May 3, 2017
American is Cutting Economy Legroom by 2 Inches

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Think economy class is tight? It’s about to get a whole lot tighter on American Airlines. American will be adding even more seats to economy class on its new Boeing 737 Max jets it has on order. Those new aircraft will start being delivered later in 2017. The distance between seats will be shrinking from 31 inches to 30 inches throughout the economy cabin while shrinking down to just 29 inches in three rows. American will also somehow decrease the size of the lavatories in economy class.

By shrinking the seats and lavatories, the new aircraft will support 170 seats as opposed to the 160 seats on the current 737-800. The legroom in first class and Main Cabin Extra (the economy seats with extra legroom) will not be changing. Congratulations American, you’re leading the race to the bottom among the legacy carriers. To put this into perspective, budget carriers Spirit and Frontier offer the industry’s tightest seats at 28 inches of pitch. To add insult to injury, CNN is reporting that American’s tighter seats won’t even be sold as a discounted Basic Economy ticket. You get to pay full price for 29 inches of legroom when the rest of the economy cabin is 30 inches.


How long do you think it’ll be before United and Delta match American’s legroom? United is already reportedly considering shrinking economy to 29 inches.


H/T: CNN Money