Airlines, the Disabled & Seat Width’s

By | Category: Travel rumblings

I have no idea when the width of airline seats was last determined but it doesn’t seem to have taken account of the fact that people are larger these days. Just as people have grown taller through a better diet, people’s girth has increased though not necessarily due to diet. Certain illnesses cause weight to be put on and the individual has little choice but to put up with it as a friend of mine did many years ago which resulted in regular monthly hospitalisations to try and deal with it.
So the recent decision by the Canadian Supreme Court to throw out an application by Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and Westjet to charge for an extra seat for people who were obese or for disabled passengers who needed them has been welcomed by organisations concerned with the disabled. The airfares policy, in Canada at least, will be “one person, one fare.”
My point is that, laudable as this decision is, and I hope that it is accepted by airlines wherever they are based is that seat comfort needs to be frequently visited. 350 years ago King Charles I was viewed as being of average size and he was a shade under five feet tall. Today the average size of a man is nearly five foot ten inches and that has increased by a couple of inches since WWII. Naturally body weight and girth has increased. So sometimes, for someone pretty average, an airline seat can be uncomfortable. As and as for leg room…
The issue for the airlines is that if they widen seats and give more leg room, commercially they lose because there are less seats to sell. Some charge you more for giving you extra leg room. Some may take the view that in times of a downturn, one way to attract passengers is to give them a little more space and that, allied with customer service will encourage passengers to choose them.
Oh well, I can dream!

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