Lawmakers making final push to widen airplane seating

Push to regulate plane seat sizes

TAMPA, FL -- The Hulme family has a long trip ahead. Ten hours back to the U.K.

"It’s bad enough. It’s bad enough as it is," said Katharine Hulme. 

They aren’t excited about the crammed quarters for their long ride home. 

"It’s already quite tight," said Richard Hulme

"And, actually if you’re slightly tall and your knees are bumping into the seats in front and annoying the people, yeah, it would be really really annoying."

Some members of Congress, like Rep. Steve Cohen, are hopeful they can help. He filed a bi-partisan bill requiring the FAA to establish minimum seat sizes for planes – giving you a comfier and safer ride.

"If people can’t get out of an airplane in an emergency condition, they lose their lives. Shouldn’t be after there’s an accident," Rep. Cohen said. 

Seating has slowly gotten tighter over the years. Back in the 70s, they were about 35 inches apart giving you more legroom and now they are about 31 inches. There’s some proposals out there to take more room away.

Imagine someone reclining above you. Jet maker Airbus tried to get a patent for that model of seating. They also looked into a somewhat standing design. Now, they’re aiming for bench-like seating. And, another company created a pattern, which could add 30 more seats to a plane.

Traveler Brian Rando is flying with his family back home to Grand Cayman. He trusts that the airlines know what they’re doing.

"I just want the government out of pretty much anything right?" He said. 

"I think you have to leave it up to the airlines. Let competition do its thing."

An earlier attempt to amend seating rules didn’t take off, but Cohen and his cosponsors seem determined to keep pushing. 

The proposal to widen plane seats expires at the end of the year if lawmakers don't take action. 

To learn more about Congressmen Cohen calling for action on airplane seat sizes, CLICK HERE and HERE.


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