As airlines pack seats tighter than ever, the tests supposed to show that passengers can get out alive in a crash are woefully out of date. The FAA won’t make the results public, and a court warns there is “a plausible life-and-death safety concern.”My prediction is that airlines will begin differentiating on safety and seat size, kind of like how Volvo went to market a decade or two ago.
For years the airlines have been allowed to steadily shrink the size of coach class seats and the space between seat rows without regulators considering the impact of this on safety. A Daily Beast investigation has found:
• The tests carried out to ensure that all the passengers can safely exit a cabin in an emergency are dangerously outdated and do not reflect how densely packed coach class seating has become—or how the size of passengers has simultaneously increased;
• No coach class seat meets the Department of Transportation’s own standard for the space required to make a flight attendant’s seat safe in an emergency;
• Neither Boeing nor the Federal Aviation Administration will disclose the evacuation test data for the newest (and most densely seated) versions of the most widely used jet, the Boeing 737.
In a case brought by the non-profit activist group Flyers Rights and heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a judge said there was “a plausible life-and-death safety concern” about what is called the “densification” of seats in coach. The court ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to respond to a petition filed by Flyers Rights to promulgate new rules to deal with safety issues created by shrinking seat sizes and space in coach class cabins.
Other auto brands quickly followed suit, recognizing that ignoring "death trap" issues for consumers could very well be a deal-breaker
Hat tip: BadBlue Real-Time News.