Hate the middle seat? Then you’ll love this airline …

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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.

Read more at www.businesstraveller.com

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

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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7 Comments

Total Comments: 7
  1. 0
    0

    I was just reading an article about KLM which is the longest continual running airline, interestingly in their first flights there were two seats with a table in between, must have been onto something in those early days, mind you I doubt very much that many of us would have been able to afford a flight.

  2. 0
    0

    In Brazil you need room for the goats and chickens….ha ha ha.
    Unlikely this will be a growth area as loss of revenue is always at the top of the list. Removing an eighth of the seats from a plane is a fair hit.

  3. 0
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    I’ve just returned from 2 weeks R & R in the Philippines flying their National Carrier. They’ve certainly lifted their game since I flew with them 20 yrs ago. Newer, more comfy planes, better quality inflight service & our flights there & back departed / arrived on time & yes, the centre row seat is a real pain in the #[email protected]*% to endure.

    Replacing the centre seat with a shared table obviously isn’t a new concept, as Jim mentions re – KLM. But I believe it will prove a popular, convenient & practical alternative for passengers, despite the probable, compensatory airfare increase due to less bums on seats. We all know how scant is surface area on the drop down meal tables.

    Now all Airlines have to do is extend the concept to cattle cargo, cause quite often whilst flying I have noticed significant numbers of empty centre row seats which aren’t making airlines any profit.

    Another thing: there would also be some weight saving by said removal of seats. Most flying folk know/acknowledge an airline’s major flight costs are caused by an aircraft’s take-off weight; so airlines may well reduce their ( expenditure per aircraft – longer term ). Though no doubt they wouldn’t pass on any savings thru reduced airfares . . . marginal or ??

  4. 0
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    Taking out the middle seat will leave two rows of single seats with space between them.

    I bet they want to charge more for the single seats to cover the loss.

    Thirty-three percent loss shared between two people is about 17 per cent each. So for the single seat you pay an extra $17 for every $100 fare.

  5. 0
    0

    Definitely hope this is a serious trend and more changes will come. Sick of the disgustingly cramped seats especially for long flights. More competition is badly needed to force such changes with less impact on fares.

  6. 0
    0

    I’m confused by this article. The picture at it’s heading is showing a 2-3-2 seat combination whereas the Boeing 737 referred to in the article has a standard (usually one class) 3-3 seat combination.
    Reading the GOL website it says that their old 3 seat combination in Premium Economy has the centre seat blocked so replacing the third seat with a table won’t increase the seat price because the centre seats were never sold anyway.
    The Boeing 737 is generally sold to low-cost airlines for short haul flights where a 3-3 seat combination, whilst not ideal, is accepted by passengers in exchange for cheaper fares.
    Like all airlines, if a customer wants more comfort then they pay for it in the ticket price and so, with respect, I can’t see what this article is all about.
    If I’ve got my facts wrong, please let me know.


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