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American Airlines Is Teasing More Legroom In Economy Seats

American Airlines Is Teasing More Legroom In Economy Seats
Scott Dylan

Is American Airlines really planning to give passengers more legroom?

The carrier is supposedly considering the idea of increasing legroom for coach seats. However, this almost sounds like a case of something being far too good to be true if you know anything about how airlines operate.

Carriers in the United States have been decreasing legroom and shrinking pitch sizes in recent years. There is a chance that harsh criticism from the public and passenger-advocacy groups could be causing American to rethink its strategies. American offers many seats with pitch sizes of just 29 or 30 inches. The seats in the very tight and dense economy sections used for American’s domestic fleet have virtually no padding, very limited reclining abilities and a lack of any form of entertainment.

Rumors have been swirling all over the Internet this week that American has plans to make some sort of change regarding how its economy cabins look or feel. However, many travelers would be happy even if the announcement is simply that American Airlines is bringing entertainment to its domestic coach cabins. Many passengers are convinced that American will be adding an extra inch of legroom. However, there are some things to remember before getting overly excited about this idea. The reality is that adding an inch of legroom per seat means that American will more than likely need to reduce capacity on its flights. That means a direct hit to the airline’s bottom line unless ticket prices for coach seats are also raised.

Would American Airlines really take a hit to its bottom line just to make passengers a little more comfortable? It’s possible.

Airline executives at American may have finally realized that passengers have hit a breaking point when it comes to squeezing into shape-defying seats that range from uncomfortable to painful.

American Airlines isn’t confirming anything at the moment. In fact, nobody is actually sure where the rumors that extra legroom is being added to cabins started. It is entirely possible that American Airlines actually planted the information as a way to drum up excitement regarding a new configuration for its cabins. There’s also a chance that somebody who works for or with the airline leaked the rumor. The bottom line is that all we can do is anticipate more of the same until some sort of official announcement has been made. We also have to ask ourselves if an extra inch would really make that much of a difference.

[Image Source: American Airlines]

View Comments (8)


  1. GetSetJetSet

    March 23, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    I thought the new Project Oasis cabin configs were meant to be denser with no IFE and less legroom in all cabins?

  2. Flight44

    March 23, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Pfft. First they squeeze the seats together then they “give” an inch back. Give me $10, I’ll give you $5 back. You’ll be ahead.

  3. SDLFlyer

    March 23, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    “Lack any form of entertainment.” This is just not accurate. Streaming IFE with live TV has been on board AA for at least the past six months. It is not seatback entertainment, but it is IFE – Inflight entertainment. They are also installing powerports at every seat. You lose credibility when you write without any accuraracy. There are no seat back screens to deliver content – a completely true statement. No different than Southwest, Alaska, or United.

  4. kc1174

    March 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Regardless of what AA may do, I can guarantee the old USAir hubs will be last to see any changes. We’ve still got the old A330s, and domestic first is still the old, tired blue seat without power.

  5. FlyingEgghead

    March 24, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Huh? The headline refers to “Premium Economy” (a distinct cabin that AA offers on select widebody routes), but everything in the text and link is about regular economy.

  6. sdsearch

    March 24, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Premium Economy (as the headline says) is a completely different cabin than Economy (which the article talks about). There IS more legroom in Premium Economy than in Economy. So if American is doing what the headline says, then the article doesn’t get the point that American is talked about a different class than Economy.

  7. job4travel

    March 24, 2019 at 9:25 am

    The fact that ultra-budget airlines have proliferated and continue to gain market share shows that in our “market driven economy” consumers are more interested in price than customer service or seat comfort. Don’t fault the legacy airlines for chasing the ultra-budget airlines down to the bottom in terms of comfort, blame the cheap consumer who will do anything and put up with anything to save $10.

  8. mvoight

    March 26, 2019 at 9:10 am

    “:Would American Airlines really take a hit to its bottom line just to make passengers a little more comfortable?”

    AA has tried this before with MRTC
    That experiment failed. Not enough people were willing to pay more to fly AA.
    AA isn’t about to do increase space unless it increases their profit

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