As you probably know by now, legroom in coach is getting tighter and tighter. That’s because the airlines have started squeezing more seats into planes to make more money. If you don’t want to pay money to upgrade to a seat that has better legroom you can use points from the Capital One Venture or Chase Sapphire Preferred. If less legroom isn’t bad enough, some airlines (ahem, American) now charge extra for a regular coach seat but disguise it as a “Preferred Seat.” How’s that? Take for example this 737—800 flying from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The Economy section has 114 standard seats with just 31 inches of pitch (legroom) and the seats are 17.2-inches wide. There are also 30 Main Cabin Extra that have 35-37 inches of legroom. The seats are still 17.2-inches wide.
You would think by looking at American’s seating chart (above) that these Preferred Seats are special since they cost $62 to reserve. But after closer review (see SeatGuru’s seating chart, below), the only thing special about them is that they are towards the front of the plane.
So: If you wanted to sit in an Economy seat with extra legroom on this flight (or one with a similar 2,000-mile distance), then you’ll have to pony up $101 for Main Cabin Extra or have elite status on American.
FYI: The plane also has 16 recliner First Class seats that have 40-42 inches of legroom and are 21-inches wide.
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