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Old Oct 25, 18, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Morty1944 View Post
Various sources report that Congress is considering imposing minimum seat pitch on airlines. Three questions:
- Do you favor regulation of seat pitch on domestic airline routes?
- Any government regulation causes distortions; incentives to find work arounds. How might such a regulation be imposed to create the least amount of distortions?
- If a "minimum" were legislated, what should it be?
  1. Yes, I favor regulation of seat pitch, provided that the regulation establish a reasonable minimum that is greater than the pitch offered by numerous carriers in the United States today. (See #3 .)
  2. Obviously, carriers will need time to make the necessary changes to their aircraft. New minimum pitch regulations should not take effect for a few years, and then a minimum percentage of the fleet should have to be updated over the next few years. I would also be in favor of the following stipulations:
    1. No new routes should be approved for an airline unless the aircraft scheduled to operate the route are in complete compliance with the new regulations. This offers an incentive to carriers to update their fleet sooner rather than later. I would be strongly in favor of this restriction taking effect sooner than the regulations affecting the existing routes.
    2. On the effective date of the regulations for existing fleets, if 80% of the fleet (including all the contract carriers operating as DBA Bla Bla Connection/Shuttle/Whatever) is already in compliance with the regulations, give the airline extra time (a year or two) to complete all modifications. If less than 80% of the fleet is in compliance, then mandate an accelerated completion schedule. This will also incentivize quick compliance for the majority of the fleet for the benefit of passengers, and would also serve as a reward to carriers who already offer more generous pitch amounts today.
    3. If additional leniency was needed, I would prioritize it by aircraft type, route distance, or flight time. Wide-body aircraft, flights over X number of miles, or flights over X number of hours should be regulated first. Then, narrow-body aircraft, flights over Y number of miles, or flights over Y number of hours should be next. Finally, regional jets, flights over Y number of miles, and flights over Y number of hours should be regulated. This would ensure that passengers stuck in poor-pitch situations for longer durations are relieved sooner. This would also mean that regulation would take effect for larger carriers sooner, while allowing smaller carriers (including some of the regional airlines) with narrow-body and/or regional jet-only fleets with less available funds more time to modify their fleet.
    4. Effective immediately, any new aircraft orders placed should be required to meet the minimum-pitch regulation.
    5. Effective immediately, any used aircraft purchases or leases must be modified to meet the minimum-pitch regulation before entering service with the purchasing airline.
  3. 30" on regional jets. 31" on narrow-body aircraft. 32" on wide-body aircraft. (And, just for kicks, 35" on anything with 10 seats across in a cabin.)

Last edited by eastindywalrus; Oct 25, 18 at 4:55 pm
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