Cramped or comfortable, new airline seats still put the squeeze on fliers

Cramped or comfortable, new airline seats still put the squeeze on fliers

NBC News Travel

Such experiences may become increasingly common as airlines take advantage of new seat designs that allow them to squeeze an extra row of seats into economy cabins and, in some cases, an extra seat into existing rows.  

"The airlines are trying to maximize revenue by adding more seats without sacrificing space," said Ranga Natarajan, senior product manager for SeatGuru.com.  "Some have done a good job; in others, space is limited so people are feeling cramped."

Many of those new seats are so-called slimline models that are less bulky than their predecessors.  Utilizing lighter materials, thinner cushions and ergonomic designs, the seats take up less space, allowing many carriers to add an extra row to their cabins.