Thai Airways Institutes 'Waist Requirements' on Its New 787s
Thai Airways is instituting a rule for passengers in business class on some of its aircraft. The Nation Thailand is reporting that passengers with waist sizes larger than 56 inches cannot fly in business class on the airline's new Boeing 787-9.
Thai Airways received two 787-9 Dreamliners in September 2017 from AerCap, an airline leasing company.
Flight Lieutenant Pratthana Pattanasirim, Thai’s director of security and flight standard division, told The Nation that new seat belts and an airbag system were installed in business class on the -9s, in accordance with US Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations.
Thai publications had been running stories about the airline banning overweight passengers from flying on the airline. But, in reality its because the seat belt contains an airbag — the restraint can't be extended anymore than 56 inches.
Pattanasirim added that the new business class seatbelts couldn't accommodate adults flying with children on their lap either. Thai's 787-9s feature 30 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.
The FAA downgraded Thai Airways' safety rating from a category 1 to a category 2 in 2015 after the UN raised a red flag over safety issues. The International Civil Aviation Organization removed the red flag in October 2017, prompting Thai to considering a return to the US.