Poll: Is it fair to make obese fliers buy a second airplane seat? (Check all that apply.)

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  1. #1
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    Default Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    United recently announced a new policy for obese passengers who can't fit into an airplane seat with the armrests down; these passengers will have to upgrade to a roomier seat in business class or purchase two seats on the following flight if a flight attendant can't find them two adjacent seats in economy class. Is this policy fair? Sound off in our poll!

    Related Story:
    Airline Obesity Policies
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    I voted for "I'm not sure -- it's a complicated issue." While I feel that if you are using up twice as many resources, you generally should pay twice as much, it's important to remember how very tiny airplane seats are. Those who are just tall, or just broad, or just slightly chubby, still have a hard time getting comfortable in those seats and may very well get in their neighbor's way.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    I think the idea in the article makes the most sense: create a special row or two on each flight with wider seats. Then if you need a bigger seat you can buy one of those for a slightly higher price, rather than paying for business class or two seats.

    It's a hard issue.
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    My husband is a BIG guy. Not obese, but just a big muscular guy who works hard and has a huge upper body. I'm always afraid we'll board a plane and he'll be asked to buy another seat. At this point, I've decided that if a flight is over 3 hours long, I'm just going to bit the bullet and by three seats for us. Cost on this could be held down by making sure we book at the lowest possible rate and plan early.

    Also,...no Heidi Klum am I....I flew last week on a jet blue "extra room" seat. This allows for more legroom only actually. I clearly "fit" in my aisle seat, the armrest in its down position. The guy in the middle seat, though, must have felt he was in his living room. His elbows constantly strayed over to my seat -- poking me in the middle. No matter how many times I said "excuse me", or bump his arm off by accident (ha ha), he kept straying over while opening his ny times to full size, working on his crossword puzzle.

    I think HE should have purchased two seats because he clearly needed them. And he wasn't obese by any stretch of the imagination. At one point, he crossed his legs, making one end up in MY extra legroom (that I paid extra for, mind you).

    I slowly removed my headphones -- leaned over and said in my most feared "mom" voice ever: "You will remove your leg and elbows from my space now".

    Ahem.

    I guess my reason for posting is that it isn't just obese folks who take up/need more space. I'll take a nice person of ANY SIZE sitting next to me any day.

    How about a new section for RUDE and INCONSIDERATE people on all modes of transportation.

    Laura
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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    The only thing I'm sure about in the issue is that if a passenger purchases a seat, that passanger is entitled to a seat--100% of the seat. It is not fair to infringe on someone else's rights because another traveler has special needs.

    The idea of the airline building a special row sounds good, but if the cost of booking the special row is not significantly higher, at least close to double, there are many regular sized people who would choose to pay more to get more room, and there still would not be room for the obese passenger.

    Ultimately, I think the obese passenger is in charge of how many seats he buys: he can purchase two seats to begin with (I think Southwest's policy of giving back the money for the second seat if the plane is not full should be universal with the airlines) or he can take a chance on having to leave the plane and find himself inconvenienced, perhaps significantly inconvenienced. It is not that the obese passenger "deserves" to pay more; it is that each person who buys a seat is entitled to 100% of the seat he bought. That cannot be accomplished if the obese person is allowed to put the arm rest up on his seat.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    The paramount entitlement is for the passenger who fits in one seat and pays for that seat. If the airlines aren't going to retrofit the planes, then for those oversize passengers who don't want to buy a second seat, the fair thing is to sit those passengers together and let them figure out how to accommodate each other. It doesn't matter how or why the passenger is oversized, (s)he has no right to take precious space away from a passenger who fits in his/her seat--on other words, to punish the passenger who isn't oversized, and pays for one seat.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    I can see this from both sides, being 5'11" with long legs and also someone who is still overweight but has been losing a lot (and keeping it off) on a certain wdely advertised food plan and who, just two months ago, flew for the first time in years without a seat belt extension.

    Airlines, like trains, buses and ships, sell PASSAGE, not SEATS. I'll discuss the overflowing-the-seat-arm issue first. Here are my thoughts.

