U.S. senator wants gov't to set airline seat-size rules

NEW YORK -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer wants to require the Federal Aviation Administration to establish seat-size standards for commercial airlines, which he says now force passengers to sit on planes "like sardines.

See Full Article

"

The New York Democrat told The Associated Press the airlines have been slowly cutting down legroom and seat width.

"One of the most vexing things when you travel on an airplane is there's almost no legroom on your standard flight," Schumer said. "There's been constant shrinkage by the airlines."

He said he will add an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill that is pending before Congress that would require the agency to set the seat-size guidelines. Schumer planned to formally announce the proposal at a news conference Sunday.

Schumer said the average distance between rows of seats has dropped from 35 inches in the 1970s to a current average of about 16.5 inches. He argues that the requirement is needed to stop airlines from shrinking seats and seat pitch, the distance between rows of seats on airplanes, even further.

"They're like sardines," Schumer said of airplane passengers. "It's no secret that airlines are looking for more ways to cut costs, but they shouldn't be cutting inches of legroom and seat width in the process ... It's time for the FAA to step up and stop this deep-seated problem from continuing."

Currently, there are no federal limits on how close an airline's row of seats can be or how wide an airline's seat must be.

Schumer pointed to a practice used by some airlines in which passengers are charged more money for seats with extra legroom. He says that "exemplifies" the problem.

"It's just plain unfair that a person gets charged for extra inches that were once standard," he said.

The FAA Reauthorization Bill is considered "must-pass" legislation, Schumer said. Congress typically renews the FAA's authorization every four to six years, using the bill as an opportunity to address a wide range of aviation issues. A vote is expected in March.

An FAA spokesman did not immediately comment Saturday on Schumer's proposal. Representatives with Airlines for America, an industry trade group that represents U.S. airlines, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Federal government should scale back spending on water, sewage systems: report

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA - A new report from a bipartisan think-tank says the federal government should scale back its spending on water and sewage systems in Canadian cities for each community's financial good. The Ecofiscal Commission report being released today makes the case that the fees homeowners pay for the water running through their taps and down their drains don't cover the full cost of service, leading to gaps in funding that upper levels of government have been trying to fill for years. Source
  • Asian stocks little changed after Wall Street tumble

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING - Asian stocks were little changed Tuesday as investors watched U.S.-North Korean tensions after a decline in tech shares dragged down Wall Street. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.1 per cent to 20,377.29 points while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,340.53. Source
  • China's richest man Jack Ma says he has 'great chemistry' with Trudeau

    Economic CTV News
    Alibaba founder and China’s richest man Jack Ma says he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have now met five times and have “great chemistry.” “See, the PM this morning talked about cutting the red tapes and improving the business environment,” Ma told BNN’s Jon Erlichman Monday after their latest meeting in Toronto. Source
  • Ottawa begins public consultations on dealing with corporate wrongdoing

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The federal government kicked off nearly two months of public consultations Monday on revising efforts to address corporate wrongdoing, including the possible introduction of a deferred prosecution agreement regime. Engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) has led the charge for deferred prosecution agreements (DPA) found in other countries as a way to resolve criminal fraud charges it faces. Source
  • South Dakotans oppose Canadian company's gold search

    Economic CTV News
    ROCHFORD, S.D. -- Some private landowners are opposing a Canadian company's search for gold in a remote area of South Dakota's Black Hills National Forest. Mineral Mountain Resources has submitted an operating plan to the forest for more than 20 drilling sites on federal land a couple miles south of Rochford. Source
  • Alberta creates advisory team to assist cities bidding for second Amazon HQ

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- The Alberta government is stepping in to help Edmonton and Calgary bid for retail giant Amazon's second headquarters. Premier Rachel Notley says the team will assist the cities to make the best bids while selling the assets the province has to offer. Source
  • Satya Nadella aims to make Microsoft mighty — and mindful

    Economic CTV News
    Satya Nadella, the Microsoft CEO who kept the company relevant as its primary PC software business faded, could write a book about the challenges he faced. And he has ... but it's not a tell-all memoir. Source
  • Donald Trump on jobs of the future LIVE

    Economic CBC News
    Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar describe military's violence and killings 2:50 Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar describe how they faced violence and killings by the Burmese military, prompting thousands of them to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Source
  • JetBlue latest U.S. airline to back Bombardier in fight with Boeing

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- JetBlue is the latest U.S. airline to back Bombardier in its trade dispute with Boeing, ahead of the expected imposition of preliminary export duties on shipments to the United States. The airline has urged the U.S. Source
  • Ontario has lost 1,000 planned rental units since new housing rules introduced:report

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- A group representing Ontario's rental-housing providers says at least 1,000 planned rental units have been cancelled or converted to condominiums since the provincial government introduced new rent control rules in the spring. A new report commissioned by the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario says the Liberal government's Fair Housing Plan has negatively impacted the province's rental housing supply. Source