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Aircraft

Can Wider Seats Prevent “Air Rage?”

Can Wider Seats Prevent “Air Rage?”
Joe Cortez

Wider seats, high-tech windows and clean air could make flying great again.

Could travel be a better and easier process for flyers if wider seats, cleaner air and better windows were utilized? An editorial published by Business Insider suggests taking a step back in time could reduce the number of “air rage” incidents among flyers.

Often considered a problem in developing countries, air rage incidents – physical confrontations between flyers – have become an issue on flights bound to the United States. In May, two fights on aircraft made headlines: one on an ANA flight heading for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and one over a seat on a Southwest Airlines flight.

To counteract these problems, the online publication suggests that three key improvements could return the skies to a friendly state once again. First, if airlines made seats and overhead bins wider, passengers could feel more comfortable in their aircraft. Over the last 40 years, both seat width and pitch have been reduced, in the name of adding more passengers onto an aircraft. Smaller, tighter seats with small overhead bins may contribute to several negative feelings, including claustrophobia and anxiety. By increasing the seat size and pitch, flyers can have more room between them and more space for carry-on items.

Another step includes improving the air in commercial aircraft cabins. Over the years, flight attendants have complained about the quality of air bleed and recycled air systems. While the quality of recycled air has been proven, air bleed systems are still in question. Modern aircraft, including the new generation of Boeing 737 aircraft, offer improved pressurization and air filtration systems, resulting in a better experience.

Finally, adding new technology to windows to control the amount of light let in could allow flyers to enjoy their flights even further. Current improvements on aircraft, like those found on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, allow flyers to electronically control the windows without a shade, resulting in full visibility.

Experts say making these three changes could help flyers feel more comfortable aboard their flights, which could reduce the number of incidents aboard commercial flights.

View Comments (7)

7 Comments

  1. diver858

    May 29, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Airlines understand their passengers better than a random “journalist”. Narrow seats, tight pitch, limited overhead space allows carriers to offer deep discount travel, which is enabling for some, too much of a deal to pass up for others.

    While people will whine and complain about discomfort and poor service, they will consistently vote with their wallet – even after a poor experience. Most major carriers offer some form of premium economy, where for an incremental added cost, passengers can choose more space, often additional amenities – yet most choose not to do so.

    Much of the current bad press can be attributed to novice passengers, unfamiliar with rules of carriage and standard industry practice, ambulance chasers attempting to take advantage of deep pocketed corporations.

  2. Oxnardjan

    May 29, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Common sense ….isn’t. Calhoun’s Rat Utopia experiment pretty much sums up today’s flying experience. Cram the passengers in and then wait for human behavior limits to take place.
    per·son·al space
    the physical space immediately surrounding someone, into which any encroachment feels threatening to or uncomfortable for them. This is what economy seats do not provide.

  3. ioto1902

    May 29, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Implementation date please.

  4. TravellingITGuy

    May 29, 2017 at 9:58 am

    There are a whole lot of things that need to be done to prevent air rage. Reversing this trend towards narrower seats and less leg room is only part of the issue.

  5. mandolino

    May 31, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Wider seats, more legroom = fewer seats and higher fares.

    Is that really what people want?

  6. NYC96

    May 31, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Nice try. But, most air rage cases result in excessive alcohol consumption.

  7. RobS

    May 31, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Alcohol and crowding. The airlines were warned by Congress: You fix it or WE WILL.

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