FatCat
Posts: 910
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:01 pm

seahawk wrote:
Or you add exits to an existing aircraft. And then such solutions will revolutionize air travel.

Already discussed on this forum, may be an idea, but those seats may be dangerous for pregnant women, as stated by a forum member
Aeroplane flies high
Turns left, looks right
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:18 pm

Here’s the test population rules:

19. PARTICIPANTS.

(1) Representative Passenger Complement. In a full-scale aborted takeoff emergency evacuation demonstration, the operator must assemble a representative passenger complement. Before conducting the demonstration, the operator must ensure that the participants meet the appropriate criteria. If participants do not meet the criteria, the operator must repeat the demonstration.

(a) Participants must be representative of a normal passenger complement as follows:

Passenger Age Percentage of full seating capacity

Adult Females 12-60 30% minimum
Adult Males 12-60 50% to 60%
Adult Males and
Females
(proportional mix). Over 60 5% minimum
Children (prorated
by age). 3-11 5%-10%
Life-sized dolls

(b) The "life-sized dolls" referred to above must be carried by passengers to simulate infants two years old or younger.

(c) No employee of a certificate holder or manufacturer may be seated next to an exit.

(d) Because of child labor laws in some localities, it may not always be possible to have children between the ages of three and 11 participating in full-scale evacuation demonstrations. In these situations, a proportional mix of the overall passenger complement may be substituted.

(f) The operator may not practice, rehearse, or describe the demonstration for the passengers, nor may any participant have taken part in this type of demonstration within the preceding six months.

B. Company Officials. Company officials, such as Directors of Operations and Maintenance, must be available at the site of the demonstration.

(1) The company officials present must have the authority to modify the demonstration plan on site.

(2) They must be able to respond to FAA require-ments for specific corrective actions for deficiencies that occur during the demonstration.

(3) Company personnel may observe the demon-stration, but the company must ensure that these persons do not pose a distraction or affect the demonstration's outcome.
 
evank516
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:21 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
This might be a good time to remind everyone that CFR 25.562(b) states: "The tests must be conducted with an occupant simulated by a 170-pound anthropomorphic test dummy, as defined by 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart B, or its equivalent, sitting in the normal upright position."

:stirthepot:


I'm wondering if the tests need to be changed though, at least in the US where so much of our population is overweight. Maybe the test should be done with a 170 lb test dummy and a 200 lb test dummy. I know it seems odd, but we do need to simulate reality here, and the reality is we're fat.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:31 pm

evank516 wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
This might be a good time to remind everyone that CFR 25.562(b) states: "The tests must be conducted with an occupant simulated by a 170-pound anthropomorphic test dummy, as defined by 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart B, or its equivalent, sitting in the normal upright position."

:stirthepot:


I'm wondering if the tests need to be changed though, at least in the US where so much of our population is overweight. Maybe the test should be done with a 170 lb test dummy and a 200 lb test dummy. I know it seems odd, but we do need to simulate reality here, and the reality is we're fat.


170lb dummy is representative of the population. Some fall well below, some well above. Now of course if you get 3 rugby players in the same 3 seat row, that seat row may be above it's total seat capacity. But that's why we use safety margins :)

Keep in mind this requirement has nothing to do with egress. Just want to make sure noone is confusing weight requirements as being something applied when we do egress testing. Egress testing involves a mixture of all sizes of people and ages as previously noted above.
 
evank516
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:33 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
evank516 wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
This might be a good time to remind everyone that CFR 25.562(b) states: "The tests must be conducted with an occupant simulated by a 170-pound anthropomorphic test dummy, as defined by 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart B, or its equivalent, sitting in the normal upright position."

:stirthepot:


I'm wondering if the tests need to be changed though, at least in the US where so much of our population is overweight. Maybe the test should be done with a 170 lb test dummy and a 200 lb test dummy. I know it seems odd, but we do need to simulate reality here, and the reality is we're fat.


170lb dummy is representative of the population. Some fall well below, some well above. Now of course if you get 3 rugby players in the same 3 seat row, that seat row may be above it's total seat capacity. But that's why we use safety margins :)

Keep in mind this requirement has nothing to do with egress. Just want to make sure noone is confusing weight requirements as being something applied when we do egress testing. Egress testing involves a mixture of all sizes of people and ages as previously noted above.


Oh okay, that makes sense then. So we do account for people of different sizes?
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:44 pm

evank516 wrote:

Oh okay, that makes sense then. So we do account for people of different sizes?


