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No-repair automobiles. Self-changing diapers. Never-wilt fresh flowers. Comfortable middle seats.

Which one might actually happen? Airlines and seat manufacturers have figured out that adding an extra inch of width to the middle seat can actually improve comfort for everyone in a row.

Frontier, Spirit, Air New Zealand, Etihad, Korean Air and a dozen other airlines have been installing coach seats with a bit more width for the poor soul in the middle. And the results have surprised airlines: Comfort scores improve across the row because the passenger in the middle isn’t infringing as much on the passengers on either side.

“That additional inch of benefit has translated into making the middle seat almost like you are agnostic across the row, which is really fascinating,” Spirit chief executive Ted Christie says.

Excerpt from WSJ
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