American Airlines drops plans to cut legroom to less than Ryanair

Gladys Abbott
June 19, 2017

AA had planed to squeeze three rows with 29-inch seat pitch in its new 737 Max jetliner fleet.

Airline Geeks obtained an internal memo from the airline that dictates the rationale behind the reversal.

"It is clear today, airline customers feel increasingly frustrated by their experience and less valued when they fly", the airline said Tuesday, with a knack for understatement. "We can be leaders in helping to turn around that perception, and that included reviewing decisions that have significant impact on the flying experience".

"These seats are created to make efficient use of the space available and feel more spacious so a 30-inch pitch will feel more like today's 31 inches", the company said in a statement.

Instead of cutting two inches of legroom, the airline says it will now take away only one inch - and use a new seat design that it swears will make it feel like there's more room down there. "This is the right call for customers and the right call for our team members who take care of them", Isom added.

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The airline's memo details that there will still be space for 172 seats. The difference will be made up by losing a row of Main Cabin Extra, its upgraded economy service.

American Airlines said it dumped the idea to reduce to legspace after receiving negative feedback from both customers and team members.

Shares of Spicejet gained 3 per cent in Thursday's trade on reports that it is likely to place an order for the Boeing 737 Max-10 planes at the aircraft's debut at the Paris Air Show later this month, thus becoming one of its launch customers globally.

Even though the new narrow-body jet will not feature inflight entertainment systems, the fleet will be configured with satellite-based Wi-Fi which will allow passengers to stream HBO and Netflix, among other platforms.

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