We size to the regulatory limits plus safety factors and other factors as required.

So each seat would see a 170lb*1.5SF = 255lbs applied at the center of gravity of a dummy in the crouched position. (NOTE! This is why it's important that you assume the crash position when an emergency landing happens!) The crouched position lowers the CG and thus the induced moments on the structure. Not crouching also has other dynamic effects which are bad for your body too.. Like smacking your head against the seat in front of you and breaking your neck.. (extreme case).

So with safety factors you'd have 255 times 3 seat occupants in a typical seat row of weight to distribute among 3 actual occupants.

Needless to say aircraft are safe. There is no reason to change the 170lb regulation at this point since it would just add weight to the aircraft that doesn't need to be carried around really. Honestly if you experience a 9g forward inertial load there are bigger problems to worry about than eating that cheeseburger for dinner that put you over the 170lb point :P

Hopefully this does help explain why those seat tracks that are an annoyance to some fliers are so big. We've gotten pretty good at reducing their size with creative designs of late (and reducing their total weight! woo!) but they still see quite a bit of load.
 
algeorge2015
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:48 pm

Something different - maybe soon (hopefully) we will see seats getting better "American Airlines is ending its carry-on ban for the cheap seats"- CNN today
 
N353SK
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:06 pm

evank516 wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
This might be a good time to remind everyone that CFR 25.562(b) states: "The tests must be conducted with an occupant simulated by a 170-pound anthropomorphic test dummy, as defined by 49 CFR Part 572, Subpart B, or its equivalent, sitting in the normal upright position."

:stirthepot:


I'm wondering if the tests need to be changed though, at least in the US where so much of our population is overweight. Maybe the test should be done with a 170 lb test dummy and a 200 lb test dummy. I know it seems odd, but we do need to simulate reality here, and the reality is we're fat.



According to a Gallup article the average weight of an American male is 191 lbs. and the average female weight is 159 lbs, or an average of 175 lbs. across both genders.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/102919/ave ... ideal.aspx
 
ElPistolero
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:38 pm

flyguy89 wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:
77H wrote:
I don't see why the Government should be expected to regulate minimum seating space without also re-regulating air fare.
Average air fare is the lowest it has ever been. This is largely due to government deregulation. The only regulator now is the General Public as Consumers who continue to push for the lowest fares. In demanding lower fares, consumers must understand that concessions in other areas will need to be made.
Simple economic principles such as yield explain why we have seen increases in seat count on commercial airlines.

While the forthcoming example is an extreme oversimplification of airline revenue management the basic principle is the same.
-If Airline X operates an aircraft with 150 seats and sells and fills each seat for $300 the airline nets $45000. As consumers continue to demand lower prices the only way to maintain that revenue is to add seats, or create ancillary fee items.

-If Airline X gives into consumer pressure and drops the price of each seat to $250 the airline would need to install an additional 30 seats to net the same revenue of $45,000. Obviously the airline cannot add length to their existing aircraft so they must add additional rows at the expense of seat pitch or add additional seats per row at the expense of seat width. To further accomplish this we have seen airlines reduce the size of, or eliminate lavs and galleys. All the above examples take away from passenger comfort.

-Alternatively, Airline X could reduce fares and keep original seat but charge for created ancillary fees. If Airline X drops its fares to $250 and does not add seats, they could net the same revenue by charging $50/checked bag.150 seats x $250 = $37,500. 150 bags x $50 = $7,500. $37,500 + $7,500 = $45,000.

Ultimately consumers complain about both while continuing to demand lower fares. In most instances, you cannot have both and many airlines have been bought out or gone under in the pursuit of trying to provide customers both.

We must also understand that airline costs have risen. Many consumers would be upset to know that many front line airline staff earn below what most would consider a living wage. If the airline increases wages for their employees, that adds costs which means the airlines must increase revenue. If fuel goes up, costs increase, airlines must increase revenue. Airlines are also for profit business so increasing revenue is the number one goal. The simplest way for the airlines to provide customers with a quality product and pay their staff higher wages while managing other costs increases is for consumers to accept higher fares. Period.

77H


Simple question: how many $s do average airfares need to increase before seat size increases?

Or, more simply put, at what point will an airline forgo pure profit to provide a better economy seat?

