Airbus to offer wider seats for overweight U.S. travelers

In case you missed it this week:

In talks with U.S. carriers, Airbus is offering to equip its popular A320 aircraft with wider seat.

In turn, airlines would charge their larger passengers an extra fee to sit in the 20-inch seat.

Typically, seats on an A320 are 18 inches wide, an inch bigger than those on a Boeing Co. 737. The cabin of an A320 is about 7.5 inches wider than that of a 737. Carriers that pick the 20-inch seats would place those on the aisle, alongside 17-inch middle and window seats.

Airbus, of course, is in a fierce competition with Boeing for the single-aisle jet market.

The European jet maker has approached U.S. carriers about the bigger seats since more than one-third of American adults are considered obese, according to recent studies. That figure could rise to 42 percent by 2030.

Airbus officials said the wider seats aren’t just for the obese but also could be used by passengers traveling with children or anyone who wants additional room.

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