Be prepared for smaller seats on your flights in the coming years. Airbus has plans to reduce seat sizes to accommodate new extra-wide seats. On a typical airliner, seats are 18 inches wide, but Airbus’ new seat format offers an extra-wide aisle seat that is 20 inches wide, at the expense of the middle and window seats, which each lose an inch, making them just 17 inches wide. As of yet, it's not been announced which airlines will be installing the new seats, or what the pricing structure will be. However, in line with many airlines that charge more for seats with extra legroom, it’s likely that the extra-wide seats will come at a premium, while the narrower seats will simply become the norm.
Not surprisingly, 84 percent of respondents to a Skyscanner survey say the move was unfair. Says Sam Poullain, a Skyscanner spokesperson: “The issue of charging more for bigger seats is a contentious issue as it gives airlines a financial incentive to reduce standard seat sizes. Airbus’ new extra-wide seat format is a clever way for airlines to generate more revenue, but it’s inevitable that some passengers will feel hard done by as they’ll be losing an inch from their seat widths.”