Sorry, window seat flyers – you may be getting screwed out of seat space that middle and aisle seats get.
We’ve all got our preferred seats on planes. For some that means the window, where passengers have an expansive view outside and a nicely placed wall to lean against when they’re tired. But for some window seat devotees, they’re actually getting robbed of seat space other flyers get because of the way the aircraft is designed.
The problem stems from Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, which on long-haul flights can be anything but a dream. Window seaters every three or four rows have to fight against the bulge of the plane structure between windows in order to get comfortable. The wall in those seats pushes in right up against the passenger’s shoulder, making it impossible to have a comfortable flight – because you’re either feeling jammed against a wall or holding your arms in an awkward position to keep the pressure off one side and stay out of your neighbor’s space on the other side.
The Dreamliner had been marketed as having superior comfort levels, but when it comes down to numbers, the Dreamliner has the least room for seating in economy than other long-haul and ultra-long-haul jets at only 17.5 inches width per seat.
“The nine-abreast 787 economy seating on an aircraft frequently used for long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights gives passengers less space than any other jet — even the previous lead standard of a 10-abreast 777,” Runway Girl deputy editor John Walton said. “Nine-abreast on a Dreamliner means a seat width of 17” or below, narrower even than a short-haul 737, an aircraft for which the six-abreast cabin diameter dates back to the 1950s’ Boeing 707.”