Flyers are already feeling the squeeze in coach class but it looks like things may get worse.
While Southwest is adding extra seat width on new aircraft to accommodate growing bodies, Airbus is continuing the trend of shrinking seats, announcing plans to offer an 11-across economy seat configuration on new A380 superjumbo carriers, reports Aviation Week.
Currently, the Airbus A380 seats 10 passengers in an economy row with a 3-4-3 configuration. The new layout would add an extra seat to the middle row, squeezing people into a too-close-for-comfort 3-5-3 configuration. Though the new seats will be same width as the current design—18 inches across—Airbus has slightly modified the entire cabin to raise the plane's capacity from 525 passengers to 544.
But according to Harvard data, the average human shoulder width is also 18 inches. Airbus has not released official measurements detailing length on the entire row but given the seat dimensions, it does not take a professional mathematician to figure out that many passengers-- big or small-- may literally be sitting shoulder to shoulder in the new seat configuration.