are seeing the change as that simple design change equates to an additional $200 million in annual revenue from tickets sold in those extra seats.
Airlines are not the only ones causing problems by shrinking their seats, as part of the blame lies with the passengers themselves.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over the past 40 years Americans’ waistlines have expanded by 2.5 inches and the average person is heavier by more than 20 pounds.
Hardly the most celebrated fact that airlines are choosing to acknowledge as they seek to further wedge more profits out of passengers.
above image found here
And then there were these comments on the web that made me wonder as well:
Why do people feel air travel should be a glamorous, Mad Men-esque experience? Why expect the airborne to be any more suave, polite or fragrant than the regular folk we plop down beside on the city bus? Almost everything about flying – the ludicrous spectacle that is security theatre, disaffected airline employees, braying masses, expensive plastic “food” – is annoying. But, I fly for personal reasons at least 20 times a year because doing so gets me where I want to be. And it gets you there, too. If you can’t deal with the dumb, the loud, the fat, the poorly dressed, the too-small seats, the $3 cup of water, the plain ole’ aggravation of it all, or if you don’t want to pay to escape into 1st class, stay home, okay? No one needs to go to Vegas, or anywhere else. The terrible inconveniences inherent in zooming around the globe are such silly 1st World non-problems. We are becoming a vast herd of entitled crybabies.
You get what you pay for. Airlines are businesses. If you want a decent seat and ample leg room, you are going to have to pay for it, be it with your $$$ or you frequent flier miles. Get use to the new normal. As airlines consolidate through mergers, there shall be less competition. Be prepared to pay for less.
Re-regulation yet anyone? if any industry has proved incapable of regulating themselves it is the airline industry. Misleading consumers as to who is actually operating all those regional jets to total disregard for passenger comfort and safety in cramming more seats than designed for on their aircraft.
Enough of the low fare nonsense. With better seating and more emphasis on truth in advertising higher fares would be happily paid.
Is there a better example of the primacy of corporate greed over the individual’s best interests than the airline business in America? Surely, they should be able to run a profitable business without subjecting us to the indignities of abysmal service and nickel and diming us for everything.The passenger’s comfort and quality of the experience is the very last thing they’re concerned about. Wouldn’t it be nice if an airline decided it would be good business to treat people with some respect. They’d have my business.