April 17, 2014
THE SIMPLEST THINGS, sometimes, make a noticeable difference.
I’ve brought this up in my prior critiques of economy class ergonomics, but let me ask it again: why don’t U.S. air carriers equip their seat-backs with cup holders?
I’m talking about the snap-down holders available on both Airbus and Boeing models. Most of the major Asian, Middle Eastern and European carriers have them, but I have never seen a cup holder on an American airline. Not once. Why?
It’s nice to have your beverage there in front of you without having to deploy the entire tray. There’s a lot more room to move around, and getting in and out of the seat is easier. As a bonus, you can use the thing as a hook for your headset or earbud cord.
I know, I know, of all the things to complain about. It’s hardly a big deal, but considering the minimal costs involved, why the hell not?
And I’d apply the same sentiment to, for instance, a slightly raised edge on the front of your tray table to keep items from sliding into your lap during turbulence. Just a quarter inch would do the trick. (Gravity, we expect, is something that the people who design airplane interiors are at least vaguely familiar with, though sometimes I wonder.) I can’t imagine the extra cost would be more than a penny or two, if anything at all.
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