Schumer: 'We're Being Crammed Like Sardines Into Airplanes'

November 11, 2018 - 1:59 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- The Senate's top Democrat says the Federal Aviation Administration isn't moving fast enough to roll out a plan to stop airlines from shrinking passengers' seats.

Sen. Charles Schumer says federal officials should be doing more to comply with a law to establish minimum seat size standards for airplanes: 35-inch seats in the 1970s are now 31 inches.

The law, part of a reauthorization bill passed in September, requires the FAA to set the seat-size guidelines. It gives the FAA a year to tackle shrinking seats and give an opportunity for the public to weigh in.

But the Democrat says the FAA must move faster. He says the agency hasn't established a plan to "rein in" shrinking seats.

"Bottom line is we're being crammed like sardines into airplanes," Schumer said at a press conference Sunday. "God forbid there's an accident -- it's much harder to get off." 

The FAA said it "is working to address the provision in the reauthorization bill."

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)