In the skies over America, the squeeze is on.

Legroom on airplanes is going the way of free checked bags, pillows and in-flight meals. Passengers who want a little more wiggle room in their coach seats better be prepared to open their wallets.

The trend for cash-strapped airlines is to charge passengers extra to sit in a new category of roomier economy seats with names such as Big Front Seat and Economy Plus.

But where’s this extra room coming from? Ask fliers in the cheapest seats, who are now being packed closer together.

“When I fly, I no longer feel like a passenger, I feel like I’m cargo,” said James Mewes, a retired Palm Springs lighting company executive. “The seats already do not have enough padding. They have gotten narrower, and the legroom has become smaller.”