IMHO, market conditions say "never going to find out because only a madman wouldn't cram more seats on a plane to cater to high demand"

That's not true. A number of airlines have made a play for testing consumers' appetite for greater legroom: AA, TW and B6. If increased legroom was truly an important market differentiator to customers these carriers would have seen positive results from their efforts, but they didn't. As with most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. No, not everyone want the cheapest fare and is willing to put up with cramped seats...but it's also clearly true that not everyone is willing purchase a more-legroom option if it means paying more for their ticket. Which is why we've seen a greater breadth in product offerings by airlines than we've ever seen before (basic econ, econ, econ+, first, etc). Things seem to be working fine as they are, more people are flying for less than ever before.


Are more people flying because more seats are being crammed into airplanes? Or are more seats being crammed into airplanes because more people are flying?

I tend to think it's the latter. It's makes more economic sense cramming people into existing aircraft than buying new ones.

As for whether passengers are getting what they paid for, the profit margins suggest otherwise. If they weren't paying more than the cost of providing the service, profit margins would be smaller. Problem for airlines is that even the dimmest guy on the street realizes that.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 1753
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:48 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:
We both know that can change very quickly in this age of populism... Only a matter of time.


On this, I wholeheartedly disagree. Any campaign to set a minimum will be fought by the free market, bringing with it consumer advocacy groups decrying how much more airfares will skyrocket to offset an arbitrary minimum size standard set by the government.

And once you tell that family of five their trip to Walt Disney World is out of reach because their fares went up 25% due to government bureaucracy, forget it.

It just won't happen, period, especially when airlines do offer a buy-up option for more comfort.


I'll just point out that free trade is evolving into fair trade. It's only a matter of time before free market turns into fair market. Free Trade/Fair Trade and Free Market/Fair Market are on the same spectrum. And the US, more than any other country, is trending towards the "fair" end of the spectrum. All of the arguments you use (which I agree with, for the record) could just as easily be made in the name of free trade. Yet here we are with tariffs and whatnot being politically expedient and potentially durable at direct cost to consumers.

Populism and economic realities are rarely compatible, but we're now in a populist phase. It's only a matter of time before someone asks if it's "fair" that working and/or lower middle class consumers should travel in discomfort so that airline executives (think 'elites') can print money hand over fist at their expense?

Flying is increasingly becoming a necessity. More and more people are going to fly. And if airlines keep annoying them, they will reach a critical mass attractive to populist politicians. The popular denunciation of free trade was the inflection point. Now it's just a matter of time.
 
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flybynight
Topic Author
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:23 pm

kennyomg wrote:
BlatantEcho wrote:
Absolutely not.

Each citizen has the personal responsibility to buy what fits them.

What’s next, regulating minimum shoe sizes?

You simply don't understand the question. I'm 6'6", need 12 shoes. You're (no idea but let's assume) 5'2" and need size 7. Now would it be fair if Adidas charged you half the price for the size 7 than me for the size 12? Hint, they don't, and there's a very good reason for this.

At this point Economy seating is getting to a point where people like me literally don't fit. This is not whining or "oh I can't stretch my legs boo-hoo", this is, as OP has stated, literally and physically not being able to fit in the space provided. Like OP I encountered this issue on an IB flight MAD-LHR and like OP I could only sit on the flight because the middle seat was empty and could intrude in the space. My legs from a** to kneecap are 27" (just measured it); you can see how an inch here or there might make things literally impossible. I also have a somewhat wider hip (not fat, bones) so that might also become a problem if things progress as they do.

Now the two issues with this are: 1) not labeling products as "impossible for you" is at least deceptive marketing or probably worse and 2) at what point am I allowed to start beating the discrimination drums? Again, this is NOT about comfort, it's about physical dimensions at this point.


This is what my point was/is.


We all understand airlines want to maximize profits. I think most of us are OK witth that.
But it has gotten to the point that people over average height cannot physically fit well. That is an issue. It just is!

With a 29 inch pitch an airline really should say - anyone over 6 feet in height will not fit well.


Maybe that should be the regulation - airlines should state their pitch and what is the shortest you can be to fit with knee room. In other words, embarrase the airlines that have gone for the least amount of pitch.
I really do believe - on longer flights - people will pay a little more for comfort. I would. For examole, I will avoid Iberia as much possible.
Heia Norge!
 
flyguy89
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:34 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:

Simple question: how many $s do average airfares need to increase before seat size increases?

Or, more simply put, at what point will an airline forgo pure profit to provide a better economy seat?

