Apr 7, 2017

Air NZ defies trend, gives passengers wider seats

If you've ever been sandwiched between NZ sports stars crossing the Tasman, there is hope the crush will soon be over

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Why Air NZ needs these wider seats

Every victory for normal sized passengers in the battle against tight ‘efficient’ seating is important, and Air New Zealand has sprung its customers from the grip of heartless if not hipless bean counters in its soon to fly single aisle Airbus A320 NEO family jets.

While the original A320s were an improvement over the slightly narrower 737s offered by Boeing, that was in the late 80s and early 90s, when average adult sizes were not quite as large as those of today.

The jets stayed the same, but their customers became bigger.

As reported by the NZ Herald, and down to the last millimetre, the Kiwi flag carrier has chosen a UK seat maker, Acro, to give back some much needed space in the new tech NEO versions of the A320 family that it will begin putting into service in the near future.

This varies in extra width by one to three centimetres. When people are given bone pain by small seats, and next to no room to lower a tray table, even one centimetre too little space can make a trans Tasman crossing feel like the longest three and a half hours of your life. Or more so if the All Blacks or Auckland Warriors are on board, as sporting competition commuting by teams and armies of supporters has become such an important part of the traffic across ‘the Dutch’, make that ‘the Ditch.’

In this case, the biggest gains are also given to the middle seat in each triple seat, as compensation for being sandwiched between the persons on the aisle and the window.

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3 thoughts on “Air NZ defies trend, gives passengers wider seats

  1. comet

    But where does the extra space come from?

    Passengers aboard the squished 9-across sardine seating on the 787 Dreamliner have discovered, the problem is body against body.

    A broad-shouldered person or a slightly fat person will actually overhang the dimensions of the Dreamliner seat. So it’s shoulder against shoulder. Loin against loin.

    In these extreme conditions, the design of the seat below cannot help. If they reduce the width of the arm rests it makes no difference. The shoulders and loins above will still be touching.

  2. Tango

    Let me know which flights are loin to loin, I prefer to avoid that thank you.

  3. blackbandit

    Ever seen the size of your average Pacific Islander? Then you will realise why they had to make the seats bigger.

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