Uncomfortable Seats, Fees Are Why People Aren’t Flying

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The cost of plane tickets may be pretty expensive right now, but that’s not the main reason people aren’t flying.

Consumer Reports surveyed 15,000 people about their recent flights. The biggest complaints were uncomfortable seats and excessive fees.

Eight of the 10 airlines rated in the study got low marks for seat comfort.

Those in the survey were asked to rank their overall satisfaction, check-in ease, cleanliness, baggage handling, seating comfort and in-flight entertainment. When it came to overall satisfaction, Southwest Airlines was number one.

JetBlue came in second and that was followed by Alaska Airlines.

Delta, United and U.S. Airways were ranked in the bottom three spots.

  • zee the reporter

    and you feel like cattle going thru security checkpoints! zee reports!

    • Stone them!

      What gets me is the security check points the TSA molesting our children

      • Tell It Like It Is!

        Yah, and we all know who is responsible for this, and why. Only their women and children aren’t touched. It’s against their religion. Oh, and old ladies and American-American children don’t have as good a lobby to whine and push their victim status.

        • Tell It Like It Is!

          Oh yeah, and they don’t threaten violence if they don’t get their way.

  • Bee

    Ya think the seat might be uncomfortable because they were intended for normal size people not supersized like so many are these days?

    • Joe F

      the average american height is greater than the seats permit. the taller an individual the greater the girth, again the seats don’t permit.
      I do agree that there are over eaters but still need compassion at least for those that do have obesity features that are not related to over eating nor lack of exercise.

  • Kent

    Airines have nickel and dimed us to the point that it is a joke.
    Just raise the price of the ticket if fuel keeps going up. Charging my credit card for an extra bag of peanuts is demeaning.
    Quit milking us with all your stupid little money making schemes.
    We are sick of it.

    • TF

      Kent, fly Southwest… I will gladdy pay a little more to fly with them, I can bring my clubs for free, they have nice big seats with more leg room and even reasonably friendly staff.

      Seriosuly this isn’t a paid advertisment, but if people start to prefer Southwest over the other junk the other airlines will have to take suit or risk loosing significant buisness.

  • Bruce Erickson

    If they are going to keep putting the seats so close together, do not have them recline. It is uncomfortable enough without having someones hair in your face.

    • Mike

      I agree. I’m 6’5″-6’8″ (depending on what gas station I’m walking out) and my knees are in the seat to begin with. It drives me nuts how people still try to recline with my knees already jammed in their seat.

      • DoBe

        They should charge you extra and place you behind a bulkhead so the rest of us can recline.

        • Joe F

          don’t be blind! everything created especially for the tall is practically double price as to what shorter people pay. It isn’t our fault that we are tall, stop penalizing us!!! discriminator

      • Brian

        I’m with you Mike….. 6’5″ and my knees are also up against the seat in front of me and the last few flights I’ve been on it didn’t fail ….. slam back goes the seat. I understand the reclining and it’s your seat and all, but come on people let’s not be rude and go back slowly. As for the news story and seats being uncomfortable, I can’t even put my head back without looking at the person behind me. The seat back’s should be somewhat adjustable for shorter or taller people.

  • ZagYee

    I for one am sick and tired of the airlines nickel and diming us to death. Its jsut not worth the hassle anymore.


  • MAJ

    Just got back from a FL. triip w/ family on Delta. Ft. Myers/Atlanta/MSP. I have nothing but good things to say about the airlines, The service at the terminal is great.. (Yes, I went thru the full body scanner.) Seats were fine, but we are not overweight. Myself and two granddaughters had ample room in our A-B-C seats. I do check my bag and it does take longer to get off the plane as most people have carryons. So Be It.

  • alan

    I’m 6’4″ and 240 pounds. I sit in coach with my lower back compressing the padding of the seat, and my kneecaps are crammed against the rails of the seat ahead of me. My sides are being cut by the armrests. I have to put my elbows in front of my stomach to keep from being clobbered by passers-by and the cart if I am on the aisle. I hit my head on the overhead vid screens.

    Being on the east coast, I have the option and I take it. AMTRAK!!

  • Joe

    Who do you think you’re fooling? Being groped and sexually assaulted by TSA is why people aren’t flying.

    • Amy

      Joe, you are spot on…

      Uncomfortable seats…what about strangers seeing you naked and groping your body? I’m uncomfortable with TSA assuming I’m guilty and proving my innocence in order to fly – that’s what make ME uncomfortable.

  • dave

    Too much security theater, and hassle. The TSA is very out of control. Plus yes the nickel and diming … if I buy a ticket why should it cost extra to bring luggage? It’s all ridicules.

  • Frank

    Airplane rides used to part of the trip, whether it was for business or pleasure. I still remember the days when people dressed up and the airlines did their jobs. Gone are those days.

  • J

    Airlines are a convenience, and you are paying extra for that, just like any other service out there. You don’t have a RIGHT to fly, you CHOOSE to. There are other transportation options; train, bus, boat/ship,company car, etc.. If you CHOOSE to fly, you’ll have to put up with TSA, extra fee’s, etc.. If you feel you’re being hastled and gropped, there’s a real easy fix to avoid it, don’t fly. The other options do take longer to get where you’re going, but again, if you’re so annoyed by the airlines, then don’t use them. It’s a call you’ll have to make on your own.

