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Cattle Cars

externmed
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Cattle Cars

Were there good old days, when flying was not so uncomfortable?

*What was the seat pitch and width in 1970?*

I just flew Jet Blue, which is the best, according to seat guru; but felt cramped and uncomfortable. But then, at least my knees didn't touch the seat in front as it did on my previous AA flight.

Melbourne
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1. Re: Cattle Cars

possibly in the 'good old days' the seat on the person was not as wide...

Leeds UK
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2. Re: Cattle Cars

Went to the Air and Space museum in Washington DC a couple of years ago. There was a bench there which was divided into wooden seats to the size you'd get on various planes through the years.

Can't remember specific planes but i seem to recall they were wider in years gone by. There was nothing about legroom though.

Bangkok
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3. Re: Cattle Cars

Hi,

"... *What was the seat pitch and width in 1970?*"

A good question, but I also think that another part of that is the *economics* of it.. By that I mean what was the fares paid in 1970 as compared to today-- adjusted for inflation? Are you getting more or less today than you did in 1970 relative to what you paid in 1970 when reflecting the value of your dollar?

The adjusted true cost to fly today-- for the most part-- has grown at a rate far less than most other items or services you buy today.. In other-words, while the seat hasn't gotten bigger-- or maybe even has gotten smaller-- the *cost* to fly.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has an interesting graph on the matter:

bts.gov/programs/…annual.html

While this only starts from 1995, it shows that for adjusted dollars (the blue line) the average airline ticket cost is actually LOWER today than in 1995.. When you look at today's dollars the cost has risen, but at a nominal rate over the 15 year period surveyed.

So, to a point, perhaps the typical seat did get smaller, or at best, they didn't get any bigger.. but.. flying today-- for the average US domestic purchased-- actually costs you LESS today than in did in 1995..

So, my question would be did the amount of leg room, seat size, etc. that you get today when buying a ticket *decrease* by a rate equal to or less than the adjusted rate of ticket prices? If it did, then you're getting a bad value, if it didn't then in reality, you are actually getting more for your adjusted dollar today than in years past.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 23 November 2010, 02:50
Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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4. Re: Cattle Cars

I'm guessing - GOPBI could confirm this - that planes are much safer today than in 1970.

I'd rather sit in a cramped seat and eat so-so food and get there safely . . . rather than not at all ;-)

And price? Maybe somebody can actually remember what it used to cost way back when!

Bangkok
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5. Re: Cattle Cars

Hi,

They are safer, but there is no one way to definitively say exactly how much safer they are since not only have the actual aircraft themselves become 'better', there have been advancements in ground technology and other things that also contribute to an improved safety operating environment.

But in the end, however you measure it, it is still safer to travel today, (2009) than it was in 1975. The NTSB collects data.. Here's their long range table..

NTSB:

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviation/Table3.htm

As you can see, on a statistical basis, it is safer, but it's not a constant steady progression and not all of the issues are equipment related.. some are human error, weather, etc..

Travel Safe,

NYC/Israel
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6. Re: Cattle Cars

I don't remember airfare but in 1970 i took my first airplane trip. I went on a collegiate 7 week tour to Israel. The price--including flight, hotels , food, admissions etc etc. was a grand $1800!

Detroit, MI
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7. Re: Cattle Cars

$1800 in 1970 is the equivalent to $10,146 in 2010 dollars.

data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl…

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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8. Re: Cattle Cars

Thanks tev. Rdglady, any idea of how that $10,146 price compares with the same type of trip today?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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9. Re: Cattle Cars

Actually, to see the full picture, ...

The inflation adjusted ticket price is greatly reduced since the 70-s 80-s, even with that, the tax per ticket has risen by close to 2000%!!!! since the 70-s 80-s.. so ... if the airline can give you a product that has a price that is greatly decreased in 30 years... how come that the government does it for 2000 times more expensively... well don't answer... I know the answer... I know it takes money to pay TSA people who just stand and yell all day “take your laptop out from you bag… put liquid in Ziploc bag…”

May be the airlines need people who just stand all day and yell “when you get inside the plane, make sure you sit down… “

KC
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10. Re: Cattle Cars

IMHO...based on research...its the fact that the average passenger is much bigger and heavier than say 1970s pax...THAT is why it seems so crowded. Now...why is the avg Joe (or Jill) heavier? Could it be this "super size" nonsense at the fast food places? Portion sizes have gotten WAY out of hand. Also....sitting in front of a computer is the new national pastime....cant burn alot of calories doing that can we? Also...in 1970 they didnt put high fructose corn syrup in everything like they do now. Kids used to play outside alot (including this kid) and on the average ate out very little compared to today.

Now...the airlines I suppose could make bigger seats (and less of them) but of course thats gonna cost money.......