Airlines are making a bold new move that has one famous pilot fuming.
With airfare and baggage fees on the rise, flying may soon become more of a hindrance than a convenience.
But still, thousands of Americans fly each day — leaving airlines to throw caution to the wind with their newest scheme.
Rising Fees, Shrinking Seats
As fees continue to rise to fly, airplane seats are shrinking in return.
Airlines are continually pushing the occupation limits of their aircrafts.
This is so they can sell more tickets per plane.
But one famous pilot is taking a stand to ensure no lives are put at risk.
He has gone public to put pressure on the Federal Aviation Administration to do something about the dangerous move.
“Miracle on the Hudson” Pilot Continues to Protect Lives
Heroic Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is outraged over the airlines’ move to unsafely cram passengers into their aircraft.
The now retired pilot is famous for his “miracle on the Hudson” landing where he saved every single passenger on his plane after an engine failure caused a forced water landing.
He has taken to Twitter to express his concerns.
Airlines continue to make seats smaller to increase revenue despite safety concerns. @FAAnews must require more realistic demonstrations, not just simulations, to prove planes can be evacuated quickly. https://t.co/kVPjbfhbz9
— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) September 20, 2018
Sullenberger cited an opinion editorial article in his tweet, which questioned how safe it was to cram passengers into planes while making emergency exits smaller.
The big question of concern is whether people can move quickly and escape fast enough with less space.
A Bigger Picture Problem
Another aviation expert and pilot, Brian Alexander, agreed with Sully’s concerns, adding:
“People are bigger than they used to be. So, we’re making the aisle smaller and the seats narrower. Sounds like a recipe for a dangerous situation.”
Decreasing seat pitch is also one of the concerns.
Seat pitch refers to the space between the back of the seat in front of you and the seat you are occupying.
In other words, there is less leg room and area to move between seats.
Some airlines are now making this area as small as 28 inches, which is even lower than the previously lowest recorded average of 30 inches.
Even passenger advocacy groups are getting involved.
They are petitioning the FAA for seat size guidelines to be regulated.
But the Federal Aviation Administration is arguing, “The FAA has no evidence showing that current seat dimensions hamper the speed of passenger evacuation, or that increased passenger size creates an evacuation issue.”
And passengers are not convinced it is safe, or even comfortable.
Airlines Putting Lives at Risk for Profit
In one interview with CBS, passengers shared their concerns about being comfortable on long flights — let alone the issue of safety.
“It’s difficult to get in and out of the seat because there’s hardly any room,” said one.
While another flyer added, “I have knee replacements, cannot bend the knee so much.”
While comfort certainly needs to be a consideration on long flights, safety should be the main priority for airlines and the FAA.
Would you feel safe flying when you knew the airlines had compromised on safety?
Do you feel comfortable flying long distances with smaller seats and aisles?
Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.