Everyone who is tired of having their airplane neighbor hog the armrest while they bump their knees on the seat in front of them, rejoice. Passenger rights group FlyersRights.org has created a petition for airlines to adopt seat standards and stop the continuing shrinkage of airplane seats. The Los Angeles Times reports that the petition, filed with Michael Huerta, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, has generated more than 30,000 signatures. It requests that the F.A.A. stop airlines from continuing to make their seats narrower and shorter, with less legroom, and requests that the F.A.A. appoint a panel to determine standard seat sizes.
At present, there are no standard requirements for legroom on commercial airplanes, nor are there standards for width or comfort. Airlines are required only to provide passengers enough room to escape to an emergency exit in 90 seconds. FlyersRights.org argues that the lack of space is damaging to the "health, safety, and comfort of all passengers." A trade group representing the airlines, Airlines for America, has already come out against the petition. "We also believe that government should not regulate airline seat sizes, but instead, market forces and competition should determine what is offered," said Jean Medina, senior vice president, communications of A4A.