South American airline Gol has solved the middle seat dilemma by eliminating it altogether on some flights, CNBC reports.
Gol, Brazil’s largest airline, is launching new nonstop service from Fortaleza and Brasilia to Miami and Orlando in November 2018. To ease the stress of the long (8 hour) flight, the airline announced that it would eliminate some middle seats in its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets.
The jets are built with three seats on either side of the centre aisle, but Gol will cover the middle seats in its premium economy section with a tabletop for shared use by travellers.
Of course, that class of service is priced at roughly twice the price of standard economy, so if you opt for the cheaper ticket, you could still end up in a middle seat.
Gol’s premium economy seats are roomier, too, with 34 inches of seat pitch compared to 31 inches for standard economy class seating.
Airline officials are hoping that the added room and subtracted neighbours will convince more travellers to shoulder the extra cost and help offset rising operational costs due to increased prices for jet fuel.