It’s not your imagination. Airline seats are shrinking.
A wave of air-rage incidents has exposed the problem like a threadbare economy class seat on an aging puddle jumper.
“Airlines are aggressively reducing seat and passenger space to squeeze more revenue out passengers, despite health and safety being threatened,” says Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org, an advocacy group for air travelers.
Actually, the solution is as simple as developing minimum seat comfort standards and enacting common-sense government regulation to enforce them.
Over the years, many carriers have quietly moved the seats closer together, reducing both seat pitch and cushion sizes, and insisting that their customers demanded it. How so? They claim that we only wanted cheap fares and were willing to sacrifice space for it. But they didn’t have any compelling numbers to back that assertion.
Truth is, as a consumer advocate, I’ve never received a request from a passenger to reduce the amount of space on a plane. No one ever asked to be squished into a seat in exchange for a deal.
That must end. One fix is for a pro-consumer U.S. Senator to slip a sentence in the next FAA Reauthorization Bill, asking the Transportation Department to establish minimum seat space standards.
FlyersRights.org is also pushing for legislation that would require the FAA to set seat standards.