Airbus unveils wider seat plan for overweight travellers

by Alister POOLE on June 19, 2012

Airbus has been considering installing extra-wide seats that will accommodate overweight travellers at slimmer fliers’ expense.

The industry giant has proposed that an extra two inches should be added to the width of all aisle seats on its famous A320 aircraft, with extra room to breathe provided for portly passengers. Consequently, though, the extra space will have to be created by the reduction of the width of seats elsewhere on the plane by an inch.

At present, A320 seats are 18 inches wide. These proposed changes will see aisle seats being increased to 20 inches, however others must be reduced to 17. On record, Airbus has said that this matches average seat widths that seats on planes by rival manufacturer Boeing currently have.

Airbus said that the move will be made in response to various complaints from airlines claiming that travellers’ expanding waistlines have been causing problems. Additionally, airlines have reported growing amounts of complaints made by travellers who have been forced to sit down next to obese fliers, with their valued space enroached upon.

Several surveys that have already been completed have suggested that Britons favour the introduction of a “fat tax”, requiring overweight travellers to shell out more than others for their flight ticket. Fliers are likely to be asked to pay more for Airbus’ wider seats while helping to cover the extra fuel that is required to transport larger passengers to their destinations.

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