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Dunnar

Leg Room

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Normally, I am a free market guy.  Let the market determine things, government stay out of the way and let it ride.

However, in this case, I strongly support action.  Do something useful congress!

Congress may require more legroom on planes, rules on service animals and involuntary bumping

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Congress is considering ordering the FAA to establish minimum airline seat sizes, investigate the size and number of airplane lavatories, and establish new standards for allowing service animals to fly with their human owners.

The proposals are included in a compromise FAA funding plan released by House and Senate lawmakers on Saturday. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to keep FAA programs running, and the Senate must either take up the bill this week or both chambers will need to pass a short-term extension.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said lawmakers from both chambers agreed it was time to take action on “ever-shrinking seats.”

“Relief could soon be on the way for weary airline passengers facing smaller and smaller seats,” Nelson said.

The room between rows – measured from a point on one seat to the same point on the seat in the next row – has been shrinking for many years as airlines squeeze more seats onto their planes. It was once commonly 34 or 35 inches, and is now less than 30 inches on some planes. FAA officials say existing safety rules mean seats are unlikely to ever get smaller than 27 inches.

The bill also blocks the involuntary bumping of passengers who have already boarded, but lacks a passenger-backed effort to block airlines from imposing fees deemed “not reasonable and proportional.” However, it includes requirements that airlines more explicitly state their policies for handling delayed flights, and for accommodating disabled passengers.

"This measure will provide long-term certainty for the millions of passengers and countless businesses that rely on access to safe, affordable travel and shipping options every day," Nicholas E. Calio, president and CEO of Airlines for America, which represents airlines, said in a statement.

The bill requires the FAA to establish “reasonable” measures to ensure people aren’t improperly pretending their pets are service animals, mandates that large airports provide nursing rooms for new mothers, and expands the availability of PreCheck security access.

It also allows Amtrak to begin using a computerized passenger vetting system similar to the ones used by airlines, heightens punishments for flyers who interfere with flight crews, creates a system by which drone companies could deliver packages, and establishes punishments for anyone who interferes with wildfire fighting by flying a drone nearby.

The bill would also mandate that flight attendants get a minimum of 10 hours of rest between their work shifts and addresses concerns about increased airport noise levels caused by new flight paths.

Calio said the commercial aviation industry supports 10 million jobs and contributes $1.5 trillion to our economy annually. Daily, 3.2 million people fly U.S. carriers, which serve 800 airports in 80 countries, he said.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said he expects the House and Senate to move quickly to send the bill to the president’s desk.

 

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As a sort of aside, one thing both my whole family noted, including me, was the number of supposed service dogs in the US, when compared to the UK. Here, living in a city, if you see 5 per year, that would be normal (and i work 1 storey below a blind guy who takes one to work every day). In the month i spent in the US in July/Aug, we saw three times that amount. Plus, it seemed, from a very amateurish point of view, that the vast majority of people who had them, seemed to not be disabled in any noticeable way.

So, i concluded that you either allocate service dogs for reasons that are very different to ours, or that US folk exaggerate their needs to claim special treatment, or that i am missing something else.

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13 hours ago, Pasanda said:

As a sort of aside, one thing both my whole family noted, including me, was the number of supposed service dogs in the US, when compared to the UK. Here, living in a city, if you see 5 per year, that would be normal (and i work 1 storey below a blind guy who takes one to work every day). In the month i spent in the US in July/Aug, we saw three times that amount. Plus, it seemed, from a very amateurish point of view, that the vast majority of people who had them, seemed to not be disabled in any noticeable way.

So, i concluded that you either allocate service dogs for reasons that are very different to ours, or that US folk exaggerate their needs to claim special treatment, or that i am missing something else.

I suspect the number of service dogs here will increase assuming things stay the same. My sister is looking to get one for my disabled nephew and it seems to be quite popular to look into getting one in those circles now, think we are just lagging behind the US as usual.

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I love dogs a lot, but the rise of 'emotional support animals' even has me eyerolling.

As a 6'5" fellow, it bothers me a lot to see short people sitting in the emergency exit row. Those seats should be for tall people, at the very least. Given how much $ the gov'ts give the airlines, mandating seat sizes seems perfectly reasonable to me. Airlines have been getting worse and worse for sitting room. (That and North Americans are getting larger)

 

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Get your doctor to write a prescription for an emotional support animal and you can have a dog anyplace (almost) like college dorms and restricted apartments.  It's become a "thing".  You know, because in America you do whatever you want, the rules can go piss theme-selves when your mother told you that you were special and you believe deep in your heart that you are better than other people and entitled to what ever the fk you want.

Elovia likes this

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As a 6'5" fellow as well... My current dog is a Boerboel, a South African Mastiff. I think I will get him certified as an emotional support dog. Just thinking about it brings up such difficult emotions. (sniff, sob)

JesGolbez and Pasanda like this

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