Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RUH ROH: Flying Coach Now So Cramped It Could Be a Death Sentence

In your gut, you kinda knew this was true (emphases mine).

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pack seats tighter than ever, the tests supposed to show that passengers can get out alive in a crash are woefully out of date.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.”

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• The tests carried out to ensure that all the passengers can safely exit a cabin in an emergency are dangerously outdated and do not reflect how densely packed coach class seating has become—or how the size of passengers has simultaneously increased;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.
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.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The last time I flew I was tight up facing a bulkhead with 3 or 4 people on the left and a dude with an isle seat on the right who was staking out my armrest. I used to spelunk so cramped quarters aren't too big a deal but the confinement I felt really started to get to me. When we got in the air I saw there were vacant seats so I jumped up and asked the Stewardess if I could move. She said yes, but the startled look on her poor face betrayed my own heightened state of anxiety. To think about going down in that sea of flesh, well, I'm sure it would make a screamer out of me.