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Passenger overflow on seats

By: Sarah Howe

Email: [email protected]

PASSENGERS ARE getting too wide-bodied to fit comfortably into some aircraft seats.

Two thirds of men are too broad shouldered for their neighbours’ liking in aircraft seats of 40.6cm width, currently the narrowest operated, a survey for the First Choice holiday company found. Between 1951 and 2002, women have, on average, put on 1.5in (3.81cm) around the hips and are also broader across the shoulders, according to the survey released during the Association of British Travel Agents’ convention in Marbella, Spain.

The survey, which analysed data from the national sizing survey SizeUK, also showed that one in seven women would feel too broad shouldered in the narrowest seats, while around one third of male passengers would feel cramped in airline seats 17in (43.1cm) wide. First Choice said it would be using the findings to lobby authorities to set an industry wide standard for defining seat width. The company added: “In the past, airlines have tended to push extra leg room as a selling point. While it is common knowledge that people are taller than they used to be, the survey is the first to show just how much wider they have become.”