The great space squeeze is on

Airlines trying to squeeze as many people as they can into a narrow-body plane, are being undermined by wide passengers, especially apparent after complaints over new, smaller toilet cubicles on Boeing 737 MAX jets.

Seat pitches (the distance between seats and the angle of the back rest) are being decreased all the time in an effort to cram more flyers onboard. Now that these limits are close to being reached, the only place to find space is the loo.

While the airlines may be responsible for the super-tight seat configurations, the blame for the very small toilet may rest with Boeing, says Popular Mechanics magazine.

According to an LA Times report, the washbasins in the new 737 MAX are so small you can only wash one hand at a time.

Other airlines are now reducing the size of toilets on Boeing 737-800 jets by up to 25 per cent, to the point where one pilot calls the loos “the most miserable experience in the world”, so small you have to back into them.

While many budget US carriers have seat pitches of around 28 inches, Aussie airlines are less stingy, with seat pitches on Jetstar’s A320s and A321s at 29 inches and around 30 inches on B787s.

Tigerair A320s are 28.5 inches, while Qantas A330-200s and Virgin Australia A330-200s are 31 inches.


Do you think space issues on planes are becoming ridiculous?

Related articles:
Don’t book these plane seats
Rethinking the window seat
What your seat says about you

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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