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Anyone who flies on a charter airline appreciates the squeeze of a sardine as it gets stuffed into that little pull top can with its many other unfortunate brothers and sisters.

Airlines keep fares lower and profits higher by adding more passengers per square metre than their competitors, regardless of what lack of comfort travellers may feel during the duration of the flight.

This is not just happening on charter craft. Over the last number of years the seat size and pitch, the space between seats, has been reduced dramatically.

Going back a few decades to the late seventies, seats were approximately 45.72 cm. wide with a pitch that was almost 89 cm.

Today, while each airline is different, it is under 42 cm. in width with pitches that are fully 10 cm. less than they were then.

Some Congress representatives in the United States believe it is time to determine a minimum dimension. Their first try at an amendment to establish a policy was defeated, but there appears to be some gathering support for the idea. The original movers are ready to address the issue again after their upcoming elections.

Anyone who flies on a charter airline appreciates the squeeze of a sardine as it gets stuffed into that little pull top can with its many other unfortunate brothers and sisters.

Airlines keep fares lower and profits higher by adding more passengers per square metre than their competitors, regardless of what lack of comfort travellers may feel during the duration of the flight.

This is not just happening on charter craft. Over the last number of years the seat size and pitch, the space between seats, has been reduced dramatically.

Going back a few decades to the late seventies, seats were approximately 45.72 cm. wide with a pitch that was almost 89 cm.

Today, while each airline is different, it is under 42 cm. in width with pitches that are fully 10 cm. less than they were then.

Some Congress representatives in the United States believe it is time to determine a minimum dimension. Their first try at an amendment to establish a policy was defeated, but there appears to be some gathering support for the idea. The original movers are ready to address the issue again after their upcoming elections.

Usually when such legislation is passed, airlines around the world who fly into the U.S. follow suit to retain access to that country.

In the meantime, for a few extra dollars, airlines like Air Canada and Westjet will save exit rows and a few wider seats especially for you.

Part of the reason Air Canada established its Rouge division was to compete more effectively in the charter business by offering lower prices for these sardine seats.