    If a passenger "overflows" into the adjoining seat and there is even one unoccupied seat on the plane, he/she should not be charged extra, and the staff should make every attempt to ask for volunteers and juggle single travelers around so that he/she will be next to that empty seat.

    If the flight is truly full, the staff should try to make a reasonable accommodation on a voluntary basis. For example, if there is an adult traveling with a small child and the seats are three abreast, ask the adult if he/she would be willing to take the aisle - or window - have the passenger at the other end, and the small child in the middle. If necessary, a modest incentive could be offered, such as a voucher good on a standby and/or space-available basis, or a free upgrade credit.

    A "spill-over" passenger can also be moved to an aisle seat and asked to try to confine any spil-over to the aisle. Another possibility is to offer an available first class or business class seat in exchange for a modest fee or amount of miles.

    With homosexuality no longer considered an aberration or illness by anyone other than some elements of the religious right, and the Americans with Disabilities Act now long since passed and accepted, obesity has become the one remaining issue on which Americans feel free to express sentiments of prejudice and bigotry.

    One thing is for certain. SouthWest has no right whatsoever to charge a "spill-over" passenger double if there are empty seats and then obligate him/her to APPLY for a refund. Their policy is meanspirited, and there have been instances of persons being accepted on one SW flight and then rudely treated and made to pay more on another SW flight.

    I now address the issue of reclining seats. Speaking for myself, I never ever recline my seat - UNLESS the seat directly behind me is empty. My legs and knees will not allow the seat in front of me in 95% of coach flights to recline - it blocks it. Period. I will either advise the person in front of me that he/she will be unable to recline the seat, or wait until the first attempt and then say something. Sometimes I throw in a lie and say i had knee surgery.

    A couple of years ago, on a Spirit flight from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale, a woman in front of me tried to recline her seat. She couldn't because my knee was in the way. I should have said something but did not - a mistake I will never make again. She bided her time, and about 10 minutes later, drew herself up and gave the seatback a sudden hard push, with all her strength. The pain was excruciating - I screamed from it. For the second time in my life, I truly cussed out a woman (the first time had nothing to do with travel, but was equally well deserved). She pulled her seat back up, kept it up, and never said a word back to me.

    I dropped one friend after that because she insisted, after I related this story, that a passenger has an absolute unlimited right to push their seat back - even if a knee is in the way - even if the passenger has had knee surgery - even if doing so would result in injury. I can be friends with someone who's developmentally disabled, but not someone who's just plain stupid. There's an old saying - your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

    Personally, I think that airlines should eliminate the reclining option in closely-packed coach sections. It should either be eliminated, or an announcement should be made that it is onlh permitted if the seat directly behind the passenger is empty. No one forces you to fly coach. If you choose to do so, and/or have no other option, just "suck it up" and don't try to make a bed in a stranger's lap. Put a little pillow in your carryon, rest your head on it, put on an eye mask and use earplugs or a headset, and try to find some peace.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    "your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins."

    I think that's my point about anyone intruding on my seat.

    As for the reclining issue, I don't know what the answer is to that. I think everyone, not just the long legged, objects to the seat in front of him being reclined. I never recline my seat--unless the person in front of me does; then in an effort to get more space, I recline, which I know creates a chain effect. Unfortunately, as long as the seats do, in fact, recline, people will feel it is their right to do so, and it's hard to argue with their logic.

