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经济舱太挤?美议员力推飞机座位法案

更新时间:2016-3-8 11:01:43 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Fighting the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat
经济舱太挤?美议员力推飞机座位法案

Can plane seats get any smaller?

飞机上的椅子还能再小点儿么?

Those of us who prefer not to find out were cheered when a bill that would set minimum seat size standards for commercial airlines was proposed in early February by Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee. More recently, the issue received attention when Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said that he also wanted to set seat size standards.

2月初,田纳西州众议员史蒂夫·科恩(Steve Cohen)提出一项法案,规定商用客机上椅子的最小尺寸标准,我们这些不希望椅子更小的人太欢迎它了。前几天,纽约参议院查克·舒默(Chuck Schumer)说,他同样希望为椅子的尺寸设定标准,令个问题进一步引发人们的关注。

“People have gotten larger since seats were shrunk,” Mr. Cohen said during a February debate about his proposed amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act.

“人们的体型变得更大,椅子却在缩水,”2月,在为这项联邦航空管理局重新授权法案修正案所做的辩论上,科恩说。

Seats were 18 inches wide before airline deregulation in the 1970s and have since been whittled to 16 and a half inches, he said, while seat pitch used to be 35 inches and has decreased to about 31 inches. At the same time, the average man is 30 pounds heavier today than he was in 1960 (196 pounds compared with 166 pounds) and the average woman is 26 pounds heavier (166 pounds, up from 140 pounds), Mr. Cohen said, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smaller seats and larger passengers mean planes may not be capable of rapid evacuation in the event of an emergency, he said. “This affects safety and health.”

他说,在20世纪70年代放松管制之前,飞机上的座椅是18英寸宽(一英寸约合2.54厘米——译注),之后被减少为16.5英寸;座椅间隔曾经是35英寸,也被减少为31英寸。与此同时,科恩援引疾病控制与预防中心的数据说,现在的男性平均体重比1960年增加了30磅(从166磅增加到196磅);女性平均体重增加了26磅(从140磅增加到166磅)。椅子越来越小,旅客的体型却愈来愈大,这意味着机上有紧急情况时,可能难以迅速疏散,他说,“这会影响安全与健康。”

Representative Janice Hahn of California, a co-sponsor of the bill, added that passengers on cramped planes are getting in fights over products like the Knee Defender (about $22), the controversial clamps designed to attach to the arms of your tray table and prevent the person in front of you from reclining (possibly inciting a confrontation, though you can always hand your fellow passenger a Knee Defender Courtesy Card, which notes that you “realize that this may be an inconvenience”).

加利福尼亚州众议员詹尼斯·哈恩(Janice Hahn)也是这项法案的联名发起者,她补充说,拥挤飞机上的旅客会因为护膝器(Knee Defender,约22美元)吵起来,这种有争议的装置可以装在飞机旅客面前小桌的桌腿上,防止前面的旅客把椅子降下来(这样很可能会引起争吵,不过你可以递给前面的旅客一张“护膝器礼节卡”,上面写着“我知道这可能会为您带来不便”)。

During the debate, Representative Rick Nolan of Minnesota, among those who voted yes for the amendment, recalled seeing a man trying to squeeze into his seat and inadvertently pull the hair of the woman sitting in front of him. “And she’s screaming at him ’cause he pulled her hair, and he’s screaming at her for screaming at him and, I mean, it’s getting out of line.”

在这场争论中,明尼苏达州众议员里克·诺兰(Rick Nolan)也是这项修正案的赞同者,他记得自己曾经见过一个男人把自己挤进座位中去,还笨拙地扯了前座女人的头发。“她冲他尖叫,因为他扯了她的头发,他又冲女乘客尖叫,因为她冲他尖叫,我的意思是,一切都失控了。”

Alas, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted down Mr. Cohen’s Seat Egress in Air Travel Act of 2016, 33 to 26, on Feb. 11. But I’m still holding out hope. Mr. Cohen introduced the act as a stand-alone bill on Feb. 8 and plans to introduce it again as an amendment if or when the F.A.A. Reauthorization comes to the House floor for consideration, according to a spokesman for Mr. Cohen. On Feb. 28, Senator Schumer of New York announced that he would offer an amendment to the F.A.A. Reauthorization bill that would require seat-size standards. “The average passenger feels like they’re being treated as a sardine,” he said during a news conference. “Squeezed and squeezed and squeezed.”

不过,2月11日,众议院运输和基础设施委员会投票否决了科恩的《2016年空中交通座位出口法案33-26》。但我仍然抱有希望。科恩的发言人说,科恩这个法案是2月8日独立提出的,如果联邦航空管理局重新授权法案修正案进入众议院讨论,他还计划重新将这项提案作为修正案推出。2月28日,纽约参议院舒默宣布,他将就更改椅子尺寸标准的问题,向联邦航空管理局重新授权法案提出一项修正案。“乘客的一般感受就是自己好像沙丁鱼一样,”他在媒体见面会上说。“简直就是挤挤挤。”

Whatever happens, Mr. Cohen’s bill raises important questions. Smaller seats are doubtless uncomfortable and unfair to travelers who are especially tall or heavy. But are they also unsafe?

不管怎样,科恩的法案提出了一个重要问题。更小的椅子肯定很不舒服,对特别高大或肥胖的乘客来说也不公平,但它们也同样不安全吗?

