I'm 6-feet tall and even I find airplane seats too high. My feet barely touch the ground when I sit upright. Why can't they make the seat cushion as low as a living room couch?

  • $\begingroup$ What aircraft are you asking about? Most of the aircraft I have flown have adjustable seats, and some sit very low to the floor of the aircraft regardless of how much you adjust them. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Feb 7, 2017 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ Which seats are you asking about? The pilot seats, or the passenger seats? $\endgroup$ Feb 7, 2017 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ I was referring to the passenger seats :P To a layman, it appears if they make it lower like car seats, it wouldn't sacrifice safety, and it would be more comfortable for short people. It's not good for blood flow when the feet cannot touch the ground. I find it more comfortable sitting in a car seat for a few hours vs. sitting in an airplane seat. $\endgroup$
    – aerocan
    Feb 7, 2017 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ Because your couch doesn't have an ejection charge installed underneath it, while your airliner seat does. (Didn't you know?) $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2021 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ I also imagine you might find there's a considerable difference between the seats in first class and those in coach :-) $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Mar 24, 2021 at 19:03

2 Answers 2


The short answer,

Your couch is made for you to fall asleep on, watch football from, and generally be of any non determinant shape since no couch (as far as I know) carries a type certificate.

Aircraft seats are designed to fit as many passengers as is legally allowed and practically possible while still passing the 16G tests the FAA imposes. The 16G requirement is largely for your safety.

Most pilot seats are in some way adjustable up/down and forward/back depending on the age of your aircraft.



You don't have someone sitting behind your couch trying to shove their luggage under it.


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