Tired Of Tiny Seats And No Legroom On Flights? Don’t Expect It To Change
Heard on All Things Considered
Again, the FAA’s standard is 90 seconds — and Bowen points out that was set in 2006, when most Americans were a little slimmer, and when planes had fewer seats and flew, on average, about 60 percent to 65 percent full.
“You’ve got passengers who are getting larger, and you’ve got seats that are not only themselves getting smaller, but are getting crammed into more narrow aisles and more narrow rows,” Bowen says.
The FAA declined to speak with NPR for this story, but in a six-page filing in response to an appeals court ruling ordering the FAA to review safety rules for seating, Dorenda Baker, executive director of aviation safety at the FAA, said there is “no evidence” that smaller seat dimensions “hamper the speed of passenger evacuation, or that increasing passenger size creates an evacuation issue.”