| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 3 American Airlines is
shaving off an additional two inches of economy class legroom on
some of the seats in its new Boeing Co 737 MAX jets, just
as relations between U.S. airlines and their passengers sink to
a new low.
The new planes will have more seats than earlier versions of
the jet, shrinking the distance between seat backs, or pitch, to
29 inches (74 cm) from the current distance of 31 inches (79
cm), on three rows of seats, a spokesman for the carrier said.
The space between the remaining rows will drop to 30 inches
from 31 inches. American said it expects the new planes in the
fall and that they will go into service later this year.
"These (seats) are designed to be used in a very
space-efficient way," American spokesman Joshua Freed said.
"Even though the pitch comes in at 29 (inches), the seats are
built to maximize knee space and seat space."
The move to cram more passengers onto planes is likely to
antagonize customers, already upset by costlier amenities and
At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, airline executives -
including a representative for American - received scathing
criticism about their customer service, after the furor
surrounding a passenger being dragged from a full United
Airlines plane to make room for airline employees.
"Some don't charge fees. Some do charge fees. Some charge
fees for baggage. Some charge fees for oxygen. Who knows?"
Representative Mike Capuano said at the tense hearing.
(Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Bill Rigby)