It’s 29 inches! Plenty of space to watch the world pass you by in the window of an airplane, right? That’s a good couple feet…plus 5 inches! It’s even a make-able putt but not a gimme. I mean the saying goes if you give an inch, someone will take you a mile. If you take 29 of them, you’ll certainly travel far I would think. Or maybe you’ve heard that size is relative. It’s honestly how you internalize 29 inches that counts and maybe it is more room than we think?

The realization that airlines would convert rows of their seats for a pitch of 29 inches reverberates throughout the travel world. Most of the reaction is negative while a few have just responded with a, “Meh, could be worse.” No matter which side of the 2 foot+ fence you stand on, you’re sure to have a comprehension of just how much space we are talking about here. Again, 29 inches could be a lot or a little depending on your perspective. For a person of 6 foot tall or more, 29 inches is quite tight. For those with a little less proximity to the higher altitudes, 29 inches could be a walk in the park.

Here’s some fun facts about the number 29:

Just for comparison, it would take 60 seconds for a snail to travel 29 inches so that should make you feel better. That size is almost comparable to the average waist size of a female. And, for your next question the answer is no, I won’t tell you what that average is out of fear. Your carry on bag, which at 22 inches is the same size as Shaq’s foot also nears┬áthat 29 inch threshold. Don’t forget that 29 inchworms would add up to that abundant space. 29 inches is almost 25% the length of a Smartcar, and if that doesn’t give you that feeling of openness, nothing does. If you do a simple equation you can easily turn 29 inches into 73.66 centimeters. Just like that you’ve more than doubled your size! Did you know that 29 in Roman Numerals is XXIX, which is probably our average shirt size in our healthy conscious world these days.

There’s a number of fascinating facts surrounding the number 29 and as you can guess, not a single one mentions airline seat distance. That’s a shame because there seems to be a real opportunity to make people feel good about that number. Like I mentioned before, it’s all in the perspective. With just a little glitter around the edges, even 29 inches could be a wonderful thing. Again, having a 29 inch waistline would be pretty awesome.

The Reality is This…

All of these fun facts add up to one reality. A 29 inch pitch between seat rows sucks! It’s a shame to go through that entire build-up to come crashing down to the miserable decision that airlines have made that puts them into exclusive company with some of the most hated decisions ever. But to be certain, we all know that those airlines who have and are considering such a move won’t be swimming on that isolated island for long. The airline industry has taught us one truth. And that is, if one can do it and take on the heat, the rest can do it as an afterthought. And we travelers will take it like we always do.

It’s hard to replicate how uncomfortable this 29 inch distance is until you’re assuming the position for a long transatlantic flight, or worse, a leisurely jaunt across the Pacific. But go ahead and give it a shot and measure out 29 inches from your desk or any seat that’s handy. Now, sit there for about 8 hours. While you’re at it, ask your friends to scream like a baby and sneeze around you for effect. That should give you just a teaser of what to expect and you can be sure to magnify that by 10. And for those that see the reduction of an inch as no big deal, cram another chair in front of you and see how it feels. You could suggest that you always have the opportunity to stand up and stretch, but with options lately that include fist fights, urinating in cups and armrest wrestling, that option no longer sounds palpable.

But hey, it’s good for the economy right? I mean if airlines are making money, we’re all making money! And who doesn’t want to see some good economic development for a sacrifice of one inch. You have to take one for the team every now and then and if we need to take a few extra trips to the chiropractor, well so be it. Those additional seats and rows will also bring in additional government fees on the tickets. All that adds up to money for a company, medical income due to back issues and extra income for Uncle Sam, all for one inch. Now don’t you feel much happier about these decisions?

Now that’s something you can be proud of next time you drag your humpback off your next flight!

Live Within Your Means, Travel Beyond Them!