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If you’re taller than 5 feet 8 inches, forget it.  Misery awaits your travel experience on Chop Off Airlines: plan to be chopped off at the knees!  The average economy class seat offers little legroom - the "pitch" between seats averages only 28-34 inches!  Spirit Airlines gets the Orthopedic Emmy for having the most uncomfortable, smallest seats and least legroom:  a pitch of 28 inches and reclining seats!  New name:  Leg Cramp - Blood Clot Airlines! You may save on airfare, but what's your hospital medical co-pay? 

On most airlines one can only pray that the passenger sitting in front of you has mercy and does not wish to recline!!  Otherwise, you'll have their seat for a chin rest. 

Some enterprising individual has come up with an ingenious device to counteract the inconsiderate person in front of you:  The Knee Defender.  It disables the seat of the passenger in front of you from reclining into your limited space.  Depending on your neighbor's disposition, this all but insures an inevitable battle of words, hopefully not cuffs.  The FAA disapproves of cuffs, but remember, they are the same folks that permit airlines to cram in more seats that are semi-connected to the floor for ease in cramming in those "more" seats.  Witness what happened to the poorly fastened seats in the recent July 2013 Korean Air crash in San Francisco.  Your stewards and stewardesses are the judge and jury. 

Every aircraft has different seat configurations, none of them designed with your comfort in mind.  The average seat width is a whopping 17 inches - perfect for an anorexic teenager.  Many an exchange of heated words and bloody confrontations has ensued over the raising and lowering of the beloved middle armrest and elbow incursions. 

Flying today’s airlines has the appeal of third class ticket on an Indian or Bangladesh express train.  Check out the Seat Guru for assistance:


January 15, 2017:  A train full of passengers is entering a railway

station on a misty winter day.

Tarzan9280 - Copyright

Unknowing air travelers often request emergency exit rows for seating assignments, thinking there is added legroom, which is true.  What they don’t know is that the actual seat is less comfortable, often being narrower than standard seat configuration.  Infirm, elderly, and the well-endowed are usually denied exit row seating.  If you like to recline your seat, the final row should also be avoided as the seats do not recline.

The "safest seat" aboard the plane?  I recall the late, great entertainer, Sammy Davis, Jr., replying when asked why he preferred sitting in the rear of the aircraft that he didn't 'ever recall having read of any planes backing into a mountain.' 


Spirit Airlines and Allegiant, are both adept at making aircraft seating even more uncomfortable by introducing non-reclineable seats - I must admit this is a mixed bag, if you have ever had to endure the reclined seat in front of you pushing your snack tray literally into your neck!  Spirit, of course, are also the generous folks that charge you for your carry-on items to be stowed in the cabin’s overhead bins.  Might be cheap upfront, but get out your wallet for ad-ons.


Strap-on Airlines is proposing “standing row” tickets.  Passengers are buckled to a row of boards and literally stand the entire flight.  Allows the airlines to eliminate “wasted legroom” between seats and maximize passenger density. 


American derrieres are getting wider and airline seats narrower.  Presumably Twiggy is the prototype when engineering seats.  If you are reasonably endowed and dislike straddling two seats with your neighbor, you may be forced to purchase two seats or fly “first “class.  The definition of first class with some domestic airlines has become free flavored water and a candy bar on short flights  Pray you aren’t nestled between two W.W.F. wrestlers and are flying cross-country! 

If you really want to be subjected to torture, settle in your "comfortable" seat only to discover and enjoy a screaming, totally out of control unruly child in the seat beside, in front or in back of you!  Perhaps if airlines charged full fare for all passengers, including children, they could afford to offer families with small children sections cordoned off with noise barriers?  Remember the day, before the era of political correctness when movie theaters had "quiet rooms"? 

Equally perturbing is the passenger in the window seat who constantly wants to get up and move around!

As if it were not humanly possible to inflict more torture, airline sardine packing is destined to worsen, particularly on long distance and Trans Atlantic flights.  Airlines, ever the greedy weasels, are predictably reducing the number of available coach seats and adding larger first class and business sections as well as selling off their wide-body jumbo jets.  In some instances, there will be six seats across even in first class!

By now you certainly must be looking forward to your relaxing flight on Hell Airlines? 


Perhaps some enterprising airline bean counter will make restrooms off limits except to first class passengers – everyone else will be assigned a seat with a hole conveniently beneath the cushion!


If you seek comfort in flying America’s commercial airlines, reach for your wallet or stay home.