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Cramped Plane Seats





deanhills
I travel economy, and even if I would have been more wealthy, I would still have traveled economy as for me it is a complete waste to pay so much money for one trip. I find air travel becoming more and more stressful in that they seem to be squashing more and more people into less space. For example on a trip I did yesterday from Bangkok to Dubai, the guy next to me was not obese by any strength of imagination, however we were just about joined at the hip. I was lucky, as there were some really obese people on the flight, and wonder what it must have felt like sharing space with them. Would have been nice if they could have an automatic switch so that once the two passengers have settled in, and if they prefer, they could pull the switch, and then a seat divider automatically makes its appearance! That would be able to solve the problem of shared elbow space almost immediately. Twisted Evil While I was thinking creatively, quite a number of other thoughts came up of how to improve the flight. Why can't they just give everyone a decent bottle of complimentary water when passengers board the plane, instead of labour intensive odd cups of dehydrating sweet juices and water and having to collect all of that plastic debris on regular rounds.

I really don't know how I would survive without movies. This is the one time when I get up to date with the movies that are currently on the circuit. So at least thanks to the aviation industry for having those features on board, including being able to control what I see myself. Just wish they had more comedy on board as I think air travel is at least one place where one really needs all the comedy one can get to survive it. Smile
ProwerBot
Being (almost!) 15 I have never ridden on a plane but I can only imagine how bad it must be with little space, it's bad enough on charter busses but at least on there they stop every few hours...
Nameless
deanhills wrote:
Would have been nice if they could have an automatic switch so that once the two passengers have settled in, and if they prefer, they could pull the switch, and then a seat divider automatically makes its appearance! That would be able to solve the problem of shared elbow space almost immediately. Twisted Evil

Replace the seat divider with a buzzsaw, then you're talking.
watersoul
I'm 6'1" tall and it's only because of my long legs, so I have found some flights pretty uncomfortable over the years. As far as the seat dividers go and whoever is next to me, I pretty much ignore them (accepting it's going to be a boring trip) so just settle back in my chair with arms folded, earphones in, and eyes shut. I can sleep/doze in most positions if I have to and that helps the journey seem to go quicker.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
I'm 6'1" tall and it's only because of my long legs, so I have found some flights pretty uncomfortable over the years. As far as the seat dividers go and whoever is next to me, I pretty much ignore them (accepting it's going to be a boring trip) so just settle back in my chair with arms folded, earphones in, and eyes shut. I can sleep/doze in most positions if I have to and that helps the journey seem to go quicker.
I do exactly the same as obviously there is no choice to grin and bare it, but even so it still bugs a person when the flesh of the person next to you digs into your own. Maybe I've become too much used to the Middle East where people are sensitive to the proximity of other people to the extent that "too close" is too close.
ocalhoun
Nameless wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Would have been nice if they could have an automatic switch so that once the two passengers have settled in, and if they prefer, they could pull the switch, and then a seat divider automatically makes its appearance! That would be able to solve the problem of shared elbow space almost immediately. Twisted Evil

Replace the seat divider with a buzzsaw, then you're talking.

But then you get all messy, and the airplane bathroom is entirely insufficient for cleaning blood and various appendages off of yourself.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
[...]Maybe I've become too much used to the Middle East where people are sensitive to the proximity of other people to the extent that "too close" is too close.

Know what you mean there, people can even be 'too friendly' for me sometimes as well. I remember telling a particularly talkative and boring guy (next to me on a long flight to Malaysia) that I had no interest in what he had to say and the only thing we had in common was the flight destination so please stop using the opportunity to speak to me. It was pretty awkward after that but hey, thats why someone invented headphones and in-flight entertainment! Laughing
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
deanhills wrote:
[...]Maybe I've become too much used to the Middle East where people are sensitive to the proximity of other people to the extent that "too close" is too close.

Know what you mean there, people can even be 'too friendly' for me sometimes as well. I remember telling a particularly talkative and boring guy (next to me on a long flight to Malaysia) that I had no interest in what he had to say and the only thing we had in common was the flight destination so please stop using the opportunity to speak to me. It was pretty awkward after that but hey, thats why someone invented headphones and in-flight entertainment! Laughing
I hate those too. I usually try and disengage as much as I can. And like you just put the headphones on.

