Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Crammed planes a global norm; experts say focus on etiquette

Mumbai: Fllowing the alleged molestation of a minor actor on a Delhi-Mumbai Vistara flight, the question of crammed seating in flights has come to the fore. In the age of budget carriers, globally flights have increasingly reduced the 'seat pitch' or the distance between seat rows to accommodate more seats to book profit. However, experts opine that although there is a minor difference between seat pitch from airline to airline all Indian carriers adhere to global standards of flight seating and reduced seat space is not only an Indian norm.

" It is not a seat space issue. An airline like Vistara has a decent seat space. It is as per universal order." said Jitendra Bhargava, Former Executive Director, Air India.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), a global body that looks into issues of flight safety, also has no regulations for seat pitch, passenger space or seating room as it is the airline that determines seating along with the aircraft manufacturer and the aircraft's certificating authority. CASA only looks into the tested strength of seats to ensure that seat types, including the seat belts, meet international standards.

Bhargava thinks that the recent issues of sexual harassment on flights are more of a conduct issue and less of an ergonomic concern. " You cannot put your feet on another person's seat. What we need is a lesson in flight etiquette. Earlier the aviation industry was elitist. Now everyone is flying." said Bhargava.
12/12/17 Ketan Vaidya/DNA