Congress Close to Stopping Shrinking Airline Seats


The U.S. Senate will soon take up the multi-billion dollar Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act that many hope will finally stabilize the airline industry.

“The biggest thing in there is it would require the FAA to issue regulations on minimum seat size within one year, and that's something we've been looking for, for over three years now,” says Paul Hudson with FlyersRights.org.

Even if seat sizes were removed from the bill, Hudson says there's still hope the courts could intervene.

“The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals required the FAA to take another look at our petition that would require there would be a freeze on any further shrinkage, and that the agency appoint an advisory committee to come up with reasonable regulations,” he says.

The House dropped the idea of privatizing air traffic controllers, but banned the practice of bumping ticketed passengers and reinforcing tarmac rules.

However, airlines will still be allowed to advertise fares without including taxes and fees.

“You could have a situation where your airfare is advertised for a dollar and everything else is extra, and you wouldn't find out what the extras are until you're ready to buy the ticket or until you get to the gate,” says Hudson.

Lawmakers are looking to finalize the bill this summer.


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