Fly­ing economy class can be fa­tal

DNA (Delhi) - - OPINION -

For those who fly economy class, a re­cent find­ing con­firms their worst fears: The seats are a death trap. It has been re­ported that doc­u­ments from the US Department of Trans­porta­tion and the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FAA) have re­vealed that newer economy class seat­ing sec­tions may not pro­vide ad­e­quate room for evac­u­a­tion dur­ing emer­gency. It comes in the wake of a law­suit filed in the US by an Amer­i­can non-profit group Fly­ers Rights, which claims that the av­er­age width of stan­dard economy seats is shrink­ing. Air­lines are look­ing at var­i­ous in­no­va­tions to be prof­itable, which in most cases amount to cut­ting cor­ners to cut losses. The court felt that the FAA was “re­ly­ing on out­dated stud­ies when ar­gu­ing that no new evac­u­a­tion tests were nec­es­sary to de­ter­mine safety stan­dards in more mod­ern, cramped air­craft”. Fly­ers Rights claims the width of a stan­dard economy seat has de­creased from an av­er­age of 18.5 inches to just 17 since the early 2000s. It also shows that the space be­tween an economy seat back and the one in front of it has also shrunk, from 35 inches to 31 inches. In the event of an emer­gency, pas­sen­gers can­not af­ford to adopt a brac­ing po­si­tion.

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