{{show_title_date || "Airplane leg room shrinking, crowded flights growing, 7/6/13, 7:52 AM ET"}}

Downsized airplane legroom adds to discomfort for passengers

Updated

With travelers on the move over this extended July Fourth weekend, big crowds, long lines and massive headaches are expected at airports across the country.

The shrinking amount of legroom inside of airplanes is “pretty much at the limits of anatomical possibility,” said Mark Gerchick, aviation consultant and former chief counsel for the Federal Aviation Administration. Additionally, the in-flight air quality provides passengers with a Russian roulette experience with the potential of catching an airborne illness.

“The volume of air is shared among many, many more people, sort of like a rush-hour elevator,” Gerchick told msnbc host Alex Witt Saturday.

Not only do passengers’ health and comfort take a hit, but their pocketbooks also suffer in the form of fees. Airline fees for items such as bags and ticket changes “make the difference between profits and loss for the industry,” Gerchick said.

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Downsized airplane legroom adds to discomfort for passengers

Updated