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Travel Tip: Airlines Introduce New Seats for Traveling Families

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planeDon’t expect U.S. airlines to make their coach aircraft seats any wider or more comfortable.

In fact, not only have airlines reduced width and pitch—the distance between the back of the seat in front of you and your knees—many airlines have also been quietly adding seats to many of their planes.

Delta Air Lines, for example, added an average of 9 seats to more than 110 aircraft a few years ago.

But at least two airlines are doing something about the discomfort in coach, especially on long-haul flights.

An Air New Zealand flight attendant designed—and the airline installed—a special coach seat so couples or families could stretch out and sleep.

It’s the same size and width of three coach seats, but extends into a sort of couch, with no rigid armrests.

The airline calls it “cuddle class.”

China Airlines has designed a similar seat.

The price premium is not exorbitant—if you’re traveling with a significant other, or a family of three.

It makes a big difference on long-haul flights.

One caution: it may not surface on Internet seat charts. You need to call and ask for it.

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