If you fly periodically like I do, your comfort while sitting and flying has taken a nosedive, unless you were willing to pay more for economy plus or for business class.
United Airlines uses Newark as their hub, and unfortunately, they also have one of the worst reputations for airlines, in that their newer seats and seat configurations have you squeezed in with little room to move your legs.
The math is simple; more people equals more dollars and up charging for the space you used to take for granted is profitable, even if it means fighting with your neighbor who is encroaching on your space which is smaller than ever.
It is well known that sitting in a small space with little movement is not good for us, especially if we have circulation problems. While the heart moves blood out to the legs and arms, the movement of the legs and arms is essential to push the blood back to the heart, which is why small seats can cause blood clots.
Aside from other levels of poor service, uncomfortable and tiny small seating can result in major health issues and some of our politicians have taken notice and have begun to fight. The truth is, the pendulum has swung way to far in favor of our airline monopolies. Honestly, we want some of our space back.
Check out this interesting article in the NY Times
Fighting the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat
Can plane seats get any smaller?
Those of us who prefer not to find out were cheered when a bill that would set minimum seat size standards for commercial airlines was proposed in early February by Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee. More recently, the issue received attention when Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said that he also wanted to set seat size standards.
“œPeople have gotten larger since seats were shrunk,” Mr. Cohen said during a February debate about his proposed amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act
Seats were 18 inches wide before airline deregulation in the 1970s and have since been whittled to 16 and a half inches, he said, while seat pitch used to be 35 inches and has decreased to about 31 inches. At the same time, the average man is 30 pounds heavier today than he was in 1960 (196 pounds compared with 166 pounds) and the average woman is 26 pounds heavier (166 pounds, up from 140 pounds), Mr. Cohen said, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smaller seats and larger passengers mean planes may not be capable of rapid evacuation in the event of an emergency, he said. “œThis affects safety and health.”