Have you ever wondered why your airplane seat never quite seems to line up with the nearest window — forever threatening to foil your perfect "I'm about to land on this gorgeous island while you're at work, sucker" photo?
It turns out there's actually a simple explanation — and it's not anything related to the mechanics of aviation, as you might expect.
According to Today I Found Out, which explains everyday phenomena in plain-spoken videos, the seats are arranged however the airlines want after the planes' construction. And airlines care way more about maximizing their profits than they do about your darn 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.
Planes have multiple tracks on the floors on which the seats mount, which allows them to be moved closer together or farther apart as needed.
"As is readily apparent to anyone who’s flown recently... airlines are increasingly less about the comfort of their customers, who often have little other choice but to take planes for fast, long-distance travel, and more about how much money can be sucked out of each flight," according to the video. "Since passenger seating is the biggest money maker for airlines, they try to cram as many seats, and therefore as many potential customers, as possible on a plane."
So there you have it: You have to crane your neck to look out the window as a matter not of aviation science — but merely of dollars and cents.
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