WCSH, Portland ME - 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 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