Airline passengers should have a right to legroom, lawmakers argue

Squeezing into a seat would be more than just a nuisance under legislation filed this week on Capitol Hill. It would be against federal regulations.

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U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has reintroduced a bill to set minimum standards for the size, width and pitch of seats.

The Tennessee Democrat's SEAT Act of 2017 also would establish a limit for the width of the aisle.

Cohen says shrinking passenger space compromises comfort and safety.

"Planes need to be capable of rapid evacuation in case of emergency," Cohen said in a statement. "The safety and health of passengers must come before airline profits."

Cohen's previous attempt to regulate airline cabin space last year never made it to a vote.

His spokesman says with growing support in the Senate, the bill stands a better chance of passing.

The leading airline industry trade group has opposed setting seat size standards in the past.

Airlines for America has said the free market should determine when a seat is too small.

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