What do theatre owners and airline executives have in common?
Well, actually they do both provide their services to seated customers, which should imply some sort of similarity. But in practice nothing of the sort.
While the airlines constantly shrink their seats and services, theatre owners at least have a different take on customer satisfaction.
… theaters across the country [are] expanding the width of … seats and increasing … leg room, or row spacing …
“We want to err a little bit on the roomier side, because over the last 50 years Americans have gotten a little plumper,” [New York] City Center’s senior vice-president and managing director, Mark Litvin, said, “and we find these larger seats are much more comfortable for people.”
… Theatre Projects Consultants, a theater-development firm, found that the average standard width of seats in performing-arts theaters has expanded from 21 to 22 inches over the last two decades, “primarily due” to the concurrent rise in obesity. Over the course of the entire last century, the average width increased from 19 to 21 inches.
If, like me, you spend your airtime crammed in coach you will be impressed with the ‘pitch’ on these seats.
The airlines might try to claim that frequent flyers are not succumbing to obesity like their theatre-going cousins.
But given that they now force some customers to purchase two tickets if they require a seatbelt ‘extender’, that excuse just won’t fly.