American Airlines is reportedly planning to squeeze more seats onto its new Boeing 737 airplanes. Don’t expect a better fare however. Expect the same service with more knee pain and other discomfort. The reason, obviously, is to increase revenue on flights. More seats on planes equates to more income. And, as the news of late has demonstrated, the major carriers have not recently been too concerned with customer service or a quality experience.
In the economy section of the large carriers, legroom is typically around 30-31 inches. With the change, legroom will drop to 29 inches. That puts American Airlines on par with ultra low cost carriers. For tall passengers, this 1-2 inch difference is crucial. Currently, it’s 737 airplanes hold 160 passengers; that’ll be increasing to 170 passengers. Of course passengers can always pay for the privilege of more space, but not everyone can afford it.
The fees can add up. Remember many airlines – American Airlines included – are charging for overhead bin space with low cost fares. Everything these days is an add-on for an additional charge. The shrinking space is yet another attack on the common traveler.