There are two main concerns addressed by the Seat Egress in Air Travel Act: “economy class syndrome” (the condition experienced by travelers who develop deep vein thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot or clots, after long-distance flights) and the ability for passengers to safely evacuate a plane when they can barely get into their seats in the best of circumstances.

在空中交通座椅出口法案中,主要提出了两项顾虑,其一是“经济舱综合征”(经历长途飞行的乘客有可能诱发严重血栓),其二是乘客在环境良好的状态下都无法挤进椅子,一旦有危险又如何安全疏散的问题。

The risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism — a potentially life-threatening condition when a clot or part of a clot travels to the lungs — as a result of flying long distances appears to be real, though small. An average of one passenger in 6,000 will suffer from deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism after a long-haul flight, according to a study by the World Health Organization.

长途飞行诱发严重血栓或肺血栓——后者是指血栓运行到肺部,可能致命——这种危险虽小,但显然是真的。根据世界卫生组织研究,平均6000名乘客中,就有一名乘客经过长途飞行后,会患上严重血栓或肺血栓。

The American College of Chest Physicians said in its most recent guidelines on the topic that developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism as a result of long-distance travel is unlikely for most travelers but that certain factors may increase the risk. They include having already had the conditions, having cancer, recent surgery or trauma, immobility, advanced age, using estrogen, being pregnant, being obese, and sitting in a window seat (because it can limit mobility). That said, when the American College of Chest Physicians issues guidelines it also grades them based on the quality of the evidence used to generate its recommendations. The group’s guidelines on this particular topic are graded 2C, which acknowledges that the evidence is of low quality.

美国胸内科学院就这一问题公布的最新指导文件称,大多数乘客不会因为长途飞行导致严重血栓或肺血栓,但是有些特定因素会增加风险。其中包括已经患有血栓、患癌、最近接受过外科手术或曾遭受精神创伤、瘫痪、年老、使用雌激素、怀孕、肥胖,以及坐靠窗座位(因为活动更为不便)。当美国胸内科学院公布各种指导文件时,还会根据证据的质量对之进行分级 。这一问题的指导文件分级是2C,也就是说,证据质量相当低。

It’s worth noting that deep vein thrombosis is not confined to air travel. “Anyone traveling more than four hours, whether by air, car, bus, or train, can be at risk for blood clots,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help prevent clots, the C.D.C. suggests moving your legs frequently and exercising your calf muscles.

值得注意的是,严重血栓并不局限在坐飞机旅行之中。“乘坐飞机、轿车、巴士及火车旅行多于四小时以上者均有风险罹患血栓,”疾病控制与预防中心称。为了预防血栓,疾病控制与预防中心建议经常活动双腿,锻炼小腿肌肉。

The other major safety concern Mr. Cohen raised is the ability of passengers to exit a plane in the event of an emergency.

科恩关心的另一项安全问题是旅客紧急情况下的疏散问题。

“The F.A.A. requires that planes be capable of rapid evacuation in case of emergency,” he said in a statement when the bill was voted down, “yet they haven’t conducted emergency evacuation tests on all of today’s smaller seats. That’s unacceptable.”

“联邦航空管理局要求飞机在紧急状况下能够迅速疏散,”他在自己的提案经投票否决后发表的声明中说,“但他们并没有就如今狭小的座椅进行紧急疏散测试。这是不可接受的。”

At issue, Mr. Cohen said, is that the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t conducted emergency evacuation tests on airlines with a distance between rows of less than 29 inches. And the House sets no safety standards for seat width or pitch. The consumer rights group FlyersRights.org said in late February that “it has been years since airlines have been required to conduct these tests, and back then, they used young, fit employees to conduct the tests. Any aircraft that has subsequently reduced seat width or pitch, or has added seats per row, should be required to recertify to the 90-second evacuation standard for that configuration, using volunteers from the general population, conforming to demographic standards, without prior training in aircraft evacuation, and with those tests supervised by the F.A.A.”

科恩说,争议在于联邦航空管理局没有针对飞机上座椅间距小于29英寸的情况进行紧急状况疏散测试。众议院也没有就座椅宽度和距离制定安全标准。消费者权利团体FlyersRights.org在2月说,“多年来,飞行需要进行各种测试,在过去,他们雇佣年轻健康的雇员进行测试。航空公司如果后来缩减座椅宽度和座椅间距,抑或在每一行增加座椅,就应该改变90秒钟的疏散标准,并且使用符合人口平均标准,没有进行过飞机疏散培训的人员进行测试,而且这些测试都应当在联邦航空管理局监督下进行。”

Since the introduction of Mr. Cohen’s bill, it has garnered a few more supporters, including Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York and Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia.

科恩提出这项法案之后赢得了若干支持者,其中包括纽约众议员查尔斯·B·兰格尔(Charles B. Rangel)和哥伦比亚特区众议员伊利诺·霍默斯·诺顿(Eleanor Holmes Norton).

Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican, also signed on to the bill as a co-sponsor, joining several Democrats.

伊利诺斯共和党众议员亚当·金津格(Adam Kinzinger)也和若干民主党员一起,作为联合发起者在法案上签名。

“I hope to see this go through the House with bipartisan support,” he said in a statement.

“我希望它能获得两党支持,在众议院获得通过,”他在一份声明中说。

So do thousands of fliers on both sides of the aisle.

飞机过道两侧成千上万的乘客们也这么想。

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