More Airlines Shrinking Legroom for Coach Seats - Because There's So Much Already?
… So They Can Expand Their Premium Seats, and Their Profits
Unless you're flying business or first class, airline travel is already an uncomfortable (to downright anxiety-producing) prospect. Sadly, on two airlines, it's about to get worse.
JetBlue and WestJet airlines are planning to cut space from their already cramped rows of coach seating and use the space to add rows of seats with more leg room, i.e. more profits for the companies, CNN.com reports.
The move is most surprising from JetBlue, which has billed itself as the airline that is most concerned with customer -- all customers -- comfort. But it's going to cut its legroom in regular seating from 33 to 32 inches in 11 rows, and add two more rows of seats with 38 inches of legroom near the front of the cabin.
Those extra seats, with the extra legroom, will allow JetBlue to earn an additional $150 million, CNN reports.
Meanwhile, WestJet is making a similar play, shaving an inch of legroom from its regular seats and adding four rows of seats with 36 inches of legroom to its fleet of 737 airplanes by the end of the year.
WestJet's regular seats will now have 31 or 32 inches of legroom, and the company is making the change in hopes of attracting more business travelers.
The bright side for JetBlue and WestJet customers: that they're not flying on Spirit Airlines, which offer seats with a mere 28 inches of "seat pitch," i.e. legroom.