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Do You Fly? Get Ready for Even Smaller Seats on Airplanes!

Even smaller seats coming to airliners soon
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

They’re cleverly called “Slimline” seats, and they’re coming to airliners very soon.

A considerable amount of you either travel for business, or perhaps vacations.   Better put down that candy bar, or holiday candy because you’ll need to slim down., the leading consumer advocate for airline travelers, reports numerous airlines have already ordered these new Slimline seats for dozens of aircraft.    The newer, lighter seats are about an inch smaller, and most airlines are now putting rows about 31 inches apart, an inch closer than before.   Southwest, Delta, United and other major carriers are utilizing these seats.    According to United, the new configuration makes a typical A-323 Airbus aircraft about 1,200 pounds lighter, saving about $10 million in fuel fleetwide each year.   Southwest says the new configuration will allow it to add up to six more seats on it’s larger aircraft.

While this may sound great,  it won’t actually save travelers any money.  Fox News and FlyersRights report some airlines will now be able to charge more money for the “older” seat configurations, because they will have more room!

Critics say the new configurations could also further the spread of what’s called Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT.   Some two million people nationally are treated for this circulation disorder, half of the cases caused by air travel.   DVT is when a clot or clots form inside a vein located deep in the lower extremities of the body, especially legs.  It’s often caused or worsened by excessive sitting for long periods of time.   Some medical experts call DVT  “Economy Class Syndrome,”  because air travelers often suffer from it.  The thinner air at high altitudes doesn’t help either.   Lack of movement and stiffness can cause the blood to pool more easily, creating the syndrome.

Giving passengers less room to stretch or move their legs, say some medical experts, will only make these medical conditions worse.

Like it or not, though, Slimline seats are spreading rapidly throughout the airline industry and don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.   Guess you’ll have to get skinny,  or figure out a way to walk up and down the aisles a lot more when you fly!


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