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Airline Seats Keep Shrinking

airline seats are shrinking

tight squeeze on airline seats is a reality

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. [···]

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Airline Ancillary Revenues: Up, Up, and Away!

airlines ancillary revenues

bag fees and more

Frequent air travelers are well aware that airlines have increased the types of fees charged above and beyond the base air fare. Such fees may not only include fees related to checked and carry-on baggage, but also seat selection fees, food and beverage fees, Wi-Fi, etc. Referred to as airline ancillary revenues, IdeaWorksCompany defines airlines ancillary revenues as follows: Revenue beyond the sale of tickets that is generated by direct sales to passengers, or indirectly as part of the travel experience. Airline ancillary revenues have exploded since 2007 and have become increasingly important to the overall profitability of the commercial airline industry. [···]

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Seat Upgrades from Economy Seating

seat upgrades

upgraded seat

Seat upgrades? But I cannot afford first class seating! Yes, there once was a time when air passengers had two options for seating: first class and coach. Coach, which has since been abandoned by the term “economy”, has been expanded by many airlines into two different seating types in order to offer air passengers additional seating options. Let’s review current options for seat upgrades.

Seat Upgrades by Airline

The seat upgrades available within economy seating goes by various names depending upon the airline, such as the following: economy plus (United), main cabin extra (American), Delta Comfort (Delta), even more space (JetBlue), among others. As most air travelers know, Southwest, one of the largest airlines in the U.S., does not offer any seat upgrades on its flights above economy seating. Opinions on some of the best seat upgrades offered by U.S. domestic airlines are presented here. [···]

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Passenger Load Factors Explained

passenger load factors

crowded airplane

Does it seem like commercial flights are becoming more and more crowded? Based upon published industry data, commercial flights are indeed more crowded than ever.

Recent Passenger Load Factors

Capacity utilization in the airline industry is measured by “passenger load factor”, or simply “load factor”, which is revenue passenger miles divided by passenger seat miles. For U.S. airlines, the passenger load factor for 2014 was 84.6% for domestic flights, 81.1% for international flights, and 83.5% overall.[1] For 2014, the load factors for selected U.S. airlines are listed below.[2] [···]

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Safest Airplane Seats During Air Travel

safest airplane seats

safest airplane seats

Did you know that you can improve your odds of surviving a flight emergency when flying on commercial airlines? Airline safety experts reveal that not all seat locations on commercial airlines are equally safe. Understanding the safest airplane seat locations can save your life.

Safest Airplane Seats Per Experts

Airplane crash research indicates that some seat locations are safer than others.[1] According to research, many people survive the initial impact, but fail to exit the airplane during the first 90 seconds after a crash, which safety experts consider to be critical. After 90 seconds, the aluminum hull of an aircraft is no longer protective and the greater the likelihood of passenger death from fire, smoke, or the plane taking on water.

Based upon an analysis of more than 100 seating charts from airplane crashes, the below are the three key findings related to the safety of certain seat locations. [···]

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