Wednesday, February 10, 2016

UPDATED: On fancy planes, narrow seats and cramped cabins

UPDATED WITH CORRECT INFO, acknowledging comment below:

UPDATED: On fancy planes, narrow seats and cramped cabins


UPDATED WITH CORRECT INFO, acknowledging comment below:

Offered today for your pleasure whle flying or just thinking (for or against) of your next airline flight are a few columns and articles related to the agony and the ecstacy that most travelers are experiencing riding in the coach cabins of most carriers these days.

Last week, Inquirer beat writer Paul Nussbaum reported on a visit by Boeing's newest, highly touted jet, the 787 Dreamliner, to PHL. l'm looking forward to flying on this aircraft, whenever I find it a sensible option. The report notes that just how comfortable the plane's soothing new interior may be for passengers could depend on which airline is flying it and the seating configuration it chooses. In some configurations, coach seats are a wider-than-average 18.5 inches but you still get only 31 inches of pitch, or legroom, between rows

In the second of two articles below, you will note that American is squeezing 10 seats across each coach row of its newest 777-300s, compared with nine across on Cathay Pacific Airlines. If you haven't had the experience of a 12-hour flight in 10 across seating on that width airplane, or of 31-inch pitch on any cabin, you just haven't lived, even though you thought you might die before escaping.

The issues of how comfortable or not coach seating is, and what to do about it, especially for business travelers reqiuired to only fly in the rear (of the planes) has been hammered the last two Tuesdays by Joe Sharkey in his NY Times "On the Road" columns. Find the most recent one here, and for your convenience because you may want to read it first, you can find last week's column as well.

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About this blog
Tom Belden has been reporting about Philadelphia International Airport and other air travel subjects for more than 20 years, writing columns for The Inquirer's Travel and Business sections. His reporting (with colleague Craig McCoy) on baggage handling problems in Philadelphia have been credited with helping to improve the system. His previous blog was called Road Warrior. He can reached at Reach Tom at

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