IMHO, market conditions say "never going to find out because only a madman wouldn't cram more seats on a plane to cater to high demand"

That's not true. A number of airlines have made a play for testing consumers' appetite for greater legroom: AA, TW and B6. If increased legroom was truly an important market differentiator to customers these carriers would have seen positive results from their efforts, but they didn't. As with most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. No, not everyone want the cheapest fare and is willing to put up with cramped seats...but it's also clearly true that not everyone is willing purchase a more-legroom option if it means paying more for their ticket. Which is why we've seen a greater breadth in product offerings by airlines than we've ever seen before (basic econ, econ, econ+, first, etc). Things seem to be working fine as they are, more people are flying for less than ever before.


Are more people flying because more seats are being crammed into airplanes? Or are more seats being crammed into airplanes because more people are flying?

I tend to think it's the latter. It's makes more economic sense cramming people into existing aircraft than buying new ones.

I would agree, which is why regulating seat size will force the airlines to only be able to add capacity in a way that makes less economic sense, as you put it. And there's a cost to that that will be passed along to consumers.

ElPistolero wrote:
As for whether passengers are getting what they paid for, the profit margins suggest otherwise. If they weren't paying more than the cost of providing the service, profit margins would be smaller. Problem for airlines is that even the dimmest guy on the street realizes that.

Interesting you bring up profit margins, because margins for airlines relative to other industries are actually mediocre...and really only mediocre in recent years as historically their margins have been outright terrible. That doesn't really support your point.
 
Heinkel
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:55 pm

For busses and coaches there are international UNECE regulations about minimum seat dimensions (width and distance to the backrest in front of you). These regulations are valid in rough 60 nations.

And enforcing the same regulations on air transport will mean the end of the world?
 
ElPistolero
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:00 am

flyguy89 wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
That's not true. A number of airlines have made a play for testing consumers' appetite for greater legroom: AA, TW and B6. If increased legroom was truly an important market differentiator to customers these carriers would have seen positive results from their efforts, but they didn't. As with most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. No, not everyone want the cheapest fare and is willing to put up with cramped seats...but it's also clearly true that not everyone is willing purchase a more-legroom option if it means paying more for their ticket. Which is why we've seen a greater breadth in product offerings by airlines than we've ever seen before (basic econ, econ, econ+, first, etc). Things seem to be working fine as they are, more people are flying for less than ever before.


Are more people flying because more seats are being crammed into airplanes? Or are more seats being crammed into airplanes because more people are flying?

I tend to think it's the latter. It's makes more economic sense cramming people into existing aircraft than buying new ones.

I would agree, which is why regulating seat size will force the airlines to only be able to add capacity in a way that makes less economic sense, as you put it. And there's a cost to that that will be passed along to consumers.

ElPistolero wrote:
As for whether passengers are getting what they paid for, the profit margins suggest otherwise. If they weren't paying more than the cost of providing the service, profit margins would be smaller. Problem for airlines is that even the dimmest guy on the street realizes that.

Interesting you bring up profit margins, because margins for airlines relative to other industries are actually mediocre...and really only mediocre in recent years as historically their margins have been outright terrible. That doesn't really support your point.


That depends on what you think my point is. There is a rather obvious and fundamental tension between telling a consumer that you can't afford to provide a better product because they aren't paying enough, and walking away from that same transaction with a tidy profit.

Should consumers get what they pay for? Or should airlines be allowed to shortchange consumers (insofar as they're providing less than what was paid for) so that they can boost profit margins?

Important to remember that profits are not a birthright or guarantee. If airline shareholders (and indeed airlines thenselves) think they can make larger profits elsewhere, they should switch over instead of assuming that they deserve a profit just for existing.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:14 am

I retired from United and many times flying from ORD to SFO on my weekends I've sat virtually alone in Economy plus when a B767 or B777 was the scheduled airplane Particularly near door #2 RH. It seemed odd that I would have a row to myself just to sleep but I slept like a baby.
 
Planesmart
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:45 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Here’s the test population rules:

19. PARTICIPANTS.

(1) Representative Passenger Complement. In a full-scale aborted takeoff emergency evacuation demonstration, the operator must assemble a representative passenger complement. Before conducting the demonstration, the operator must ensure that the participants meet the appropriate criteria. If participants do not meet the criteria, the operator must repeat the demonstration.

