17.6.13

THE FLAW WITH FIXED FORMATIONS.

It's not a good idea with a passenger train.  The railroads, though, can, at great expense, add or remove cars (the Nebraska Zephyr began with six, expanded to seven, has been five for the past 40 years).  It's a much more difficult proposition to splice additional length into an airplane.  (Probably cheaper to design an entire new airframe from scratch.)  Thus, to enhance revenue, the latter-day Pullman section implies even more sardining in coach.
American announced plans last year to install 10 extra seats on its Boeing 777s to make room for lie-flat seats in business class. The airline said it will begin to add those seats next year.
It's all part of what I'm sure some MBA calls "productivity improvements".  As are thinner seat backs (down with the tare, plus a few millimeters off the seat pitch right there).  Crush loading doesn't come for free, though.  Safety regulations stipulate how many passengers per cabin attendant are in the public interest.
American may be required to add an extra flight attendant on each flight to meet a Federal Aviation Administration rule requiring one attendant for every 50 seats.
Note, though: nothing precludes assigning that attendant a different emergency station from a work station, thus making possible even more attentive service to the space hogs riding Pullman.

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