Democrats have never met an inconvenience they would not attempt to solve through legislation. Fortunately, despite the impression of many, there remains a substantive difference between the parties. Republicans were able to hold the line against a fresh effort at regulation. From the Associated Press:
The Senate refused Thursday to come to the aid of airline passengers squeezed by the ever-shrinking size of their seats.
An amendment by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would have blocked airlines from further reducing the “size, width, padding, and pitch” of seats, passengers’ legroom and the width of aisles. “It costs you an arm and a leg just to have room for your arms and legs,” Schumer said.
The amendment also would have required the Federal Aviation Administration to set standards for the minimum amount of space airlines must provide passengers for their “safety, health and comfort.” Airlines would have had to post the size of their seats on their websites so that consumers could take the information into consideration when buying tickets.
The proposal failed on a vote of 42-54, with all but three Democrats in favor and all but one Republican against.
The effort was purely political, as evidenced by the immediate use of the vote by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in attack pieces. The whole point was to yet again portray Republicans as siding with corporations against consumers.
Of course, consumers have all the power in this and any commercial scenario. If they don’t like how an airline treats them, they can go elsewhere.