Cattle Car Carriers: American Airlines To Slash Legroom For Passengers

250px-american_airlines_logosvg600px-Unloading_a_stock_car_revAmerican Airlines  has decided to dispense with any semblance of being a quality airline and will slash another two inches from economy class seats despite rising complaints of the already painfully cramped conditions.  The airline is effectively boasting to investors that it will stuff more seats on its planes while charging passengers in economy to buy the necessary leg room to be remotely comfortable.  United is also planning to join the cattle call and reduce legroom, though it might make dragging passengers from planes a bit more difficult.  The reduction at American will put it close to the infamous Spirit Airline in terms of cramped, uncomfortable conditions.

The airline is adding the seats to its flying cattle cars also known as 737 Max jetliners. The “Max” must be an industry joke since it represents the minimum space one can give a human being without be charged with criminal assault.  American will shrink its seats from 31 inches to 29 inches on three rows of the airplane.  It main cabin will be reduced to 30-inches.


Just in case any passengers try to go to the bathroom for a little more space, forget about it. American is also slashing the space in the bathrooms which are already too small for anyone but a hobbit to fit into.

Just for the record, there are two airlines that continue to buck the trend and offer people a small amount of space — and dignity. They are Jet Blue at 34 inches and Virgin at 32 inches.

By the way, profits have never been better and fuel costs are low. So this is just callous profiteering at the cost of passengers.


106 thoughts on “Cattle Car Carriers: American Airlines To Slash Legroom For Passengers”

  1. I have seen a topic on JT’s blog that generated so many coments

    1. Many generate many more comments but often those are way off topic.

      1. David Benson – being way off topic shows we can think outside the box. 😉

        1. Exactly. We don’t have a school board threatening us. Only desperate Toads.

          1. We don’t have a school board threatening us. -> We don’t have a school board threatening us with a police state. Only desperate Toads.

  2. The purpose of government in a smoothly running capitalist system that’s branded and sold as “a democracy” is to protect the monopolies of large corporations as well as to force it’s population to use and pay for the products and services of those corporations no matter how vile their business practices and to make it ideologically impossible for anyone to criticize said sham democracy by use of a crude political parties, ostensibly as “representatives” (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha…) enforced contrary to all logic or common sense even of self preservation via mindless tribal loyalty.

    Every now and again a hiccup is allowed, maybe someone is dragged from their seat, not only for the humor, but to show investors how futile any serious resistance actually is and how board members can laugh at such incidents comfortable and snug in the knowledge that their bonuses are fully protected by the largest and most mindless military in the world.

    Our airlines are one of the best examples of just how effectively this gentle system can be implemented and operated.

    1. A droll and somewhat telling feature of this sham democratic system driven by self sacrificing tribalism is to get people to consistently say one thing, when they actually mean another that is almost opposite. An example is the word, monopoly. When ever people want to say the word, “monopoly”, as in monopoly capitalism what instead comes out of their mouth is market as in market based capitalism. They can’t say, “monopoly” to save their lives (literally).

      Airlines in the US are a great example of an industry where this inability to actually mouth the word, “monopoly,” comes in VERY handy for the tiny few who are the “smart cookies” raking in the dough from this government enforced ban on competition that everyone must call, market based, in the US.

      When is the last time any serious anti-trust laws were enforced in this tribal jungle where “monopoly” is a taboo word, not only in the population in general, but on every MSM outlet in the country including – in fact, particularly – Fox News.

      1. Airlines are a Bertraind oligopoly. The market structure and dynamics are about as close to perfect competition and you can get outside of retail trade and agriculture. Quit pretending you know something.

      2. “Airlines are a Bertraind oligopoly. The market structure and dynamics are about as close to perfect competition and you can get outside of retail trade and agriculture.”

        Sure. “For example, in the New York City area, more than 75 percent of all take-off and landing slots at LaGuardia and JFK are controlled by three airlines — Delta, American and JetBlue. This is not a good situation for consumers when competition is stifled and controlled by three airlines. The two major network carriers serving 77 percent of the traffic in and out of LaGuardia use that control to keep out competitors and to divide the market.”

        1. Again, a Bertrand oligopoly is an oligopoly. There are a small number of carriers. It’s the signature feature of this type of market structure that it does not incorporate price-maker power even though there are a small number of carriers.

          1. Gibberish as usual. Do you think people would submit to these cattle packing profit enhancing indignities if they had a choice?

            Simply because you claim that a Bertrand oligpoly works to achieve market like discipline benefiting the consumer in this case means nothing where the evidence (not to mention historical fact of the last 40 years) so clearly points to the contrary.

