Should the Government Do Something About Shrinking Airline Seats?

As some airlines try to convince leisure travelers that experience counts more than price, they may want to take another look at seat size.

A recent poll by travel deals site Airfarewatchdog found 55% of 2,100 travelers think the government should regulate seat size. And 38% said airlines should be required to disclose seat size more prominently, while 4% felt nothing should be done and 6% haven’t noticed seats getting smaller. The poll was conducted on Airfarewatchdog’s website and newsletter in late March.

Lately it seems economy-class passengers have gotten used to putting up with discomforts to snag a cheap fare. But finding a happy medium may be getting harder, as some airlines dole out other fees like those for extra-legroom or even sitting together with families.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid extra fees, either by budgeting for money-wasters, as we’ve discussed, or opening a travel rewards card, which can offer perks such as free checked bags and the occasional seat upgrade. (You can learn more about the best airline credit cards in America here.)

You can also potentially secure cheaper airfare and/or better seat by flying on weekdays (experts recommend Tuesday and Wednesday for best fares) or booking about 57 days prior to vacation, although this varies for international flights.

Remember, if you’re considering a travel rewards card, you’ll want to know where your credit stands so you have a sense of what type of card you may qualify for. (You can view your credit scores, updated each month, for free on If your credit’s in bad shape, you may be able to improve your score by disputing errors on your credit reports, paying down high credit card balances and limiting new inquiries.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: Linda Bair

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