U.S. Politics

It’s not your imagination. Airplane seats are shrinking.




Feeling increasingly cramped during your holiday travel? You’re not imagining it. Airlines and aircraft manufacturers have been oh-so-subtly slimming down their planes’ seats and facilities to squeeze in more passengers, The Wall Street Journal reports. The average flight now has 142 seats, compared with 137 two years ago, thanks to the installation of skinnier seats, tighter bathrooms, and smaller galleys to cram in more rows. Airbus, which makes planes for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, and many others, plans to boost the maximum number of passengers allowed on its A320 jets from 180 to 189, and from 220 to 240 on the A321. JetBlue’s A320 planes will increase to 162 seats from 150.

A key trick to packing in more people, The Journal notes, is using thinner backrests that give passengers more legroom but less overall seating space. The traditional seat afforded 32 total inches of space with 22 inches of legroom, while a typical new design gives just 30 inches of total space but 24 inches of legroom. While you can stretch your feet a bit more, there’s less distance between your nose and the head of the guy in front of you. Psychologists say it’s that lack of eye-level room that makes people feel so squished in.

Kelly Gonsalves


3 thoughts on “It’s not your imagination. Airplane seats are shrinking.

  1. My last flight of nearly a 1000 miles long (just over 3 1/2 hours in duration) had a seat that measured barely 19 inches wide. Which for me wasn’t a problem, until you count the man next to me who was significantly wider and spilled over onto passengers in both the window and isle seats. It was a new plane too. *Sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even at my “advanced” age I can handle the airline seats for three or four hours. It is the stupidly aggressive TSA “Security!” bullshit that keeps me from flying. I’ll take two or three 8-hour days in an automobile, bus, or train in preference to 20 minutes of surrendering my “personal space and DIGNITY” to some overbearing asshole who is probably unable to qualify for a stock-boy job at K-Mart.
    This dim-wit’s pawing of me is going to assure me that he knows how to keep a weapon from getting on the plane that I’m riding in? FBI inspection test-check reports prove that the TSA “security checkers'” frequently can’t find a hidden handgun, let alone a pound-or-two of C-4 explosive!
    Now that I’ve gotten that “off my chest” I’ll continue reading about gun-violence in American cities.
    P.S. I hope everyone had a peaceful Christmas…

    Liked by 1 person

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