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American Airlines backtracks on plan to squeeze seats when it realizes customers actually enjoy legroom

American Airlines has decided not to squeeze its customers, at least when it comes to legroom. Last month, the airline revealed plans to pack in more seats on its new Boeing 737 Max jetliners, reducing the space between some seats in economy class by two inches, from 31 to 29 inches. After an unofficial public comment period, the airline has reversed its decision. The Dallas Morning News reports that the airline changed its mind after receiving “a lot of feedback from both customers and team members.” (Translation: They were getting toasted faster than a marshmallow at a camp-out on Twitter.)

“It is clear that today, airline customers feel increasingly frustrated by their experiences and less valued when they fly,” the memo said. “We can be leaders in helping to turn around that perception, and that includes reviewing decisions that have significant impact on the flying experience.” American will now allow its economy class passengers to travel with 30 inches of legroom, which is still less than JetBlue, Alaska, or Southwest, but slightly roomier than seats on Frontier or Spirit. Perhaps American’s new slogan can be “Marginally better than Spirit.”


[Photo: Flickr user BriYYZML