questions From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 548 posts, RR: 1 Posted (11 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2836 times:
How has the increase in obesity rates, especially in the western world, impacted airlines' operational performance?
Passengers are getting larger. Has this impacted take-off weight? What is the impact on fuel consumption? Does cargo take a hit to reduce weight? Are there other impacts? Or are there no material impacts?
(Note: this thread is not about passenger comfort, making "passengers of size" pay for two seats, etc)
FlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1716 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (11 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2668 times:
Quoting questions (Thread starter): How has the increase in obesity rates, especially in the western world, impacted airlines' operational performance?
As far as I know for UA and DL the standard passenger weight which is used to calculate weight and balance has not changed. Not to be funny but bigger passengers means bigger clothes, this can be why bags seem so much heavier now.
This was in response to the Air Midwest US Airways Express Crash in Charlotte in 2003 when the airplane was overloaded and a maintenance problem reduced elevator authority. When the average weight went up, it hurt airline operations since they had to reduce the payload available for fuel and cargo. Transcon routes became more difficult. This especially hurt airlines operating 737NGs and A320s on US transcon routes. Smaller airplanes were also affected since the new numbers made it almost impossible to dispatch an EMB 120 or Saab 340 with all their seats occupied.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Probably means more wear and tear on seats. I'm surprised the armrests don't break off when some passengers much wider than 17 inches squeeze themselves into the seat and sometimes have to go sideways to fit down the aisle.
Another poential impact may involve safety, as very large passengers can't move as fast during an evacuation and may block other passengers where even a few seconds can make a difference (e.g. fire).