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Politicians demand airlines provide more leg room

The Local · 1 Sep 2010, 10:00

Published: 01 Sep 2010 10:00 GMT+02:00

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“People’s health, and above all the security of passengers should not be abandoned,” Rita Pawelski, parliamentarian and tourism affairs expert for the conservative Christian Democratic (CDU), told daily Bild. “There must be more leg room in planes, even in economy class.”

Pawelski said she had sent a personal appeal to fellow conservative Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer.

Transport Ministry state secretary Enak Ferlemann insured the paper that the ministry would review the issue soon.

Pawelski argued that tall or overweight passengers were at risk during long-haul flights due seating arrangements that constrict leg movement. While cars and other forms of transportation are subject to strict European Union standards of security, no regulations for the space between airline seats exist, she said.

“Doctors and frequent flyers warn mainly of thrombosis, because the seats are getting increasingly closer at almost every airline,” she told the paper, saying that even a two-hour flight can amount to “physical torture” for tall people, while the corpulent can only “peel” out of a seat with great difficulty.

This poses a serious threat in the event of evacuation, she added.

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European Union parliamentarian and CDU member Burkhard Balz agreed.

“We must find a rule to protect flight passengers,” he told the paper. “It should be uniformly regulated on a European level, which is why I will propose the subject to the European parliament.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:48 September 1, 2010 by catjones
Can I elect to have my seat blurred out? I don't want people looking at me whilst I fly.
12:12 September 1, 2010 by chicagolive
While I must certainly agree with making Airlines give more leg room, because I have notice that the seat in-front seems to be getting closer and closer everytime I fly because really your height can not be adjusted.

Now for people who are over-weight I am sorry but that is not the airlines fault you are to fat, I fully support it when airlines charge extra for large people. Because your gluttony makes other peoples trip highly uncomfortable. I can remember how many times I wanted to cry when I was stuck neck to a overweight person on a flight twice I was able to get a partial refund do to the fact I could not really use my seat that I had paid for.
12:54 September 1, 2010 by LancashireLad

Not all people who are fat are so becasue they overeat. There can also be medical reasons.

I'll bet Michael O'Leary is either sweating or celebrating this. If he has his way, there won't be leg room on some flights - and the very tall will get crushed against the ceiling.
12:54 September 1, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The airlines will find a way to gouge their customers for more legroom, as United Airlines does by charging more for selected seats with more leg space and British Airways does by charging a fee for advance seat selection. Any way the bastards can squeeze a few bucks out of the flying public, they will. My wife and I no longer fly unless it is absolutely necessary.
19:09 September 1, 2010 by dj_jay_smith
This is interesting given that in a few months Lufthansa will launch their new european short haul cabin, which includes less pitch and more seats per plane!
22:34 September 1, 2010 by wood artist
Personally I'm pretty sure that some airlines would just stack passengers like cordwood...if they could get away with it. Come to think of it, they DO get away with it. My last flight to German from the US was ten hours of unending hell...thanks to United. My flight back, courtesy of Lufthansa was quite nice.

02:22 September 2, 2010 by ron1amr
Great idea and the fact people are getting taller. The airlines only think about the money they make and not consider passengers this should be compulsory world wide. But then again no one ever talks about the amount of planes in the sky and what impact that has on the environment taking into consideration the hight altitude.

Instead blaming motor cars which is an easier target and putting the onus on people instead of big companies. I thought they could fly hovercraft over the sea using alternative energy slower maybe but less chance of fatalities and less impact on environment. I personally blame planes and rockets as a big contributor of the warming and climate change of the planet.
08:23 September 2, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
I'm 6' 3' tall. Sitting in an airplane is as uncomfortable as it gets. Until the j***a*** in front of me puts his seat back. I love those people. It's all about ME. To hell with whoever's sitting next to you. All the airline execs need to dumped in the cargo hold & flown around the world non-stop. Then dropped in the ocean, from 10 miles up.
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