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The bad news concerns not the properties of the new Recaro seats, which are slimmer and have the literature pocket relocated toward the top of the seatback, but the number of them.

Because the new seats are thinner, simply swapping them in as replacements for the current seats would result in an increase in pitch, industry jargon for legroom. And with fuller flights and fatter flyers, the time has come for airlines to do just that. The industry-standard 31 or 32 inches of pitch in coach needs to be revised to accommodate the new reality.