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Passengers feel the squeeze as planes take off with more seats, less elbow room

Feel like your coach seat on an overseas flight is a tighter squeeze? You're probably right. Airlines already have been wedging in more passengers by swapping heavily padded seats for ones with thinner backs or reducing the distance between rows. On wide-body aircraft typically used on international flights and certain long domestic routes, some now are adding an extra seat to each row. ( More...

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ADXbear 8
Sadly, i stopped flying die ro the discomfort and hassel to go to the airport...i just drive x country and see the country side... flying is a discusting trying experience no longer tolerated, more peopme will do the same..

Im sick of the walmart mentality that drives these situations
Sharyn ONeil 5
My REAL concern is the ability for passengers to evacuate the plane in an emergency. All those people stuffed inside a metal tube now in a panic mode and are now doing trip, stumble and fall while attempting to get the hell out of Dodge. That's a real concern in a fire, floating on Hudson or where the plane finally stops.
sparkie624 1
I agree... LOL... that is one reason that I like the window seat right by that door. I have taken out thousands of them in the process of MX... LOL, The hardest thing for me is to throw it out of the A/C as I am usually doing my best to not damage it as I would be the one repairing it... LOL!
sparkie624 3
What is wrong with my comment, Why was this down voted? I was simply stating that in an emergency I would be very capable of opening the door as I have done so, so many times before and that from my training of taking care of the a/c it would be hard to throw it out!
Gayla Maas 0
Evidently, someone is voting down the comments of anyone that has made a reference to weight and it being a safety hazard for evac., in this thread. I'm guessing whoever is doing it is over "standard weight". LOL

Seriously folks....Instead of getting upset, or voting down because you chose to be offended, realize that you put not only yourself at risk when you are on an air carrier, but you put all of the other passengers at risk too. This isn't about "your feelings", it is about SAFETY, and could literally mean the difference between "life and death".
a1brainiac 5
I hate to think how long a total evacuation would take with such cramped should be a safety concern.
sparkie624 1
They already had an incident a few years ago on a 757 with a Windshield fire... Evacuated over the wing... One lady got stuck... She was too far in to back out and not a far enough in to get completely out... This caused a safety risk to everyone on board and if it had been a major fire in cabin, people WOULD HAVE DIED because of her... People of that size should have to prove they can get through that size of space and if they cannot then they would be denied boarding... IMO!
Agree with practically every comment below. Been flying for 60+ years, but now have a motorhome and time. Don't fly unless absolutely necessary. AS DT would say - SAD.
Wayne Fox 3
I have a motorhome too. It gets a bit wet inside when I drive to Europe or Hawaii though.
sparkie624 1
You must have forgotten the "Floats" Option! :) LOL!
indy2001 3
I'm 6'4" and my wife is 5'10", so both of us would be cramped in these new seats. That's why we never travel coach if we can avoid it. For flights up to 3 hours, we pay for premium coach. Any longer than that and it's business or first class for us. Since most of our trips these days are for pleasure, why start and end a vacation with a miserable experience? If we can't afford it, we just go elsewhere. That said, we are planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand next year and we know that it's going to be very expensive. But we incorporated that extra expense into our plans.
Mike Davis 3
I'm almost exactly the same. I've been forced to pay for "premium economy" to get adequate leg room. My knees touch the seat frame in front in normal seating position in steerage and if the person in front of me is actually able to recline the seatback, their hair is under my nose. I love flying, but I'm making a LOT more long drives in-country these days. I don't get a "SSSS" search at the gas stations -- yet, either. The real problem on many airlines now is that the extra-room seating is often sold out and there is nothing but 1st class available.

