Poor Seat Position Turns Passenger Into Zombie

October 19, 2014

in Seat Stories

I’m was on a school trip in China. We were using all sorts of transport, but for this leg we flew. Despite the fact that I was only sixteen and female, I was the tallest person in the group by a fair bit (I’m 5’7″).

We flew Dragonair which is an internal Chinese airline. When we arrived at the gate to board, the stewardess stopped just me from boarding. My passport number hadn’t ended up on the ticket; we thought it was added at the check-in counter but apparently not. My Chinese teacher ripped them a new one and I was allowed on. That’s when the true hell started.

It appeared that for some reason the airplane had been modified. The seats had been moved closer together than we were used to. Everyone else just sat down gingerly for the flight and promptly fell asleep. But when I sat down I realised that my legs were too long and my knees were going to dig into the seat in front of me. At the same time, because of how I had to sit to get my legs in the space between the seats, the top of the headrest was level with the base of my skull.

I put up with the awkward position until we took off when I swung my legs out into the aisle just a bit. I wasn’t blocking the aisle or anything, but the flight attendant immediately ran up and told me to move. I tried to explain that I couldn’t sit comfortably facing straight on, but her English wasn’t good and neither was my Chinese. So in the end, while everyone in my group caught up on sleep through the flight, I sat wedged into this seat holding myself perfectly rigged so my head didn’t rest on the top of the seat.

We arrived at our destination and were picked up by our guide for a day of sightseeing. For the entire day I was a snappish walking zombie. Great way to see the world.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

James October 20, 2014 at 8:22 am

Sounds awful — Drgonair A320's have a seat pitch of 29-30 inches. Even Ryanair, known for its sardine packing, has a minimum of 30 inches of pitch between seats.


Realist November 5, 2014 at 12:43 am

This is BS, Dragonair are part of the Cathay Pacific group based on HongKong. They run an excellent airline as can be seen by the awards they win every year. I'm 5'11" and over 200 pounds, fly all over Asia on business and have never had an issue with seat size on Dragonair. The headrest is adjustable so can be moved to a higher position, although at 5'7" I don't see how it would be necessary.


Max November 10, 2014 at 4:53 am

Some of their old A320s are really bad


Max November 10, 2014 at 4:47 am

I've flown that configuration of the Dragonair a320. The seat are really hard, the top of the seat was only up to my head and the legroom was appalling. But the food and service was really good!


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