Congressional lawmakers quietly removed language from an aviation bill that would have guaranteed airplane passengers the right to drinking water on flights, according to legislative text reviewed by The Lever.

Lawmakers are also rejecting demands to set minimum seat dimensions, even as airplane seat sizes have shrunk several inches over the past four decades.

The decisions reflected in legislation governing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) follow airlines spending nearly $5 million lobbying Congress in the first four months of the year, according to lobbying disclosures reviewed by The Lever.

In July 2023, the House of Representatives advanced an initial version of bipartisan FAA legislation requiring airlines to provide drinking water to passengers on flights longer than an hour — a basic human need that airlines currently do not legally have to fulfill, even on hours-long flights.