US & Canada

US Senate effort to rein in cramped aeroplane seats fails

Plane seats have been getting smaller Image copyright iStock
Image caption Plane seats have been getting smaller

Legislation that would have set minimum standards for passenger space aboard commercial aeroplanes has failed to pass in the US Senate.

In recent years, airlines looking for cost savings have reduced the sizes of seats and cut the amount of passenger legroom, among other changes.

Passengers have often complained about the increasingly cramped quarters.

Some flights have been disrupted after disputes broke out among passengers because of seating arrangements.

"It costs you an arm and a leg just to have room for your arms and legs," said Senator Chuck Schumer, who sponsored the amendment, which was attached to a broader aviation bill.

Many airlines now charge passengers if they want more legroom.

Under the legislation, airlines would have been barred from further reducing the "size, width, padding and pitch" of seats. It also addressed legroom and the width of the aisles.

Airline companies opposed the bill saying the measure was attempting to "re-regulate" the industry.

The amendment failed 42-54 with all but one Republican voting against the legislation.

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