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article imageOp-Ed: Squeezing more people onto planes not a good idea

By Joseph Boltrukiewicz     Apr 15, 2015 in Travel
A frequent flyer I am not. Nor do I weigh 100 kgs (plus). I should probably shut my face up for the plans to squeeze (and add) seats on most of airlines. The United Airlines plan to introduce this suicidal idea sparked my outrage because I can calculate.
I like the numbers and math. I know I can calculate and I am sure that I can make my point better than many innovative and money greedy United Airlines managers. I am sure that the current discussion about squeezing seats in planes has been around for a while but just recently all the media outlets started to deliver the message under our roofs as almost done deal. In the “Daily Mail” article published online we learn that,
“United Airlines considers squeezing almost 100 more seats onto Boeing 777s... by shrinking business class and adding one extra seat per row in economy”After necessary and successful upgrade and cutting the ribbon for a new flying vehicle let’s take a look how these additional numbers look in a single (upgraded) plane.
Wait a minute,… do we have additionally 100 more people aboard? This is 27.5 percent of increase comparing with original 364 people and everyone’s average weight is 70 kg. Let’s give a justifiable advantage to every patriotic American flying United Airlines by adding 10 more kg to their average weight. We already have eight tonnes of only human mass stepping into the machine. They are carrying hand luggage for as much as 10 kg each. Not true? Sure it is. Every one of us does this by taking the heaviest items with us aboard when releasing the bigger weight from the main luggage that we left at the check-in counter.
United Airlines aircraft  San Francisco airport.
United Airlines aircraft, San Francisco airport.
Depending on the airline, every one of those “Extended 100” group had their some 22 kg of regular luggage checked in. Although already scary, that’s not everything. These 100 seats that skilled and innovative UA inventors installed have their own weight too, so let’s say that it’s an easy addition of some 2,000kg. Now there come food and drinks. How much everyone of the “Extended 100” can eat?, one kg each? Sure, easily! Now we are adding these all up and we have 13,300kg which for the fellow Americans can yield even better looking number of 29,260 pounds. Impressive, eh?
Now a few remarks — remember when checking your luggage in, it was heavier a bit and you had to rearrange it by taking some weight off of it to come up exactly with 22 kg on the scale? Before your plane had fewer people than today and you were still reminded that the heavier weight is a direct reason of accidents. So now we are witnessing a blatant hypocrisy showing that the same plane is overloaded with additional thousands of kilograms and everybody cares as much about the overall safety of the passengers the way as it was before, right? Yeah, right! Why nobody’s even initiating any discussion to find out if the “Extended 100,” along with others, can be easily converted into human fodder after the accident? If this insatiable greed for profit is the initial plan of United Airlines innovators, I would like to pass their services and look for an alternative flight. I would strongly advise others to do the same.
Maybe at this point, I can not quite understand the limits of the aircraft and their actual capacity. But I am sure that the United Airlines idea expressed in above quoted article is childishly irresponsible. Exactly the way they were making the point when I flew from San Francisco to Vancouver on August 7th, 2013 (Flight UA no. 460Y, leaving San Francisco at 19:52, the plane took off some time at midnight). Everyone aboard with the supporting stuff were waiting for missing pilot, as they announced twice(!) by the loudspeakers and once when everyone was sitting before taking off. Missing pilot? Maybe they can pilot their aircraft without anybody.
It’s evident that the United Airlines management can eagerly open their eyes for profit at the cost of safety which they can turn their backs to. Perspective of profit can obscure the reasoning. They know they can cross fingers for the rest of the things for the greed of a single penny for which I have another personal example. They know better than anybody else that every cloud has a silver lining, or does it?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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