FAA to take public comment on size of airplane seats; local travelers weigh in

·2 min read

The Federal Aviation Administration will soon be taking public comment about the size of airplane seats.

Channel 11 talked with travelers at Pittsburgh International Airport — some travelers say it’s about time.

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Daniel Tajoe is flying back to Boston and says just an inch added to airplane seats would make a difference.

“They are tiny. They could be bigger. How much bigger? I guess maybe an inch more so you can have a little more squeeze room,” Tajoe said.

But others, like Jamie Swank, say the seats aren’t an issue for her.

“I think they’re fine. I fly a lot so you kind of get used to it,” Swank said.

After years of inaction, the FAA announced it will open a 90-day public comment period to allow feedback on airplane seat size standards.

Congress ordered the FAA to establish minimum dimensions for airplane seats.

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“I have no complaints about the seats. But I think it’s a good idea if people are having trouble,why not fix it,” Frank Camerota said.

“I think it’s a good idea. A lot more people should be sampled and should be asked if the seats need to be expanded,” Tajoe said.

Over the years, you may have noticed that airplane seats have gotten progressively smaller, going from 20 inches to 17 inches as airlines tried to fit more passengers on their existing planes.

It’s also a pressing issue for plus-size travelers, which goes well beyond comfort to being a safety issue when a plane has to be evacuated

According to Travelers United — which deals with federal agencies and customer complaints — the airlines are raking in billions of dollars because of the smaller seat sizes and says it’s long overdue for the FAA to step in.

“The faa has got a lot to do right now. It has to deal with reality,” Charles Leocha said.

The details about how the public can comment about airplane seat standards are expected to be published in next week’s federal register.

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