Coach Gets More Crowded

November 9, 2014

airline seats“Skinny is all the rage on the runway right now,” writes The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 29, 2014). Delta, United, American, Southwest and other airlines around the world have installed seats with trim metal frames and ultrathin cushions, squeezing rows closer together to pack more people on each flight. Three-quarters of Delta’s domestic fleet and 1/4 of United’s now have the new slim-line seating. The lightweight seats—and even some new, skinnier bathrooms—improve airlines’ bottom line, with less fuel burned per passenger and more tickets sold per flight. (The new seats weigh just 24 pounds per passenger, or 30% less than traditional models). But passengers can feel the pinch: Some complain about stiff padding and knee-knocking issues, and liken flying in the new seat to squeezing next to strangers on a crowded park bench. Continue reading