Pack your can opener! Airlines squeezing in more seats


Short people rejoice! You're at an advantage in the travel universe.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the airlines are falling over themselves in a rush to cram more seats into already-tight cabins.

The race is motivated by the same impulse that has caused them to throw luggage fees at us in the past year: Trying to stay one step ahead of bankruptcy. More seats equals more potential income. There goes your legroom.

For example, American Airlines is taking delivery of some new 737-800s, which up to now have carried 148 passengers. The new planes, though, will carry 160 in the same amount of space.

Even though the space crunch is fueled by profit, the airline will actually have to pay an additional flight attendant to make it happen, since federal law mandates one attendant for every 50 passengers. So how much, exactly, do they really stand to make out of our misery?