It's Not Just You: Airline Seats Are Shrinking

American Airlines, United, Air France and a number of other major airlines have been moving toward shrinking the seats in economy class to squeeze one more in each row. Airlines hope that by cramming more people into coach, they can make room for more of the first-class seats, which sell for a lot more money.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is rubbing shoulders. Last time you got on a flight, did you have an "Alice in Wonderland" moment and think to yourself: Is this seat smaller or did I somehow get bigger.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Turns out you're probably not too blame. The seat actually is shrinking. American Airlines, United, Air France, and a number of other major airlines have been moving toward shrinking the seats in economy class, to squeeze one more in each row. Airlines hope that by cramming more people into coach they can make room for more of the first-class seats, which sell for a lot more money.

GREENE: To give you an idea of how squeezed it's getting: At 17 inches wide, the new economy seats are now two inches narrower than the cheapest seats at a Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball game.

From Seat 21B in Studio 31, I can tell you that that is the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

INSKEEP: David, would you stop hogging the armrest?

GREENE: Sorry, Steve. I'm sorry. Sorry.

INSKEEP: Anyway, I'm Steve Inskeep.

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