As millions of Americans headed off to celebrate the Fourth of July, it was a busy day for

That’s because it was also a great day for the Federal Aviation Administration to try to sneak some bad news for passengers in under the radar.


The FAA restates, it’s no friend to flyers


In a cavalier letter to, the FAA announced it’s not responsible for the airlines’ sardine seats.

This was in response to a lawsuit brought by that demanded federal regulation of seat size and a judge’s order that the agency reconsider its position.
But the FAA concluded there is “no evidence that a typical passenger, even a larger one, will take more than a couple of seconds to get out of his or her seat” in case of an emergency.
The agency’s proof that sardine seats are just fine consists of five videos of unrepresentative test subjects doing abbreviated, partial evacuations.


Except, none of the videos show a complete evacuation. They only show how passengers weren’t delayed getting out of their row.
So, a few videos plus a sworn affidavit by a senior FAA technical official, was all that the evidence the agency provided.
Conversely, while seats have gotten smaller, the size of Americans have gotten larger.
A woman these days is equal in weight to the average man in the 1960s: 166 pounds. Today, men on average weigh almost 196 pounds reports.the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It was last July when Judge Patricia Millett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit coined The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat.
“Aircraft seats and the spacing between them have been getting smaller and smaller, while American passengers have been growing in size,” Millett ruled from the bench.
Because the big U.S. carriers have near-monopolies over air travel and inordinate clout in Washington, the only ‘test’ they have proven is that they can get away with nearly anything.


The FlyersRights® Insider Vol. 19
This month’s travel-related information tips and suggestions for our readers and members.
The above articles can be viewed by clicking on the link. For more in-depth and up-to-date information on these items, please see Condé Naste Traveler Magazine and the US State Department.
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