\" \" Commercial airplanes, the seats especially, seem to be getting smaller and smaller these days. Some discount airlines have whittled that distance, known as \"seat pitch,\" down even more to a cramped 28 inches (71 centimeters). AdvertisementAdvertisementThe Shrinking Seat SagaIn the latest chapter of the shrinking seat saga, the House passed an FAA spending bill in late September 2018, that explicitly gives the FAA the authority to regulate minimum seat sizes, including seat pitch. But does that mean the agency is really going to crack down on airlines that try to squeeze more and more bodies into smaller and smaller seats? \"They passed the burden of figuring it out to the FAA,\" Goglia says.