            And your arguments that volume justifies cattle treatment is vacuous.

            1. Do you think people would submit to these cattle packing profit enhancing indignities if they had a choice?

              They have a choice and they elect that particular trade-off.

              Simply because you claim that a Bertrand oligpoly works to achieve market like discipline benefiting the consumer in this case means nothing where the evidence

              You don’t know what you’re talking about. Now go to bed, wanker.

              1. As I have stated before, unless you are Professor Turley, you will confine remarks telling others what to do to yourself. As long as Professor Turley permits, and Professor Turley (and Darren) alone, I will comment when, where and as I please on this site with utter disregard for a shill such as yourself.

                They [the consumer] have a choice and they elect that particular trade-off.

                Tell that to the guy who was dragged off the plane. And no, consumers don’t have a choice as anyone who tries to get the flight and seating they want at a reasonable price on the airline they want knows. You are so full of it.

                As to your Bertrand oligopoly nonsense, your assumption that airlines don’t collude, and that they offer the best possible service for just above cost, is bunk. The contemporary airline model is openly the maximization of profit at the expense of quality and consumer choice under monopoly constraints. The price of fuel has gone down since Airlines all (in unison – which is called collusion in other circles) insisted they had to cut quality to meet your Bertrand fantasy of cost + small profit. But fuel costs have gone waaay down and yet airlines (all in unison) are still lowering the service they provide such that the consumer HAS NO CHOICE as he or she would if your fantasy model achieved market like discipline of competition.

                When you glom on to a commenter’s thread (like a virus), It’s immediately obvious that person is getting at something. Otherwise, a shallow gloss like you wouldn’t bother. When you trudge out the same old, “you don;t know what you’re talking about” line, you are obviously out of ammunition altogether.

                The only “state” where you could get away with your authoritarian huff and bluff would be a police state and your predilection (need) for such is overwhelmingly obvious in every thing you write.

                1. Good for you, Brooklyn. Her incessantly rude and nasty comments are quite common. A real blowhard, who obviously is a sad, lonely and bitter individual, incapable of ever stating an opinion without denigrating those with whom it–yes, it–disagrees. About time someone called it for what it is.

                  1. You’re emotionally invested in an erroneous understanding of the problem, then get infuriated with someone for contradicting you, but somehow the problem is someone else’s emotional life, manners, etc. One blessing most of us have is not having to occupy a home or office space with either one of you.

  3. This is an exceprt fro man article on another site.

    “California family booted from Delta Air Lines flight after refusing to give up son’s seat
    Published May 04, 2017

    Family booted from Delta flight over 2-year-old’s seat

    Delta Air Lines apologized Thursday after a husband and wife from California claimed they were kicked off a flight last month with two of their children once they refused to give up a seat they bought for another child.

    Brian Schear, his wife, and two of their children, were reportedly boarding a flight from Maui, Hawaii, to Los Angeles on April 23 when airline officials asked the couple to give up a seat Schear says he had purchased for their older son.

    However, their 18-year-old son had gone home on an earlier flight, Schear said, and they planned to use their seat for one of their younger children.


    Delta responded Thursday: “We are sorry for the unfortunate experience our customers had with Delta, and we’ve reached out to them to refund their travel and provide additional compensation. Delta’s goal is to always work with customers in an attempt to find solutions to their travel issues. That did not happen in this case and we apologize.”

    In a video posted to YouTube May 3, a Delta employee can be heard prompting Schear to leave the plane. “Then they can remove me off the plane,” Schear replies.

    “Then you commit a federal offense, then you and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be,” a female employee says off camera.

    “We’re going to jail and my kids are going to be what?” Schear asks the employee.

    The female employee proceeds to tell him that they need the seat because the flight was overbooked and, since the ticket was in his older son’s name, but he wasn’t on the flight, the seat was technically vacant.

    “You’re saying you’re gonna give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat? That’s not right,” Schear tells the Delta employee.

    A different employee approaches the family and tells Schear that his younger son cannot sit in a car seat during the flight due to age restrictions. Instead, she says the toddler would instead have to remain in the couple’s arms during the near six-hour flight.

    “He can’t occupy a seat because he’s two years or younger. That’s FAA regulations,” she says. “This plane will not go anywhere until you guys choose to go. I’m just trying to help you.”

    Technically, that’s not even true. Though most domestic airlines permit children under 2 years of age to fly seated in an adult’s lap, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advises that the safest place for small children is actually in their own seat– with a government-approved child safety restraint system.

    The FAA “strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight. It’s the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination.”

