Travelers ask FAA to widen airplane seats


(NewsNation) — The FAA received more than 26,000 comments from travelers about airline seating after a recent seat safety survey.

The FAA launched the survey in August in response to a 2018 Congressional mandate to further examine passenger comfort and safety in the event of an evacuation after receiving public notice and comment.

Right now, the FAA does not require any minimum seat dimensions and the survey looked for public comment on the minimum seat dimensions that are necessary for passenger safety.

Most travelers who responded to the survey hammered the FAA with complaints about how small and uncomfortable the seats are.

“It is suffocating and painful to travel any distance with your knees in your face and can’t move your seat back. It’s abusing the public,” a public submission posted on October 17 said.

Another comment posted on November 1, said: “Passengers being so tightly packed that they can’t move and lose circulation and get stiff and cramped muscles is so incredibly obviously unhelpful in emergencies. Plus the discomfort, anxiety, and malcontent it causes which only contributes to arguments, fights, and abuse toward airline staff.”

According to a report by the nonprofit organization FlyersRights, the average man’s shoulders are wider than the seat, and if a traveler is taller than 5’10”, their head will sit taller than the seat back. Also, the average legroom has decreased from 35 to 31 inches over the past four decades, the report said.

The FAA told NewsNation that they are reviewing all the comments, but there is no timeline for what happens next. After reaching out to several major airlines, only one airline responded, directing the request for comment to their union.

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