In NL, we have 800.000 ‘tall’ people; men over 1.90m and women over 1.80 are ‘officially’ tall people. Not that being branded tall ‘officially’ gives you any advantages whatsoever, but hey, we like to put people in boxes, and we tall people belong in one too apparently, albeit a bigger one. 🙂 We actually have an ‘association of tall people’.
Today, there was (supposed to be) a political discussion on the safety of tall people on commercial airlines. The topic was raised by that same association of tall people, who were going to meet with the Infrastructure Secretary of State to discuss the issue.
More precisely, they try to raise awareness in the Cabinet for the safety of tall passengers on airplanes, and the lack of leg space in aircraft which could result in thromboses due to cramped limbs. They argue it is possible to load an aircraft more balanced (like they do with cargo planes), having seats throughout the plane with more space, and seats with less space. They even had a student design a new seat for this.
In the end, the debate today got cancelled, but it will be rescheduled.
When getting to the airport, playing the tall-card to get a better seat often doesn’t work anymore, as with online seat selection beforehand, this gets quite difficult. People have paid extra for preferred seats, so they can’t just be kicked off something they paid for. Plus the current situation in airline land is quite difficult; they have to make money somewhere, and at the end of the day, it’s seats they sell, and every inch (or centimeter) counts.
When I travel for work, I travel in business class 75% of the time, or in economy comfort when I’m not in business, which provides just enough space for my leggies. When I travel for private reasons, I now have come to the stage where I just pay for a seat with more space on long-haul flights; either a premium economy seat, a bulk head seat, or an emergency exit row seat (though that raises serious handbag issues that I won’t get in to now… 😉 ). On short-haul, I don’t bother, I’ll just put my legs in the aisle (or bother my neighbour with them). The only thing I don’t do on planes when in economy, is wear heels, as that takes away any wiggle room I might have.
I am curious to see where this discussion leads to though. If there’s any news, your reporter will get back to you. 🙂
Used for reference: www.klublangemensen.nl