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CBC: Air Canada passenger suffers 'horrible pain' after being stuck in cramped seat

CBC: Air Canada passenger suffers 'horrible pain' after being stuck in cramped seat

Old May 30, 16, 6:14 am
  #1  
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CBC: Air Canada passenger suffers 'horrible pain' after being stuck in cramped seat

On what aircraft you asked? Well... is it not obvious?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...risk-1.3599406

Colin Savage has spent a lifetime staying fit and healthy, but one long airplane flight changed that.

Until recently, the 64-year-old Victoria man would cycle an average of 400 kilometres a week and run marathons. Now he is short of breath and has trouble moving around.

"I have much less energy because I can't take a lot of oxygen in. I'm shuffling around like a senior," Savage told Go Public.

"Doctors in hospital emergency told me that I nearly lost my life."

In January, Savage travelled to Argentina on a hiking trip. The trip home included a 10-hour flight from Chile to Toronto on an Air Canada 777 airplane.(You GUESSED IT Right)

Savage says for most of the flight, passengers were discouraged from getting out of their seats because of turbulence. At 6-2", that was a problem for Savage.

"In their seats, my knees were up against the seat in front of me. I was constantly squirming around trying to get comfortable."

A day and a half after he returned home, he felt a sudden sharp pain in his lower back. When it was still there the next morning he went to a hospital.

"I went through horrible pain, I don't know if you've broken a rib, I have, and this pain was a hundred times worse," Savage says.


As a tall guy, I share some of his agony... but needless to say... maybe he was exaggerating. :P
BUT....My back did suffer pains for a day or two even when i get up every half an hour to stretch, so some of his claim maybe valid after all.

Last edited by Jumper Jack; May 30, 16 at 6:25 am
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Old May 30, 16, 7:06 am
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Oh brother.
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Old May 30, 16, 7:14 am
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I read the article. I found it weird that they showed a picture of the legroom difference between Rouge and ML AC, but the actual complaint was about ML AC.
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Old May 30, 16, 7:43 am
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I find Y uncomfortable and do everything possible not to sit there on long haul flights. As a guy at 6'0"(1.83m),I tend to agree that the one size Y seats are not meant for us.
Going to be interesting to watch this play out.
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Old May 30, 16, 8:24 am
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From the article: "Air Canada told Go Public in an email there is no conclusive medical evidence specifically linking deep vein thrombosis with flying."

A very easy position to take, as long as there is a single dissenting voice. Heck, we're still debating whether smoking causes cancer. AC has seen fit to mention DVT on its website in the 'special needs - medical' section. It doesn't go so far as to say flying causes DVT, but I interpret its inclusion as a tacit acknowledgment that sitting for extended periods at the very least exacerbates a pre-existing condition. It's a stretch to claim there is no link between flying and DVT, unless we intend to be hyper-literal. Sure, it ain't the flying that causes/worsens DVT, but sitting in horrid Y seats is certainly a factor for those at risk to get it - regardless if there is air between the wheels and the ground.
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Old May 30, 16, 8:35 am
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Not mentioned in the article: Passenger too cheap to buy preferred seat. Now has pain in rear end from sitting on wallet filled with money.
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Old May 30, 16, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
From the article: "Air Canada told Go Public in an email there is no conclusive medical evidence specifically linking deep vein thrombosis with flying."

A very easy position to take, as long as there is a single dissenting voice. Heck, we're still debating whether smoking causes cancer. AC has seen fit to mention DVT on its website in the 'special needs - medical' section. It doesn't go so far as to say flying causes DVT, but I interpret its inclusion as a tacit acknowledgment that sitting for extended periods at the very least exacerbates a pre-existing condition. It's a stretch to claim there is no link between flying and DVT, unless we intend to be hyper-literal. Sure, it ain't the flying that causes/worsens DVT, but sitting in horrid Y seats is certainly a factor for those at risk to get it - regardless if there is air between the wheels and the ground.
I'm not sure what meaningful difference 1" in leg-room would make when talking about DVT. It's a good thing he wasn't an ULH route. This is when it becomes painfully obvious that media outlets are looking for a story to publish vs doing their work to get a full picture. Of course AC didn't help themselves with the response. I would have responded that they don't comment on individual cases and they offer a product common in the industry. For their part, CBC should have made this story about possible complications from cramming cabins in the industry and how common LH / ULH flights have become. Irresponsible story all the way around and this guy gets his 15 mins of fame.
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Old May 30, 16, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
From the article: "Air Canada told Go Public in an email there is no conclusive medical evidence specifically linking deep vein thrombosis with flying."

