Congress takes aim at shrinking seats, legroom on airplanes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is preparing to require the Federal Aviation Administration to set new minimum requirements for seats on airplanes. The aim is to give passengers a break from ever-shrinking legroom and cramped quarters.

The regulation of seat legroom and width is part of a five-year extension of federal aviation programs agreed to by Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate committees that oversee the nation’s air travel.

The House takes up the legislation this week. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to keep FAA programs running.

The bill would also prohibit the involuntary bumping of passengers who have already boarded a plane. But in a nod to the power of the commercial airliners, lawmakers declined to include language that would stop airlines from imposing fees deemed “not reasonable and proportional.”

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