Nameless wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Would have been nice if they could have an automatic switch so that once the two passengers have settled in, and if they prefer, they could pull the switch, and then a seat divider automatically makes its appearance! That would be able to solve the problem of shared elbow space almost immediately. Twisted Evil

Replace the seat divider with a buzzsaw, then you're talking.
Almost missed this one, before Ocalhoun commented on it. I definitely like it! It has some neat possibilities, except of course those pesky security screening one has to go through.
Helios
Ugh, don't tell me about it. I'm 6'1" myself and it can be a pain sometimes. I usually just suffer quietly. It's not like you sit near large people each and every flight... some flights turn out OK so it's not too bad.
deanhills
When I was checking out some of the other Brian Regan's shows in YouTube after Bondings posted one in The difference between American English and British English thread, I came across a Brian Regan on Flying show that was totally on the number.
mk12327
I believe that airlines have this policy where a obese person has to buy two adjoining tickets if he/she is too large for the seat. But judging from the comments made by most of you here, it seems like they might be reviewing the "size" limit soon.

However, personally i find the policy ridiculous. How can they fault passengers just because they are larger? I find it a discrimination and not fair to them. Of course, we have to consider the passenger sitting next to them too. So what should we do? Airlines should bare the cost! It's time we knock some sense into them that we are paying a premium for the tickets and should be given more space onboard!
deanhills
mk12327 wrote:
However, personally i find the policy ridiculous. How can they fault passengers just because they are larger? I find it a discrimination and not fair to them. Of course, we have to consider the passenger sitting next to them too. So what should we do? Airlines should bare the cost! It's time we knock some sense into them that we are paying a premium for the tickets and should be given more space onboard!
Who knows! One of these days we will be measured and weighed when we check in along with our luggage. Airlines may carry different seats for different sizes. Not sure however whether they may put a cap on the weight and size as they have been doing with the luggage. I.e. not only does the luggage have to be a certain weight, but there are limitations on the size as well. There is an extra charge for excess baggage.
Insanity
I think it's somewhat fair because it's unfair to passengers who have bought a ticket. Why do they have to deal with being suffocated to death? Most of the time, obese people can help their being fat -- they can exercise and eat more healthy. Most of the time.
deanhills
I thought this cartoon was a good one! I'm wondering whether it would get to that one day ..... Very Happy
mk12327
Insanity wrote:
I think it's somewhat fair because it's unfair to passengers who have bought a ticket. Why do they have to deal with being suffocated to death? Most of the time, obese people can help their being fat -- they can exercise and eat more healthy. Most of the time.


I mean to a certain sense people who bought a ticket should not be made to suffer and thus if airlines could offer more space then people who are not obese get to enjoy more comfort while obese ones could still fit without being a hindrance.

I'm quite sure that we can find some supporting evidence that tight and constrainted spaces increases health risks. If that is really true, maybe some legislation might help force a larger cabin space?
watersoul
mk12327 wrote:
maybe some legislation might help force a larger cabin space?

Personally I would be against that idea. Airlines are mostly private/listed companies and for sure, if I owned an airline, I would want as many people in seats as I could squeeze in.
If someone was fat enough to take up two seats on my plane I'd be charging them for two, or they can fly with someone else.
We can all vote when we make our choices of which company we use to fly. Indeed, there are some carriers who market themselves with bigger seats etc, but you will pay the extra for it, and that unfortunately is what happens in a capitalist world.

Although I can't say I've ever 'enjoyed' a long flight, I have done 18 hour train trips on the dirty floor of 3rd class in Thailand, plus some horrendous bus journeys throughout Asia cramped up with smelly chickens and goats. Any flight after that seems like luxury so you'll rarely find me moaning. I look for the absolute cheapest plane ticket every time, at most it'll be a 12 hrs or so experience, but if it saves me a lot of money I'll put up with the discomfort!
ocalhoun
mk12327 wrote:

However, personally i find the policy ridiculous. How can they fault passengers just because they are larger? I find it a discrimination and not fair to them. Of course, we have to consider the passenger sitting next to them too.


Some people NEED two (or more) seats.
Quote:
So what should we do? Airlines should bare the cost! It's time we knock some sense into them that we are paying a premium for the tickets and should be given more space onboard!

Or, just charge per amount of space/weight taken up.
Nobody is trying to charge fatties more just because they don't like fatties. They're charging fatties more because fatties use up more of the service provided. -- The law protects against unreasonable discrimination. Charging more for people who use more is not unreasonable.
(Looking forward to my discounted tickets for being skinny. ^.^ ... Also, I should get free luggage fees, since most other passengers weigh more than me and my luggage combined.)
watersoul
ocalhoun wrote:
mk12327 wrote:

However, personally i find the policy ridiculous. How can they fault passengers just because they are larger? I find it a discrimination and not fair to them. Of course, we have to consider the passenger sitting next to them too.


