WORK-LIFE BALANCE / FEB. 23, 2015
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The Future of Economy Class Seats Will be Even Tighter

Economy Class Seats

Low-cost airlines used to be the champions of slimline seating and annoying reclining seats. However, regular airlines are also downsizing seats and lavatories in a bid to cut down on costs and become more competitive. Take Delta Airlines, for example, which began fitting smaller toilets in its 737-900 aircraft two years ago, allowing for the creation of four extra seats in its economy class cabins.

Recaro BL3520 seats weigh less than 11kg each, saving on fuel costs, and allow seats to be spaced closer together. On the other hand, Recaro SL 3510, is designed for short flights (less than 2 hours) and weighs 9.1kg. This type of seat, lacks a recline mechanism, has a smaller tray, and instead of using foam, it features an innovative type of netting to create a thinner backrest.

In addition to this, Boeing’s 737 MAX 200 aircraft seats make the experience of flying as painless as possible. The aircraft is expected to be launched in 2017, and it will feature 28-inches seats- the minimum pitch allowed by airline regulators to safely evacuate an aircraft.

Tighter Trends

In 1997, U.S. airlines started implementing measures aimed at cutting back on costs and allowing more space on board. In 1997, United Airlines limited economy passengers to one carry-on bag. A few years later, the same airline began charging $20 for a second checked bag while American Airlines charged $15 for one checked bag. In 2010 Spirit Airlines switched to non-reclining seating with 28-inch seats. In the same year, Ryanair announced plans to charge for lavatory use on short flights.

Well, apparently economy class seats are bound to be even tighter, leaner and squeezier in the future, so you’d better keep in shape if you plan on travelling economy in the years ahead. Economy travel is about packing as many low-paying passengers in as possible. And trends show that the airlines’ economy classes are not going to return to the golden age of travel, when everyone could enjoy supreme comfort and privacy. 

Watch this video to get a broader picture of how the business model of economy travel works.
 

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