Why Don’t Airplane Seats Line Up with the Windows?

Travelling in an airplane is fun, reaching the top, having the feeling to be above the world. In the plane when one is suspended in the air, feeling exciting to land at the destination to either meet the family or bracing yourself to experience new atmosphere.

But soon, as the time passes, excitement lowers down, boredom struck. It is that time when one starts observing things nearby. Mostly one wants to have a view outside, see how things look like from high above the sky. And when you turn towards the window to do so, there is no window! The window is there but the seat and window are not in line!

Yes, often in airplanes the windows and seats are not in alignment. The reason is not that there is a manufacturing fault in airplanes. One can’t blame airplane manufacturers for depriving us of seeing through the window! The aircraft manufactures built it correctly; it is the airline authority that creates misalignment among seats and windows.

The airlines have the authority to place the seats as they wish. The aircraft manufacturers do set the tracks of the seat and the placement of window in such a way that windows are aligned with the seat. However, such seat arrangement is rarely followed by the airlines!

In order to facilitate the airlines to have a sitting arrangement as per their requirements, the aircraft manufacturers set different tracks on the airplane floor. Authorities can decide how much gap should be there among the seats and even can set different layouts. 

Airlines are more concerned about fitting in as many passengers they can in a plane rather than providing the passenger with window to enjoy the scenic beauty. This is one of the ways airlines can earn a profit. Some also disregard the comfort of the passengers and place the seats so closely that it becomes difficult to travel for the long time period.

The commercial planes have now decreased the pitch i.e. is the distance between the rows/ distance between the seats from 34 inches in past to mere 28 inches in present. This causes short leg space for the passenger and proves to be uncomfortable. But passengers are most likely to trade comfort for cheaper flight in case of short routes.

Even the size of the seats has shrunk to accommodate more seats on a plane! Back in 1990’s the seat’s width was put as 18.5 inches which have now shrunk down to mere 16.7 inches. And the result is uncomfortable traveling!

Everyone is in the race of profit maximization. Profit maximization itself is not a bad concept, it helps save resources. For instance, with seats placed in such a way that can accommodate more people, it will help save fuel. But one should be more ethical as well, not to compromise on quality.

The airlines should be concerned about the comfort of their passengers as well, not just their profits. Shrinking the size of seats and setting seats in a way to accommodate more than enough people just to maximize profit is an act that shall be condemned!