Legacy airlines are learning that it may not be a good idea to get between passengers and their legroom. American Airlines recently scrapped its plans to decrease legroom on flights. The initial news was met with groans when the airline announced in May that legroom would be reduced in Main Cabin seats. What can you expect in terms of the legroom situation the next time you fly with American? Take a look at what passengers should know.
American's Abandoned Plan To Reduce Legroom
American Airlines had intended to reduce seat pitch from 31 inches down to 29 inches in its Main Cabin seats. This would have made American the only non-budget airline to provide passengers with a seat pitch below 30 inches.
The changes were set to be unveiled later in 2017. However, the negative feedback received from customers probably caused concerns as most travelers would gladly choose comfort and extra room over tickets that were a few dollars cheaper.
American Airlines will instead offer 30 inches of pitch in the rows that were previously set to have legroom reduced. While this still isn't exactly luxurious when compared to most other carriers out there, it's enough legroom for most passengers to be comfortable and content during flights.
Why Deceased Legroom Is Becoming Common On Flights
Many airlines are making plans to decrease legroom on flights. The simple reason is that airlines would like to be able to fit more passengers on airplanes. Major carriers are up against an increasing number of budget airlines when it comes to offering cheap rates on tickets.
One of the only ways that legacy carriers can compete with the low price points offered by budget carriers is to get more people on every flight. These airlines are betting on the fact that passengers won't care or notice if legroom shrinks just a little bit. However, the people are making their voices heard when it comes to the displeasure passengers have regarding shrinking legroom in seats.
How Can American Airlines Passengers Get More Legroom?
The 30 inches of pitch offered in American's Main Cabin seats may not satisfy your need to spread out and get comfortable during flights. American's Main Cabin Extra sections may offer what you want without the need to leave the Main Cabin. These sub-sections are available on most flights. They offer extra legroom, preferred boarding and an early exit once your plane lands.
There are several ways that you can get upgraded to this comfortable option. Some passengers may even be able to enjoy complimentary upgrades to Main Cabin Extra. American offers upgrades to Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members of its AAdvantage® loyalty program. MVP® Gold and MVP® Gold 75K customers of Alaska Airlines' loyalty program are also eligible for upgrades. In addition, oneworld® Sapphire and oneworld® Emerald members qualify for upgrades as well.
The exciting thing is that members who qualify for complimentary access can extend that access to up to eight companions on the same reservation. The only downside is that Main Cabin Extra seats may be harder to come by now that American Airlines has actually reduced the number of these rows offered on flights to maintain more legroom in economy Main Cabin seats.