Airplanes and Passenger Comfort

Posted by on 23/03/2016

It’s no secret that air travel is one of the least fun parts of any vacation. Most of the time it isn’t too bad, it’s just not as exciting as enjoying your destination - although everyone has a few horror stories of being stuck next to an unpleasant passenger. Experiences like these are why so many people spend hours trying to find the most comfortable airline. But why does this seem so hard?

Safety Takes Priority over Comfort

Although passengers are usually concerned about the most comfortable airline seats, the people who actually design them are worried about safety. Regulation and basic physics require that the seats be safe and lightweight. Making them comfortable is a nice bonus, but it’s an afterthought. Chairs are actually designed to not be uncomfortable for the majority of the population. This may seem like a pain, but dedication to safety like this is why flying is one of the safest ways to travel today.

Consider the Environment

Chances are, the chairs you sit in on planes are actually a lot more comfortable than many of the other chairs you regularly sit in. Would you rather sit in an airplane seat or a bench from a restaurant booth if they were by themselves? Airline seats by themselves are actually fairly comfortable. Being close to strangers in a small space for a few hours is not what most people consider comfortable, however. The airline probably bought the most comfortable airline seats they could afford. They just put them too close together to be enjoyed.

People Won’t Pay for Legroom

In 2000, American Airlines took seats out of their aircraft, giving another three inches of legroom to passengers looking for the most comfortable airline. They raised fares slightly to compensate for the lost revenue, but passengers were unwilling to pay for the roomier seats. The experiment ended up being a failure and they reversed the move in 2003, reducing legroom and the price of their tickets. People may say they are willing to pay more for better seats, but not many seem ready to actually do it.

For True Comfort, Get out of Economy

If you really don’t think that you can take another uncomfortable flight, another option is to look into first or business class seats, although the tickets will be significantly more expensive. For those who are serious about comfort, like people looking for the most comfortable airlines for international flights, your best option is to look into chartering a jet. You would be surprised at just how affordable it is, and you will enjoy a level of comfort that traditional airlines will never be able to match. It may even be the highlight of your trip!

Flying usually isn’t the highlight of your vacation, but there are good reasons why airplanes are the way they are. The seats are designed with safety in mind and are laid out so the airline can stay in business. If you need the most comfortable airline seats, you should look into options other than economy seats.