There was a time when business class flights offered built-in reclining seats. Initially, these built-in seats were used to avoid the leaning of front-seat passengers. Then came the time when these buttons became quite controversial. Now, things have changed drastically to the extent that these reclining buttons are nowhere to be found. Plus, the issue is that not everyone knows why these built-in buttons have disappeared.
If you are in an economy class traveling and ask the waitress where are reclining seats, she will look at you wondering what you are talking about. Not to mention that the trend is disappearing slightly and gradually.
So, what were reclining seats used for, and why have they disappeared? Well, let’s find out.
What are Reclining Seats, Actually?
Fundamentally, airplane seats are manufactured in a way that they are comfortable to sit on. Inside the cushions, for instance, a pivot wire adds an additional feature to the seat. For example, if you want to upscale the seat, you will have to push the button on your right – above your seat cushion.
Thus, reclining seats were meant to add to the comfort of passengers. These buttons were enabled in the seats of economy class flights to avoid the lean-over of front seat passengers.
Why Reclining Seats are Vanishing?
As mentioned earlier, reclining seats are rarely found on airplanes today. This makes travelers wonder why reclining seats are disappearing despite the fact that they were used to comfort the passengers. It turns out that enabling reclining seats is an “extra” expense for airlines.
Essentially, airplane carriers will have to make this additional built-in seat from scratch. Thus, they will have to make an “additional” investment in these reclining seats. Another issue with reclining seats is that they are prone to breaking. Because these seats (and push buttons) are fragile, they can break apart anytime.
So, if a passenger does not deal with the plane with care, breaking up of reclining seats and push buttons can be the apparent result. At this point, the airplane will have to pay for its maintenance – or purchase a new one all over again.
On top of that, reclining seats are pretty heavy. In turn, this means that the airplane is consuming additional fuel if it has built-in reclining seats. Generally speaking, airplane seats weigh between 16 to 20 pounds – per passenger. Any weight that goes above this threshold means the plane will be consuming additional fuel.
That is why airplanes are better off without built-in reclining seats. Airplanes that do have reclining seats today have felt the additional cost that comes with these reclining seats. Therefore, more airplanes have already bid adieu to the classic reclining seats.