Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Culture Of Demand Chapter 8: Sit Right Here

Commercial aviation has become something as comfortable as a huge stadium bleacher with its seats. Sometimes over 100,000 fans cram their posteriors between two parallel lines with a row and number painted between the lines. The much vaunted mid field seats on the lower decks go for $100 a seat in any ordinary event going from left to right. The top row of the stadium with the same seat spacing may go for $50 since it is so far from the field of play. What fun everyone had standing the whole time length of the match. Sitting was not an option. The posterior may be only 14” wide when seated but the shoulders may go for 30” across. The stadium space goes for about 16” wide as if it creates a vertical space 16” wide. People may have to stand at an angle facing the field. Going to a game with your significant other fan can stand in a somewhat side-ways layering half the torso behind the person sitting next to you. Fans often fake turning and talking to someone behind them when in fact they are readjusting for the next play since the person(s) in front of them have suddenly blocked the view.

Stadium cushion - No dimension greater than  13.5" x 12" x 14.5"

Image result for bleacher seats

The culture accepts the twist and turns at a stadium event as if it was worth every penny being there at least to be seen either by others or on TV. The airlines have it all wrong in its seating scheme. They too need to go more than 16.5” wide for the posterior and then on three seat row allow the shoulders of the outside seats expand behind the middle seat passenger. A slight stagger in seating is needed much like the stadium twist or moving the arm around the person next to the fan to make more room in the 16” vertical space available.

Airlines think vertically. A 16.5” seat bottom should hold its 30”+ wide shoulders at the top of the seat, hence a stadium twist for the window seat passenger, and half a shoulder’s width sticking out on the other side into the aisle. The passenger seated in the middle just folds its arms in surrender until the snack cart flies by, then all he** breaks out including losing your nuts when trying to open the snack wrapper. Ever had a cola snort up your nose? If so, you have either been to a stadium event or flown on an airplane.

Body bloat may change from passenger to passenger but the smallest frame in a row may have the same horizontal dimension of a larger passenger. 16.5" wide seats is not a good linear solution. People have taken its stadium experience and boarded airplanes without the promise of entertainment. Standing on an airplane will be the final straw for passengers if airlines don’t stop the nonsense. Should the industry have a seat law?

One way to stop the seat silliness is through the manufacturer. It must build airplanes that can only have seat spacing for people who don’t like touching. The airline who tries to cram more in less space would violate the certification of the airplane. In this case example; a 787-8 would be certified for 240 seats and not exceed the limit. The 787-9 would be certified for 290 seats and no more. City safety inspectors do it to restaurants as I sat at a diner recently, a sign said, “maximum occupancy 78 persons”. I know it’s a fire code or something like that, but planes do catch on fire.  A certification process would have to set a standard from square footage of the seating area on an airline. Bring the social engineers, and medical people to determine the non-touching area needed and a pitch which prevents deep vein thrombosis on a long ride. Even though a passengers has a great time at a stadium event, airline travel in a tube smaller than the men’s room at the stadium, is inhumane. If narrow minded seats do not allow a person to open up a snack wrapper on a long trip, then I'm not going.