New York Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has blasted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the potential to let airliners shrink passenger seats.

The Democrat politician has encouraged the New York community to push back against the proposal to allow airlines to reduce seat space for passengers on flights, with the FAA opening the proposal to public comment till November 1st.

“When talking to travelers on airplanes the number one complaint I get is how cramped the seats are,” Schumer said in a press conference on Sunday. “How you can’t fit yourself and anything in them and how your knees bump up.

According to Schumer’s office, legroom has dropped from 35 inches before airline deregulation in the 1970s to about 31 inches, and seat width has been cut from 18.5 in the 1990s and 2000s to about 17 inches.

Chuck Schumer at a press conference
Chuck Schumer put on showmanship in his press conference on Sunday © Kevin C. Downs

The FAA has already received more than 12 thousand comments on their public submission page, with many of pushing back against the proposal (complaining that seating space is tight as it is).

As a long time flyer with almost 3 million miles on Delta alone, I have been concerned for years about the impact of shrinking seat sizes and the space between rows of seats on emergency evacuation, one commenter wrote.

I don’t believe the carefully staged evacuation tests with atypical participants is a good indicator of what is likely to happen in an actual airline emergency evacuation.I encourage the FAA to do a critical evaluation of this issue.

The US aviation is continuing to rev back up after being severally impacted by the pandemic, as reported by Travel Radar.

Do you think the seating space on North American airlines are too squished? Let us know in the comments…


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