FAA advised to reconsider seat size rules

If you fly regularly for business, or are considering the purchase of an airline, chances are that seat size and legroom are thing that affect your air travel choices. As the airline industry has evolved, some carriers believe that customers will pay more to have additional leg room or wider seats. This has become especially prevalent among “low cost” carriers such as Jet Blue, Spirit and Frontier Airlines.

Nevertheless, a federal appeals court recently suggested that the Federal Aviation Administration should be able to regulate seat sizes and the number of seats on planes. The decision comes from a challenge raised by the consumer rights group, The Flyers Rights. The group requested that the FAA write rules governing seat size and the distance between seat rows. 

The FAA rejected the request, reasoning that consumer comfort on airplanes was not within its regulatory purview, but the federal appeals court disagreed. It noted that the FAA had relied on outdated tests in determining that seat size and spacing was a matter of comfort instead of safety.

As such, the court sent the issue back to the FAA for reconsideration. It remains to be seen whether (or how) regulators will revise its rules, but the story exemplifies the need for a skilled attorney to interpret rules that affect a particular industry. Compliance with state and federal regulations is just as important as creating a unique presence in the marketplace.

If you have questions or difficulties interpreting federal regulations, an experienced business law attorney can advise you. 

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