you're making it sound like the passengers are becoming greedy. They're not. All we want is to stop decreasing the pitch and the seat widths. we're not asking for wider seats or more legroom. just leave what has worked for decades the hell alone. I work for myself and try to fly first class whenever i can afford it, but i'm not going to take a second mortgage on my house to fly first or business to Shanghai for example.
Passengers are greedy they want what they haven't paid for. Passengers want to blame everyone but themselves for what has/is taking place in the industry as it pertains to seat width and seat pitch. These low cost carriers didn't just pop up overnight these low cost carriers didn't just decided to reduce seat pitch to 28-29 inches overnight. They have done this over time and as low cost carriers grow in popularity and siphon passengers away from the larger legacy carriers these carriers have to respond to what the market is demanding. As long as people continue to fly airlines like NK airlines like UA, AA and DL will have to respond and the only way to bring down the cost is to spread that cost around but to do that the airlines have to add more seats.
Airlines bare some responsibility but the bulk of what's happening in this industry in terms of passengers space while on board is the passengers own fault people think air travel should be cheap and will buy the cheapest ticket they can find. Why do you think websites like Priceline and bookit have become so popular because people want to compare prices and will in most cases book the cheapest fare.
Many of us may have been asleep at the wheel when these changes started domestically years ago but just look at whats happening internationally as more and more low cost carriers are flying across the Atlantic and Pacific. So far legacy carriers both domestic and international have largely ignored these low cost carriers but as more and more passengers are siphoned away drawn to the low cost no frills carrier at some point the legacies will have to respond. Right now these low cost carriers offer decent room on international flights but as their cost rise and as fuel prices go up they will look at ways to keep prices low which means adding seats and as long as passengers choose with their wallet the lowest cost airlines will continue to respond by cramming in more passengers until you get to the point that you can't fit any more passenger on the plane.
I am a shareholder of a number of airlines and I PROMISE YOU, it is not that "customer is cheap" it is rather...
"How else can we make MORE money?"
As long as people need to fly, they will "endure" being treated like cattle.... everything has a price.
Given the choice, you can either drive or take the train in "luxury" or for more money take the plane and be treated like trash.... why do you take the plane? Because it is a hell of a lot faster.
Airlines know that and that is what their new experiment is... how much can we squeeze out without people complaining.
Furthermore, prices are going down NOT because people demand it but because there is PLENTY of capacity, relatively fuel efficient jets, and startups to keep domestic rivals fairly honest.
Delta does not charge $800 to fly EWR to MSP because it is their cost... they do it because there is enough people willing to pay that price to get from EWR to MSP in 2 hours and being there quick is more important than comfort for a few hours.
Delta's job is to see how many others they can squeeze in and how to maximize profits.
It has ZERO to do with "people want to pay less" and everything to do with their FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY TO THEIR SHAREHOLDERS!
Commuter trains are all about making people comfortable, when they have more riders they add more cars... they do not make seats smaller.