Seating is determined and installed by each airline, not by Boeing or Airbus or Embraer. I can say that Southwest is pretty good and most Embraer seats are tight but reasonable. Stay away from United and Delta, especially the 757's.
BobRose 2
Should not have to pay excessive fees because you are 6' 4" tall. The airlines are cramming people in and upping the fees when the cost of fuel came down. There should be fewer seats and more leg and seat room in economy.
sparkie624 1
No, But if you are 6' 4" around the waist, you should have to pay for the 2nd seat that you steal from someone else!
Bernie20910 3
It's not going to stop until government regulations force the airlines to observe minimum standards. If they don't, eventually it's going to reach the point where you book the flight, provide a DNA sample and they clone you at the other end, along with the other 5,000 passengers on your flight.
Mike Davis -3
No government regs. We're eliminating those useless things.
Robert Wilke 6
Mike, I hate regulations but the airlines are already regulated by the FAA. Lack of appropriate seat space is a safety issue in the event of an accident.
Dave Fisher 2
"I hate regulations"
me, too... shit, who needs best-before dates on food, seat belts and safety glass in automobiles, lead-free rivers and lakes. damn gubment just gets in the way of doin' bidness...
Bernie20910 0
If it says "best before", it's the manufacturer who decided to put it on there, not the government. About the only things "the government" requires a date on is dairy products, and that's a state or local requirement, not federal, and will say things like "sell by" or "may not be offered for sale after".
Dave Fisher 0
"it's the manufacturer who decided to put it on there, not the government."
the best-before date is a government regulation administered by the FDA... (google is your friend)
Bernie20910 0
Google is often wrong.!ut/p/a1/jZFfT4MwFMU_DY-lF5kL842QmA0duCw61hdTRltISkvaTqKf3vrvYWbo2qd7-ju5955igitMFH3pBHWdVlR-1GT-DBuYR4sM8nIR3cKqeNqUd1kGyfbaA_s_gCK-0D9xUvjPn1_Q4Mqss7XAZKCuRZ3iGleCOUSVHZmxuOJaN8hSztwr4vTgkG0Zcz8PktZMdkp8l4PRzdEzjY9oStxhcjoWRP6uing7W-ZFDOXsN3Amty9gOhi_uZC6_vykfarqOPErGsaZYSY8Gi-3zg32JoAAxnEMhdZCsvCg-wDOWVptHa5OSTz0j9XbfbqE7qHfJTZ9B_9fjN8!/#2
sparkie624 2
I agree... A lot we need, a lot we don't and sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.
Rene Kunz 3
Mike, the now primarily US airlines services disaster had its beginning with the government deregulation, 'The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978'! Having air traveled 2 million+ miles, primarily job related travel within the USA and Intercontinental since 1968, I certainly experienced the onset and increase of air travel pains and calamities shortly thereafter. You might be too young to know that air travel as well as 'direct and non-stop flights' service (none of this hubs utilization) before the deregulation was more than acceptable and in most cases enjoyable.
Robert Wilke 3
I now drive to any place that I can reach in five and sometimes six hours or less. If I fly domestically, I'm almost forced to use Delta (Detroit based) but will jump on JetBlue or Southwest when possible.

Internationally, I try to book through Delta on a flight that is operated by Virgin Atlantic. You get a lot more leg room and real meals in Coach. Very attentive and friendly flight attendants too!

Delta, American and United all treat their Coach customers like they are doing them a favor. I HATE those airlines.
Wayne Fox 3
If you are not wealthy or can not write the more expensive seats in business class you are in the cattle class seats. I can recall a time where flying was sort of sexy and the airlines supported that. But I believe in the late 70's or early 80's we had people express discount airline where you could actually pay your discount fare right on the plane. It has been a downward spiral since then as far as customer convenience and comfort.
Wayne Fox 2
I meant write off the business class seat. Also there is always Amtrack. I love riding the train long distance. Economy seats are still wide and comfortable plus you get to see America without the strain of driving. People just seem to have the time to travel anymore.
Sam Johnson 5
My wife and I flew back from Europe to the US on a United flight. The seat cushion was so broken down that my butt was sore within 2 hours. We decided to keep our travels within North America so we bought our own plane and had the interior upgraded to be comfortable for us. No TSA checks required, no lines, no 2 hour ahead of time arrival & nobody kicking the back of our seats. No more commercial flights for us.
Robert Wilke 1
Private is definitely the way to go. Most people don't have that option, especially with crew and maintenance costs. If you pilot the aircraft and it is rated for single pilot operation, that is definitely an advantage.
hamishduno227 4
Depends on the size of the person and how big they are. No offence but most carriers make over weight passengers pay extra for seats because of the obesity.
Joao Ponces 3
Overweight? What about oversized? Who decides? The World is NOT the USA! Most of the World's population is Asian, and they are less then 1,70m big! I am European, 1,80m and even before, some seats were just impossible! Now, I can't hardly imagine!
30west 2
I prefer "over standard" to "over weight", after all this is an aviation related site and in aviation we have standard temperature and standard altimeter setting defined.
Jeff Carey 4
Over weight is over weight. I prefer calling it what it is
sparkie624 1
I agree... I remember years ago I was on a flight that I got the last seat. 2 big FAT guys with both armrests up and I was assigned to seat between them. I had less than 1/2 asset due to their extreme obese size. I am a small person but really. I was sitting on my side (no kidding). The Flight Attendant recognized me (I worked maintenance at the station and knew all the crews) and she told me that the captain would like to talk to me and asked if I would mind flying the Jump Seat... LOL, I wasted no time.. Got in the cockpit, and the captain laughed as he told me he heard what a tight fit that I was in... We laughed about it... But really...

