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Numerous Complaints Have Been Made to the Faa About How Small Aircraft Seats Are

The traveling public has a lot to say about how airplane seats and legroom are constantly getting smaller. The Federal Aviation Administration received 26,000 comments before the deadline to file a comment on Tuesday, three months after requesting public input on airline seat sizes.

One interesting observation: more than 200 commenters complained about the lack of personal space on airplanes by using the word “torture.” The FAA has requested feedback from the public regarding the need for guidelines to guarantee a safe evacuation in the event of an emergency since there are currently no regulations regarding seat measurements.

In response, thousands of passengers voiced concerns about their ability to exit their seats swiftly in an emergency in addition to the physical strain of being crammed into tighter areas. According to Emily Clarke, who is an average-sized American, “the present seats are too small for Americans,” the agency. I’m concerned that this will have a negative influence on my capacity to quickly leave the aircraft in an emergency.

Airlines must be able to remove passengers within 90 seconds, per FAA regulations. According to one passenger advocacy group, just roughly 25% of passengers can fit in airplane seats that hold 90% of passengers.

Seat pitch, which is the distance between one position in a seat and the same place in the seat in front of or behind it, has decreased to 31 inches from an average of 35 inches on many U.S. airlines. This separation measures 28 inches on some carriers.

One mom recalled telling her children to take care of themselves if problems develop and other sitting passengers are preventing their departure because they were “really squeezed into an aisle seat.” A passenger was literally wedged into an aisle seat blocking our egress, according to Tiffany Farrell of Bradenton, Florida, who told the FAA.

“As the years have gone by and the seats have gotten smaller and smaller, I have definitely been in situations with my kids where I’ve told them that if there was an emergency they would have to feel OK leaping over rows of seats instead of exiting along an aisle.”

Some readers chose to use the forum as a platform to criticize a system where only those who can afford more expensive tickets are allowed to travel in comfort. It’s good to feel like a human instead of a sardine when flying, according to Bellingham, Washington resident Meghan Sexton. Sexton also stated, “The civility of having a modicum of comfort should not be reserved for the wealthy.”

Airlines have been reducing seat capacity for many years, despite the fact that Americans have become larger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adult Americans now weigh more than in previous decades, with more than 40% of the population being obese.

In 2018, Congress instructed the FAA to establish passenger seat size rules that are essential for passenger safety. After that, the FDA determined that in simulated testing conducted in 2019 and 2020, seat size and spacing were not a safety concern.

For many years, consumer activists and some lawmakers have advocated that the FAA should consider additional potential health problems that passengers may experience when they sit in cramped areas for the duration of flights.

In contrast, the airline industry trade group Airlines for America asserted that there is “no basis” for new or amended restrictions because the relationship between safety and seat dimensions has been well investigated.

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