Judge: FAA must review airline seat sizes
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Ask any traveler the worst part about their flight and you're bound to get some repeat answers.
"The seats, man," one traveler said.
"A little too close together," another person said.
"Sometimes not so comfy... sometimes a tight fit," one person said.
"I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one," someone else said.
That's true, according to Dr. Brent Bowen, the dean at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. Passengers are fed up with cramped space and for the past 30 years, he's released an airline quality performance rating.
"It's showing an increase in frustration with the flying experience," he said.
One of the big points of contention is airline seats are shrinking, while people are getting bigger.
"The traveling public is very frustrated," Dr. Bowen said.
But there could be some help for passengers uncomfortably squished into those seats.
A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals has directed the Federal Aviation Administration to re-address a petition that raised safety concerns about cramped spaces.
The petition wants the FAA to regulate seat size and the space in between seats. The issues raised are two-fold; the smaller seats could make it more difficult to evacuate a plane in the event of an emergency, and could be harmful to some passengers health issues, especially those susceptible to blood clots.
But Dr. Bowen warns a fix could be a longtime coming.
"Who knows right now," he said.