Airlines reconfigure seats to squeeze in more passengers

Airlines change seating plans to make room for more

Author: Tony Statz, Ruth to the Rescue producer, @RuthToTheRescue
Published On: Oct 15 2013 04:51:38 PM EDT
DETROIT -

If you've noticed a small change the last time you flew somewhere, you're not alone, and you're not imagining things. The major U.S. airlines have continued the trend of adding extra seats to many of the planes in their fleets. You've probably heard this was going to happen, and the airlines are flying quickly away from old bulky seats, and landing with so-called "slimline" models.

The new models take up less space from front to back, allowing for five or six more seats on each plan.

The change in the seating plans helps the airlines in two ways. First they can sell more tickets on each plane and they get a smaller fuel bill because the seats weigh less. The new seats generally have thinner padding. And new layouts on some planes have made the aisles slightly narrower, meaning you might feel that beverage cart bump your shoulder more often than before. The changes come at a time when the airlines are adding better premium seats to the front of the plane, and charging premium prices for the better seats.

Some of the airlines say you won't even notice the changes, but you might have a different problem after you fly.

The Associated Press put together this list of how some of the biggest airlines are looking to maximize their returns on their seating strategies.