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Judge orders FAA to review airline seat sizes

WASHINGTON, DC —  “This is the case of the incredible shrinking airline seat.”

That’s how a federal judge in Washington D.C., Patricia Millet, described the issue in a decision she and two other judges handed down Friday, ordering the FAA to review seat sizes and legroom on commercial airlines.

Previously, the FAA has refused to mandate how much space airlines must ensure customers have on planes. But the judge’s decision will force the agency to revisit the issue.

In a statement Saturday, the FAA said it is “studying the ruling carefully and any potential actions we may take to address the Court’s findings.”

The ruling comes after an advocacy group, Flyers Rights, petitioned the FAA in 2015 to implement new rules to regulate seat space.

The FAA rebuked the effort, so Flyers Rights took its demands to court and won the right to move forward.

The group celebrated the judges’ decision Friday, saying the court “granted Flyers Rights and airline passengers a victory.”