Passengers have reacted angrily to a proposal by Airbus to make economy seats smaller to accommodate a few new extra-wide ones, which airlines are expected to sell at a premium.
Airbus has suggested it could increase the width of aisle seats on its A320s by two inches, making them 20 inches wide, at the expense of the middle and window seats, which would each lose an inch making them just 17 inches wide.
The aircraft manufacturer evidently believes this could provide a solution for larger passengers who don't fit into a standard airline seat. At the moment, they have to book two seats, sometimes at higher cost.
However, a survey by flight comparison site Skyscanner found that 84% of passengers felt it was wrong that most passengers would have to squeeze into smaller seats as a result.
Of the 1,000 people who responded to the survey, the majority thought the idea was "ridiculous" and "unfair", said Skyscanner.
Airbus has not revealed which, if any, airlines will be installing the larger seats and what the likely cost to passengers might be.
Sam Poullain, a spokesman for Skyscanner 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. 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."
By Linsey McNeill
Wednesday, July 4, 2012