Uncomfortable airline seats are travelers' top gripe

Uncomfortable seats and limited legroom were the top gripe for 77% of travelers surveyed

Several of the nation’s largest airlines have reported record profits for the first three months of the year, thanks in part to lower fuel costs, steady travel demand and the growing use of thin-cushion seats that allow carriers to squeeze more passengers into each plane.

Although airlines have proclaimed that the new seats are just as comfortable as traditional seats, travelers disagree.

In a survey released last week of 2,700 members of the travel website TripAdvisor.com, 65% of fliers who have tried the thin-cushion seats say they are less comfortable than other seats, 16% say the seats are more comfortable and 14% say they can’t tell the difference.

In fact, 77% of those surveyed named uncomfortable seats and limited legroom as their top travel gripe.

When TripAdvisor conducted a similar survey in 2011, only 26% of travelers named uncomfortable seats and tight legroom as their top complaint; passengers also groused about fees and rising airfares.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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