Flown via economy seating lately? Airline seats keep shrinking in size and comfort. Anyone who travels via airline on a regular basis knows this to be true. In order to increase revenues and profitability, commercial airlines have increased the seating capacity per flight by decreasing the size of seats and space between seats. In addition, airlines have decreased the amount of cushioning used on seats, which reduces the weight and space of seats, which also increases the number of seats that can be jammed into each flight.
Shrinking Seat Sizes
One measure of airline seat size is pitch, which is the distance from one point in a seat to the same point in a seat in the next row. Based upon data analyzed in a column by USA Today, seat pitch has indeed shrunk between 1985 and 2014 for the largest U.S. domestic carriers (American, Delta, Southwest, and United). In addition to pitch, airline seat width is another measure of airline seat size. The same USA Today study also shows that seat width has decreased significantly for the largest U.S. domestic carriers since 1985. For example, while Southwest offered seat widths from 19 to 19.5 inches in 1991, by 2014 seat widths had been reduced to only 17 inches. [···]