No, you aren’t imagining things. Many airlines are cramming more seats into the back of their planes.
As a result, three things are suffering: seat pitch (that’s the distance between seats), seat width, and seat recline.
Foreign carriers are a little less punishing than domestic airlines.
For example, an economy class seat on Cathay Pacific has 32 inches of pitch and reclines four to six inches.
An economy seat on Delta has just 30 inches of pitch and reclines two to four inches.
Emirates Airlines offers 32 inches of pitch and a five-inch recline.
American Airlines’ seats can have as little as 30 inches of pitch and a four-inch recline.
The biggest offender is Spirit, where the seats don’t recline at all.
Fortunately, there is a way to find a better seat.
Look for the window exits on many planes, then pick the window seat behind that exit row seat.
You’ll often find no seat in front of you. This is particularly true of 757 aircraft.
While your seat may not recline, you’re at least guaranteed your knees won’t be pressed against your neck.
You’ll have the best legroom of anyone on the plane because there’s no seat in front of you.
For more information about flying and airplane seats, check out:
- Factors That Can Make Flying Better—Or Worse
- The Most Annoying Airline Passengers
- How Airlines Have Cut Flights, Fit More People Onto Planes
Keep reading for more travel tips.