Airlines Consider ‘Economy Minus’ Seats With Less Room, Lower Price

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — It has been more than a decade since United Airlines introduced air travelers to the concept of “Economy Plus” which gives coach flyers a few extra inches of legroom for a few extra dollars.

Other airlines soon jumped on board as the idea picked up steam but flyers may have to get ready for something entirely different as, according the the LA Times, an un-named major airline is now tinkering with the idea of offering something called “Economy Minus,” with less legroom and seats that don’t recline at a discount price.

Henry Harteveldt is the founder and travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research Group in the Bay Area and told KCBS that travelers are always looking for deals, so the idea seems to make sense on paper.

“There are a lot of factors that need to be better understood: how much less leg room are we talking about? What else may, or may not, be included in this so-called Economy Minus fare? How much of a savings are we talking about? Is it $10, $30, $70, more? We don’t know,” he said.

Harteveldt said it’s not hard to figure out why the airline industry would try something like this—squeezing in more people onto these planes as a way to increase profits.

However, he said, they need to be careful about the possibility that Economy Minus could become so popular that it could actually start to erode profits.

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