United Continental Holdings

Passengers feel the squeeze as planes take off with more seats, less elbow room

Passengers feel the squeeze as planes take off with more seats, less elbow room

Feel like your coach seat on an overseas flight is a tighter squeeze? You're probably right.

Airlines already have been wedging in more passengers by swapping heavily padded seats for ones with thinner backs or reducing the distance between rows. On wide-body aircraft typically used on international flights and certain long domestic routes, some now are adding an extra seat to each row.

The result: a little less elbow room that may mean battles over armrest turf on your next flight cross-country or abroad.

When Boeing introduced its wide-body 777 in 1995, most airlines placed orders for aircraft with nine seats across in coach.

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