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Bill Introduced to Stop the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat

One Congressman wants to put a stop to shrinking airline seats.
Image: airline seats narrower
Donna McWilliam / AP, file

If your butt is getting more and more sore every time you fly, it's not your imagination or Flamin' Hot Cheetos addiction to blame.

According to SeatGuru, since the '90s, the average width of an airline seat has shrunk from 18.5 inches to 16.5. Meanwhile, the airlines have ratcheted down the average distance between seat rows from 35 inches to about 31 inches.

Now, Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee has introduced the Seat Egress in Air Travel or "SEAT" Act (those Congresscritters are so clever!) to make the Federal Aviation Administration set minimum standards for how big seats have to be.

“Consumers are tired of being squeezed both physically and fiscally by airlines,” said Cohen in a press release.

There's also a potential safety risk.

"The Federal Aviation Administration requires that planes be capable of rapid evacuation in case of emergency, yet they haven’t conducted emergency evacuation tests on all of today’s smaller seats," said Cohen.