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Congress Approves Bill To Regulate Airline Seat Sizes

It doesn't matter which side of the political spectrum you might sit on. If that proverbial seat isn't very comfortable, surely something needs to be done about it. Which is why it was no surprise that in the case of airline seats, Congress passed a bill to regulate their size.

After easy passage in the House of Representatives, the Senate overwhelmingly voted 93-6 in favor of the Seat Egress in Air Travel (SEAT) Act that would make it mandatory for airlines to provide passengers with a little extra butt and leg room. Measurement details aren't known at the moment although lobbyists pushing for the bill have asked for spacing between rows be greater than the 29-inch spaces that some airlines have on their planes.

RELATED: AIRLINES BLAME PASSENGERS FOR SEATS BECOMING MORE AND MORE CRAMPED

Once the President signs the bill into law, the legislation will be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Agency which will have one year to determine minimum requirements regarding seat size and spacing between rows. Currently, it's unsure what the FAA might do, whether it be setting standards applicable to all airlines, or making sure companies with cramped cabins in their fleet be required to have their seating arrangments be up to whatever minimum code is set.

In response to events that made headlines the last couple years, especially after United Airlines dragged a passenger off a flight in 2017, Congress passed a stipulation forbidding airlines from taking involuntary passengers off a plane after they've already boarded.

chicagotribune.com

The Senate is also recommending the Department of Transportation to determine standards concerning service and emotional support animals, especially provisions that will enable airline personnel to distinguish such animals from pets. Additionally, legislation will forbid animals from being stored in overhead compartments while in transit.

The Senate also approved funding for the FAA to operate for an additional five years and struck down a proposal by airlines favoring the U.S. air-traffic control system be privatized. Congress is also ordering airlines to opt for a more effective system to alert passengers about flight delays and forbidding customers from making voice calls when a plane is in-flight. One controversial proposal that was struck down, however, affected legislation to curb "unreasonable" airline fees.

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