The rise (or fall) of lie-flat seating is creating shockwaves of new issues for longsuffering travellers. As soon as a man is lying flat the likelihood of his snoring increases by 95%, according to recent research released by the Brussels-based Institute for Inflight Snoring and Other Loud Noises.
Thus, every time an airline introduces a new range of lie-flat sleeper seats, the incidence of snoring interference with neighbouring passengers becomes incrementally greater. One flight attendant, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Sometimes up there it is like a symphony, with them all going at it hammer and tongs. All it needs is someone with a stick to wave at them and it could almost be music.”
But not everyone feels as generously disposed to the cacophony that often floods the business cabin. George Bypass, a regular flyer with long-haul carrier, Poubelle Airlines, stormed off a recent flight protesting that he had been unable to work or sleep owing to the vibrations throughout from heavy sleepers on both sides of him. “My air rights have been infringed”, he complained. “I aim to sue Poubelle Air for wrongful emissions,” he said.
A weary spokesperson for Poubelle Airlines said yesterday: “We are considering introducing licences to sleep on our lie-flat beds. Any passenger who cannot pass a stringent no-snore threshold will be required to sit up at no less than 45 degrees. This whole inflight saga is turning into a nightmare for some.”
Meanwhile, on the ground, Spanish Air Traffic Controllers’ Union chief Manuel Labour expressed alarm at the potential risk to safety that such loud vibrations could create. “We are considering strike action”, he said. “It is time to take a stand against these intrusions of surrounding airspace.”