|Above, yours truly trying out an ANA Business Class seat at a travel show.|
You're not getting fatter (in some cases, maybe you are), airline seats are getting smaller. This is so that the airlines can squeeze more seats (i.e., more people) in an airliner.
This, naturally, is making flying a lot less comfortable.
According to Travel + Leisure:
What I'm about to say is far from news: Being a fat person on a plane is dreadful.
As much as I would like to believe we're living in a more body positive world than in the past, there are some areas that have definitely not become more inclusive. We need to recognize the body discrimination taking place on airplanes across the country.
Airline seats aren't comfortable for anyone — at least not anymore. Seats have gotten smaller since the 1980s to add more passengers to each aircraft. In 2014, author Bill McGee compared seat sizes from 1985 through 2014 on four major airline carriers: American, Delta, United, and Southwest. On average, economy class seat widths decreased 2 to 3 inches, and seat pitch (the distance between your seat and the seat in front of you) decreased 2 to 5 inches.
And it hasn't stopped. Last year, United found a way to add the equivalent of 14 planes to its fleet by moving seats closer together on its existing aircraft. Earlier this month, American announced it will add 10 more economy seats on each new Boeing 737 MAX by reducing seat pitch. Slimmer seats are supposed to make up for that decrease, according to several airlines, but anyone who has flown recently would be skeptical.I think the worst seating I've experienced was on a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 to Japan in 2015. I felt scrunched in and was getting leg pains. It used to be that I would get up about every hour to an hour and a half to stretch my legs. I had to get up roughly every half hour. This is not something one wants to endure during a 11-hour flight to Japan!
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