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Airlines Giveth And Airlines Taketh Away. American Backs Off Its Dumb 29-Inch Plan, But Not By Much

Late Tuesday American Airlines president Robert Isom sent a note to all ba-jillion million members of American’s once-meaningful frequent fliers program, AAdvantage, telling them the “good news.” American will not be cutting the leg room in the last three rows of its new Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft (the first four of 100 on order will join the fleet this fall) to a torturously narrow 29 inches of pitch. ( More...

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Mike Davis 10
If I had to guess, I'd say that not one airline CEO is close to 6' tall and not one has ever spent time in an Economy seat for a flight. I have been forced to pay extra for "Economy Plus" (which really means Economy plus 2 inches) on recent flights. I guess, since most flights are overbooked, no one gives a damn if I have cut my flying down to a rare international vacation. I now drive everywhere else.

If these airlines want to make money on people, how about charging by body and luggage weight and give us back a humane amount of seat space and knee room??
ken young 6
The message to the budget minded passenger is "you're not paying enough for the privilege of boarding our aircraft. So screw you"
John Gerty 4
I don't think airline CEO's fly commercial coach. If they do it is certainly first or business class. More likely they have their own biz jets.
john,you are correct..the majority of large corporations have private jets belonging to or leased specifically to a corporation..this allows them to travel at short notice to any location,and have meetings while on board..they generally do not fly commercial at all..
Bernie20910 3
Airlines simply do not care if you or I decide not to fly, because there are ten others who do want to and who will tolerate whatever form of passenger abuse the airline thinks it can get away with in the name of profits. And it's only going to continue to get worse until/unless a regulatory body steps up to the plate and tells then, "No." Personally, I'd LOVE to see a hub city make an end run past the feds and regulate minimum seat pitch and a few other parameters in order to use their airport facilities. Never happen though, and the federal courts would slap 'em down, but boy what fun it would be for a week or two!
indy2001 1
So under your plan, men would pay more on average than women because their weight is greater than women's. Good luck with that.
You drive across the country ? - Couldnt do my job and have a life, I won't drive 5 hours to Phoenix or 3 to Vegas !
Chuck Chall 5
I can drive from Detroit to Chicago faster than you can fly there, door to door. By the time I drive to the airport, park, wait for the shuttle, check in, clear TSA, make the 45 minute flight, get my rental car and get to my destination, I've already had a nice nap in my hotel room if I drive.
Stefan Sobol 2
With the getting to the airport a couple of hours ahead of time for check in and security, and then getting out of the destination airport to where you actually work, and counting the flight time, can you actually go door to door to LAS in less than 3 hours by plane? I really doubt it. If I could get from where I live to where I work in LAS in 3 hours in my car, I would drive EVERY SINGLE TIME! Same with 5 hour trips to PHX.
katty wompus 1
Up to about 400 miles, it's faster to just drive it.
ADXbear 6
Im done flying.... its just too much trouble, too painful, too much hassel... plan ahead and drive...
This was a dumb move to go to 29 inches and I'm glad they got heat for it. I'm done with Spirit and I would not have flown on the MAX with so little room. I would try it at 30 but I'm certainly not pleased with it. Airlines should also understand that you can't brag about now new your fleet is while making those new cabins less comfortable.
Mike Davis 3
Leg room varies also by aircraft. Perhaps some have not been back in the shop to be retrofitted with the steerage dimensions.
ran3114 4
I have given up flying commercial and unless I can "do it myself" as pilot-in-command I don't fly.
Chuck Chall 2
If they're going to keep the 29 inch plan, they need to stop the seats from being able to recline so the idiot in front of me doesn't immediately take another 12 inchs out of my 29.
Randy Marco 2
400 miles or under it's far more comfortable and FASTER from the aspect of TSA alone for me to drive.

I live 10 miles from the airport and pre 9/11 I could leave my house 45 minutes or less before the flight and make it. Now it's a minimum of 2 hours lead time because I never know how long the TSA line will be!

I used to fly commercial at least twice a month pre 9/11, now I rarely fly commercial it's just not worth the absurd hassle. We allowed 19 terrorists to permanently ruin the commercial flying experience FOREVER.

It costs me more to drive but it's worth it to me; plus, I love to drive, have unlimited legroom, no stinky sweaty bodies touching me.... I live in Phx and summer flights are BRUTAL. They need to have a mandatory deodorizing spray-down upon cabin entrance.

Commercial USED to be an experience everyone looked forward to before the present cattle car arrangement that has come about due to LESS competition from the massive mergers of the carriers thanks to those of you that have and still do buy into the one political parties mantra of LESS regulation, which includes anti-trust regulation.

You wanted to give more profits to corporate America... you've got it!

Think about that the next time you get into the flying cattle car.
there was a time, a few years back, (before the merger thing) that American airlines had as a slogan"more legroom in coach", and they showed pictures of seats with measurements next to them to prove their point! of course everyone, from the mother with a small child,to the tall business person who cant fly first class have always wanted of the irritants in coach used to be the tray tables that were literally in your lap when folded down,and the only saving grace were the armrests that could be pushed up for a bit more room..aircraft have been improved and modernized,but that old legroom issue does not go away! (I remember the many requests for the exit row or the bulkhead for more space,and now the airlines charge for that!)
Dave Nosek 1
Time to start voting with your feet. If possible take another airline and let American know why your doing it.
Larry Horton 1
as disappointed when AA announced the decrease. Flew AA from DFW to Heathrow recently and was so impressed with the leg room I vowed to use AA whenever I could. Now no reason for them to be special.
ken young -1
This is a bit misleading. I just booked an AA flight from KCLT to KMSP. Direct flight. I had a fairly decent choice of seats in coach. Many were exit row seats. No extra charge.
In any event. and generally speaking, air carriers do indeed leave the perception that their leisure travelers are treated with the same disdain as the stray dog the homeowner finally decided to feed but makes the poor guy sleep outside even in the rain.
Do away with frequent flyer free riders and see what happens. No such thing as a free lunch. Some one must pay.
Cash, discomfort or both.


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