DALLAS, TX (SatireWire.com) — Reacting to rows of seats that came loose in flight, American Airlines today said it has inspected nearly 50 of its Boeing 757s and concluded the seats that tip back offer 68 percent more leg- and headroom and will now be considered an upgrade.
In the past week, seat rows on three American flights have come loose, causing passengers to tip back onto the row behind them. The airline said poorly installed clamps were to blame.
“We could remove all the seats and replace the faulty clamps at great cost, or we could simply call them ‘Flexiseats’ and charge a premium,” said AA spokeswoman Carly Cazorla. “We think our shareholders prefer the latter.”
“Really, they’re almost like those first-class seats that fold down into a bed,” she added. “You’re essentially horizontal.”
Instead of booking a particular row and seat, the airline said all AA passengers will now have the option to request a “sort of general region” where they’d like to end up by the time the flight lands.
If they do choose to book a seat, such as 12A, for example, they get a notice that says, “Please be advised that row 12 could suddenly become row 13. In that event, your credit card will automatically be charged for the upgrade.”
The shifting row, however, would appear to disadvantage passengers behind the Flexiseats.
“Yes, but for the inconvenience those passengers go through, we will offer, in-flight, an extra bag of peanuts,” Cazorla said. “And think of the other perks. Those two passengers can now share a book, or perhaps a laptop videogame.
Online travel site SeatGuru.com, which evaluates individual airplane seats for flyers, has already updated its system to offer advice about the new AA feature. Mousing over row 18 on its Boeing 757-200 chart reveals the following: “Seats 18 D, E, and F may offer extra legroom and headroom and good views of the ceiling. An upgrade charge applies.”
The cost of that upgrade has not been decided, but will likely be “exorbitant,” Cazorla said, since American’s competitors do not offer the Flexiseat option.
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