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Thread: Finally, something will be done regarding the shrinking airline seat

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Finally, something will be done regarding the shrinking airline seat

    In October 2018, Donald Trump signed an FAA reauthorization bill, which extends another 5 years of funding to the agency. Who cares, right?

    But included in that bill was the much-praised SEAT Act, which was written by a Democratic Congressman from Tennessee.

    The bill easily passed the House and Senate, with wide bipartisan support, in the fall of 2018.

    The SEAT Act requires the FAA to set guidelines "within a year" regarding minimum seat size. That year will be up in October 2019, meaning it will happen before then.

    Airline seat sizes have shrunken greatly over the past 5 decades, despite the average height and BMI of Americans rising in that time. Americans are now taller and fatter than ever before, yet the seats are much smaller.

    The size of an airline seat is defined by "pitch" (distance between seats, which is basically legroom) ad "width" (obvious).

    It's the pitch which has especially shrunken over time.

    In 1972 when I was born, the pitch of economy (then called "coach") seats was 35 inches, and the width was 18 inches.

    Today, standard US airlines have a pitch of 31 inches, and discount airlines have a pitch of 28-29.

    That might not sound like a big difference, but it's actually huge. An adult who is 5'7" will not fit comfortably in a seat with a 28" pitch, whereas a tall man my size (6'2-6'3) is quite comfortable with a 35 inch pitch.

    Why? Because your height isn't just in your legs, so each inch reduced of pitch makes it feel like the way the old seat felt for someone 2 inches taller than you! A small woman about 5' tall would have about the same legroom in a 28" pitch seat as a 6'2" guy in a 35" pitch seat!

    Here's a picture of me flying on Air Canada Rogue in 2014. The pitch was 29 inches. I could not sit straight. I had to sit diagonally, and STILL my knee touched the seat in front of me, and my right foot went far up the aisle. You can see a pic of it here: https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...ir-Canada-JOKE


    However, prior to 2019, the pitches under 31 were simply the domain of discount airlines in the US. If you flew any of the major airlines (AA, Delta, United, etc), you always had a minimum of 31 inches.

    Not anymore!

    American Airlines actually had plans to reduce to pitch down to 28 on its new 737s, but they abandoned the plan after public outrage. However, they still are rolling out the planes with only 30 inches of pitch!

    Delta, for the moment, has pledged to keep a minimum of 31 inches.

    You need to fly Economy Plus or First/Business Class if you want a pitch of 35 or higher -- something which has basically become a requirement for me.

    I always felt that pitches under 31 should be illegal, as that starts to venture into territory where even average-height adults cannot fly comfortably.

    In fact, I think the minimum should be 32, given the increasing number of men over 6' in this country. It's one thing not to have to cater to the freakishly tall, but when a substantial portion of the male population is too tall for most of the seats on a plane, that's a problem.

    I would actually be fine with pitches of 29 on discount airlines (28 is too small, though), provided that it's clearly disclosed to the customer prior to purchase that anyone 5'7" or above will be uncomfortable. That was my biggest problem with Air Canada Rouge, when I purchased a ticket in 2014 without any knowledge that the pitch was 29 (I've since checked this carefully on any unfamiliar airline!)

    It will be interesting to see which regulations the FAA comes up with.

    Due to my recent anxiety disorder, I will be flying first/business class from now on anyway, as flying has become much more difficult for me.

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Other new laws for airlines:

    Live animals cannot fly in overhead bins (lol).

    There are now stricter guidelines upon which animals can be considered "service animals".

    The days of using an airfone are over. Due to passenger complaints about annoying conversations immediately next to them, it is now illegal to make or take voice phone calls while in flight, even using VOIP.

    The "David Dao Rule" (named by me) now forbids airlines from removing passengers after they've already boarded, unless they either voluntarily give up their seat OR are causing a safety issue/disruption.

    Airlines have also been told to improve their protocols for informing passengers of flight delays, but it's unclear what those will be.

  3. #3
    Nova Scotia's REAL #1 Webcam DJ sonatine's Avatar
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    i feel like there are two plausible outcomes;

    1) absolutely nothing actually changes for the better at all, somehow

    2) they capitulate and adapt to the new regs and ticket prices literally jump 30% across the board.
    "Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness." - Alejandro Jodorowsky

    "America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers." -- William S. Burroughs

  4. #4
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonatine View Post
    i feel like there are two plausible outcomes;

    1) absolutely nothing actually changes for the better at all, somehow

    2) they capitulate and adapt to the new regs and ticket prices literally jump 30% across the board.
    #1 is very possible. I've learned not to count on the government to rescue me from anything.