    I don’t work for an airline or support any particular one, but I understand and except that if I want to get somewhere in the quickest way, I’ll need to fly and therefor need to except all the crap that goes along with it. No use in complaining, I won’t waste the energy. Unless you live under a rock, you know what steps need to be taken to get on an airplane, it’s not a surprise anymore.

  • Jez

    Hmmm, let’s see. Being sexually assaulted before boarding, crammed seats and peanuts. All that for your money. Not too attactive.

  • Kim

    Joe is right, nobody wants to be treated like a criminal for going to work. Neither I or my extended family will ever fly again. Start profiling or whatever you want to call it, leave your hands off and out of our women!

  • Skip

    Ya know the problem is that the airlines know that they have us hooked. Nobody wants to ride a bus or a train to where they are going because it eats up our vacation time or doesn’t get us to our business appointments fast enough. The airlines can do what they want to do because we let them. We complain about their ways and their charges for this or that, but they know that we are like sheep and will not do anything that effects their bottom line but complain. They just smile and head on down to the bank… They will not change until they are forced to.

  • Victim Du Jour

    I traveled to Europe from Chicago on SAS, and I couldn’t even lean forward with my elbows on my knees. And I kept hearing angry “Swedish Chef” like noises everytime I shifted in my seat.

    Finally I said to my friend loud enough for the guy sitting behind us to hear me say “It’s too bad I spent all that Lottery money on hookers and beer, I could have afforded better seats! Economy class sucks!”

  • Victim Du Jour

    I traveled to Europe from Chicago on SAS and I couldn’t even lean forward with my elbows on my knees.

    I kept hearing an annoyed “Swedish chef” noises behind me everytime I shifted in my seat.

  • Them

    I would rather walk!!!!!!!

  • Sarah in Outstate MN

    My hubby flies for business, but for family vacations we drive. Yeap, the price of gas is up, but we actually get to see our beautiful country and make some stops we’d normally not find. Take a drive off the beaten path (interstates), enjoy scenery and get away from all the concrete of the cities.

    Happy Vacationing!

    • Joe F

      Build bridges to connect all countries seperated by oceans, I’d be only delighted to drive. There’s no boat/ship to perform similar as planes for transportation. planes have the market cornered.

  • Swamp Rat

    Depending how far you have to travel with whatever urgency at stake, high speed rail [HSR] is looking mighty good about now. Comfortable seats, lounge &/or dining cars, wi-fi, and plenty of room to relax is yours for taking the train. Unless you have a large trunk or freight cargo extra luggage fees are non-existent on Amtrak.

    In most cases, you arrive at the station just 30-45 minutes ahead of time, park your car if your drove, check-in with your eTicket/Reservation, go easily through the depot security checkpoints, and in most cases go to your assigned car for your seat or berthing compartment. And, now your off.

    If your going to Chicago, directly, it should take 3 hours from MSP to CHI[downtown] on HSR. Can’t say it that about flying.

    Air travel doesn’t mean comfort and speed anymore. Air travel means high fares, cattle car comfort accommodations unless you are going First Class, and the stress of fees for everything relating to service. There is one airline that charges you for the supposed complimentary “water” to be had with your carry-on bag lunch, if you haven’t been charged for that!

  • BobW

    That survey misses the point. After all, its subjects have flown recently. I only scanned the preceding comments, but what I see there is much more on point. The simple fact is, commercial flying has become a pain in the butt. Why put up with it if your trip is a one, maybe even two-day journey?

    By car, I don’t have to pay a fee for luggage or wait with 150 other people for it at my destination. Departure time is under my control, no biggie if I run late. In most cars these days I have an AM/FM/CD in the dash. I pay for my own meals, but have choices of what to eat and when. My seat has windows on both sides, front and rear. Personally, I like the view aloft; but many people don’t.

    Flying was fun once. Airports had sit-down, waiter-will-take-your-order restaurants with broad menu selections. some like STL and the old DCA had first-rate shops with competitive prices. Things were informal. When one stewardess (proper word back then failed to show up for a flight from MSP to SEATAC, the other solicited me to help make up the breakfast trays. On another in a DC 3, (used on a commuter route, 28 comfortable seats, coffee/tea/milk/pop served at no charge, accessible toilet) the stewardess took the empty seat beside me after bringing my coffee and we chatted the few minutes before landing. (Some captains would have blown a gasket, true: didn’t want the stewardess showing favoritism in any way, shape or form; but today there are probably FARs against it.)

    Oh yes: most airlines would put you on a mailing list for their schedules and charges. Though they were “subject to change without notice”, they seldom did. none of this nonsense about one fare for this week, another for next week. And, of course, no checked-baggage fees.

    I love flying: in somebody’s Piper or Cessna or, even better, in the backseat of somebody’s World War Two trainer or biplane. But the security hassle and the airlines have killed my interest in airline flying. as I said at the outset, anything doable by road in one day, maybe two, I’ll drive. If the airlines want my business, they’ll have to earn it back.

  • Mark

    Well lets see.
    faster over long distances, especially overseas

    being stranded
    lost luggage
    tons of fees
    highly variable ticket prices
    poor customer service
    poor quality seating

    Unless I absolutely must be somewhere the same day… I’ll just drive thanks.

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