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Letter: Study the risks of tight seating on airlines

For those whose anxiety runs so high they

For those whose anxiety runs so high they can’t get themselves on a plane, even for a big family occasion or business trip, there is help. Credit: iStock / Christopher Ames

Contrary to writer Adam Minter’s assertion that the traveler is being nickel and dimed by low-cost carriers, this is the case with every airline “Mandating more legroom a bad idea” [Opinion, March 4]. Minter states that travelers “can’t resist” low-cost carriers’ cheap fares, as if every traveler can afford to pay more.

His most ill-informed statement was that mandating legroom for fliers “might have some safety benefits.” It definitely would. I was on a recent United Airlines flight on which, at 5-foot-2, I had to lean backward to get into a seat. Then I couldn’t get back out.

That’s just one example of how shrinking legroom causes safety problems. There are very real health risks to sitting in a stationary position for long periods, and today’s sardine can-like economy cabin leaves no wiggle room.

Minter mentions that Federal Aviation Administration researchers have never investigated whether the shrinkage of passenger seats could affect safe evacuation in an emergency. This is an indictment of the FAA and needs to be addressed.

Susan Marine, Amityville