Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
13 November 2017
Airline seating tightening with no recourse
Airline seating is worsening and there’s nothing you can do about it. Yes, the airlines have us in a headlock and we’re all basically powerless to do anything about it.
The typical airline seating today sports 30 inches of leg room. Sprint shrinks it to 28 inches while American Airlines’ new planes drop to 29 inches. That’s not all. Some of the long-haul jets increase the number of seats in the middle to four wide, meaning two middle seats.
The old cliché? They’re squeezing us in like sardines in a can? Airline seating feels more like a trash compactor.
It’s all for the sake of profits. More passengers means more money for the airlines, so they’re gonna fit as many as they can into the tightest possible spot.
“You think it’s already bad out there with physical and verbal fights happening every day? It’s gonna be Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral now.”
Tighter airline seating creates more animosity
But what can we do about it? The airlines, for all their brand problems, walk us into this trap. There are only a few of them anymore, so competition can’t save us. Many of us are beholden to loyalty programs.
Think about this. Years ago, the airlines start charging for checked luggage. So, where there’s an action there’s also a reaction. The reactions emerge as passengers bring oversized luggage on the plane. Fights ensue over overhead space. You think it’s already bad out there with physical and verbal fights happening every day? It’s gonna be Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral now.
There’s only one alternative to the airline seating issue, which represents a long shot. Airlines need stronger regulation. Congress enacts laws to protect passenger rights. The Department of Transportation expanded passenger protections six years ago. But those laws only go as far as lost luggage, additional fees and delays. Nothing about stacking passengers on top each other.
The passenger anger will only increase. However, that just means there’s opportunity for an airline to take advantage by being the anti-airline.
But none of them will do it. They don’t have any reason to. We’re trapped, tight airline seating and all.
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