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How airlines are squeezing more seats onto their planes

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WT Economist

They need to vary seat pitch and width and allow paying by the inch, with recommendations based on waist size and height. Right now the only option is an upgrade to first class. Otherwise, some petit people are losing a chance to save money, while bigger people are tortured.


The airline executives who come up with these ideas should have their offices, board rooms, and company washrooms remodeled to the size and pitch of seats and lavatories in economy class.


Why not sell the toilets to passengers who can recoup their costs depending on how desperate the other passengers are.

Haduken in reply to Zouf

Assuming 30 rows and one lavatory per side, you can sacrifice 1/30th of a centimeter for each seat to gain 1 cm for the lavatory. There is clearly an optimization to be done that considers both the time that one spends in the seat versus the lavatory and the smaller sacrifice to seat room for lavatory room. The author is merely stating that they did not make the optimal trade-off here. Clearly, it's debatable but it's not as simple as time spent in one area versus another. There is not a 1-to-1 trade-off in space. Instead there is a n-to-k trade-off in space where n is the number of rows and k is the number of lavatories per side.

Public Dude

It's time governments allowed airlines of other nations to fly internal routes to improve atandards. Airlines like Emirates are setting high standards while those like American, aim for low standards, at least within the US. They all shame British Airways business class which is about he worst in the world.


I would gladly exchange a few centimeters of width in the lavatory against a few centimeters of knee space in my seat - after all, the former is supposed to be used for a short time, and the latter is where I'm assuming I'll be most of the flight. As for the 250-pounder Mr Leff refers to, I have no clue how that person (who somehow *always* travels besides me) can survive the seat, let alone the loo.


I just completed a flight on United from Cleveland to San Francisco on a new 737-800/900. The coach toilets are 30% smaller - water from the sink sprayed all over the mirror and door. You cannot sit squarely on the seat without turning your body. I'm 5'8" and fit just fine in a standard coach seat. The new toilets are too small, less sanitary and as the article said - seem to be from the set of a sitcom skit. Interesting side note - I have not seen this on any of the new 737s on Southwest Airlines.

Tollens in reply to EagleViews

Standard coach seats are just fine for someone who is 5'8" but impossible for anyone over 6. Try being 6'4" and having someone recline their seat in front of you. At a minimum, airlines should eliminate the ability to recline