Hail the Non-Reclinable Airplane Seat

rclngstsA constant theme of mine has been to rant against reclining seats in the cheaper section on planes.

I have no objection to those who pay a premium price in Business or First to be able to recline their seats, or enjoy an air bed, but when you travel in economy, or coach, or whatever the lowest class is called, I just hate it when the oaf in front of me flings their seat back without warning and invades my space.

“With that attitude in mind I congratulate the US airline Spirit for replacing reclinable seats with those that are fixed.”

Spirit Airlines now gives coach passengers the least amount of room, after installing seats that measured to have just 28 inches per person.

As a result, the airline fits 178 people on their Airbus A320 planes rather than the general standard of 150.

One of the ways that they were able to accomplish such a feat was by taking away passengers ability to move their seats back on their own accord.

Instead, Spirit’s coach seats are unmoveable, set permanently to lean three inches back.

I do realise that a pitch of 28 inches is rather narrow, sometimes uncomfortably so, but at least if I knew that the seat in front was not going to suddenly spring back into my face I will take the narrow, but guaranteed confines, over the reclining seat any time.

Apparently, Southwest Airlines are following suit and have designed seats that only allow them to recline two inches back.  The ‘slim line’ chairs are constructed in a way, using lighter materials and a different design, which helps the company put more seats in the cabin.

Reclining seats on planes have often caused disputes between passengers, and a few cases of air rage have occurred due to seats being reclined with no thought to the comfort of the person behind.

Attitudes towards flying have changed over the years.  Once flying was considered to be an expensive, and special, way to travel and airlines introduced comforts, such as reclining seats, to entice passengers to fly with them.

Nowadays, flying is nothing special, and many people fly regularly for business or other purposes.  Mostly, people are looking for the cheapest fares, and the low cost of flying means that canny customers can pick up very cheap flights if they book at the right time.

“On a short flight, of just an hour or two, there should be no real need for a passenger to recline a seat.” 

In Europe, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has even suggested that people could stand on planes, then airfares could really be reduced a lot further.  If they could design a system which allowed passengers to stand, yet carry them in safety with seat belts attached for landing, take off and turbulence, it wouldn’t be too bad for shorter flights.

Actually, with seat pitches getting smaller, I would prefer to stand than be squashed into a smaller seated space, particularly if it means that serial recliners can no longer get right in my face.

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