A Pitch to be Put on Par with Sardines
Even the number of sardines in a can is dependent on the dimensions of the receptacle. But not so passengers in commercial aircraft, though human beings are considerably larger and more important — at least in our own estimation — than small fry. Which is why it is curious that it has taken so long for the matter to come to court (in the US, in this case) and for a judge to demand a relook at the curious matter of the “incredible shrinking airline seat”. It would make sense to fit in more seats, with a narrower width and less pitch if humans were also in similar shrink mode. But the truth is quite the opposite. Humans are growing apace both vertically and laterally; according to some estimates, the average woman today weighs as much as a man did 50 years ago, and is almost as tall too. Add to that the airlines’ goal of fitting in more and more passengers into cabins, even the allusion to a finite number of decapitated, eviscerated and cooked sardines in a can becomes inapplicable. Moreover, as sardines have no reason (or ability) to exit cans speedily and safely in case of emergency but passengers may, clearly, there has to be some space-to-human ratio for aircraft cabins as for items in cans. Hopefully, US and other nations’ airline regulators will step in to ensure that humans are put on par with sardines at least.