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Majority of travellers vote against extra wide airline seats

Extra wide airline seats that accommodate larger passengers are being developed by airline manufacturer Airbus. However, a new survey suggests that the majority of travellers are firmly against the idea.

A new survey by Skyscanner, the online tour operator, found that a staggering 84% of passengers said that increasing 18 inch seats to 20 inch seats is unfair. The extra-wide seat would be an aisle seat that would measure 20 inches in length. However, in order to accommodate this, the middle and window seats would each lose an inch, making them just 17 inches long in comparison.

Over three quarters of people who were surveyed said it was unjust for some passengers to squeeze into smaller seats simply to accommodate a larger passenger. It has yet to be announced which airlines will install the new seats or what the pricing structure would be for the change.

Sam Poullain, a Skyscanner spokesperson, said: “The issue of charging more for bigger seats is a contentious issue as it gives airlines a financial incentive to reduce standard seat sizes.” As a number of airlines charge for additional legroom, it looks possible that extra-wide seats could come at a higher price. However, the smaller seats, which have decreased in size, might not see a price reduction.

The study found that 84% of passengers believe that those who require more space should be charged accordingly. This comes after another survey by the travel agent revealed that 76% of people believe that passengers who can’t fit into a standard seat should be charged extra.

“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,” Mr. Poullain continued. When travelling overseas it could be worth taking out travel insurance to provide you with peace of mind.

Date Created: 13 July 2012

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