The US Senate has rejected Senator Charles Schumer’s proposal to have the Federal Aviation Administration set a minimum size for airline seats, voting 42-54 to reject it. Schumer complained that the average distance between airline seats has shrunk from 35 inches in the 1970s to 31 inches today. The seat widths also narrowed from 18.5 inches during the 1990s to 17 inches today. Schumer said his proposal wouldn’t have dictated the size or distance between seats, but would have prevented the airlines from reducing them further until the FAA set a minimum standard.

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