That open middle seat really is harder to find these days.
A new report by the Government Accountability Office said there are fewer flights and fewer airplane seats available than there were seven years ago. Small and medium-size airports have seen the largest decline, with flights down as much as 24 percent since 2007.
"Only government-subsidized air service to rural communities has been increasing, and that's largely a reflection of congressional efforts to prevent some small airports from losing commercial service entirely. The number of flights serving airports in the federal Essential Air Service program has increased nearly 20 percent, and the number of seats were up almost 8 percent since 2007. Of the 160 airports served by that program, 43 are in Alaska," the Associated Press said in this article.
The report cited airline mergers and high fuel prices for the reduction in flights and seats domestically.