You may finally have enough room to actually cross your legs during future airline flights.

The U.S. Congress recently announced that they are considering taking action against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for allowing airlines to cram passengers into seats with less and less legroom.

An organization called FlyersRights has led the way, filing a lawsuit against the FAA and demanding a larger space allocation for each seat on a plane. The group argues that tight seating could be a dangerous hinderance for passengers in case of an emergency.

FlyersRights staff attorney Andrew Applebaum told NBC News: “Over the last 20 years the average American passenger has grown taller and larger and that makes it more difficult for passengers to evacuate from the airplane.”

POPULARAir Canada Pilot Overhears Distressed Mom on Plane, Then Drives Her to Husband’s Bedside

Despite pressure from the advocacy group, however, the FAA recently issued a response to the court challenge stating that there was not enough research to mandate minimum seat space.

The amount of seat space for an economy flight from seat-back to seat-back previously averaged about 35 inches – but now as a means of fitting more passengers onto planes, some airlines have decreased the space to as low as 28 inches, and it may be enough to spur Congress to put their foot down.

CHECK OUT: She Shattered Glass Ceiling At 36,000 Feet, Becoming Airline Captain at 26

According to USA Today, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have agreed that passengers ought to have a right to expect adequate seat space—for comfort and for safety.

Mandating a standard seat space is just one proposal that is being reviewed for a new FAA funding plan that was published by lawmakers this week. Other proposals include ensuring that flight crew members are given at least 10 hours of rest between their shifts; blocking airlines from bumping passengers off of overbooked flights if they have already boarded the plane; and improving the standards for traveling service animals.

Fly This Story Over To Your Friends: Share It On Social Media


  1. I really hope they make ‘improvements’ to the seating space in the positive. Though I do not fly often–actually rarely–and am not a big person–the seating space was tight at best, and there was insufficient room to be the least bit comfortable. MOST people, I dare to say, just have to put-up with what is available, and suffer through it. I bet that if there were ONLY First Class Size Seats–they would fill them all, and people would feel better about flying. It should NOT be something we have to put-up with, just to go places. But everything costs too much in this world–so it will never happen that we get bigger, roomier travel accommodations.

  2. But they’re still going to allow the airlines to nickel and dime you to death with all sorts of fees and surcharges. What next? An “air” rental fee? You’ll be charged for check in and charged for carry on. What do you do then?

  3. At a size 16, I fit and don’t feel wedged in, but there is little wiggle room. The bigger issue is that at 5’10” (which by the way makes my size NOT obese) I have to sit with my knees being higher than my hips which is VERY uncomfortable for even a short flight, and even with getting up often. There is about an inch spare in either side between my hip and the armrest. There should be more. My brothers are 6’4″ and 6’5″ and they take trains, and no, first class isn’t feasible due to expense and even that doesn’t have enough leg room.

    I made my first cross country Amtrak journey last year and it was great. Three times the space inside compared to an airliner cigar tube space.

  4. A Golden Ray of sunshine ? Last time I flew it was horrible. We sat on the tarmac for about an hour, everyone crammed in like the veritable sardines. There was barely room to use my laptop… The pull-down tray had me pinned to the seat back…

Leave a Reply