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

  • World shares weaken ahead of G7 meeting; oil bottoms out

    Economic CTV News
    HONG KONG -- World stock markets weakened Friday as investors awaited the upcoming G-7 summit and oil prices rebounded somewhat as markets shook off initial disappointment over a production cut deal. KEEPING SCORE: European shares opened lower, with France's CAC 40 down 0.8 per cent to 5,297.13 and Germany's DAX lost 0.5 per cent to 12,561.85. Source
  • OPEC decision stabilizes oil prices, but for how long?

    Economic CBC News
    In one of the least surprising OPEC meetings in a while, members of the cartel of oil-exporting countries and their non-member allies agreed to extend oil production cuts on Thursday, which will support the price of oil and should continue to help pave the way for Alberta's economic recovery. Source
  • The case for BlackBerry at $45 US a share

    Economic CBC News
    BlackBerry Ltd. shares have been on a hot streak — rising more than 60 per cent in recent weeks — and one technology analyst thinks some of the company's new products have the potential to help push the stock to $45 US in three years. Source
  • Malicious hackers say they demanded $50,000 ransom for stolen Bell data

    Economic CBC News
    A pair of malicious hackers say they demanded that Bell pay a $50,000 US ransom to prevent stolen customer data from being shared online, according to a person claiming responsibility for the theft. That person — who communicated with CBC News via encrypted chat using the handle "exodus" — says a ransom email was sent to Bell on May 5, detailing the extent of the breach and the thieves' terms. Source
  • Kinder Morgan announces final investment decision on Trans Mountain pipeline

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Kinder Morgan says it will proceed with the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as long as it secures satisfactory financing for the project through its initial public offering. The Texas-based company, in conjunction with its indirect subsidiary Kinder Morgan Canada, announced on Thursday its final investment decision on the project, which is conditional on the successful completion of the IPO. Source
  • Amazon opens first brick and mortar New York bookshop

    Economic CTV News
    Online retail giant Amazon on Thursday opened its first brick and mortar bookstore in New York, selling a limited range of its highest-rated books and letting customers browse products as in times gone by. Amazon, which launched as an online bookseller in 1995 but which now sells everything from designer clothes to groceries, bided its time before venturing into the US cultural capital. Source
  • Ontario threatens its own protectionism in fight against Texas Buy American bill

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - Ontario has hired lobbyists in Texas and is threatening protectionist measures of its own as it tries to convince state officials not to pass a Buy American bill. Premier Kathleen Wynne claimed victory last month after a successful Ontario push to stop similar provisions in New York state. Source
  • Alberta Energy Regulator to reconsider Suncor tailings plan it rejected

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta's energy watchdog has agreed to reconsider its rejection of a plan by oilsands giant Suncor to clean up its tailings ponds. The Alberta Energy Regulator denied the Calgary-based company's applications in March, saying they did not satisfy requirements and a new proposal was needed. Source
  • Bank CEOs say Home Capital issues not widespread

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The CEOs of two of Canada's biggest banks say liquidity troubles at mortgage lender Home Capital are not indicative of a broader problem, but they are monitoring their mortgage portfolios in light of concerns about high house prices. Source
  • Payment systems modernization long overdue: BoC official

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A senior Bank of Canada official says modernization of the country's core payments infrastructure is long overdue amid the rapid advance of new technologies -- and the risks that accompany them. In prepared remarks of a speech, deputy bank governor Sylvain Leduc says the system must be able to keep up with new payment options that, in recent years, have included innovations like PayPal, e-transfers and Apple Pay. Source