Over the last two decades, there has been an increasing differentiation between the “haves” and “have nots” in many respects of society. Income levels among the rich have risen with inflation, while real wages for the working class in the US have fallen, which even the manipulated inflation indices governments use haven’t been able to mask.
That trend hasn’t escaped airlines. The rich, who fly business or first class, are now treated to sleeper seats with more than 60 inches of pitch and can sleep quite well on their fully reclining beds. Meanwhile, the poor, in economy, are suffering through a reduction in seat pitch and the addition of an additional seat in each row on many aircraft, making long flights in economy a much more difficult experience than it used to be. In fact, economy has gotten to be so poor that a new class, premium economy has been created to charge more for what one was economy seating.