Thai Airways International (THAI) says the limit on waist sizes for passengers, and ban on carrying infants on laps, in business class on its two Boeing 787-9 aircraft is a consequence of the installation of seat belt airbags for safety.
The national carrier added the two Boeing Dreamliners to its fleet in September last year and the aircraft manufacturer had installed new airbags on seatbelts for business class seats.
This meant that passengers with a waistline of over 56 inches (142.24cms) could not fasten these new seatbelt airbags, which meet US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety standards, Flt Lt Prathana Pattanasiri, vice president of THAI’s aviation safety, security and standards department said on Friday.
Passengers in those seats also could not carry infants on their laps.
This type of seatbelt could not be extended because of the airbag, Thai media reported. If extended, the belts could not be fitted with the airbags, which would help protect passengers if an accident occurred.
The restrictions on passengers had given rise to complaints on social media.
THAI issued the explanation in response.