    Regarding #2, realize that they already are charging the maximum they can get away with for maximum profit. They have incredibly sophisticated predictive pricing systems which constantly adjust airfares up and down as a function of current sales versus historical sales, with current competition being factored in, as well.

    If they could charge 30% more right now and make more money overall, they'd be doing it already.

    Now, prices might go up because of the reduced seat inventory. So if these changes force airlines to have 10% fewer seats on the same planes, we might see the free market effect of that. But we also might not, especially since the FAA is more likely to maintain the status quo of 31 inches, rather than enforce something like 32-33 inches. So if we're flying on planes with the exact same configuration as 2018 (which, honestly, is probably the best we're going to get here), then the prices should also be comparable to 2018.

    I still think it's borderline criminal to sell seats of a 28-29 inch pitch without a very clear warning to consumers what that really means.

    Oh, and American Airlines is planning to shrink the bathroom even further, too. Keep in mind that the bathroom is already smaller than ever. The days of being able to join the Mile High Club are probably over, unless you're Daniel Negreanu and Amanda Leatherman.

  5. #5
    This is why I literally hate flying. I'm not scared of flying, DGAF about sitting in a seat for however many hours, or any of that stuff. It's just uncomfortable sitting in a seat with zero leg space. Can't even sleep anymore on the flights because you can't lean forward and put head on the tray because at least on Spirit it's a tiny piece of shit. Oftentimes I can get a big front seat, but I'm also a dumbass sometimes and can't do that because I buy a ticket like 3 hours before the flight leaves.

    I fly a lot but haven't used the bathroom on a plane in like forever....except a few weeks ago. Wow. If I had to drop a deuce, I would've had to walk in backwards. There's no turning around in that puppy.

  6. #6
    100% Organic MumblesBadly's Avatar
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    Has anyone here considered the possibility that some of the major US airlines supported this new law to prevent being blindsided by an aggressive competitor that somehow gets approval to install the newer semi-standing seats designed to to jam in even more passengers?

    https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/s...eat/index.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellafriend View Post
    There is only one scumbag here:


    ME

  7. #7
    Nova Scotia's REAL #1 Webcam DJ sonatine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    #1 is very possible. I've learned not to count on the government to rescue me from anything.




    Regarding #2, realize that they already are charging the maximum they can get away with for maximum profit. They have incredibly sophisticated predictive pricing systems which constantly adjust airfares up and down as a function of current sales versus historical sales, with current competition being factored in, as well.

    If they could charge 30% more right now and make more money overall, they'd be doing it already.

    Now, prices might go up because of the reduced seat inventory. So if these changes force airlines to have 10% fewer seats on the same planes, we might see the free market effect of that. But we also might not, especially since the FAA is more likely to maintain the status quo of 31 inches, rather than enforce something like 32-33 inches. So if we're flying on planes with the exact same configuration as 2018 (which, honestly, is probably the best we're going to get here), then the prices should also be comparable to 2018.

    I still think it's borderline criminal to sell seats of a 28-29 inch pitch without a very clear warning to consumers what that really means.

    Oh, and American Airlines is planning to shrink the bathroom even further, too. Keep in mind that the bathroom is already smaller than ever. The days of being able to join the Mile High Club are probably over, unless you're Daniel Negreanu and Amanda Leatherman.

    god this makes so much sense at face value that it literally hurts.

    the closest thing to a rebuttal i can offer is that the airlines are, at the end of the day, too big to fail and they know it.

    if they start fucking with volume in terms of flights or otherwise getting slick, they win that game of chicken with the gov every single time.
    "Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness." - Alejandro Jodorowsky

    "America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers." -- William S. Burroughs

  8. #8
    Not a very conservative position, Todd. Shouldn't the market fix this? In fact, it has- you want more leg room, you pay more. It's not secret- economy plus.

    I can see safety being a governmnet regulation area, but comfort?

    P.S. and your response will be "it is a safety issue", but its not. Its comfort. If it was safety, they'd make tall people buy economy plus, like they're supposed to do with fat people. I am a normal sized person, and don't want to pay for your extra space.

  9. #9
    Nova Scotia's REAL #1 Webcam DJ sonatine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerpiper View Post
    Not a very conservative position, Todd. Shouldn't the market fix this? In fact, it has- you want more leg room, you pay more. It's not secret- economy plus.

    I can see safety being a governmnet regulation area, but comfort?

    P.S. and your response will be "it is a safety issue", but its not. Its comfort. If it was safety, they'd make tall people buy economy plus, like they're supposed to do with fat people. I am a normal sized person, and don't want to pay for your extra space.

    this actually isnt true; people are getting blood clots and dying from being forced into these positions for hours.