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    Thumbs up Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Interestingly, the airlines state that they have received 700 complaints about problems with obese passengers but they have also received tens of thousands of complaints about lost luggage and they've done little about that problem. In addition, airlines began charging for luggage when gas prices were high but when the price of gas dropped, the luggage fees didn't. Why aren't travelers outraged about this? One size fits all cannot be a mantra of the airlines but one size should fit most. Over the years as the average size of Americans has gotten larger, airline seat sizes and leg space has been reduced. Airlines prefer to have customers pitted against each other than for the customers to recognize the fact that they are being cheated and manipulated by the airlines. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition which can be caused by the tight and restricted space allotment for each passenger seat. It can and has caused death but instead of fixing the problem, the airlines prefer to play a numbers game and they are betting that though some passengers may be quite uncomfortable, they won't sue or die. Another issue is that though some larger passengers will be uncomfortable but they won't complain for fear of being bumped off of the plane and embarrassed. Currently, a full plane is unsanitary and uncomfortable for any traveler and until consumers demand from the government that the airlines increase seat and leg room space, the airlines will continue to pit the passengers against each other rather than make the changes needed to best benefit most passengers.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    It would be nicer to have more space (we rode a train last summer; it was heavenly), but airlines are having trouble not going broke with their present seat allotment; how can they decrease revenue by having fewer seats? They can charge more, but as soon as they do, Americans have proven that they will stop flying rather than pay more. It's a difficult thing.
    Last edited by Pstreet1; 05-07-2009 at 03:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    People are already dying from airline-induced DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). A few years a young woman flew from Sydney to London, walked off the plane and dropped dead from it. There are in-seat exercises you can do. I admit I haven't done them, but I should.

    I don't understand why anyone who could avoid checking baggage doesn't avoid it. I stopped checking baggage long before the airlines began charging for it. It's inconvenient, you have to hang around after the flight, airports are infested with thieving luggage handlers, and there's always a good chance your bag will end up in Lost Baggage Heaven, that increasingly-famous store in Scottsboro, Alabama.

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    Question Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    It is a complicated issue. To futher complicate is the recent issue of luggage charges, which as I understand are at least partly due to high fuel charges and conservation efforts. So I, a 125 lb. women, pay for my seat plus $25 to check a 40 lb. suitcase. Total weight transported for my investment = 165 lb.
    The 300 lb. passenger pays the same airfare and the same $25 for his/her 40 lb. checked bag, total weight transported for the same investment = 340 lb.
    Perhaps charges should be calculated per pound. ???

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Airlines have to pay a lot more than added fuel charges to deal with checked baggage. They pay for the labor to check it, tag it, and run it out to the plane on those little carts, which they have to buy. Then they have to pay people at the other end to unload it, put it on more little carts, which theyalso have to buy, and bring it to the carousel. Inevitably, something gets lost,, stolen or damaged, and then they have to pay compensation for that as well. Yes, of course they are trying to get extra revenue during hard times for the industry by imposing every charge they can. But there is an argument that can be made for it in this case.

    I won't even try to deal here with the moral and ethical issues of weighing passengers and charging by the pound. I think that speaks for itself. What I can tell you is that tens of millions of Americans would either refuse to fly at all unless they absolutely had to, many of those who had to fly would make an extra effort to consolidate their trips, and more foreign travelers would do whatever they could to avoid U.S. airlines and airports. Many already do that because of the added charges, indifferent service, and widely publicized horror stories of being stuck on runways for hours on end without food, water or sanitary facilities. The labor-intensive weigh-ins would be expensive, create a public relations nightmare, and probably lead to countless lawsuits. I live in south Florida and one of my daughters lived in southern California, and we both fly there fairly often. But rather than submit to anything like that, instead of going 2 or 3 times a year, I'd rent a car for two or three weeks, see some of the country, and make one long vacation out of it.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Great discussion!

    Quote Originally Posted by Up4Travel View Post
    I slowly removed my headphones -- leaned over and said in my most feared "mom" voice ever: "You will remove your leg and elbows from my space now".

    Ahem.

    I guess my reason for posting is that it isn't just obese folks who take up/need more space. I'll take a nice person of ANY SIZE sitting next to me any day.

    How about a new section for RUDE and INCONSIDERATE people on all modes of transportation.

