Airline ditches middle seat

Have you ever gone to check in and select your seats only to find middle seats available? There’s a reason why – it’s the worst seat on the plane.

But one airline is ditching the middle seat in its premium economy section and, maybe someday, all other airlines will follow suit.

As of next month, Brazil’s largest airline, Gol, is launching flights from Brazil to the United States sans middle seats in the premium economy section of its Boeing 737 planes.

It’s replacing them with a table that can be shared by the passengers on either side, says Gol chief financial officer Richard Lark.

The table will also increase the distance between passengers. Premium economy flyers will enjoy 86.4cm of legroom compared to 78.7cm in standard economy.

These modifications won’t come free, but Gol hopes they will tempt passengers to pay a premium for the extra space.

Gol is not the only airline to address widespread complaints about seat space.

New premium economy seats on the Qantas Dreamliner flying non-stop to London are designed to roll back, down and under, instead of reclining backwards into the person behind.

Australia’s national carrier also increased the middle seat width by 7.6cm, which may not sound like much but it’s certainly enough to ease the suffering of sandwiched-in passengers.


Would you like to see all airlines introduce this tactic? Would you pay more for premium economy if you had such space?

Related articles:
The middle-seat survival guide
Score the empty seat next to you
What your seat says about you

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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