Power to the People! Passenger Complaints Cause Airline to Reverse Hated Idea

Power to the People! Passenger Complaints Cause Airline to Reverse Hated Idea

It would have actually (somehow) made your coach seat even less comfortable.

By Alesandra Dubin

Just at the height of the time when U.S.-based airlines were awash in bad press last month, one carrier took the opportunity to... announce a new and seriously passenger unfriendly plan. (Womp womp.)

Indeed, in May, American Airlines announced that it was planning to add 10 seats to its new 737 Max plans — going from 160 to 170. That would have had the effect of shrinking the seat pitch even further, and would put giant American's seats on par with the smaller, low-cost carriers (and almost on par with the ultra-low-cost carriers, such as Spirit Airlines, which is the one Americans say is the absolute worst).

Well, if you think you have no power to control the ever less comfortable fate of air travel as an American consumer... think again.

American Airlines announced today it had changed course, according to Skift. The airline will no longer try to match the legroom of the low-cost carriers, and now does not plan to be the first non-discount U.S. carrier to shrink seat pitch below the agonizing 30-inch marker.


“It is clear that today, airline customers feel increasingly frustrated by their experiences and less valued when they fly,” American told employees in a message cited in Skift. “We can be leaders in helping to turn around that perception, and that includes reviewing decisions that have significant impact on the flying experience."

So there you have it, flyers — your voice does matter! (Sometimes.)

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