Monday, August 20, 2012

Air Travel: Cutting Us All Off At the Knees

Its not your imagination. The pitch--or distance--between economy seats has gotten even tighter in the last several months. A number of news outlets today are reporting that Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and Canada's Westjet have added more seats, reducing the distance between the existing ones in order to do so. Southwest is claiming that passengers won't notice, since its more slimly padded seats give customers more knee room. Um, really?

In some cases (such as with United Airlines), the squeeze has to do with the new "Premium Economy" seats. In order to give passengers who pay more a few additional inches, they've had to reduce the allotted amount from the cheap seats. Sigh.

Which airline has the most tightly packed seating? No mystery, its that scion of consumer friendliness, Spirit Airlines which shaves an inch of the industry standard of 29 inches. Just to give you some perspective on how little room that is: the industry standard was 32 inches a decade ago.

What more is there to say except: AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!


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