Just what we need: less legroom on airplanes

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If you think airline seats are cramped now, just wait. The next generation of passenger airplanes, now being delivered by Boeing to American Airlines, will be even more torturous than the "cattle-call seating" we suffer through now, according to the Wall Street Journal. The planes will feature "slimmer" seats (for all of us ever-slimming Americans, I guess), and — get this — less legroom. Less legroom!? How in hell can there be any less legroom? What are they going to do, make us sit cross-legged on top of our seats? Will they hand out coupons for discounts on leg amputations?

OK, I didn't blink when they stopped serving whole drinks, I didn't care when free meals got the axe, and hey, who really needs peanuts on a plane? But "slimmer" seats and less legroom? Why don't airlines just go ahead and design the interiors of their planes so they're as efficient as the set-up on old slave ships? If they want to really economize, they should make passengers lie down in rows, head to foot, with rows stacked on top of rows. OK, that's sarcasm on my part, but please, please don't let any airline executives read this, or we're likely to be introduced in the next couple of years to "Our new, exciting, 'Middle Passage' jets — for those trips when you have no other choice!" JesusMaryJoseph, and airline honchos wonder why people hate them.

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