Could This Make Economy Seats Better?

economy seats
Written by Charlie

When it comes to airplane travel, there are many people that travel in economy seats and others who do all they can not to travel in economy. Like it or not, economy seats still give you access to places around the world at a relatively low price – in miles or money. But, those that avoid the economy cabin do so (mainly) through collecting and spending more miles or through complimentary upgrades as an elite flyer. Economy cabins got a lot of press a couple of months ago when the battle of the reclined seat hit the headlines (thanks, KneeDefender). As one who has flow quite a few miles in some of the best first class cabins in the world as well as some of the worst economy cabins in the world, I normally do not mind where I am flying (on the plane) as long as I can get where I want to go!

Do you think airplane economy seats are bad?

The funny thing is that I have actually sat in many seats that are even worse than economy seats on airplanes. Not only that, I sit in these seats that are hard plastic, not a lot of legroom, no meal table, no free water, and no free peanuts! Talk about horror! Plus, I will sit in these seats for several hours and I never hear anyone complain about these seats! I am wondering if maybe we should start moving to those seats for airplanes, maybe that is the answer. Or maybe it is the view, though I would have thought that the view from above 30,000 feet would be a pretty good view, that baseball stadiums offer. That’s right, I am talking about baseball stadium seats.

economy seats

Baseball seats / from flickr user Tom Woodward

Sure, people get up from their seats quite a bit during a game, but there are also many others that sit there for long periods of times. I have sat for almost 4 hours watching a game at Yankee Stadium and never once thought about the uncomfortable seat! I will say, there was a couple of times that we had some incredible seats (padded, waitress service) at Yankee Stadium and our best seats being in Toronto (Row 1 next to the dugout). However, those seats still do not equal the seats that we get on the all-economy Southwest!

economy seats

Imagine rows of these in baseball stadiums – United 787 economy seats

How to make economy seats better – maybe 🙂

Maybe it comes down to what we watch  – just load up last night’s game of San Francisco Giants against the Washington Nationals on a transatlantic flight (the game lasted 6 hours and 23 minutes). Or maybe, it is a matter of perspective – in comparison, our economy seats really aren’t that bad! 🙂 If we put rows of airplane seats in a stadium, it would probably be considered the most comfortable stands in sports. Or maybe if we sold airplane coach seats in even more segmented classes – Grandstand Class, Terrace Class, Main Terrace Class, Field Level Class, Legacy Class. 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.