Delta recently announced that they would be adding roomier “Economy Comfort” seats to its international flights. Competing carrier United Airlines already has something similar with its Economy Plus seats, which will be showing up in planes operated by its new merger partner Continental.
Economy Plus seats add up to five inches of legroom to several rows of seats in the front of coach cabins. Travelers pay a fee above the base coach fare for access to these seats.
But it will be a little while until travelers on the former Continental jets see this option. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new seats will be installed in 350 jets in 2012.
Continental does already have a handful of planes with spacier rows thanks to an effort begun last year before its wedding to United.
Since the merger, execs have been looking at the profitability of United’s Economy Plus program to decide whether or not to keep it or to put more seats back in the coach cabin.
From the WSJ:
Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of the new United, said the revenue generated by the elite frequent-fliers who occupy those seats, plus that from fliers who pay for the privilege, outweighs the theoretical loss of revenue from having fewer seats on the planes. Moreover, those passengers are significantly more satisfied with their travel experience, he said, because “not surprisingly, people prefer more space.”