Airline Passengers Weigh In On Airlines Adding Thinner Seats

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- Think it's a little cramped on an airplane? Some airlines are adding newer seats to add more passengers. That means you could be sacrificing more space.

Airlines said the new seats have thinner padding but the comfort level shouldn't change.

"I remember flying when you could really be comfortable in the air. Now you cannot," Bonnie Hallman said.

It's already a tight squeeze on airplanes and many have noticed the squeeze getting tighter. Most major airlines are adding newer, slimmer seats to pack more passengers on board.

"We already don't have much leg room as it is. So making there be even less would be even more difficult," Andrew Dean said.

Airlines said the aisles are narrowed and leg room is shortened to fit an extra row of six seats to the economy class. But they said people won't notice any difference

"They're not going to obviously put in anything that's unsafe. I'll wait to see if it's more comfortable than what we have now," Father Steve Major said.

Southwest Airlines said the new seats are about 31 inches apart from each other, from head rest to head rest. That's about an inch less than what it was before.

United and Southwest Airlines said the change will make some planes about 1200 pounds lighter and save nearly $10 million a year on fuel.

Passengers hope they get to see some of those savings.

American Airlines started the new seat trend over the summer. Delta Airlines said a third of it's fleet is already done. Southwest said the change will expand flying capacity four percent more. Each plane will increase from 137 seats to 143.