    Laura
    Laura, your story made me laugh. The guy sounds like he deserved the death glare! I'm totally with you on the section for rude folks. Or maybe they should just have to stand and the obese can take their seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pstreet1 View Post
    The idea of the airline building a special row sounds good, but if the cost of booking the special row is not significantly higher, at least close to double, there are many regular sized people who would choose to pay more to get more room, and there still would not be room for the obese passenger.
    Fair point! Ugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvs2travel View Post
    Interestingly, the airlines state that they have received 700 complaints about problems with obese passengers but they have also received tens of thousands of complaints about lost luggage and they've done little about that problem. In addition, airlines began charging for luggage when gas prices were high but when the price of gas dropped, the luggage fees didn't. Why aren't travelers outraged about this? One size fits all cannot be a mantra of the airlines but one size should fit most. Over the years as the average size of Americans has gotten larger, airline seat sizes and leg space has been reduced. Airlines prefer to have customers pitted against each other than for the customers to recognize the fact that they are being cheated and manipulated by the airlines.
    I understand that the airlines are struggling to make a profit, etc., but this is so true -- customer service is really lacking on all fronts. I feel like they don't attempt to address any complaints unless doing so could help them make money (such as the extra charges for obese folks). But I have to wonder: if they addressed more complaints, they'd have more satisfied customers and make more money??
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Time for something positive about the airlines.

    I LOVE, absolutely LOVE the individual screens on Delta that enable you to play trivia against other passengers! It's free, and it's in rounds of 20 questions, most on specific subjects but some on "general knowledge." The quicker you give a correct answer, the more points you score. After each round of 20 questions, the screen gives you the score of each player - AND that player's seat number! It then shows who is the champion - so far.

    I played this two months ago all the way from Atlanta to LAX. I was in 10A and my toughest competitor was "Gigi" in 40C! She beat me in some rounds, I beat her in others, but as we finally cleared the mountains and soared over LA's endless suburbs, I prevailed and was champion! (thumping chest) But, Gigi, if you're out there ... I love you!

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Quote Originally Posted by soliteyah View Post
    I think the idea in the article makes the most sense: create a special row or two on each flight with wider seats. Then if you need a bigger seat you can buy one of those for a slightly higher price, rather than paying for business class or two seats.

    It's a hard issue.
    The only probelm with that is that people will buy up seats on that row just for the comfort factor, and people who really need them will not have the option, The only way that would work is that those be reserved, and I don't think the airlines would do that.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    I flew Spirit FLL-LGA and LGA-FLL yesterday (yep, another same-day NYC trip waiting to be written up) - one of their latest things is if there are any "big front seats" (read 'business class') available, they announce both on the gate and again when the plane has reached cruising altitude that those seats are available - for $60!

    We stayed put - LOL

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    You know, as someone who has recently undergone a lifestyle change (from law to tour escort/tour guide work) which also necessitated losing weight so I could do the tour work without killing myself (and walking around on the tours made that a lot easier), I do not have any sympathy for grossly obese adults. I have a lot of sympathy for the kids I see on my tours because they are going to die young and some of them have problems of old age by the time they are 20. For the most part their parents do it to them by feeding them too many crappy carryout meals when they are young. I want to get nasty with the parents every time I see a kid like that. Where were they when the kid was 3? I can only guess--probably buying happy meals and/or stuffing the kid with greasy food.

    There is an epidemic of obesity in this country and the adults who are obese do not have to be that way. For most people--aside from the really teeny proportion who are obese due to a medical condition (and I certainly have sympathy for a genuine medical condition).

    When I pay for a seat on a plane, I want my seat. I do not want YOU in my seat. If you choose not to lose weight and require two seats, you should pay for two seats. You should not overflow into my seat.

    It's a choice.

    By the way, I am still working on losing more weight--so I can fit into those clothes in the other closet (which probably will not look very good anyway because they are years old). I have gone down 2 sizes so far. Dieting is mental. You have to want to do it--as opposed to talking about how difficult it is to do, etc.

    PS I was overweight. I was never so overweight as to be a candidate for needing two seats. So, I cannot say I have ever overflowed into my neighbor's space.

    And, yes, I like nice polite people to sit next to me on airplanes.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Obesity is often a consequence of medical conditions and metabolic disorders. It also has a lot to do with how you're raised and fed. More to the point, it also has a very strong genetic component. I've fought the battle ever since late childhood. I'm now 68. 12 years ago, I went to a reunion of family members on my father's side. He was slightly overweight and had two brothers, one of whom was slim, the other obese. His father was slim but his mother was overweight though not obese.

