FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - US Government Regulation of Seat Pitch?
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Old Oct 31, 18, 9:11 am
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: BNA
Programs: HH Gold. (Former) UA PP, DL PM, PC Plat
Posts: 6,689
I don't have any objection to regulating minimum seat standards. I'm not sure it will have the desired effect, though.

The government is unlikely to set minimums that would give most of us what we want in an economy seat (i.e. >32" pitch/19" width). There'd also have to be a lot of exceptions for existing aircraft that couldn't fit the larger seats. What they would do would likely hit the ULCCs the hardest as they have the tightest pitch. The result would be fewer cheap tickets.

Also, the airplanes are already full. If airlines have to remove seats, who gets left behind?

Originally Posted by jwrogers View Post
There are several comments on here about consumers being able to choose ULCC and how consumers are the ones to blame for buying those tickets... but sometimes corporate travel policies specify "cheapest possible airfare", which sticks the traveler with no option. I'm not inclined to blame that traveler.
You seem to be treating "consumers" and "travelers" as interchangeable. In your example they are not. The business that buys the ticket is the "consumer", not the traveler.

The frequent business travelers use their FF status to get more comfortable seats even when their employer, the consumer, won't pay for them.

Originally Posted by m44 View Post
Those who claim that the free market works or should work - should be asked to provide a proof.
American, Delta, and United all offer economy seats with additional legroom for purchase. On United, roughly 25% to 35% of the economy seats have this extra legroom but those seats are usually the last to be selected. I frequently see seat maps with full regular economy sections and numerous available seats in Economy Plus. Those extra legroom seats were available to every passenger with a pre-assigned seat in regular economy but they preferred to give up the legroom in order to save money. That is the free market at work.
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