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NAAP Petitions The FAA To Set Standards For Passenger Seats

September 05, 2014 - The National Association of Airline Passengers, a non-partisan, non profit membership organization has filed a formal Petition for Rule-making with the FAA to set standards guaranteeing each passenger adequate leg, hip, and shoulder room. FAA currently has no standards limiting how small seats can be or how tightly they may be placed. 

Smaller seats and overcrowded airplanes produce conditions that are unsafe, uncomfortable, and unhealthy for passengers and aircrew alike. Higher density seating and the lack of standards on seat width, legroom, and seat recline have led to unnecessary conflict, altercations, and even flight diversions. 

Delta flight from New York City to West Palm Beach, Flight 2370 was diverted to Jacksonville, as a result of two passengers getting into a heated argument over reclining a seat which lead one of the passengers involved to state to the flight crew, "I don't care about the consequences, put this plane down now." 


United Airlines flight, Flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was diverted after a passenger used a device called a "knee defender" to stop the person in front of him from reclining his seat while he used his laptop on the tray table. 

"Passengers are not powerless to stop the trend to smaller seats and overcrowded airplanes.", said Douglas Kidd, Executive Director of the National Association of Airline Passengers. 

"They can insist the FAA act now to set standards, and they can have a say in what those standards will be. Passenger pressure forced the FAA to set more reasonable rules on Portable Electronic Devices, and can be just as effective in making seats more comfortable." Passengers can show their support for seat standards by contacting their representatives, and posting their comments and opinions directly with the FAA website.



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