    Schear responds by explaining that the family flew to Hawaii with their son in a car seat– but the woman replied that they wouldn’t be allowed to fly back the same way. He then agrees to put the baby in his lap during the flight.”

    This was my response on the other site something the reporter missed entirely……..

    ” The queston has and will arise about the legality of the airlines policy to sell an airline seat more than once and then expect a seated family to give up something they had paid for. The legal term is ‘intentinal conspiracy to defraud’ and it’s a RICO violation to add a little extra. The sooner passengers caught in this criminal enterprise file suits charging intentional conspiracy to defraud/racketeer influenced addition the sooner these criminal type activities will cease.

    I’m surprised at the usually attentitive legal profession the tort and trial lawyers who are usually on this sort of thing with full page adds. for making it a class action suit have not gone after this open and shut deep pockets well of legal fees.

    In any case it’s the twin reason along with the TSA handling passengers like baggage and the baggage like just something to be broken and lost why I don’t fly from, to or in the USA anymore.

    The whole thing can be characterized as an entire nation being found guilty and punished for the crimes of 20 some who dropped the Trade Towers and the utter inability of a nation to protect it’s citizens instead sentencing it’s citizens without benefit of charges, rights read, legal representation and appearance in a car of law.

    Add to theat the suspension of civil rights these near 16 years one can also fairly say the two administrations involved lost the war on terror and in this case have become the terroriists.

    Marighella’s Cycle/circle of Repression in it’ s final form. In this version the government and the bad guys switch places.

    Either way the 9/11 Terrorists won this go round. Hands down straight up and with the backing of our own government.

    Now along comes President Trump and the Freedom Caucus who, unlike the RINO/DINO single party coalition have shown their ability to at least investigates these types of activities and who have the EO ability pending congressional investigation/Justice Department ability to investigate these types of activities.

    Sorry to add to your overcrowded plate Prez but……right is right and wrong is wrong and the time to correct it is always NOW.

    It’s not as if these activities are unusual…..but they shouldn’t be.

  4. Doing it for investors, the article says. The 737 Max…let me burn that in my memory.
    For economics nerds, let me quote Oxford reader (Professor) Ha Jun Chang. Thing 2. Book : 23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism.
    “Companies Should not be ran in the interest of its owners”…. What they don’t tell you ‘Shareholders may be the owners of companies, but as ” stakeholders’ they are the most mobile and have least interest in the long term interest of the company”
    Amen. This is going to bite United and American in the long-term butt.. Memorize it 737 Max.

      1. According to the post, (2nd paragraph), it’s in the 737 Max(s) that American Airlines is cutting the seat space down to 29 inches in economy class.

    1. Autumn,….
      Reminds me of the California college kid who boarded a flight and ended up in Auckland, New Zealand.
      He intended to fly to OAKLAND, Ca.😧
      This was about 30 years ago, I think.

  5. Why can’t we open our skies to some competition from foreign carriers? Every time I’ve flown Lufthansa, Air France or Icelandic air even in coach it has been a pleasant experience. Obviously, just judging from the comments here many people are not happy.

    1. If they compete in the American market, they face the highly competitive environment conjoined to the common utility function here. They’d deliver the same menu of services other carriers do unless they were specifically developing a niche as a high-priced quality carrier.

    2. International airlines do operate in this country, of course, but they’re forbidden from flying point-to-point destinations domestically. These laws, which are meant to protect American consumers and jobs, are having the exact opposite effect. Eliminating — or at least partially lifting — outdated restrictions could significantly increase competition and improve customer service [emphasis mine]

  6. AP ran a story of China’s first produced large commercial airplane today.

  7. I’m told that the only good airlines left are Alaska and Southwest.

    1. Try JetBlue. Clean with plenty of legroom. The people are usually polite and helpful – not always but 9 times in 10.

      1. Don’t think they fly around here but I’ll keep that in mind.

  8. I just returned from South Korea on Delta. The service was so bad, the airport employees in Seattle were unhelpful, rude and didn’t care. I missed my flight to Seoul and was treated very poorly, I lost my voice due to stress. I started in Columbia,SC, flew to Atlanta then Seattle. The Seattle people were awful. I had to spend the night in the airport. I was afraid to sleep, and my family freaked out. As a 69 year old woman traveling alone and going overseas for the first time, it was very stressful. Then when I returned the second leg was delayed 9 hours and I opted to fly to Charlotte instead of Atlanta. Hubby drove 200 miles to pick me up. Don’t think I will fly Delta again………

    1. Beakie, Delta is IMHO the worst, w/ United a close second. Living in the Twin Cities, it’s tough to avoid Delta since MSP is a Delta hub.

