Bipartisan Measure to Address Airplane Seats

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Bipartisan Measure to Address Airplane Seats

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It’s a modern day wonder…the incredible shrinking airline seat. While the average American is growing…some of us taller, most of us wider…airplane seating is becoming more cramped, and it’s not just due to our size. In the 70’s legroom was better with an average 35 inches between seats, now it’s 31 inches. And we’re squeezing into seats that are as much as 2.5 inches narrower, from 18 inches to 16 ½.

Two congressional representatives have reached across the aisle to address the issue because they say it’s not just a consumer issue, but a safety concern. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), argue that this is a safety issue, not just a comfort one. In an op-ed in USA Today, Cohen commented: “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires airplanes to be able to be evacuated quickly in case of emergency. However, testing hasn’t been done on all of today’s smaller seat sizes.”

Cohen attempted to pass the SEAT Act in 2015, as an amendment to a reauthorization bill for the FAA, but it died in committee. This time the measure will be introduced as stand-alone legislation. “I’m grateful to join my colleague, Rep. Cohen, in announcing our plans to introduce the Safe Egress in Air Travel Act in the 115th Congress,” said Kinzinger in a press release.

“The time to examine the safety implications of smaller airplane seats is now, not after some future tragedy. Needless to say, the airlines don’t want this to happen. Smaller seats mean higher profits, and they’ll do whatever they can to defeat this bill in Congress,” Cohen said. Minimum width and legroom space would be mandated as a result of these sort of evacuation tests.

Want the specs on airline seat by airline?  Try this link



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