On another flight that I was working on a Dash 8-100 I had a Flight Attendant call and ask for 3 more Seat Belt Extenders... I advised her that I did the line check on the a/c the night before and she had what was required. She advised me that was not the case that she needed 3 more because of a TOPS (Take Off Pounds Since-ably) group that was flying out and she had 12 extremely fat people on board. One lady was so fat that she could not turn around in the aircraft, she waked up the stairs (no jetway) sideways and found herself pointed in the wrong direction. Had to walk back out all the way down, turn around and back up the stairs. She required 2 seat belt extenders...

I agree with Jeff... call it like it is.. FAT IS FAT and I don't care who you are. I do not believe or participate in Political Correctness... That is a lot of what is wrong with out country. IMHO!
ADXbear 4
Im fat.. buy two seats when i do fly and people get pissed off when they see how much room i have.. some want to use part of my seat..heck no..i want all of my double fee seating.. and a mechanic jumpseatimg? I think not... im a dispatcher.and know better.
sparkie624 1
Why not a Mechanic Jump Seating... I prefer the back, but the front is good experience for a mechanic.. Get to see how the crews break the planes that I have to fix.. :)
Tom Bruce 4
hate flying nowadays...was road warrior for 25 years... on elite lists, always got upgraded but it still sucked.. cramming more seats into these planes leads to more discomfort, more rage, more bad experiences...
jbqwik 6
Agree, and pretty sad; my eager love for flying slowly turned to hate. That experience was one reason I retired.
Mike Mohle 5
It still sucks. More than ever, and people are getting larger and larger while the seats get smaller.
Eric Schminke 2
The first course of action would be for airlines to stop cramming more seats on any aircraft, using the seating configuration designed by the manufacturer. As I recall, this started with the DC-10 where the coach section had a 2-4-2 configuration. Well, some airlines decided to stick in a center seat to make it 2-5-2. I remember a Northwest advertisement showing that while other airlines added the 9th seat, NW retained the 2-4-2 configuration. I remember taking a World Airways DC-10 that used a 3-5-3 configuration. Geez Louise. I also remember the coach section in 747s (100 & 200 series) being 3-4-2. Now it's 3-5-3. It would've been great regulation to force airlines to reconfigure their coach sections, with safety & comfort obviously both being motivators.
Edgar Murphy 2
So how wide is wide? How can you write about wide and narrow without reference to a standard measurement? Do you not own a tape measure?
Gayla Maas 2
Used to be, Weight and Balance was figured at each person weighing 170 lbs. So, for every person that weighed 200, there was a gal, or smaller guy that weighed 140. Now, they consider W&B at 200 per person. So now, the smaller folks are what used to be "average". Yet, even knowing that average increase in size, they want smaller seats? It really does come down to a safety issue, in case of evacuation, but not being packed like a sardine would be nice from a comfort standard too.
sparkie624 0
I think that they should use real weight and balance.. Everyone stands on the scale. Scans their ticket so the computer knows where they are sitting... That way if a BFG is n=in the last row, the flight attendant can advise her that they need to move a few hundred pounds to the front of the a/c and would she mind moving...
Gayla Maas 0
Works with assigned seating, but what about those that do not have that? I have no problem with the getting on the scales part, but it could be hard to calculate the CG, even then, on some carriers. Now, I wouldn't mind paying according to your weight, because I prefer to keep my weight in the 140 or less range. I hope that you were not implying that I was "a BFG". :-)
sparkie624 1
BFG - LOL... Just a general term... No one in particular! There are a lot of ladies who fit that description... Like the one I saw a number of years ago that needed 2 (TWO) seat belt Extenders and 2 First Class Seats and had to walk into the plane sideways and that was a squeeze...
Gayla Maas 1
We've all seen them! Hence my smiley! If it were within my power, I'd ban those like you mentioned, on safety grounds alone. But can you imagine the squealing and the things those banning would be called?

Cheers, Sparkie!
sparkie624 0
If you have to raise the armrest to sit comfortably... YOU ARE TOO WIDE... Forget political correctness.. YOU ARE TOO FAT!
Joao Ponces 2
This is absolutely stupid! They should separate Low Cost Airlines from the main! When people are flying Low Cost, they know already.
Fortunately, some civilized Airlines such as JAL here in Japan, are going the opposite way, and are providing MORE space, instead of less!
Rene Kunz 2
Special and cheap airfare aficionados and masses with most airlines now serving their desires are the culprits. Greyhound bus travel is more comfortable now!
with a 6'4" size and shoulders like 24" i have no choice but to plunk in the middle seat and make the person left and right from me so miserable that they stand near the toilet the length of the flight, but seriously i wonder were these idiots running the airlines get their data from, people get bigger and taller that's a given in a prosperous country like the US, why do they like to keep waterboarding the customers?


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