We can endure the flight delays and questionable in-flight meals, but if there’s one thing we, the air-travelling public, can no longer stand, it’s the ever-shrinking aeroplane seat.
As airlines cram more and more seats onto planes, the size of seats have accordingly grown smaller — and legroom has disappeared before our eyes.
Airlines have been carrying on like this with impunity. Thankfully, justice might be on the way.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates civil aviation in the United States, could have to set a minimum requirement for aircraft seat width and legroom as part of a five-year extension of aviation rules.
The minimum requirements would mean seats and leg room couldn’t get any smaller — and they could set the trend for aviation globally.
The regulations were part of a FAA funding plan being considered by US Congress this week.
Last year the FAA rejected the idea of setting minimum standards for seat width and legroom but it appears Congress is pushing the aviation authority to go ahead with it, AP reported.
And taking action on the phenomenon of “ever-shrinking seats” was something both chambers of Congress agreed on, Democratic senator Bill Nelson said.
“Relief could soon be on the way for weary airline passengers facing smaller and smaller seats,” he said, reported AP.
The version of the bill announced on the weekend removed a provision to regulate what airlines could charge in fees, such as for baggage and seating reservations.
This year, US airlines were expected to fetch about $6.5 billion in such fees by the end of the year, the Washington Post reported.
The provision that was removed would have allowed the US Department of Transport to decide whether extra charges were “unreasonable” or out of line.
“Airline travellers are being gouged by exorbitant fees, but the airlines will stop at nothing to protect this billion-dollar profit centre,” Democratic senator Edward J Markey said.
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