    I had only met a few of these relatives. When I walked into the hospitality room that had been arranged at the motel, my first reaction was "Oh my God, it's not all my fault!" The room was filled with really fat people, and the couple who had arranged the reunion were not only only because they'd each had bariatric stomach surgery.

    Fat children become programmed to become fat adults. The fat cells may shrink but they don't go away. I spent a week in Havana, Cuba and also visited several beaches and did not see a single fat child or adult. The people there are not starving or undernourished; I saw only one person, a girl, who looked unusually thin. Kids and adults alike seemed healthy and active, including on the beaches. There are no fast food chains there, and while there is a food supply problem, everyone gets a ration of rice and beans, and the children are properly fed. The treat you most often see children with are thin paper cones of trail mix that are sold on the street for pennies, and have a total calorie count of probably between 50 and 100, tops. There is also a burgeoning urban gardening movement.

    Nevertheless, there are obese people in Cuba. The reason I know this is because I read about a popular troupe of obese dancers there, Danza Voluminosa. Far from being mocked as they would be in the US, they are skilled, highly regarded, and given government financing. I have seen them on YouTube. Somehow, considering the food situation there, I doubt that they brought their obesity on themselves.

    Portions of this issue are arguable either way, but one thing that is NOT arguable is that if there are unoccupied seats, an obese passenger should never have to front money for two seats. And there are other kinds of accommodations that can be made if the airline and its employees have hearts - without discomforting other passengers.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Most of the time obesity is a result of over eating and not a metabolic disorder. If it were not, why is there NOW an epidemic of obesity in this country when there was not one in the past? It can be dealt with by proper diet and nutrition. You cannot continue to eat as though you are doing heavy manual labor on a farm and then sit down at a computer and tap keys all day if you want to be in shape.

    I stand by what I said: You need to seats, you buy two seats. I do agree that the airline should waive the extra charge if there are empty seats.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    I don’t see any harm in charging little extra from the obese passengers who can't fit into an airplane seat with the armrests down. There are few, who fall in this category but this step will help many other normal weight passengers who suffers being next to them.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    So here is my take and my curveball on this topic. I am 6'8" tall. I am not obese, but I weigh over 300 lbs. 42 in. waist. Never an extender, much less two. 1/2 million mile flier on United and 250-300K on others.

    As an elite flier on UAL for most of the last 15 years, I cannot get UAL to pay attention to the "havoc" I can create on a plane. The number of people who will give me the "hairy eyeball" because I inconvenience them should they need to get out of the row or that my knees are jammed into the back of the seat in front of me, and they wish to recline or they can feel me pushing into them (like this is comfortable for me either) grows every year. United could care less about them or me.

    I try my best to get a "legroom" seat. Bulkhead, exit row, premier zone, or at least aisle. UAL will not give me an exit row seat until I am at the airport. For years they claimed that it was FAA Regulation that they see me at the airport prior to checkin. I challenged this, through the FAA, and they now sing a different tune. I have asked that they give me an exit row seat and take it away should I be incapable of performing the duties implied as necessary while sitting in such a seat. They won't.

    So when you are inconvenienced by a passenger, tall and/or big, perhaps it it not necessarily the passenger's problem, but one that is created by the airline by not addressing issues facing them, unless there is additional revenue for the carrier. Flight attendants are often aghast at the seats in which I am assigned. The executives in Chicago (I have fewer problems with this on AA, USAIR, or Delta), couldn't care less.

    So if the airlines (for me United) wish to improve OVERALL passenger satisfaction, they might consider looking into this issue. I know that there are many more tall people flying than there were 25 years ago when I got into the workforce and if the airlines don't want to alienate them, they will address this issue just as they do with those with kids, need wheelchairs, oxygen, or other needs.

