We Give An Inch; They Want Two.
In addition to airplanes, Airbus, the big European consortium, is now into balloons … trial balloons, that is. They recently floated one that has stirred up a hornet’s nest, albeit so far a small one.
Airbus wonders what we all might think of their idea to increase the number of seats in each row on their wide-body planes from the current ten seats in a 3-4-3 configuration to eleven seats. That of course, would mean increasing the center section to five seats–a three-five-three arrangement.
A simple question: When is this going to stop? A realistic answer: When government finally steps in.
The real question is what will it take to make that happen. Worst case scenario? Well, we all know what that would be. The best case scenario would be for a cool, rational, sensible person at the FAA to conclude that several hundred people crammed into rows of eleven narrow seats with absolutely minimal legroom cannot possibly evacuate an aircraft within the 90 seconds or whatever amount of time the agency has set as the limit. That’s when the government steps in and says, “Enough!” And they set minimum standards: so many inches wide and so many inches of leg room. Minimum. That’s it. Period. If you want your planes to fly in U.S. air space.
And that’s all it takes.