FAQ Answer

FAQ Answer

Seat Pitch - The seats appear to be closer together these days on many flights. What regulations apply?

Aircraft CabinSince September 2003 the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has been responsible for setting design safety standards for most aircraft operating within the European Union. The minimum spacing between seat rows that is likely to exist on any particular type of aircraft is a function of the maximum number of passenger seats permitted.

The certification seat requirements are limited solely to safety considerations. Standards of passenger comfort are a matter for the individual airlines.

It has been agreed with EASA that the UK will retain its existing criteria for minimum seat space until such time as a new European standard may be introduced. The minimum distance between the back support cushion of a seat and the back of the seat or other fixed structure in front is approximately 66 cms (measured at 75mm above the seat cushion) in the take-off and landing configuration, that is with seats in the upright (unreclined) position only.

The safety regulations are therefore designed to ensure that the majority of passengers can sit upright in the seat, stand up and move to the aisle without undue difficulty. They have been researched and developed to provide an acceptable degree of safety for passengers and apply equally to all UK registered aircraft. Each seating configuration is approved and inspected on introduction to service. Further inspections also occur during the service life of the aircraft, and operators are aware of their responsibilities in complying with applicable requirements.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Electrically powered medical equipment - Can I take my electrically powered medical equipment in my hand baggage?
  2. Travel Insurance - Do I need to obtain travel insurance for my trip?
  3. What is the risk of contagious disease (an infection that may be passed from one person to another) when flying?
  4. Nut Allergy - I have a nut allergy, am I at risk while travelling by air?
  5. Pregnancy - I am pregnant, is it safe for me to travel by air?
  6. Diabetes - I have diabetes, is there any special advice for diabetic people who wish to travel by air?
  7. Fear of Flying - I am very nervous at the thought of using air travel as a form of transport. Is there any treatment for my fear of flying and what causes it?
  8. Recent Surgery - I have recently had surgery. Are there any restrictions when travelling by air?
  9. Respiratory Disease - I have a lung condition which makes me breathless sometimes. Am I liable to have problems on an airplane?
  10. Disinsection - Is the spraying of aircraft cabins (disinsection) carried out on some flights harmful to health?
  11. Oxygen - I have been told that I require oxygen for my flight. Can I take my own supply?
  12. Anaemia - I suffer from anaemia and wonder if this would be a problem when flying.
  13. Ear Pain - I notice that I frequently get ear pain when travelling by air, what causes this and what can I do about it?
  14. Security scanners - Are airport security scanners safe?
  15. Security scanners - Are the whole-body scanners safe?
  16. Security scanners - Can medical equipment such as heart pacemakers or insulin pumps be affected by security scanners?
  17. Heart Conditions - I have a heart condition; will I be able to travel by air?
  18. Contact Lenses - I wear contact lenses. What is the advice about wearing lenses during my flight and is there any guidance for taking lens solution on board the aircraft?
  19. DVT - Am I at risk of a blood clot when flying?
  20. Dry eyes and skin - After a long flight, why do my eyes and my skin feel dry?
  21. Jet Lag - What is Jet Lag and how can it be treated?
  22. Seat Pitch - The seats appear to be closer together these days on many flights. What regulations apply?
  23. Carriage of Medication - Can I take my medication on board the aircraft?
  24. Defibrillators - Is it compulsory for airlines to carry a defibrillator on an aircraft?
  25. Sleep Apnoea - I suffer from sleep apnoea; can I take my Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine on board the aircraft as hand luggage for use in the aircraft cabin?
  26. Cabin Air Quality - What is the quality of air on board an aircraft?
  27. Infections - Why do I always pick up an infection after I have travelled in an aircraft?
  28. Vaccinations - I am travelling abroad, will I need vaccinations prior to travel?
  29. Malaria - Is it still a problem these days?
  30. Psychiatric Condition - I have a psychiatric condition, which requires me to take medication and I worry that air travel may worsen my condition or that I may not be able to travel.
  31. Reduced Mobility - I have reduced mobility and wish to travel by air. Where can I find more information about my rights to assistance during my journey and will I need a medical certificate?
  32. Plaster Cast - If I have a broken limb with a plaster cast on, can I still fly?
  33. Vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) - I use a Vagus nerve stimulator as part of my treatment for seizures. Can I take my device on board the aircraft?