(a) Participants must be representative of a normal passenger complement as follows:

Passenger Age Percentage of full seating capacity

Adult Females 12-60 30% minimum
Adult Males 12-60 50% to 60%
Adult Males and
Females
(proportional mix). Over 60 5% minimum
Children (prorated
by age). 3-11 5%-10%
Life-sized dolls

(b) The "life-sized dolls" referred to above must be carried by passengers to simulate infants two years old or younger.

(c) No employee of a certificate holder or manufacturer may be seated next to an exit.

(d) Because of child labor laws in some localities, it may not always be possible to have children between the ages of three and 11 participating in full-scale evacuation demonstrations. In these situations, a proportional mix of the overall passenger complement may be substituted.

(f) The operator may not practice, rehearse, or describe the demonstration for the passengers, nor may any participant have taken part in this type of demonstration within the preceding six months.

B. Company Officials. Company officials, such as Directors of Operations and Maintenance, must be available at the site of the demonstration.

(1) The company officials present must have the authority to modify the demonstration plan on site.

(2) They must be able to respond to FAA require-ments for specific corrective actions for deficiencies that occur during the demonstration.

(3) Company personnel may observe the demon-stration, but the company must ensure that these persons do not pose a distraction or affect the demonstration's outcome.

They must all speak English. They cannot be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including sedatives. No bags are carried out. Cell phones are not permitted. They receive a standard cabin briefing when seated. The cabin crew are top notch - they just walk down the aisles, tap the head rests of one row at a time, saying go. No pushing, shoving, bag carrying, looking out of the windows, talking, all aisles and exits clear.............
An absolute best case.

Can't make the tests 'realistic', because testing must be repeatable, to precise standards.
 
flyguy89
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:43 pm

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:03 am

ElPistolero wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:

Are more people flying because more seats are being crammed into airplanes? Or are more seats being crammed into airplanes because more people are flying?

I tend to think it's the latter. It's makes more economic sense cramming people into existing aircraft than buying new ones.

I would agree, which is why regulating seat size will force the airlines to only be able to add capacity in a way that makes less economic sense, as you put it. And there's a cost to that that will be passed along to consumers.

ElPistolero wrote:
As for whether passengers are getting what they paid for, the profit margins suggest otherwise. If they weren't paying more than the cost of providing the service, profit margins would be smaller. Problem for airlines is that even the dimmest guy on the street realizes that.

Interesting you bring up profit margins, because margins for airlines relative to other industries are actually mediocre...and really only mediocre in recent years as historically their margins have been outright terrible. That doesn't really support your point.


That depends on what you think my point is. There is a rather obvious and fundamental tension between telling a consumer that you can't afford to provide a better product because they aren't paying enough, and walking away from that same transaction with a tidy profit.

Should consumers get what they pay for? Or should airlines be allowed to shortchange consumers (insofar as they're providing less than what was paid for) so that they can boost profit margins?

How do you conclude they're getting shortchanged? If a customer has a max price they can spend on air transportation to get from point A to point B, and the airline is able to provide that service...doesn't sound like anyone is getting shortchanged. It sounds like you want to want to (and correct me if I'm wrong) make that transaction conditional on the airline being able to provide the service while maintaining some TBD minimum space/comfort/pitch, but how is that not a decision that should ultimately be left between the customer and the airline?
 
ElPistolero
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Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:37 am

flyguy89 wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:

I would agree, which is why regulating seat size will force the airlines to only be able to add capacity in a way that makes less economic sense, as you put it. And there's a cost to that that will be passed along to consumers.


Interesting you bring up profit margins, because margins for airlines relative to other industries are actually mediocre...and really only mediocre in recent years as historically their margins have been outright terrible. That doesn't really support your point.


That depends on what you think my point is. There is a rather obvious and fundamental tension between telling a consumer that you can't afford to provide a better product because they aren't paying enough, and walking away from that same transaction with a tidy profit.

Should consumers get what they pay for? Or should airlines be allowed to shortchange consumers (insofar as they're providing less than what was paid for) so that they can boost profit margins?

How do you conclude they're getting shortchanged? If a customer has a max price they can spend on air transportation to get from point A to point B, and the airline is able to provide that service...doesn't sound like anyone is getting shortchanged. It sounds like you want to want to (and correct me if I'm wrong) make that transaction conditional on the airline being able to provide the service while maintaining some TBD minimum space/comfort/pitch, but how is that not a decision that should ultimately be left between the customer and the airline?


