Proposals from airline manufacturer Airbus to reduce seat sizes to accommodate new extra-wide seats have enraged passengers, with 84% of respondents to a Skyscanner survey saying the move was unfair.
On a typical airliner, seats are 18 inches wide, but Airbus’ new seat format offers an extra-wide aisle seat which is 20 inches wide. However, this comes at the expense of the middle and window seats, which each lose an inch, making them just 17 inches wide.
Over 1,000 people responded to the Skyscanner survey, with over three-quarters saying that it was unfair that most passengers would have to squeeze into a smaller seat as a result. As of yet, it has not been announced which airlines will be installing the new seats, or what the pricing structure will be. However, in line with many airlines that charge more for seats with extra legroom, it’s likely that the extra-wide seats would come at a premium, whilst the narrower seats would simply become the norm, with no discount being offered.
Some 84% believe that passengers who require more space should be charged. The results mirror a previous Skyscanner poll about ‘fat tax’ where 76% of people believed that passengers who couldn’t fit into a standard seat should be charged extra.
Sam Poullain, Skyscanner spokesperson, commented:
“The issue of charging more for bigger seats is a contentious issue as it gives airlines a financial incentive to reduce standard seat sizes. Airbus’ new extra-wide seat format is a clever way for airlines to generate more revenue, but it’s inevitable that some passengers will feel hard done by as they’ll be losing an inch from their seat widths.”