In 2018, Congress ordered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish minimum dimensions for airplane seats within a year when the agency's funding was renewed. Four years later, it still hasn't happened.
In August, the FAA posted on its website it was seeking public input about public comment on the minimum seat dimensions that are necessary for passenger safety if a plane has to be evacuated. Current standards require evacuations to take 90 seconds or less for all passengers using half of the available emergency exists.
The deadline to comment is Tuesday, November 1.
Here's how you can submit your comment(s)
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30; U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Facsimile: Fax comments to Docket Operations at (202) 493-2251.
It's not your imagination, seats have gotten smaller over the years as airlines try to fit more passengers in their existing planes.
Flyers Rights, an airline passenger advocacy group, has been pushing for the creation of minimum seat dimensions. In 2021 article, 'The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,' the agency said airlines have shrunk seats since the 1990s.
Plus-size travelers have long expressed that the issue has always been just as much about safety--as it has been about comfort when flying.