Finding your airplane seats a bit tighter? Good news, it’s not because you stopped at Cinnabon one too many times while waiting for your flight (well, probably not anyway).
Over the past decade, airlines have been adding seats to their more expensive sections. But rather than carry fewer economy passengers as a result, carriers like “American Airlines, Air Canada, Air France-KLM and Dubai’s Emirates Airline are cutting shoulder space by wedging an extra seat into each coach row,” the Wall Street Journal reports.”For almost 20 years, the standard setup in the back of a Boeing 777 was nine seats per row. But last year, nearly 70% of its biggest version of the plane were delivered with 10-abreast seating, up from just 15% in 2010.”
By cutting back on the already tight seats in coach, airlines are hoping travelers will be more inclined to shell out for roomier, more expensive seats. You can fight this trend by refusing to upgrade and swinging your overstuffed carryon into the shoulders of those who have.
Last week Air Canada flight AC033 was finishing a routine flight from Vancouver to Sydney, when it was suddenly pressed into service of a completely different nature. The Boeing 777, which carried 270 passengers at the time, was nearing the end of its 14-hour journey when the Australia Maritime Safety Authority requested the plane’s help in a search and rescue operation. Heeding that call for assistance, the pilots soon spotted a boat that had been missing at sea for more than a week.
Just minutes before radioing the plane for help, the AMSA detected the activation of an emergency rescue beacon off Australia’s eastern coast. Rather than scramble an aircraft of its own, the Air Canada flight was asked to assist and the airliner dropped from 37,000 feet all the way down to 4000 feet to have a look around. It didn’t take them long to discover the source of the beacon.
The Air Canada pilots immediately spotted a damaged yacht that had been missing at sea for nine days. Captained by Aussie Glenn Ey, the ship had been caught in a nasty storm that snapped its mast and damaged its hull. Worse yet, the vessel was out of fuel, leaving it dead in the water For days Ey drifted at sea with no idea where he was located or where he was headed. All he could do was wait and hope for rescue.
After spotting the ship from the air, a commercial vessel was asked to divert its course to render aid. That boat assisted Ey until the proper authorities arrived on the scene the following day. At that time, the damaged ship was approximately 270 miles off the coast.
I wonder what the Air Canada passengers thought about their unexpected detour and massive drop of over 31,000 feet. It must have been quite an adventure in an otherwise very long and boring flight.
[Photo credit: Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press]
Two weeks ago, we told you about how six Delta passengers were horrified to find needles in their airline sandwiches. While we were hoping it was a one-time incident, it seems passengers really do need to be extra careful when eating their on-board meals. In the last case, the flights were leaving from Amsterdam; however, Air Canada has confirmed a sewing needle was found in the food on a Canadian flight this week.
Although the two events are suspiciously similar, police say it’s too early to connect them, especially since a different caterer was used in both incidences.
According to TIME, in both situations, the sewing needles were found by passengers eating a pre-packaged, catered sandwich. The passenger wasn’t hurt, and neither Delta or Air Canada have reported any other needles being discovered.
Air Canada says they are working with their caterer to “ensure heightened security measures.” Moreover, police have stepped in to investigate while the FBI and Dutch authorities continue attempts to solve the case from July.
[Flickr image via sillygwailo]