American ditches plan to reduce space between seats on new jet

Jay Anderson
June 19, 2017

American Airlines aircraft are parked at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, U.S., August 8, 2016.

The largest carrier in the U.S.

"It requires us to take into account customer experience, revenue, and other considerations", said American President Robert Isom.

"We have received a lot of feedback from both customers and team members, and after taking a fresh look at the interior of that plane, American has chose to space all Main Cabin rows with at least 30 inches of pitch", the carrier said in a message sent to employees on Tuesday. "We can be leaders in helping to turn around that perception, and that includes reviewing decisions that have significant impact on the flying experience".

The Fort Worth-based carrier had said last month that it would begin to take possession this fall of new Boeing 737 Max planes configured with three rows of coach seats that have 29 inches of "pitch", an industry term for the distance between the back of a passenger seat and the back of the seat in front of it.

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According to a person close to the development, the number of orders may be below 50 and would be part of airline's expansion plans following the positive results of past year. American Airlines meant to add more seats on its new Boeing 737 Max jetliners by cutting down space between seats, also known as pitch.

"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.

The move comes in response to feedback from customers and employees since the planned configuration was made public in early May.

American Airlines has announced it will not go through with a plan that would reduce legroom to 29 inches from 31.

American said it is also looking at switching to the 30-inch pitch on its existing 737-800.

Other reports by BadHub

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