That was the message at a press conference held on Monday by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Support for humane airline seating is gaining momentum.
Sen. Blumenthal is the latest to join New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen in demanding the Federal Aviation Administration regulate seat sizes and leg room on commercial airlines.
Blumenthal, Schumer and Cohen are attaching an amendment to the FAA's reauthorization bill calling for standard seat space minimums to defend the safety and health of passengers.
The clock is ticking for Congress to pass legislation authorizing the FAA. Funding runs out March 31, 2016.
For years the incredible shrinking airline seat has been one of the top complaints at FlyersRights, and another clear case of the industry abusing its market power to the detriment of the American people.
Air travel in this country is neither a privilege nor a luxury. In 2016 it's an essential mode of transport and service for the public; the efficient functioning of today's society; and the economy. Flying is often times unavoidable and the only practical method of getting from one place to another.
FlyersRights has called on the FAA to require that minimum seat standards for economy seating accommodate 90% of passengers without any additional charges and that seating be provided for the highest 10% by size at a reasonable proportional additional charge.
Instead, without regulation, airlines have reduced seat size to the point that the average male passenger's shoulders are wider than the seat and passengers over 6'2" or 240 lbs. can no longer fit in economy seats without intruding on their seatmate's space or the aisle . See Regulations.gov Flyersrights.org Petition for Rulemaking: Limitation Of Seat Size Reduction FAA-2015-4011.
It's wrong to call a transportation oligopoly which provides an essential service a "free market." In such a situation, the customer cannot vote with their wallet. Instead, they must take what there is, and choose between lesser evils.
The airlines have become accustomed to constant overreach in the quest for higher profits at all costs. If businesses show they cannot be trusted to regulate themselves, it needs to fall to the government to do it for them .
Tell them flying has become miserable, sardine seating is a big problem and something needs to be done! Your constituent complaint will get tallied and passed along to the Member.
I just learned of FlyersRights.org through a NY Times article republished in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today.
I have signed petitions.
Nowhere in the web site do I see a place to pose this question: What about sponsoring a National Do Not Fly Day, several times a year, or even monthly?
If hundreds of thousands of flying passengers did not fly on a designated Wednesday, or other day, money-hungry airline CEOs would likely take notice.
Do it twice and we may well see immediate changes made; and, keep the National Day a threat. A great amount of airline travel is discretionary.
I have currently stopped flying: I just cannot face the bruising and discomfort incurred in the tiny, cramped seats. I believe many arrogant, and ignorant, passengers are also to blame. Those are the ones that make flight attendants' jobs hell. When I stopped flying, I had to give up my job: Surprise retirement. However, all the planned renewal of national and international travel is now "zero." --premium-priced "comfort seats" sell out fast, or are cancelled with no notice (and, no refund of the higher ticket price without a fight). I believe the buck stops with the multi-million dollar CEO salaries (and, they fly on private jets, not commercial!).
Thank you/ Mahalo.
Interesting idea. Others have mentioned this too. But concerns include failure of many boycotts and the resources needed to mount such a campaign.
Any that you know that successfully changed corporate behavior?
Going back a ways, a boycott/strike here in Hawaii busted the behavior of the Big Five.
The lettuce boycott of Cesar Chavez, the bus boycott of the 50s.
Most recently some of the university boycotts.
Actually, I understand that most successful campaigns now are via social media. Arab Spring, even, was started and fueled in social media. Governments all over are monitoring or shutting down social media lines.
Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. naming a future first date, such as "November 30, 2016: First Do Not Fly Day" gives the public time to work around that date. Additionally, the news media has time to pick it up and have articles and sound bites spaced during the preceding months; this also gives the airlines time to clean up.
Then, list dates in the succeeding months that would be Do Not Fly and build on the social media without let up. Any noticeable drop in ticket sales will hit home. I have seen (in coupon ads) that the momentum builds.
A good percentage of use the first run, then the second or third run: Bam! Deluge. Farmers' Markets, Food truck fairs, Raves, fairs, whatever, pop in numbers and attendance after the first event day. Listing the event as a repeat event will build momentum.
College marketing students, high school students could anchor the campaign, at no cost. I think Obama's social media blitz was college-based. If there is a central "hub" where students sit and set
up a blitz, or anyone, pizza is a strong and cheap-enough fuel. I have heard stories that the major strike/boycott back in the 40s in Hawaii was fueled with beef stew and rice and poi. Not much of it, but just that it's there.
Interesting stuff , as I recall the UAW had good luck by targeting one auto maker at a time rather than all at once.
Perhaps the worst offender or worst model seat configuration.
Would you be willing to volunteer to help with this? FlyersRights runs almost entirely on volunteers.
Dear FlyersRights members!
We are looking for volunteers to help coordinate a "No Seat Space, No Fly" campaign to boycott the airlines that refuse to stop shrinking seats and leg room.
FlyersRights will write to each airline CEO asking they pledge a voluntary moratorium on further reductions till Congress or the FAA acts to set minimum standards.
Please reply to this email or write to Paul@FlyersRights.org.
Ask Not What Your Newsletter Can Do for You...
FlyersRights is reliant on the public's donations. All you have to do is click belowto donate.
We are commited to solutions for promoting airline passenger policies that forward first and foremost the safety of all passengers while not imposing unrealistic economic burdens that adversely affect airline profitability or create exhorbitant ticket price increases.
All American air carriers shall abide by the following standards to ensure the safety, security and comfort of their passengers:
Establish procedures to respond to all passenger complaints within 24 hours and with appropriate resolution within 2 weeks.
Notify passengers within ten minutes of a delay of known diversions, delays and cancellations via airport overhead announcement, on aircraft announcement, and posting on airport television monitors.
Establish procedures for returning passengers to terminal gate when delays occur so that no plane sits on the tarmac for longer than three hours without connecting to a gate.
Provide for the essential needs of passengers during air- or ground-based delays of longer than 3 hours, including food, water, sanitary facilities, and access to medical attention.
Provide for the needs of disabled, elderly and special needs passengers by establishing procedures for assisting with the moving and retrieving of baggage, and the moving of passengers from one area of airport to another at all times by airline personnel.
Publish and update monthly on the company’s public web site a list of chronically delayed flights, meaning those flight delayed thirty minutes or more, at least forty percent of the time, during a single month.
Compensate “bumped” passengers or passengers delayed due to flight cancellations or postponements of over 12 hours by refund of 150% of ticket price.
The formal implementation of a Passenger Review Committee, made up of non-airline executives and employees but rather passengers and consumers – that would have the formal ability to review and investigate complaints.
Make lowest fare information, schedules and itineraries, cancellation policies and frequent flyer program requirements available in an easily accessed location and updated in real-time.
Ensure that baggage is handled without delay or injury; if baggage is lost or misplaced, the airline shall notify customer of baggage status within 12 hours and provide compensation equal to current market value of baggage and its contents.
Require that these rights apply equally to all airline code-share partners including international partners.