Kieran Healy imagines air travel as a triumph of socialism

kieran-healyA recent article in The Economist highlights KIE faculty Kieran Healy’s research into what an airplane would look like if the space were allocated in proportion to American socio-economic tiers.

What has happened to make Business Class more cramped? The answer is to be found in Ruling Class. Sorry, I mean, First Class. On Air Gini, those eight most-valued passengers—three and a half percent of those on board—get thirty five percent of the available seating space. That’s a lot of legroom. So much, in fact, that as First Class passengers have spread out to take up the first third of the plane, Air Gini has been forced to replace the luxurious Business Class seats in the real-life configuration with still-comfortable but noticeably smaller chairs.