For the record, I just submitted a complaint to the Department of Transportation, which is responsible for drafting regulations involving airline safety and security. Here's my submission:
I am concerned about the airlines' seeking to put more and more seats into the same (or smaller) amount of space. Average seat width, once a reasonable 19-20" in the 1980s, has dropped to 17" (16" on Southwest) while the average human hip span is now 20.6" in the United States. Meanwhile, the average pitch between rows, once between 33 and 34" in the 1990s, is now down to 30" (28" on Spirit). Not only is there now insufficient room for the average person, but airplanes are so crowded that I believe there could be serious injuries or deaths if an airplane ever had to be evacuated in a hurry. In the interests of safety and comfort, please consider regulating the minimum amount of space in a row, the pitch between rows and the minimum seat width. Please also consider a regulation that all armrests, including the armrest at the end of a row, be liftable to facilitate an emergency evacuation.
If you'd like to go forth and do likewise, you can copy my paragraph wholesale. Here's the Web site. Note, you can't do this anonymously. They do want to know who you are:
I'll let you know if they come back with anything interesting. Like "Doug Parker* said we couldn't do that."
*CEO of American Airlines