Some people NEED two (or more) seats.
Quote:
So what should we do? Airlines should bare the cost! It's time we knock some sense into them that we are paying a premium for the tickets and should be given more space onboard!

Or, just charge per amount of space/weight taken up.
Nobody is trying to charge fatties more just because they don't like fatties. They're charging fatties more because fatties use up more of the service provided. -- The law protects against unreasonable discrimination. Charging more for people who use more is not unreasonable.
(Looking forward to my discounted tickets for being skinny. ^.^ ... Also, I should get free luggage fees, since most other passengers weigh more than me and my luggage combined.)

Totally agree there...I see similar issues for my ex-girlfriend! Bubbly personality and a kind heart but no stamina unfortunately! Laughing Laughing
LittleBlackKitten
'S funny, I was thinking this morning of posting here in this topic about losing the size of one's backside if the chairs were too small... Laughing

I think I'm grateful for only being 40 pounds overweight instead of 100 someodd.
deanhills
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I think I'm grateful for only being 40 pounds overweight instead of 100 someodd.
Until you fly with some of the Asian Airlines like South East Airlines. Where your average person is quite tiny by our Western standards. And none of the seats are standard sizes either. When I tried to strap myself into one of the seats in the front, I felt huge! I then asked for "larger" seats, and then found that the back seats were the equivalent of our normal size seats. Quite an amazing experience really. On my return journey I then knew to request a seat in the back of the plane. Very Happy
Ghost900
I am going to be flying later this year and I was able to get a seat next to the door so there is only two seats in the row though some people complain of a colder draft sometimes.

They really try getting more and more seats in the same size plane but even then the airlines seem to be loosing money. It is really nice how they have added the option to watch movies since it makes it a little more bearable.
deanhills
Ghost900 wrote:
They really try getting more and more seats in the same size plane but even then the airlines seem to be loosing money. It is really nice how they have added the option to watch movies since it makes it a little more bearable.
Totally agreed. I don't know what I would do without the online entertainment. It also serves the pupose of blocking everything out.
evilryu530
I would love to travel first class one day. just once to see what it's like. But most of the time me and my wife and child travel economy. very cramped. as you can see, when you have a family, and working class, you can not travel first class. it's just too expensive.
deanhills
evilryu530 wrote:
I would love to travel first class one day. just once to see what it's like. But most of the time me and my wife and child travel economy. very cramped. as you can see, when you have a family, and working class, you can not travel first class. it's just too expensive.
I hope you can get that opportunity. I lucked out twice in my life time so far. Once when I started to chat with someone and he insisted I join him in First Class. He seemed to have connections that made that possible. Then once I was invited to a Seminar and received a First Class ticket. That was quite a while ago as I don't think they do that anymore.

I don't think Business Class is such a big deal, except for the greater space, but First Class is really very special. The price of the tickets are just too exorbitant. Feels like a tremendous waste to me.
ChrisCh
Well, I fly quite frequently (I'm currently in the highest status level you can reach with my airline of choice), so let me share a few tips and tricks that I've come to know, that don't require you to spend any extra money!

First, many airlines offer online check-in with seat selection, or touch screens with this at the airport. Do this as far ahead as you can - you can then select a seat in the first row of your cabin if available. 'Bulkhead seats' obviously have no seat in front of you, so you know that you won't have someone fully reclined and taking up all of your space. The also often have extra leg room, as parents with small children sometimes reserve these seats to utilise baby bassinets that can be installed in this area. Also, some airlines with single-isle jets (eg. Airbus A320) have business/premium economy seats at the front, which can be converted to economy when the need arises (eg. high flight loads with economy, with unsold business seats)... although you won't receive the business class meal or service afforded that class, you will still have the benefit of the extra legroom, and a more comfortable seat - which also sometimes includes a leg rest... So it always pays to ask on check-in if any ''business-convertible'' rows are being utilised for economy, and request to be seated in one if available.

