American Airlines Plans to Reduce Legroom Again Because Flying Is Hell

You can kiss this jet’s butt for all they care. (Photo via AP Images.)
You can kiss this jet’s butt for all they care. (Photo via AP Images.)

Modern aviation is a miracle. Unfortunately, it is a miracle accompanied by irritations small and large that have gradually built to something truly dreadful, like looking down to see every finger has several paper cuts and suddenly you’re being dunked in a vat of lemon juice that sears every one of them.


CNNMoney reports on the latest tiny maddening slice to your flesh:

American Airlines (AAL) is planning to decrease the front-to-back space between some of its economy class seats by another two inches.

The airline says it plans to add more seats on its coming Boeing (BA) 737 Max jetliners. To do that, it will shrink the distance between seats, also known as pitch, from 31 inches to 29 inches on three rows of the airplane, and down to 30-inches in the rest of its main economy cabin.

The pub puts it into context:

With the change, American will become the first large U.S. carrier to offer legroom with a pitch that’s nearly on par with ultra-low cost carriers Spirit Airlines (SAVE) and Frontier Airlines. Those seats are an industry minimum 28-inches apart.

By comparison, economy class pitch on Delta Air Lines(DAL) and United ranges between 30 and 31 inches, while JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Alaska Airlines (ALK) have between 31 and 33 inches.

Skift explains that all over the industry, airlines are trying to cram more and more seats into planes—hence the shrinking legroom. Oh, and back to CNN Money: “United Airlines (UAL) is considering a similar move, according to a person briefed on its evaluations. United declined to comment.” Yeah, definitely seems like a good time for those guys to try something nobody will like.

So happy for anybody with a fetish for being crammed into a tin can with the maximum possible number of strangers, though!

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JujyMonkey: unstable genius

I give it six months before we’re all just stuffed in dog crates with shredded newspaper inside and stacked in the hold next to our luggage.