I don't. I'm merely pointing out that the narrative being pushed by airliners - that seat size is somehow the fault of consumers - is a flawed one. It's about profit maximization. Won't take much for the layperson to think he's being shortchanged if they keep up with the narrative that he isn't paying enough for better while they're recording huge profits off him.

Also, its fairly obvious that the relationship between the airline and the consumer isn't one of equals. Airlines hold all of the cards. They act almost entirely on their self-interest (which is completely rational), but have an unfortunate habit of testing consumer patience while they're at it. Hence government interventions on Tarmac delays, and in many jurisdictions, passenger rights. The contracts between airlines and consumers, drawn up exclusively by airlines, have been deemed inadequate in these cases and a standard of service has been imposed. There's nothing to suggest that seat sizes won't end up being subject to similar standards of service if enough people get annoyed. If we reach that point, airlines will have only themselves to blame.
 
flyguy89
Posts: 2551
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:43 pm

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:49 am

ElPistolero wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
ElPistolero wrote:

That depends on what you think my point is. There is a rather obvious and fundamental tension between telling a consumer that you can't afford to provide a better product because they aren't paying enough, and walking away from that same transaction with a tidy profit.

Should consumers get what they pay for? Or should airlines be allowed to shortchange consumers (insofar as they're providing less than what was paid for) so that they can boost profit margins?

How do you conclude they're getting shortchanged? If a customer has a max price they can spend on air transportation to get from point A to point B, and the airline is able to provide that service...doesn't sound like anyone is getting shortchanged. It sounds like you want to want to (and correct me if I'm wrong) make that transaction conditional on the airline being able to provide the service while maintaining some TBD minimum space/comfort/pitch, but how is that not a decision that should ultimately be left between the customer and the airline?


I don't. I'm merely pointing out that the narrative being pushed by airliners - that seat size is somehow the fault of consumers - is a flawed one. It's about profit maximization. Won't take much for the layperson to think he's being shortchanged if they keep up with the narrative that he isn't paying enough for better while they're recording huge profits off him.

Profit maximization, the purchase behaviors of consumers, and supply are all related however. Airlines wouldn't be lowering and unbundling fares if there wasn't consumer preference driving it. In turn, they wouldn't be adding capacity to meet this increased consumer demand for low fares, and thus doing so in the most efficient/profit maximizing way via adjustment of seating configuration/capacity on aircraft. If consumers preferred differently, the airlines could just as easily be maximizing profits by bundling/increasing fares and offering lavish onboard service. I don't completely disagree with you in that it tends to get lost in these discussions that "consumers" aren't a homogeneous mass and that isn't true that ALL customers aren't willing to pay varying increments more for better service, which is why we're now seeing airlines offer sometimes up to 3-4 classes of service, even on regional flights.

ElPistolero wrote:
Also, its fairly obvious that the relationship between the airline and the consumer isn't one of equals. Airlines hold all of the cards.

I can't say that I agree with that either because it completely ignores substitutions and alternatives which are very real competitors to the dollars airlines want you to spend with them. In addition to the 4-8 airline choices most of the US population has, consumers can also choose to drive, take the train, take the bus, teleconference, combine trips, or not travel and spend the money elsewhere. The competition for travel dollars is certainly there.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4367
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:31 am

trpmb6 wrote:
The CEOs of DL and AA are both 6'3" and think economy seating is just fine.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1399797


Haha I am sure they do think it's totally fine, the decision they made looking at a spreadsheet.

This Is the same AA CEO when being asked some questions on the ultra small bathroom he admitted he had never actually been on the 737 MAX ever! I am sure he concluded that is adequately sized too lol.

Let's be honest these guys are not flying coach on a 10 hour flight or even a 6.5 hour westbound Transcon. They will be seen flying coach on short hops to look like they care, they don't really fit in coach seats.
 
IADFCO
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 4:20 pm

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:14 pm

There should definitely be a requirement to clearly state a guaranteed minimum seating pitch and width for a given ticket. If the airline does not provide these guaranteed minima then the consequences should be similar to those for denied boarding due to overbooking, including monetary compensation.

A few years ago this requirement would have been unnecessary, but no longer, given the race to the bottom for customer service in the name of profit for shareholders. Two years ago I had to fly FCO-TLV on an Iberia flight that was operated by Vueling without this being disclosed anywhere. Paying Iberia fares with Vueling service was not pleasant to say the least.
 
Theseus
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:56 pm

Would it not be easier to have some kind of standard ratings ?
A bit like energy consumption ratings on various electrical appliances.

