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How the March 2013 cover feature works in the real world

Reading Aircraft Interiors International is time well spent, and I must commend the editorial crew for such a glamorous exhibition of professionalism.

I was going through the March print edition when I got attracted to the captivating headline on the front cover: 'Common ground – are both sexes getting all they need from the inflight experience?' I may not have experienced some female facilities inflight or sex favouritism, but I have certainly had one experience I wish could be taken care of.

Each time I flip through the pages of these magazines, I always think the contents are borne out of imagination or some nice Photoshoping, considering the sophisticated nature of the technology. But on second thoughts, I believe they are real and only meant for the super rich and those highly placed in society. I have not had the opportunity to fly business or first class to really experience these luxuries, but I think economy class should be given a fair treatment as well.

Only recently, I booked a domestic flight in Nigeria and opted for my usual economy class fare, and ended up with a middle seat. The lady next to me (window) was so naturally endowed with flesh that her seat couldn’t contain her. I had to adjust the armrest between us so she could be a bit comfortable for the duration of the 45-minute flight. Just before the announcements, I remember I had a copy of the March edition of Aircraft Interiors International and decided to go through the pages again. I saw some very spacious seats that would have accommodated her conveniently if they were used in economy class.

My candid opinion and suggestion is for the industry to consider people with bigger body structures when designing seats in economy class. A couple of extra-large seats for a particular aircraft would just be fine.

 

When it comes to convenience while travelling, I don’t think any stone should be left unturned, especially one involving long hours. Reading 'Creative Difference' by Aubrey Cohen (page 40), you cannot prevent men or women from carrying bags, so adequate room should be made for those bags without reducing leg room or inconveniencing other passenger or affecting aisle access.

According to Diego Kolsky, creative director and partner at MBLM in the feature, he doesn’t expect cabins to be designed specifically with gender in mind. But in my opinion, I think customer satisfaction is paramount, regardless of gender or disabilities. If it weren’t so, there wouldn’t be need for the Paralympics since the Olympics is already in place.

 

30 April 2013

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