Skinner SeatsSome major U.S. airlines are saying out with the old and in with the new.

Old, bulky seats are being replaced with slimmer, lighter models that could provide airlines a chance to earn an extra profit, the New York Daily News reports.

Skinnier seats include thinner padding and more room for passengers. It would also allow an additional five to six passengers to board a plane. To maximize the amount of space that could be used, some airlines are shaving off some inches from the width of the airplane aisle and moving the new seats an inch closer together from front to back. According to the Associated Press, the new layout would mean more paying passengers per flight and reduced fuel costs.

Some airlines have found more creative ways to reduce seat sizing without eliminating comfort. Southwest Airlines used thinner magazine pockets and United moved the magazine rack up above the knees. These changes saved them $10 million in fuel cost and allowed them to keep seats comfortable.

Premium paying customers, such as business and first class, will not be impacted by the changes.

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  • Planes are already cramped and uncomfortable enough as it is. I sincerely hope that if airlines are going to go through with this, that they aren’t planning on using these planes for international/overnight travel. I can’t even imagine how torturous that would be.