Right now, all we have is classes such as Y, Y+, ... the meaning of which is completely airline dependent. Many overlook this when they book, and just look at price, which causes a race to the bottom in terms of comfort/price. Customers who are more careful do not really benefit from that: from the airport I am flying from, it is harder to find what I consider acceptable service in Y for certain long haul destinations; in the same time, Y+ is often 3x the price for about 50% more space, and I was feeling just fine when it was maybe 15% bigger than it is today.
If there existed some kind of standard rating (like A/B/C), at least customers who book on price would clearly see what they give up (or may get for maybe not a whole lot more). This would educate customers. Also, people who travel for work and whose employer will not pay business class seats for (that is a lot of people actually) may be able to negotiate to travel in "at least decent" Y.
 
Begues
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:43 pm

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:53 pm

It is all backwards, airlines should be allowed to charge according to individual passengers weight and then assign them a seat of their size. This way you solve 2 problems at once, filling the economy plus with all the obese passengers that will not have any other choice and providing more competitive prices for lightweight passengers. Essentially, obese passengers will have to subsidize cheap tickets for lightweight passengers.
 
kalvado
Posts: 1818
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:01 pm

Wacker1000 wrote:
Samrnpage wrote:
They will do eventually, at some point it will get too much and become unfair consumer service.


Except it keeps going the other way and people keep confusing airlines with charities. If people don't want tight seats they need to pay. In the past 15 years the flying public has proven time and time again they care about price over anything else. When the customer starts caring about the product and experience then airlines will start providing it.

Quite dishonest way of looking at it.
I just priced a flight from my home airport to ATL, 2.5 hours on MD-88.
10% more seat pitch - 34" comfort vs 31" regular economy adds 40% in price vs basic fare and 20% vs regular Y. Given that there are per passenger items included in ticket price - security charge and what not - DL wants extra half fare for extra 10% of space. Of course there is little demand...
 
IPFreely
Posts: 2334
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:26 am

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:53 pm

Begues wrote:
It is all backwards, airlines should be allowed to charge according to individual passengers weight and then assign them a seat of their size. This way you solve 2 problems at once, filling the economy plus with all the obese passengers that will not have any other choice and providing more competitive prices for lightweight passengers. Essentially, obese passengers will have to subsidize cheap tickets for lightweight passengers.


It would be interesting, and not totally without merit, to see an airline implement a "pay by the pound" fare for passenger + baggage.
 
YYZYYT
Posts: 1024
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:41 am

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:12 pm

Folks, it's called "Consumer Protection Legislation". There's a flood of posts saying "no" to regulating seat size, because there is freedom of contract.

But there are many industries where this "freedom" is subject to specific rules because (let's face it) the individual consumer is usually at the mercy of the corporation which dictates virtually every aspect of the contract, all of the terms and conditions, and all of the details of the product/service that is being bought.

something is needed, that's clear, though it needn't be actual regulation of seat size. Perhaps something like this suggestion:

747-600X wrote:
The government should require that airlines conspicuously disclose the space for the class of ticket you buy. So, if you buy an economy ticket on a domestic flight, it should be made "plane" for you to see that, for example, "THE SEATING CLASS YOU HAVE SELECTED OFFERS 29" SEAT PITCH." At first, this information would seem odd since flyers would not have context. In time, though, it, like calorie counts on food and so forth, would come to be meaningful. This allows government to force commercial competitors to disclose what they're selling while still allowing them to sell whatever they please.


That will be $0.02 please.
 
tjh8402
Posts: 957
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:20 am

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:14 pm

Absolutely not. As long as the plane can pass evacuation tests, sell they public what it wants. My mother and sister love their 28” $70 seats on NK and G4. They and plenty of others would miss out on the chance for affordable flight. For those that want more, every airline has some sort of upgraded extra legroom seat for sale. Or just fly WN and B6. The government should not be telling people what seats they have to sit in or artificially inflating ticket prices beyond what the market demands.
 
Wacker1000
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:36 pm

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:30 am

kalvado wrote:
Wacker1000 wrote:
Samrnpage wrote:
They will do eventually, at some point it will get too much and become unfair consumer service.


Except it keeps going the other way and people keep confusing airlines with charities. If people don't want tight seats they need to pay. In the past 15 years the flying public has proven time and time again they care about price over anything else. When the customer starts caring about the product and experience then airlines will start providing it.

