Coach seats on airplanes are 'death traps,' report says

Daily Beast's investigation includes 900 documents

An independent news organization has researched reports regarding the size of airplane seating, and its findings led it to call coach-class seating a "death trap."

The Daily Beast says dense, shrunken seat space does not do a safe enough job of allowing passengers to move quickly in the event of emergencies. DB's investigation found the FAA nor Boeing is disclosing evacuation test data "for the newest (and most densely seated) versions of the most widely used jet, the Boeing 737."

It also found tests to ensure all passengers may safely leave a cabin are "dangerously outdated." They do not reflect how densely packed coach class seating has become, the report says.

"No coach class seat meets the Department of Transportation's own standard for space required to make a flight attendant's seat safe in an emergency," the DB reports. And a judge in a case brought by the Flyers Rights activist organization said there is "plausible life-and-death safety concern" about the "densification" of coach seating.

The Daily Beast's report says that court "complained that the FAA had used outdated studies to argue that no change was needed" for how tests are performed, and it refused to release results of tests.

The DB looked at 900 pages of Department of Transportation documents; go here to see its full report.

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