The Economic and Comfort Decline in Europe: A New Reality and Uncomfortable Travels

Ben H.

Ben H.

Oct 09, 20233 min read


The Economic and Comfort Decline in Europe: A New Reality and Uncomfortable Travels


Europeans are facing a new economic reality that they haven't experienced in decades. In contrast to Americans who have been getting richer since 2008, Europeans are becoming poorer, witnessing their purchasing power erode. At the same time, another aspect of discomfort is creeping into their lives - airline seating. With these two seemingly unrelated issues, Europe is grappling with a decline in both its economy and the comfort of its citizens.

The Economic Decline in Europe:

Europe, once envied by outsiders for its art de vivre, is losing its shine as its citizens experience a significant drop in their purchasing power. Consumption spending has spiraled downwards, pushing the continent into recession at the beginning of this year. This decline not only affects the economy but also fuels a sense of relative economic, political, and military decline that has been ongoing since the turn of the century.

Comparing European and American Wealth:

Americans have seen a steady increase in their wealth since 2008. However, Europeans have experienced the opposite, with their average annual wages adjusted for inflation and purchasing power showing a decline. This divergence in economic fortunes highlights the growing gap between the two continents and raises questions about the factors contributing to Europe's economic decline.

Uncomfortable Airline Seating:

While economic decline dominates the headlines, Europeans are also dealing with a decline in comfort during air travel. Recent discussions in Congress about updating aircraft evacuation standards have opened up a conversation about the cramped and uncomfortable seating arrangements on planes. Many travelers describe the current seating as a "new form of torture chamber," emphasizing the discomfort and lack of legroom that has become synonymous with air travel.

Connecting the Dots:

Although seemingly unrelated, the economic decline in Europe and the discomfort of airline seating share common points. Both issues highlight the declining quality of life for Europeans. The economic decline affects their ability to afford a comfortable lifestyle, while the uncomfortable airline seating adds to the overall dissatisfaction and discomfort experienced by Europeans. These two factors, combined, contribute to a growing sense of frustration and discontent among the continent's citizens.

Unique Insights:

One unique perspective to consider is the potential impact of the economic decline on the travel industry. As Europeans become poorer, they may have less disposable income for leisure travel. This, coupled with the discomfort of airline seating, could result in a decline in tourism within Europe. The economic decline and the uncomfortable airline seating arrangements may become interconnected, affecting both the economy and the travel industry.

Actionable Advice:

1. Prioritize economic policies that promote growth and address the declining purchasing power of Europeans. This can include measures to stimulate consumption spending, create job opportunities, and increase wages.

2. Advocate for improved airline seating standards and regulations to ensure passenger comfort. This can involve supporting legislation that addresses the issue and encourages airlines to provide more spacious and comfortable seating arrangements.

3. Explore alternative modes of travel within Europe, such as train or car, that offer more comfort and flexibility compared to air travel. By diversifying travel options, Europeans can reduce their reliance on uncomfortable airline seating.


The economic decline in Europe and the discomfort of airline seating may seem like unrelated issues, but they share common points and contribute to the overall decline in the quality of life for Europeans. To address these challenges, policymakers must prioritize economic growth and implement measures to improve both the purchasing power of citizens and the comfort of air travel. By taking action on these fronts, Europe can strive towards a better future, where its citizens can enjoy both economic prosperity and comfortable travels.


  1. "Europeans Are Becoming Poorer. ‘Yes, We’re All Worse Off.’", (Glasp)
  2. "Can Airline Seating Get Any Worse? ‘A New Form of Torture Chamber’", (Glasp)

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