I have many more tips - if people are interested in hearing them, please let me know and I'll be happy to post some more Smile
deanhills
ChrisCh wrote:
First, many airlines offer online check-in with seat selection, or touch screens with this at the airport. Do this as far ahead as you can - you can then select a seat in the first row of your cabin if available.
This does not work for all airlines. You wouldn't believe it, but Etihad Airlines has a system where they don't show any of the real good seats available on the plane until a day or two before. If I would like a window seat for example, it won't show up at the time of my booking. There would only be "silly seats" available, so if someone were none the wiser, they would book silly seats, whereas they could have been booked automatically in better seats, but none of that showing up at the time of the booking. But if I waited until two days before the flight, then the seat the airline booked me in would show up then, and it is usually the best one available in the order of dates the bookings have been made. It is only then that the other "good" seats show up, so one probably has to figure out when that happens. The "emergency rows" obviously are always blocked for special needs passengers and are never available.
ChrisCh wrote:
I have many more tips - if people are interested in hearing them, please let me know and I'll be happy to post some more Smile
Please post more I'd love to hear about them thanks. Very Happy
ocalhoun
ChrisCh wrote:

First, many airlines offer online check-in with seat selection, or touch screens with this at the airport. Do this as far ahead as you can - you can then select a seat in the first row of your cabin if available. 'Bulkhead seats' obviously have no seat in front of you, so you know that you won't have someone fully reclined and taking up all of your space. The also often have extra leg room, as parents with small children sometimes reserve these seats to utilise baby bassinets that can be installed in this area. Also, some airlines with single-isle jets (eg. Airbus A320) have business/premium economy seats at the front, which can be converted to economy when the need arises (eg. high flight loads with economy, with unsold business seats)... although you won't receive the business class meal or service afforded that class, you will still have the benefit of the extra legroom, and a more comfortable seat - which also sometimes includes a leg rest... So it always pays to ask on check-in if any ''business-convertible'' rows are being utilised for economy, and request to be seated in one if available.

I do this on the rare occasions that I fly, but I always pick the rearmost isle seat.
It has many of the same benefits (if the plane is not full, the rear-most seats will be filled last... it's also close to the bathrooms, and you're the first one to get drinks or meals), but the real deal-maker is that the rear-most isle seat is -- statistically -- the safest seat on the plane.
(The rear of the plane rarely breaks up on impact, the isle seat makes for a quicker exit, and being close to the rear exit gives you a clear escape route as everyone else fights to get to the front exits - which are the only ones they remember.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
but the real deal-maker is that the rear-most isle seat is -- statistically -- the safest seat on the plane.
(The rear of the plane rarely breaks up on impact, the isle seat makes for a quicker exit, and being close to the rear exit gives you a clear escape route as everyone else fights to get to the front exits - which are the only ones they remember.)
Awesome insight Ocalhoun. Wow! OK, so at least I've always chosen seats in the safest part of the plane, but next time I will go for the rear-most isle seat if I can get it. Very Happy
ankitdatashn
Nameless wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Would have been nice if they could have an automatic switch so that once the two passengers have settled in, and if they prefer, they could pull the switch, and then a seat divider automatically makes its appearance! That would be able to solve the problem of shared elbow space almost immediately. Twisted Evil

Replace the seat divider with a buzzsaw, then you're talking.


Ohh, that's gonna hurt the butt! Very Happy , I can very well imagine how the scene would be like, but yeah nice novel idea Smile

And yes as far as splurging is considered for business class I consider it quite a waste unless you are a son/daughter of a multi-millionaire Wink

Only once I have had a cramped like experience, coz of my lean structure I almost fit in any seat with ease, and its quite difficult for me to sleep in any other position except on bed so can't really sleep if the journey is uncomfortable Smile
mk12327
ChrisCh wrote:
Well, I fly quite frequently (I'm currently in the highest status level you can reach with my airline of choice), so let me share a few tips and tricks that I've come to know, that don't require you to spend any extra money!

First, many airlines offer online check-in with seat selection, or touch screens with this at the airport. Do this as far ahead as you can - you can then select a seat in the first row of your cabin if available. 'Bulkhead seats' obviously have no seat in front of you, so you know that you won't have someone fully reclined and taking up all of your space. The also often have extra leg room, as parents with small children sometimes reserve these seats to utilise baby bassinets that can be installed in this area. Also, some airlines with single-isle jets (eg. Airbus A320) have business/premium economy seats at the front, which can be converted to economy when the need arises (eg. high flight loads with economy, with unsold business seats)... although you won't receive the business class meal or service afforded that class, you will still have the benefit of the extra legroom, and a more comfortable seat - which also sometimes includes a leg rest... So it always pays to ask on check-in if any ''business-convertible'' rows are being utilised for economy, and request to be seated in one if available.