     
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      sah_24: You are not forced into anything when you are using a service you stupid fuck ...
    "Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness." - Alejandro Jodorowsky

    "America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers." -- William S. Burroughs

  10. #10
    Fats shouldn't fly.

  11. #11
    Speedster Out of Clemson adamantium's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devidee View Post
    Fats shouldn't fly.
    Or joos
    jet flyin son of a gun

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    In October 2018, Donald Trump signed an FAA reauthorization bill, which extends another 5 years of funding to the agency. Who cares, right?

    But included in that bill was the much-praised SEAT Act, which was written by a Democratic Congressman from Tennessee.

    The bill easily passed the House and Senate, with wide bipartisan support, in the fall of 2018.

    The SEAT Act requires the FAA to set guidelines "within a year" regarding minimum seat size. That year will be up in October 2019, meaning it will happen before then.

    Airline seat sizes have shrunken greatly over the past 5 decades, despite the average height and BMI of Americans rising in that time. Americans are now taller and fatter than ever before, yet the seats are much smaller.

    The size of an airline seat is defined by "pitch" (distance between seats, which is basically legroom) ad "width" (obvious).

    It's the pitch which has especially shrunken over time.

    In 1972 when I was born, the pitch of economy (then called "coach") seats was 35 inches, and the width was 18 inches.

    Today, standard US airlines have a pitch of 31 inches, and discount airlines have a pitch of 28-29.

    That might not sound like a big difference, but it's actually huge. An adult who is 5'7" will not fit comfortably in a seat with a 28" pitch, whereas a tall man my size (6'2-6'3) is quite comfortable with a 35 inch pitch.

    Why? Because your height isn't just in your legs, so each inch reduced of pitch makes it feel like the way the old seat felt for someone 2 inches taller than you! A small woman about 5' tall would have about the same legroom in a 28" pitch seat as a 6'2" guy in a 35" pitch seat!

    Here's a picture of me flying on Air Canada Rogue in 2014. The pitch was 29 inches. I could not sit straight. I had to sit diagonally, and STILL my knee touched the seat in front of me, and my right foot went far up the aisle. You can see a pic of it here: https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...ir-Canada-JOKE


    However, prior to 2019, the pitches under 31 were simply the domain of discount airlines in the US. If you flew any of the major airlines (AA, Delta, United, etc), you always had a minimum of 31 inches.

    Not anymore!

    American Airlines actually had plans to reduce to pitch down to 28 on its new 737s, but they abandoned the plan after public outrage. However, they still are rolling out the planes with only 30 inches of pitch!

    Delta, for the moment, has pledged to keep a minimum of 31 inches.

    You need to fly Economy Plus or First/Business Class if you want a pitch of 35 or higher -- something which has basically become a requirement for me.

    I always felt that pitches under 31 should be illegal, as that starts to venture into territory where even average-height adults cannot fly comfortably.

    In fact, I think the minimum should be 32, given the increasing number of men over 6' in this country. It's one thing not to have to cater to the freakishly tall, but when a substantial portion of the male population is too tall for most of the seats on a plane, that's a problem.

    I would actually be fine with pitches of 29 on discount airlines (28 is too small, though), provided that it's clearly disclosed to the customer prior to purchase that anyone 5'7" or above will be uncomfortable. That was my biggest problem with Air Canada Rouge, when I purchased a ticket in 2014 without any knowledge that the pitch was 29 (I've since checked this carefully on any unfamiliar airline!)

    It will be interesting to see which regulations the FAA comes up with.

    Due to my recent anxiety disorder, I will be flying first/business class from now on anyway, as flying has become much more difficult for me.
    I have literally done mileage runs to keep my status on AA so I will never have to sit in regular coach, worst case is Main Cabin Extra with 34-36 of pitch. Even then, it is still pretty small, but I am a bit taller than druff.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by adamantium View Post
    Or joos
    Or Saudis
    When faced with a difficult decision, ask yourself "What would Micon do?", then do the opposite.

    PFA Rookie of the Year 2012: The Templar (unknown)
    PFA ROTY 2013: Jasep $5000+
    PFA ROTY 2015: Micon's gofundme legal defense $3k begging for 100k:
    PFA ROTY 2018: 4Dragons

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by zealanddonk View Post
    Or Saudis
    He already mentioned joos.

  15. #15
    honestly the level of anti semitism on this site would make blakes mother in law proud

  16. #16
    obvoiusly theres no father in the picture HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYOOOOOOOOOOO

  17. #17
    but seriously anti semitism in the black community is a real problem yall

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