For air passengers who love to look at the wide blue sky, few things are more frustrating than finding your carefully selected window seat and realising there’s no window next to it. It seems that in every few rows on a commercial jet, the windows don’t quite line up with the seats. That's how the window become pretty much useless.
It turns out there's actually a simple explanation. It's not anything related to the mechanics of aviation, as you might expect.
Vlogger Simon Whistler tackled this issue on the “Today I Found Out” YouTube channel. It turns out that airplanes are designed with general row positioning and spacing recommendations that align with the airplane windows. However, airlines rarely follow those recommendations.
Airlines care way more about maximizing their profits than they do about your view.
"While airplane manufacturers do design the planes with general row positioning and pitch in mind, with the windows often lining up with the seats, the designers’ exact recommended arrangement is rarely, if ever, followed. You see, the final placement of seats is left up to the individual airlines that purchase the plane," the video says.
Airlines usually disregard those recommendations in favour of their own seating plans. Usually they can squeeze more and more rows of seats into the aircraft and decrease the seat pitch, or legroom, in order to raise more revenue and keep fares competitive.
Tracks on the floor of aircraft cabins allow rows of seats to be pushed closer together or further apart at the airline’s discretion. It is also up to the airline to decide what seating configuration is used, such as a 3-4-3 arrangement, a 2-3-2.
Next time you find yourself face-to-face with the wall of the airplane, instead of a beautiful blue sky, at least you'll know who to blame.Also find out why there are tiny holes in airplane windows: