Congress Is Addressing Cramped Airplane Seats This Week, an Irritating Issue on Both Sides of the Aisle


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a man sitting on a blue surface: Congress could require the Federal Aviation Administration to provide larger seats and more legroom on planes.

Legislation being considered in the House this week could require the Federal Aviation Administration to provide larger seats and more legroom to passengers, the Associated Press reported. The legislation is part of a 5-year extension of FAA programs, and Congress will have until September 30 to keep the programs running.

The average airline seat has shrunk in recent years, with the width dropping from 18 inches to 17 inches or less, USA Today reported. But as seat sizes shrink, passengers are also getting bigger, making air travel even more inaccessible to some. One survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that an average woman who weighed 140 pounds in 1960 weighed close to 169 pounds by 2014.

“Relief could soon be on the way for weary airline passengers facing smaller and smaller seats,” said Florida Democrat, Sen. Bill Nelson, according to the Associated Press.

With $14.7 billion in profits in 2017, a figure that was up 7.4% over 2016, the airline industry has the means to give back to passengers.

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