A New Cranky Talk is Live – Why is Seat Pitch a Terrible Metric for Legroom?

Cranky Network Awards, Frontier, Podcast

Listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

I hate seat pitch with a passion. Back in the day, it was a reasonable proxy for legroom, but now it is not. Seat construction is so different that 30 inch pitch can be better than 32, if it’s legroom you care about.

Come join me and Dave as we discuss, or, well, as I rant about just why I hate seat pitch and what would be a better way to look at it.

We are skipping the next episode for the holidays, but we’ll be back in 4 weeks with more..

Email Dave here to tell him you wish him a happy holiday season.

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7 comments on “A New Cranky Talk is Live – Why is Seat Pitch a Terrible Metric for Legroom?

  1. In the future, could you please put the linked images in the CrankyFlier post, not just in the podcast show notes? It can be a bit hard to see the images in the web version of Spotify.

    Also, interesting story about MedJet’s most expensive transport during the ad read for this episode, glad I didn’t skip that.

    1. Second on the images!

      And wasn’t it in the late 90s or early 00s that American ran a program to have extra leg room all thru coach for a couple of years and then gave that up? Any idea what the ‘seat pitch’ was during that little adventure?

      1. Yeah, American had “More Room Throughout Coach” which ended in 2004. I think it was a response to and attempt to one-up United’s introduction of Economy Plus by essentially saying “everyone gets more room on American”. But I think in the end it meant less potential revenue with fewer seats to sell, but not the ability to charge a premium for the extra room versus other airlines with less legroom. Economy Plus seems like the right move from a financial perspective as it doesn’t remove as many seats as MRTC, as well as providing something to get passengers to pay extra for and to use as a way to reward loyalty by letting elite passengers choose those seats for free. Stand seeing how virtually every other domestic airline has copied Economy Plus further validates that it’s the right answer, again from a financial perspective. Of course from a passenger perspective, I’d rather have MRTC.

  2. One question about seat pitch. Is the reporting of it regulated? Like does getting the measurements that you proposed implemented require changing FAA or DOT regulations?

    I guess the question is, what drives seat pitch from being the dominate measure?

    1. Nick – No regulation that I’m aware of. Congress will from time to time talk about regulating it, but the limiting factor now is more about how quickly you can evacuate the airplane.

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