      1. My daughter and son (in law) will be at Osan AB for three years as he works for Aafes and manages the BX. I hope I can visit again just don’t know how I will get there. I chose Delta because I got two free checked bags. Don’t think the stress was worth it.

    2. beakie48 – your experience sounds like a horror show. Personally, I’ve had good experiences at SEA-TAC but maybe I was lucky. And I didn’t fly with Delta – the worst airline IMO. You started your ardeous journey from Columbia, SC? Are you a fellow resident in this third world state? =)

        1. Well, Beakie as the Charleston and Greenville markets are exploding maybe you can benefit as well. My guinea pig breeder lives outside of Columbia in Irmo which I think is quite nice. =)

    3. Beakie, your story just makes me plain sad. You seem like such a good person. You deserve better.

      1. Thank you very much. The visit with my daughter and family, especially the new baby, was worth it in spite of my Delta experience.

    4. I haven’t flown many airlines since I tend to be someone who is brand loyal but here is a mostly complete list

      Aeroflot: Most leg room of all but that was thirty years ago

      Alaska Air: The one I fly most often. I’ve always been happy with them.

      American Airlines: Bad experience, never will fly with them again.

      Hawaiian Airlines: Flown only once but nice.

      Horizon Air: Flown twice for only a ~150 mile flight

      KLM: Enjoyable. (A friend and I were the first passengers for Northwest / KLM’s Inaugural direct flight from SEA to AMS)

      Northwest Airlines: Defunct, but a good airline for me beforehand. Staff were friendly but didn’t like their employer.

      Ryan Air: Had general seating. Fastest boarding and deplaning of all. No frills and cheap. Nothing is too far in Europe though so it wasn’t a big deal to lack luxury. Cramped seating certainly.

      US Airways: Suxors

      1. Does Horizon Air still exist? Alaska took over the flights into Pullman.

        1. David,

          Alaska Air Group bought Horizon Air in 1986. Alaska and Horizon were subsidiaries. Around 2011 the company retired the Horizon livery, merging it with Alaska Air’s.

          If you’ve lived here long enough you might remember Crashcade, I mean, Cascade Airways. Horizon basically did them in from a competition standpoint.

  9. In 1960, air carriers in this country flew 31 billion passenger miles. In 2015, they flew 642 billion passenger-miles. So, air carriers produced 173 passenger-miles per person in 1960 and 2,012 passenger-miles per person in 2015.

    In real terms, domestic product per capita trebled between 1960 and 2015 and personal consumption per capita increased 3.3x, so the 11.6x increase in the production and consumption of passenger-miles of travel would seem to indicate that air travel is a great deal more accessible than it once was (for those of you hankering after the days of airlines-as-federally-supervised-cartel).

      1. Airline travel is not an inferior good. People’s propensity to consume airline travel does not decline with income. So, as a rule, more is better if better is defined as consumers’ utility.

    1. Desperate, those same factors are valid abroad as well. Except most non-US carriers opt not to use the accessibility excuse as a reason to treat customers like trash.

      1. It’s not an excuse. There are trade-offs, Riesling. In this case, the trade-off is between price and comfort. The airline calculates that the optimum militates towards less comfort. Eventually, you’re going to have a health-and-safety issue and regulators will have to set a baseline for all carriers. Where that properly is is not something that can be divined through conversations like this.

        I’ve never been treating ‘like trash’ by an airline. I find it very uncomfortable to be on planes and am a stick in the mud by nature (not to mention being prone to phlebitis). I stay off them. The most recent bad experience I’ve had was with another passenger, not the airline.

        Two of the more prominent examples of passengers being mistreated which have gone viral concerned United Airlines being penny-wise and pound foolish in a manner intermediated by bureaucratic inertia. You could have another set of regulations to address that. Of course, ever more rococo regulations have costs incorporated into them.

  10. I fly Alaska Airlines whenever I can.

    I certainly understand the appeal of flying business class or first class, yet for me the cost/benefit is simply not there unless it is a free or low cost upgrade. On international flights the price difference is not worth the order of magnitude more in price. An eight hour flight costing eight thousand dollars just to receive a bigger seat, “free drinks” a better meal, bon bons, and a better flight attendant to passenger ratio isn’t worth it.

    What I find so odd about most people is that they think a nine hundred square foot hotel room is a luxury but the same square footage in an apartment is unacceptable.