Quite dishonest way of looking at it.
I just priced a flight from my home airport to ATL, 2.5 hours on MD-88.
10% more seat pitch - 34" comfort vs 31" regular economy adds 40% in price vs basic fare and 20% vs regular Y. Given that there are per passenger items included in ticket price - security charge and what not - DL wants extra half fare for extra 10% of space. Of course there is little demand...


How is it dishonest? You just admitted the reason 10% more room costs 20-40% more - most people are cheap and won't pay for it. You're selling a more premium product to a smaller group - have to pay for it somehow.

The flying public is cheap. If they were not then Spirit, Allegiant, and the like would have lasted a few months instead of being formidable competitors as they are today and they wouldn't be whining about airlines installing tighter seat pitches to maximize every dollar they can get from every flight.
 
kalvado
Posts: 1818
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:59 am

Wacker1000 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Wacker1000 wrote:

Except it keeps going the other way and people keep confusing airlines with charities. If people don't want tight seats they need to pay. In the past 15 years the flying public has proven time and time again they care about price over anything else. When the customer starts caring about the product and experience then airlines will start providing it.

Quite dishonest way of looking at it.
I just priced a flight from my home airport to ATL, 2.5 hours on MD-88.
10% more seat pitch - 34" comfort vs 31" regular economy adds 40% in price vs basic fare and 20% vs regular Y. Given that there are per passenger items included in ticket price - security charge and what not - DL wants extra half fare for extra 10% of space. Of course there is little demand...


How is it dishonest? You just admitted the reason 10% more room costs 20-40% more - most people are cheap and won't pay for it. You're selling a more premium product to a smaller group - have to pay for it somehow.

The flying public is cheap. If they were not then Spirit, Allegiant, and the like would have lasted a few months instead of being formidable competitors as they are today and they wouldn't be whining about airlines installing tighter seat pitches to maximize every dollar they can get from every flight.

Flying public is generally the same group of people any other business is dealing with. For some reason, though, most other businesses deal with valued customers - as opposed to cheap public. I wonder why is that?
In this particular case, this is about value for money. What is the value extra 10% of space for a passenger? It is fairly obvious that airline would spend less than 10% extra on the seat - so 20 % is apparently multi-fold above the cost. Is there a better way to keep people from actually shelling out their cash? Especially since the product sold is exactly the same - we heard lots of times that it is transportation from A to B that is sold, and nothing else. So core product is the same on Spirit and Allegiant as it is on US3... At least if US3 rhetoric is to be believed.
 
Wacker1000
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:36 pm

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:11 pm

kalvado wrote:
Flying public is generally the same group of people any other business is dealing with. For some reason, though, most other businesses deal with valued customers - as opposed to cheap public. I wonder why is that?


Because you're on an aviation message board full of people that like to whine about aviation. I'm sure there is a retail shopping board somewhere full of people that bash any company that doesn't offer stuff at Walmart pricing (but after all Walmart isn't successful because the general public is cheap right?)
 
kalvado
Posts: 1818
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Should the government regulate minimum seating space

Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Wacker1000 wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Flying public is generally the same group of people any other business is dealing with. For some reason, though, most other businesses deal with valued customers - as opposed to cheap public. I wonder why is that?


Because you're on an aviation message board full of people that like to whine about aviation. I'm sure there is a retail shopping board somewhere full of people that bash any company that doesn't offer stuff at Walmart pricing (but after all Walmart isn't successful because the general public is cheap right?)

Seller wants to give less and charge more, buyer wants to get more for smaller amount of money (can it be free?) - welcome to economics 101.

However back to Y+ pricing. As far as I remember it started as part of unbundle trend, as one extra thing (legroom) on top of regular Y. It looks like it is slowly morphing into a separate class of service - as J and F became more luxurious, there was a gap to fill between Y and J. A fairly common thing, retail package size is another similar story.
WHat I personally want to see (and I think this is something many people want) is Y+ priced, roughly speaking, same as regular Y per square inch of footprint. No free booze, no priority boarding, just pure legroom. Would that be commercially successful? Does that extra space need to be charged at full Y rate or at actual price of my discounted fare?

And I find it a bit ironic that services that benefit everyone in the cabin - checked bag as faster boarding and more overhead space - are unbundled; but legroom is loaded with extras and charged as a status symbol. Maybe this is what I see as sign of dishonesty - but airline honestly tries to get more money for doing less as any seller should...

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