A very easy position to take, as long as there is a single dissenting voice. Heck, we're still debating whether smoking causes cancer. AC has seen fit to mention DVT on its website in the 'special needs - medical' section. It doesn't go so far as to say flying causes DVT, but I interpret its inclusion as a tacit acknowledgment that sitting for extended periods at the very least exacerbates a pre-existing condition. It's a stretch to claim there is no link between flying and DVT, unless we intend to be hyper-literal. Sure, it ain't the flying that causes/worsens DVT, but sitting in horrid Y seats is certainly a factor for those at risk to get it - regardless if there is air between the wheels and the ground.
Difficult situation for AC in any circumstance. They're probably right re DVT, but at the same time this gentleman probably had his DVT experience triggered by flying. He may have never experienced it otherwise.

AC's cabin configuration is basically competitive. Price per seat is directly related to seats per aircraft, and AC isn't that badly off on pricing anymore. They used to be way worse. So... Airline you want to be, or airline that exists? Without _international_ agreements, the drive to the bottom on seat size and legroom continues.

We can all complain, and I'd be the first one to jump in favor of more legroom... but at the same time, if AC becomes 20% more expensive, I would have a harder time flying them as much as I do. People do NOT look at comfort when booking their once-every-five-years trip. They look at price. And I would bet this guy, given he was in Y in the first place, was not prepared to pay extra for comfort.

Personally... I pay for comfort. I find more than 2 hours in non-preferred Y horribly uncomfortable - and I'm 5'11" and 180lbs - not big/tall in comparison to many. I'm in preferred due to status or upgrade just about anything longer than 3 hours. Any TPAC/TATL are paid J, and I still feel like crap after a moderately long trip. Flying, even in the most comfortable seat AC provides, is not enjoyable.

Last edited by epiphani; May 30, 16 at 8:44 am
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Old May 30, 16, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by acysb87 View Post
I find Y uncomfortable and do everything possible not to sit there on long haul flights. As a guy at 6'0"(1.83m),I tend to agree that the one size Y seats are not meant for us.
Going to be interesting to watch this play out.
Yeah, if only they sold preferred seats.

Or PY.

Or J.

Oh wait...
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Old May 30, 16, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by YZF_Elite View Post
Irresponsible story all the way around and this guy gets his 15 mins of fame.
Agree. It's a tired storyline, and AC is not known for its self-helping responses to criticism - whether or not warranted (see: recent YMM fare hike brou ha ha). Anybody on this forum own a PR consulting firm? This airline could certainly use your help.

Originally Posted by epiphini
Personally... I pay for comfort. I find more than 2 hours in non-preferred Y horribly uncomfortable - and I'm 5'11" and 180lbs - not big/tall in comparison to many. I'm in preferred due to status or upgrade just about anything longer than 3 hours. Any TPAC/TATL are paid J, and I still feel like crap after a moderately long trip. Flying, even in the most comfortable seat AC provides, is not enjoyable.
Comfort is of course subjective, and has been since the days of the princess and the pea. I'm an inch taller than you and can happily sit still in Y on a 4.5 hour transcon...my squirm threshold is reached halfway across the Atlantic. I disagree with the notion that we should "pay for comfort", but now we enter into a tricky discussion about balancing the need for reasonable space while keeping costs low in this environment of 'lowest fare wins'.
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Old May 30, 16, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by acysb87 View Post
I find Y uncomfortable and do everything possible not to sit there on long haul flights. As a guy at 6'0"(1.83m),I tend to agree that the one size Y seats are not meant for us.
Going to be interesting to watch this play out.
He could have paid extra for a bulkhead seat.

And are these flights not on the 767 which is not the worst for Y leg room?
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Old May 30, 16, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Yeah, if only they sold preferred seats.

Or PY.

Or J.

Oh wait...
Pretty easy (ie: flippant) solution. The margin of gain in terms of comfort is rarely justified with the almost exponential fare difference.
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Old May 30, 16, 9:09 am
  #13  
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Pain sucks, being surprised by a bad seat sucks, etc. Legit medical difficulties are also awful, and it's possible his description of the story is true. But we all know the truth is somewhere between passenger demanding too much for free and airline offering too little for too much money.

But also: he's a grownup going to Argentina, perhaps he has been on airplanes before. The "I ordered the small sandwich but it was small and now I'm still hungry who can I sue" routine is a bit tired.
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Old May 30, 16, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by 172pilot View Post
Not mentioned in the article: Passenger too cheap to buy preferred seat. Now has pain in rear end from sitting on wallet filled with money.
Actually there is not enough preferred seats on rouge or mainline 777s and 787s.

Taking about normal seats, not talking about bulkhead or the illusive exit row seats. Bulkhead gives you kneeroom not strechable legroom.

I love the A320s and A321s because there are plenty of proper preferred seats.
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Old May 30, 16, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
He could have paid extra for a bulkhead seat.

And are these flights not on the 767 which is not the worst for Y leg room?
Bulkhead gives you kneeroom. Not legroom. In fact I hate bulkhead and sitting there makes it worse as your legs are permanently bent reducing blood flow. I'm 6'3.
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