Airplane seats are smaller than ever, but the CEOs of Delta and American vow they won't shrink anymore (AAL, DAL)

American Airlines Boeing 777

  • The CEOs of American Airlines and Delta Air Lines “pledged” that the seats on their planes won’t get any more cramped than they are now.
  • The American CEO Doug Parker and Delta boss Ed Bastian made the promise in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

The seats on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines won’t get any smaller than they are now. At least, that’s what the CEOs of two of the largest airlines in the world told the Wall Street Journal.

In a recent interview with the publication, American CEO Doug Parker and Delta chief executive Ed Bastian both “pledged” that the new seats on their planes won’t be any tighter than they are now. 

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz declined to take part in the story which featured both CEOs crammed into a middle seat in the economy cabin of a Boeing 777, a workhorse of both airlines’ international long-haul fleets. United did not comment on why its chief executive declined the interview.

Delta 8American’s widebody 777 cabins have seat pitch or the amount of room between two row of 31 inches. Although, its new 737MAXs have just 30 inches of pitch. While Delta’s revamped Boeing 777 holds steady at 31 inches. Some of Delta’s older Airbus A320-family jets also have just 30 inches of pitch, but Bastian admits that’s a move the airline would no longer make.  United’s 777s also have 31 inches of pitch. 

There is one difference that sets Delta apart from the other two. While American’s 777s boast 10-seat per row in a 3-4-3 configuration, Delta offers a roomier nine-seat layout. United operates a mixture of both nine and ten-abreast 777s. In fact, Delta and United are some of the last remaining airlines in the world to a hang nine per-row layout. 

Emirates, the Boeing 777’s largest operator, flies with 10 seats per row. 

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