Fat bastard seats planned for Airbus

It looks like Airbus is about to provide a re-configuration for airlines wanting to have fat bastard seats:

The aisle seat is the preferred location for fat bastard seats.

The aisle seat is the preferred location for fat bastard seats.

The lack of space on flights has long been a bugbear of British holidaymakers. But now the majority of passengers face aeroplanes with even less wiggle room after manufacturers announced plans to shrink two thirds of seats to make space for overweight travellers.

Window and centre seats on Airbus planes could lose an inch of width while extra-wide seats may be installed to accommodate passengers who are too big to fit in normal sized chairs.

Airbus is offering the option of the extra-wide seats, which will be installed only as aisle seats, on A320 jets to accommodate what it describes as “trends in demographics”.

The larger seats will be 20 inches across instead of 18 inches – the standard width – and will cost more than the regular seats. 

Good, that means there will be a fat bastard flight tax in place simply by virtue of booking the fatty seats.

Stefanie Von Linstow, Airbus aircraft interiors marketing manager, told aviation website Flightglobal: “Passengers in the window seat are already happy and those in the centre seat might not be willing to pay as much for the extra width.

“The aisle seat seems the most attractive for the concept.”

However, a survey by the Skyscanner website last year revealed 80 per cent of UK passengers were against the idea of losing space to accommodate overweight travellers.

The plans come weeks after Samoa Air announced it will become the world’s first airline to charge passengers by their weight rather than per seat.

Still no one gets Samoa Air fly prop diven 8 seater aircraft…they need to charge by weight.


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  • Ronnie Chow

    I remember being on a flight with the NZ Sumo team . Now that was a laugh .

    But really , isn’t arse width the true problem here ? I don’t mind people with fat heads .

  • XM16E1

    Well I’m not interested with flying with an airline that reduces regular cattle class seats any smaller than they are.

  • Gazzaw

    It’s all bullshit media speculation generated on a quiet day by an announcement by a small commuter airline was going to introduce pre-flight weight checks. This is a standard procedure undertaken since the very beginning of commercial aviation, only last year I along with all other passengers was weighed before boarding an Air New Zealand Beechcraft in Kaitaia. As a result some baggage was offloaded.

    How precisely are airlines going to gauge who is fat and who is normal weight in this day and age when most people book their seats online, check themselves in either on their phones, laptops or at an airport kiosk? Scales at the gate maybe? That won’t work as seats have already been allocated. Airlines will not revert back to manual check-ins so the whole issue is a total non-event and nothing is going to change.

  • AnonWgtn

    It is not the weight but the size of passengers which is the real point.

    • Gazzaw

      Precisely AW. So how are airlines going to police this when they literally do not sight passengers until they hit the boarding gate? Aside from flying on small regional services I haven’t had contact with airline check-in staff for at least two years. The airlines are reducing manual systems as rapidly as possible and will have no interest in introducing another layer at the airport to check passengers’ dimensions.

      • Ronnie Chow

        They will use narrower metal detectors , Gazzaw .No fit , no go .

      • Steve (North Shore)

        In the Engineering World we have a Go/No Go Gauge

  • This is why I don’t use airlines – my last overseas trip was Auckland to Sydney by cruise ship. There was plenty of room not only for me but all the fat people too haha

    • Ronnie Chow

      I don’t use airlines . They use me .

  • Michael

    Sounds like there will be three seat sizes on most flights. A handful of fat bastard seats selling at a premium (say 10 per plane), double that number for lightweights, and the majority standard seats.

    BTW – why is aviation the last industry to metricize? A French aircraft company making seats measured in inches!

  • LabTested

    I like the aisle seat cos it is closest to the bar. Buggered if I want to pay extra for it though