    1. Darren, it is on international flights where business class or first class shines. Once you taste business class on an international flight, it is really hard to go back to flying coach. Spoiled is the only word to describe it. With business class you have lounge access in the airport. Away from the hustle going on in the airport, you can relax in leather seats with free snacks and drinks. Watch the news or get on your computer with free premium wifi in the lounge. Some lounges are pretty incredible with the food offering. Can’t really call it snacks at all. They cook up incredible food. If you have a long layover, some lounges give you a quiet room to sleep. Want to take a shower? No problem. Very nice tiled showers with comfy robes and towels. Then when you are seated on your flight, you have up to five windows instead of that measly one window they give you in coach. You can recline comfortable with many electronic adjustments. Watch a movie or two with the great entertainment center with Bose noise canceling headphones. There are new release movies too. Then push a button to lie flat, or call the attendant to make your bed for you while you sleep some hours. When you call the attendant, they are right there immediately. Order meals or snacks whenever you want it, most anything you want. Lobster, filet mignon steak, warm nuts, etc. Great desserts. Drinks. Very nice menus are provided to order off of. The process of getting there is so enjoyable. When a 12 or 14 hour flight is over in business class or first class, you are actually disappointed that the whole experience is over already. When traveling in first class, some airlines come pick you up in a golf cart when you arrive and take you ahead of the line in Customs. They escort you right to where you need to go and you cut the lines everybody else is waiting in. Experience this and you will learn what completely stress free travel is. You will look forward to travel like you never have before.

      The real kicker is that for people living in the United States with good credit, we can do this kind of flying virtually for free. I very rarely pay to fly. The only time I might pay is for a short connecting flight.

      1. You are quite fortunate to experience this without having to pay for flying and those extra perks are certainly worth considering. For me its economics.

        My business travel is always by car since my destinations are not practical for flying. It is vacation travel where I fly. Most of the time I stay at a place having a kitchen in the room and I don’t eat at restaurants generally. I mostly do nature travel though my most recent flight was to San Diego where I broke these rules. I had some great meals, took in a wonderful art exhibit and a fantastic afternoon with one of our regulars here where we visited the USS Midway Museum and toured the town.

        For me the flight is incidental, but I certainly can see how you enjoy the flight. Living in the Pacific Northwest, everything is far away it seems. When I travelled to Europe starting in the 80’s, over the years the flight became a tortuously boring affair; one where you prayed for a doctor to come along and gork you as a form of coup de grâce.

        I remember the first time we had in-flight entertainment where you could play games on a screen with other passengers and such. At that time I would have gladly paid a hundred dollars for access to the device just to escape boredom. But I guess that nowadays people are glued to smartphones and perhaps the airlines might have less incentive in coach to provide their own entertainment systems. Since I don’t carry a cellphone (unless I borrow my wife’s) I’m going back to square one again.

        1. Darren, my travel is vacation travel, not business. You can travel business class for free too. It is called travel hacking. We use credit card offers and reward programs to our advantage. And we use the same technique for free hotel stays. You mentioned about having a kitchen. With status, you can book club access rooms that give you free meals. My wife and I do this all the time. I took my wife and I and my youngest daughter Sarah to Hawaii for 12 nights flying first class. The entire trip and lodging expense was $2. And we stayed in very nice 5 star hotels that normally rent for over $1,000 a night. The only thing we paid for when over there was food and excursions like Scuba diving and fishing. And this is not unusual. I can go through many examples of similar deals. I have done four around the world trips. Later this year I have booked a trip to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan. Admittedly, I did add a 14 day cruise to this trip which cost me money, but the business class airfare is all free. I am only paying for one short flight leg from Sydney to Brisbane that is in the neighborhood of a hundred dollars.

          The following link has an interview of a couple who earns in the ballpark of about $25,000 a year and yet they travel for free.

          Drew and Caroline publish all their income and expenses to show people how they do it. Check out Drew and Carrie’s website at

    2. I thought American owned Alaska. If so, changes are on the way. Lucky for me my back problems make Coach not feasible. Business for me.

  11. Oh, and for those who will agree that this smacks of conspiracy, well, here is but one example:

    “Illuminati Vowed in 1969: “Travel Will Be More Difficult”” – Nov 12, 2010
    In 1969, Rockefeller Insider Dr. Richard Day predicted the future in these terms: “Travel … would become very restricted. People would need permission to travel and they would need a good reason to travel. If you didn’t have a good reason for your travel you would not be allowed to travel, and everyone would need ID … later on some sort of device would be developed to be implanted under the skin that would be coded specifically to identify the individual … As long as the masses refuse to acknowledge the Illuminati conspiracy, they will continue to be complicit in their own destruction. It’s been a good decade for the Illuminati. Society is far more fearful and pessimistic, far more willing to accept totalitarian control.”

    1. There are just enough earnest crazies here that I can never figure out if the cuckoo posts are straight pieces or not.

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