Flying for me has never been one of the modes of transportation I look forward to, mostly due to my ‘doom’ mindset. But, here’s some interesting notes about our friendly flying tin can experiences.
Since 1985 the average width of the passenger seat was 20″ and the average weight for men flying was 174 pounds and for women, 145 pounds. Today, the seat width has been shaved down to 17-1/2″ while the average passenger weight has climbed to 195 pounds and 166 pounds respectively. So, the flying public is getting larger while being crammed into a smaller seat. (Maybe that’s why they don’t serve food anymore!)
Back in 1985 your ability to relax your legs was a bit better than today with a 33″ pitch (the distance from the seat back in front of you to your seat back) whereas today it’s only 31″ This of course makes for a less than restful flight especially on those longer commutes and those with longer legs.
In 1985 the average airline filled about 61% of the seats and today, an average 84% capacity.
Now, the good news? Flight safety has increased. The last fatal US airline accident was in 2009. You may recall it was on Feb. 12, 2009 when a Colgan Air, Flight 3407, was flying from Newark, N.J., to Buffalo, N.Y. and crashed into a house in Clarence NY. Of course we’ll all remember Chesley “Sully” Sullenburger’s safe water landing in the Hudson a month before. Statistically, there have been approximately 233,000 motor vehicle fatalites on US roadways since 2009 and zero in-flight fatalies with any US air carrier. That’s not a bad statistic.
So, although the comfort of the flights are less than admirable, at least we are getting to our destinations in a safe fashion. I think it’s time to book a flight!