FLYERS RIGHTS called the ruling a victory for airline passengers. The F.A.A, said in a statement that it was ''studying the ruling carefully and any potential actions we may take to address the court's findings.''

The Federal Aviation Administration can no longer ignore the what a federal judge called ''the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat.''

Judges in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit directed the F.A.A.  to ''adequately address'' a petition that raised safety concerns about the increasingly cramped conditions on airplanes.

The ruling some Fridays ago comes as the  united States  airline industry continues to be buffeted by concerns about its treatment of customers, exacerbated by high-profile flight-related complaints.

Recent episodes include the violent removal of a passenger from a United Airlines flight and an acidic exchange on Twitter between the conservative commentator Ann Couiter and Delta Air Lines after  Ms. Couiter was made to give up her selected seat.

The court found that the petition, filed in 2015 by Flyers Rights, a consumer advocacy group, had identified a genuine safety issue by its combination of shrinking seats and larger passengers.

The petition said the reduced space  could make it difficult for passengers to evacuate in emergency.

The petition said that the distance between seats from row had decreased at an average of 31 inches  from an average of 35 inches and that the seat width had narrowed by about an inch and a half since the early 2000s.

The petition also noted that the average American had also grown significantly larger.

Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it said the average adult man was  191 pounds as of 2002, a gain of 25 pounds  from 1960, and the average adult woman had gained  24 pounds, to 164 pounds.

!WOW!  thanks author and researcher Jonah Engel Btomwich.


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