Many passengers are already fed up with limited legroom on economy flights, but that hasn’t stopped airlines trying to downsize further.
Major carriers including American Airlines and British Airways have all revealed plans to increase seats on aircraft, thereby sacrificing passenger space.
But a case in the US Court of Appeals could put an end to the shrinking airline seat saga.
The court ordered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review guidelines for seat space on planes.
It was prompted by a 2015 petition from passenger group Flyers Rights, called “Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat”.Related articles
GETTYShrinking airline seats have sparked safety and security concerns in a US court
Flyers Rights said: “The average American flier has grown steadily larger in both height and girth.
“The decrease in seat size, coupled with the increase in passenger size, imperilled passengers’ health and safety by slowing emergency egress and by causing deep vein thrombosis.”
According to Flyers Rights, seat pitch in the US has shrunk from 35 inches on average in the 1970s to just 31 inches today, and in some cases as little as 28.
The FAA argued against the group’s concerns about traveller safety, saying downsizing legroom did “not raise an immediate safety or security concern”.