US senator wants government to set airline seat-size rules

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  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 29, 2016 8:56 a.m.

    @Thid Barker
    You wrote:

    "If the government ran airlines, we wouldn't have airplanes all of which have been invented, manufactored, tested and sold by private companies competing with each other for our business! "

    If there is an industry that exist and has developed "thanks to governments" is the airline industry. You should not forget that the U.S. Government and Governments around the world finance new technology that later "trickle down" for mass use.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Feb. 29, 2016 12:36 a.m.

    As long as I'm sitting in between two beautiful women, I'm not complaining......LOL!

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 28, 2016 9:12 p.m.

    @ Tolstoy: Thanks for your response but I must respectfully disagree. I am a frequent flyer and I have never flow on any airplane that didn't offer me seating choices nor did I ever fear that any airline put my health in danger. If I did, I would choose to give my business to another airline that offered me choices! Its a wonderful thing to be able to vote with my wallet! Its wonderful because of competition between airlines for my money! If I don't like their services, I just take my business elsewhere. The government doesn't work that way but I wish it did! If it did, we wouldn't have a progressive tax system. Those who pay the most taxes should get the most services from the government but its just the opposite. In the government the largest population of people vote for benefits paid for by the smallest segment of people! Try to imagine flying on an airline that ran their business that way!

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 8:24 p.m.

    @thid
    In order to have a choice there would have to be an option for larger seats. When they engage in behavior that endanger the Heath of the customers then yes that predatory and harmful
    As to your second point m, no one is talking about the government taking over the airlines we are talking about ensuring airlines provide safe seating.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 28, 2016 7:50 p.m.

    @ Tolstoy: So airlines are "predatory and harmful" because they offer CUSTOMERS a choice? If the government ran airlines, we wouldn't have airplanes all of which have been invented, manufactored, tested and sold by private companies competing with each other for our business! The government can't run anything well. It doesn't need to because it has no competition, therefore no choices!

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 28, 2016 4:49 p.m.

    The airlines needs a device to measure passenger sizes. Same idea as measuring a carry-on. If it's too big you have to check it. I rode one day on a plane sitting next to an extra wide passenger. The person filled the seat and part of mine. I had to lean over to accommodate. The seat belt wouldn't even fit. The stewardess had to get a belt extension. Nor would the tray come all the way down. I wrote a letter to the airline, complaining. They were sympathetic to my situation... Said they were working on the problem of how to accommodate over-sized passengers. They mailed me a $25 chit to be used on my next flight.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    Feb. 28, 2016 4:17 p.m.

    This is a great idea. Airlines won't give space on their own--because it's not really a competitive market. In fact, air travel is now so bad--that it might even do as well as government run industry. Unions, corporations and city and federal government regulations have combined to create a painful, anti-consumer industry.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 3:54 p.m.

    "Why not let CUSTOMERS decide? "
    Conservatives seem to forget we are the government and as citizens and consumers we have the right to use government to prevent behavior, even by business, that are predatory and harmful.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 2:49 p.m.

    Why not have a true "standing room only" for flights of a certain duration or less? Provide harnesses, virtually no luggage, and cut the budget fares in half. Fly from SLC to LAX for $99 round trip? Surf's up!

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 1:36 p.m.

    @joecapitalist
    "A liberal Democrat wants the government to control yet another aspect of our lives."

    There's more to the airline seat discussions than simply passenger comfort. Safety is a key issue.

    Unfortunately, in this case, a 'conservative' Republican (or two), want the government to stay out of another aspect of a corporation's profit margin, at the expense our our safety.

    The House Transportation Committee is headed by Republican Representatives Davis and Shuster. Both are heavily funded by Airline money, and both voted against a study on the safety of seat size in emergency situations, especially involving evacuations. Not only did they vote against the study, they laughed and mocked the study in the process.

    But the Democrat trying to force airline safety standards is the bad guy?

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 12:36 p.m.

    I'm 6'8" and vacillate around 340 lbs. Starting in the early 80's and until about 2002, I used to travel about 80% of the time, all over the states and a few different countries. The leg room in coach, for me, has never been anywhere close to spacious. But, fortunately, the airlines started their leg room shrinking campaign toward the end of that period. Nevertheless, by the end I could barely sit at all and never comfortably. As the article notes, it's only gotten worse since then. My last flight was in Dec. 2012 and it was more cramped than the cattle-car scenarios I envisioned for the people being sent to the Nazi death camps.

    Since I'll never accept the ridiculous expense to fly first class, and because I've pretty much burned out my travel lust anyway, I simply no longer fly. BUT, if the leg room in coach ever returns to what I experienced in the 80's, I might be persuaded to fly those friendlier skies.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 12:00 p.m.

    As a tall person who uses air travel extensively, I would love more leg room. And Chuck, I would also love to lay down on international flights, preferably in a bed. And, as long as I'm sleeping, I want some privacy - like a train cabin. And, I want larger bathrooms that are designated for Men and Women. Oh and I want free internet too. And Chuck throw in TV too in case I want to watch a movie. And I almost forgot about the food! So much needs to change there but I can't fit it in 200 words or less, but we can indefinably get them all in your bill.

    Oh by the way Chuck, I want to pay less for my tickets too. As long as were using the Nanny State to dictate our comfort preferences, lets do it right Chuck.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 11:44 a.m.

    If global warming truely is the greatest threat facing mankind. Isn't a few hours of being uncomfortable on a flight worth saving airline emissions that presumably cause global warming.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 28, 2016 11:30 a.m.

    Why not let CUSTOMERS decide? If customers want low fares, they will get small seats! If customers decide they want bigger seats they can pay for first class! See, someone already figured this out!

  • heidi ho Fort Collins, CO
    Feb. 28, 2016 11:21 a.m.

    Going from 35 inches to 16 inches of leg room seems over the top. My legs start to really hurt after 90 minutes. This practice seems to hurt the elderly the most, probably those least able to pay.

  • rok Boise, ID
    Feb. 28, 2016 10:34 a.m.

    Let the market decide

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 10:13 a.m.

    Chuck Schumer always sees everything as something the government should regulate. Especially if it will get his name and picture in the news.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 10:05 a.m.

    It is ironic that Sen. Schumer who has protected Wall Street from government regulations now wants to regulate the airlines. The SEC has done poorly in preventing or prosecuting Wall Street abuses. Why does he believe the government can do better with the airlines? The best way to bring down airline ticket prices is to help competitors, not have a government agency take control.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 9:15 a.m.

    Sounds great, but we will pay for it in increased prices.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 8:56 a.m.

    Speaking as a tall, robust individual I agree. If I have to set in a regular seat in economy it can be excruciating these days, and there should be minimum standards as to how people are accommodated. I am willing to pay for an exit or bulkhead row, but you can't always get those seats. A big shout out to all the front counter staff and cabin crew who, from time to time, have taken a look at me and given me exit rows or even crew jumpseats, knowing I would suffer otherwise.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 28, 2016 8:50 a.m.

    What a surprise! A liberal Democrat wants the government to control yet another aspect of our lives. I seriously doubt Senator Schumer has flown coach for a very long time and has no idea how the 'little people' experience flight in the back of the plane.

    How about getting the government away from tightly regulating the airline business so that there is lots of competition? If one airline wants to offer big seats and lots of legroom then they will attract customers that want those things. If another airline offers sardine seating in exchange for cheap fares, it will attract a different kind of customer.

    To be honest, if I can save a $100 on a cramped 90 minute flight, it is worth it to me to save the money. Others may feel the same way. I don't want the government telling my airline that it can't offer those fares because it has to be able to fit 300 lb passengers in every seat.