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Budget airlines pushing seat squeeze on new planes

Think your airline seat is tight now? Wait for the next generation of planes being bought by 
Ryanair and other budget/short-haul carriers. They're adding seats, and the space for them has to come from somewhere...


And, for the Airbus 320neo (arriving late 2016) and the Boeing 737 MAX 200 (early 2017), that space is mostly coming from other passengers' seats. For example, the 737 MAX 200 is a Ryanair special. They ordered 100 of the planes, with an option for 100 more...and told Boeing to change the seating capacity from 189 to 200. Rayanair expects to make around $800,000 a year more per plane from those seats.


Although Ryanair has said it doesn't want to go below 30" seat pitch, it might have to if smaller galleys and lavatories (part of the plan) don't yield enough space. Ryanair's seat width, at 16", is one of the narrowest in the industry. Ryanair, of course, is only an example; its competitors are also doing their best to cram 'em in. MORE


Airbus A320neo's first flight          Photo: Wikimedia / don-vip


The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I flew on Spanish budget carrier, Vueling, this past spring.  It was a pleasant enough flight, but the aircraft had the tightest pitch of any airline I've ever been on.  The pocket in the seat in front of you, where magazines and the air sickness bag are stored, was removed to allow for crowding of rows and even my knees were wedged in tightly to the seat back in front of me (seats couldn't be reclined, for obvious reason).  I'm not sure how a seriously tall person could ever fit in.  

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

I'm flying on an Airbus 330 next month.

4,414 miles non-stop on each leg.

So I've booked extra legroom near the exit.

Wise investment for 9 hours 21mins.


If only I could get those aerobics fans to stop tripping over my feet when I'm asleep.


Last edited by GarryRF

Which airline, Garry? I'll be interested to compare in a couple of months; in July we'll be on AirBerlin's A330 NYC to Berlin...and I'm hoping for comfort.


My wife's cousin, who's logged more passenger miles than most pilots have flight miles, has advised us to give up our window preference for aisle-and-aisle, across from each other...

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Thomas Cook do charter flights - they sell you a complete vacation.

Hotel, food, car rental, adventure tours from your hotel and flights.

Probably find something in there that's not up to scratch.

But complain ? No... not I.


I'm looking forward to your report from Berlin.

Maybe we'll do a long weekend from Liverpool to Schoenefeld (nr. Berlin)

Easy Jet do it for £25 - £45 each way.

And for that price I'll sit on the wing for 2 hours !!


Would TravelGumbo sponsor you to write a report on this flight Paul ?


Last edited by GarryRF
Originally Posted by PHeymont:

Was just reading in the Telegraph this week that Thomas Cook is the most-complained-about airline in the UK...hope they give YOU no reason!

What struck me when I saw that article is that Ryanair was the least complained about airline of the 37 listed. 

If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

Perhaps it has to do with expectations. There has been so much negative buzz about Ryanair for years that perhaps passengers simply know they won't be happy about anything but the price and getting there!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Ryanair has also been using a "softer" sell which seems to be working.  An article recently in the Guardian points out a 28% growth rate (comparing March 2015 to 2014), a truly impressive gain!


I've never flown Ryanair and before I would I would need to talk with someone like Rob and Garry to make sure some of the perceptions I've got about them aren't fact-based anymore.  

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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