Judge orders FAA to review airline seat size decision

Atlanta, Ga. (NBCNC) – Every flyer knows it: seats are getting smaller.

But this morning, it’s the airline industry in a tight squeeze thanks to a court ruling one judge calls “The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat.”

The FAA argued its main concern is safety, not comfort

It mandates passengers must be able to get out of a plane within 90 seconds of an emergency. But it maintains seat size has no effect on that.

The court ruled the FAA didn’t provide enough evidence and ordered the agency to review its decision “not” to regulate seat size.

The advocacy group “Flyers Rights” brought the lawsuit, citing data that over decades the “seat pitch,” or average distance between two seats, has dwindled from a comfortable 35 inches to 31, some planes as low as 28.

While seat width narrowed from about 18-and-a-half inches to 17.

Critics say airlines are cramming people in for one reason–profit.

The rulings long term impact is not clear.

The judge didn’t order the FAA to create new rules, just consider them.

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