Flying Public Finally Fights Back

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Here’s a teensy little bit of good news for you:

After a wave of pushback, American Airlines said Tuesday that it would not reduce the distance between economy seats on some of its new airplanes to make space for higher-priced seats near the front….American Airlines said in a statement Tuesday that it “received a lot of feedback from both customers and team members” about its plans to squeeze the pitch by one inch on those seats.

“It is clear that today, airline customers feel increasingly frustrated by their experiences and less valued when they fly,” the airline said.

I would provide my own interpretation of what this “feedback” was like, but this is a family site. Let’s just say that “increasingly frustrated” and “less valued” would more accurately be translated as “boiling with rage” and “treated like pieces of shit.” Oops. Family site. Make that “treated like flying fecal material.”

Anyway, at least we seem to have finally gotten a quantitative assessment of how far people can be pushed. American’s plan was to reduce legroom from 30 inches to 29 inches, and that was the final straw. So I guess 30 inches will now become the industry standard. For most of you, this actually doesn’t matter much. For us tall folks, it’s pretty intolerable. It’s one reason (among several) that I avoid flying at all costs these days.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.