Are Coach Seats That Slide Forward a Good Thing?

The big thing at NBTA seems to be showing off seats. Dozens of airlines seemed to have brought their seats with them to make the travel managers drool. While most simply showed off the best seats onboard, others brought everything from coach all the way up. When I stopped by American, I was particularly interested in their new coach seat which is being installed on new 737-800s and some 757s as well. After all, I spend most of my time in coach, so that’s where I get most interested.

The new seat doesn’t recline like a traditional seat. It now actually slides a little forward and up while reclining less than it used to. This gives a very slight cradling feeling when you’re sitting there. Here’s a short 30 second video I took for those who aren’t familiar with the seat.

I know other airlines have moved this way, but I’ve heard mixed reviews. American’s display was quite misleading because there was no seat in front of you. That meant that when the seat moved slightly forward, you still had a ton of leg and knee room. Obviously, that’s a different story than when you’re on the plane.

Who out there has opinions on this? Is this new design any good or do you prefer the old way of doing things?

(And no, you can’t have it where you get the old seats but the person in front of you gets the new ones that don’t recline very far.)

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