Airlines Find New Ways To Pack Planes Even Tighter - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Airlines Find New Ways To Pack Planes Even Tighter

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I’m not a huge fan of flying. It’s not that I’m afraid to fly or that I get air sick. I just find flying horribly uncomfortable.  At just over six feet tall with a hulky frame, for me, being strapped in one of those airline seats for more than a couple of hours is tantamount to mild torture. Not only do my legs cramp up, but by the time I get to my destination, muscles I didn’t even know I had are hurting on parts of my body I don’t care to mention. And while I know there is the option of flying business or first class, unless you’re a frequent flyer and can upgrade, the prohibitive difference in price provokes a different kind of pain that most people are simply unable or unwilling to bear.

For those of you out there who, like me, consider flying somewhat of a necessary evil to get from one place to another, you’ll be dismayed to know that things may get even worse.  I completely understand that lowering fuel costs is probably one of the biggest things an airlines can do to dramatically reduce expenditures. But it sounds like carriers may choose to decrease their fuel consumption by increasing passenger discomfort.

At the Aircraft Interior Expo in Hamburg, Germany, many of the 500 exhibitors were touting ways to help the airlines industry save on their fuel costs. Among the solutions being offered, seats that put passengers face to face. If you think your leg room is limited already, imagine having to endure the lack of space while also facing fellow frustrated flyers. Some product promoters offered a redesign of the bathrooms to squeeze in a few extra passengers in the back of the cabin. I’m not sure what they mean by “redesign” but I can’t imagine reducing the size of the lavatories which already can barely accommodate human beings larger than small children.

But wait, there’s more. How about seats that flip up like those at a ball park? Sounds stunningly comfy doesn’t it? Or installing seats made of lightweight titanium. The special seats would tip the scales at a whopping nine pounds; three times less than the weight of current economy seats. That’s an idea that has already won European approval and could be coming to a plane in your near flying future.  For those of you who think the skies are already a lot less friendly than they used to be, what with the increased fees for just about everything, lost luggage, late arrivals and departures-- just to name a few.

It seems flying is about to get a whole lot more unpleasant.
Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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