In the last few years, airlines have reduced the pitch—the distance between the back of the seat in front of you and your knees. Many narrowed the width between coach seats from 22 inches to 18 inches.
At the same time, Americans have gotten wider.
Average passenger weight in the last 30 years has gone from 145 pounds to 166 pounds for women, and from 173 pounds to 195 pounds for men.
It’s not a pretty picture. This has also added density—more seats to each plane.
But now, to make matters worse, they’ve gone from shrinking legroom to eliminating headroom as well.
Get ready to duck when boarding your flight and trying to squeeze into your seat.
A number of airlines have redesigned the overhead bins so they give the appearance of more headroom, but are actually hanging lower from the top of the plane.
So, to welcome the new year, be prepared for a lot less space in front of you, behind you, next to you, and above you.
With more new aircraft coming equipped with sophisticated inflight entertainment systems, you should also be prepared for less room under you.
So, please place your knees against your neck and take a deep breath.
Now…Enjoy your flight!
For more information about airlines and airports, check out:
- How Often Do You Watch the Inflight Safety Video?
- The Authority of Flight Attendants on Airplanes
- Airlines May Refund You if Luggage Delays Exceed 12 Hours
Keep reading for more travel tips.