I have many more tips - if people are interested in hearing them, please let me know and I'll be happy to post some more Smile


Hey, i understand that this topic is abit dated, but I was really busy with my own schedule to post in Frihost for quite a while. Very grateful that my account and hosting is still around! =)

Anyway, thanks for the advice, would be helpful to get tips like this. I would request for more tips... Lol...
mk12327
ocalhoun wrote:
I do this on the rare occasions that I fly, but I always pick the rearmost isle seat.
It has many of the same benefits (if the plane is not full, the rear-most seats will be filled last... it's also close to the bathrooms, and you're the first one to get drinks or meals), but the real deal-maker is that the rear-most isle seat is -- statistically -- the safest seat on the plane.
(The rear of the plane rarely breaks up on impact, the isle seat makes for a quicker exit, and being close to the rear exit gives you a clear escape route as everyone else fights to get to the front exits - which are the only ones they remember.)


Now we know where to choose our seats... The part on safety is very true, can't agree more. If not for your insightful post, we would probably be the "everyone else fights to get to the front exits".
Insanity
I don't really care which seat I get because I just wait until everyone gets off the plane before I get up. It's not that big of a deal to stay seated for another couple minutes (you were on a flight, after all) while everyone gets their stuff and goes. Things are a lot more calm this way. Of course, I wouldn't mind having the window seat so I can look outside and everything, though.
mahirh
in this case, the worst aircraft builder would be Boeing, they are very known for having the smallest seats in the industry in some some of their planes just to increase the number of seats in their planes (which they know, most airlines like) unlike airbus which concentrates on quality and luxury before quantity
c'tair
Oh, perfect topic!

I have flown a number of times and I find that normal European airlines are quite comfortable. The food is good, there's ample space even for me (188cm or 6'2" and around 75kg/160lbs).

However, I would like to share my experience with a smaller European airline which for some odd reason decided to offer long haul flights. The flight lasted a mere 13 hours, with 3 hours of delays in total. The seats were cramped, my knees were forced into the back of another chair constantly. For the whole duration of that flight, there were no free refreshments or food, a plastic cup of ap. 200ml of water went for 3$USD. Entertainment? Watching other passengers becoming more and more irritated by lack of service and bad conditions!

I still have to fly with them on my return journey. It's gonna be one helluva a flight again I reckon but where normal tickets cost ~1200-1400$USD, I got mine for ~850$USD. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot of comfort in order to save a good 30+% on ticket price, especially since I fly twice a year only and I'm still pretty young and used to tough conditions.
deanhills
c'tair wrote:
I still have to fly with them on my return journey. It's gonna be one helluva a flight again I reckon but where normal tickets cost ~1200-1400$USD, I got mine for ~850$USD. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot of comfort in order to save a good 30+% on ticket price, especially since I fly twice a year only and I'm still pretty young and used to tough conditions.
Which airline is it, or are you concerned to name them before your return journey? I'm dead curious.
Twisted Evil
c'tair
deanhills wrote:
c'tair wrote:
I still have to fly with them on my return journey. It's gonna be one helluva a flight again I reckon but where normal tickets cost ~1200-1400$USD, I got mine for ~850$USD. I'm willing to sacrifice a lot of comfort in order to save a good 30+% on ticket price, especially since I fly twice a year only and I'm still pretty young and used to tough conditions.
Which airline is it, or are you concerned to name them before your return journey? I'm dead curious.
Twisted Evil


It's called I c e l a n d E x p r e s s. Pardon the lettering, I don't want this post to show up in any search results. You can check them out on skytrax, their rating is a whooping 1.5 out of 10 Shocked . I didn't find this out until about 2 weeks before my flight and I became damn concerned as a lot depended on this vacation. But I guess it's only a matter of a few hours of delays and sitting in a hot and stuffy air plane for 10+ hours Wink
deanhills
I tried their Website and clicked on one of the specials, and it came up with choices for travel in June! I'm certain however if one is patient one probably will find very good deals. I've done my fair share of budget travel however, and tend to check out for really good deals with the "better" airlines. They differ from time to time. The last time I visited Vancouver, BC in Canada from Dubai, the best deal was with KLM. The time prior to that with British Airways. Lufthansa can also come up with very competitive rates. There is a really excellent budget airline here called Air Arabia, if you ever travel in the neighbourhood. I used the for travel to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt from Sharjah, UAE that was really a good deal. They are still going strong. The longer ahead of the time you make your booking, the cheaper the fare. The closer the time before the more expensive it gets. Plenty of legroom (relative to your other carriers). Not a bad experience at all.
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