Airbus Designs Big Seats for Big Passengers

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has reportedly designed new seats for its popular A320 planes – seats that will add inches to some and decrease the width of others.

Woman Asks, How Fat is ‘Too Fat to Fly’?

Seats with Two Extra Inches of Space

According to news reports, the Europe-based company is replacing some of its three-seat rows – which currently measure 18 inches wide per seat – with a row of three seats in which one seat is 20 inches wide and the other two are 17 inches wide. The change was made, it is said, in “response to requests from airlines who say travelers’ expanding size has become a major headache.”

Seat Fees May Squeeze Out Families

Bigger Seats Means Bigger Fees

The new configuration also allows airlines to charge a premium for these larger seats, and perhaps they’d be doubly justified in doing so as the new seats are not only roomier, but they are all located on the much-coveted aisles. Several U.S. carriers already charge for preferred seats including those advertised as having more legroom plus window and aisle seating.

Did U.S. Airline Order ‘Too Fat to Fly’ Seats?

No specific carrier is named as a buyer for the planes with super-sized seats, but one article reports that “it is believed” that orders have been placed by a U.S. airline. Certainly, U.S. airlines have gotten into several wrangles with so-called ‘too-fat-to-fly’ passengers over the years, notably, Southwest, but that large discount carrier only flies Boeing-built 737s.

It will be interesting to see if the wider seats are in fact offered to larger passengers only or to anyone who wants a couple of more inches to spread out in.

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Published: June 19, 2012