    Sorry for being so longwinded but I am tired of being sardined into a seat when some 5'1" tall woman (who probably can't open the door) is sitting in an exit row. Who would you rather see opening the door and helping in an evacuation?
    Last edited by Tall Boy; 02-08-2010 at 11:23 AM. Reason: misspelling

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    Tall Boy, I feel your pain. I'm almost a foot shorter than you (5'10", but I'm a woman) but I still have problems with people reclining into my knees and then complaining (like I can move them anywhere in that tiny area!). I'm not overweight but have long legs and arms that I have trouble keeping confined to the tiny space; somehow I manage. This is another reason I think it's a little silly that if I am not allowed to encroach on my neighbor's space, neither should a very overweight person.

    Also, everyone, you should definitely do the exercises in the skymall mags while you are flying. I flew to Fiji from Alabama (3 flights, 2 layovers, and a total of about 22 hrs in the air). My ankles were HUGE and swollen when we landed. They looked like what a sprained ankle might, except without the bruising color.
    On the way back home 6 weeks later, we had some even longer layovers, and another overnighter, but I did the exercises before I went to sleep and when I woke up and then on the subsequent flight legs as well, and voila, no swelling. It's really simple to do, it's basically just rolling your ankles/feet around in circles for 5-10 minutes and flexing them up and down a bit as well. Being able to get up and walk around is a bonus but not completely necessary. (I usually don't except to use the toilet) Not just sitting down the entire time during layovers also help. walk around the terminal a bit, get a drink or magazine,etc.

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    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    It is all based on money, as everything is in the US. Comfort and safety are luxuries that someone has to pay for by spending 5-10 times as much just to get a modest amount of either, by upgrading to business or first class. I do not have the extra money to pay $10,000 for flights that I take regularly for $1500 in economy class. Back when I did have the money and traveled a lot I did not buy the comfort because any seat on a plane was reasonable. Not so today. At 6'3" 190lb I am constantly assaulted by rude inconsiderate people in the front feel a slight resistance to reclining their seat all the way back because my knees are there, take a running stab at it again by throwing all their weight into forcing it back, causing pain and injury. I was sitting next to a tall woman on a recent flight when this happened to her with such force that she was injured and needed to be evacuated by ambulance 6 hours later when we landed. With the seat as far back into others space, the row behind can not possibly comply with the safety instructions at the beginning of every flight. IF there was an emergency situation requiring deplaning, only those people lucky enough to have no fat person next to them, and no reclined seat in front of blocking their exit. Why go through the safety lecture/demo if they just don't give a damn about safety at all? Flight attendants should be scanning for this unsafe condition but all they care about is whether seat belts are visible and fastened, and not whether anyone could survive due to being restricted from getting out of their seat.
    If a grossly fat person in on the isle, the entire row has no ability to exit the plane if needed. Sure it is extremely unpleasant to have to sit next to and be encroached on by being pinned into my seat unable to move, use my arms to eat, read a book or even use the rest room at all on a 10-15 hour flight, making fat people buy two seats does nothing for the most important thing, denying life to those in the seats next to them in the case of an emergency. We are screaming at the wrong people, the FAA needs to be flooded with complaints about every flight where these safety rules are violated.
    Grossly fat people should not be allowed in economy class at all. Period. If they can't fit in a seat they also can't participate in a rapid escape in case of emergency and everyone behind them will suffer because of their life style choices.
    The excuse of it not being their fault is specious, it IS their fault, they overeat way past the amount they need to sustain themselves...even if they have diabetes. And it is not genetics as often claimed, their cousins and distant relatives in normal eating societies are NOT fat. I fly internationally frequently and dread flights with a lot of Americans because I know I will be stuck next to mounds of obnoxious flesh squashing me from both sides.
    I've seen situations where normals complain about a fatty taking all their space and preventing them from getting up or eating their meal and the fat offender is given a free upgrade to first or business class in-flight. That is not fair to people who take responsibility for their impact on others, the normal should be given the more comfortable seating and all the fat people should be required to seat together at the back of the plane so regular passengers can still evacuate if needed.
    I hate flying nowadays because of cabin conditions of unsafe overcrowding, disease laden air, and literal pain for 10-15 hours. Flying used to be fun 25-30 years ago when service was better, as was food, and terminals. A high speed rail system would alleviate most of these problems for mid and short distance legs but not for transoceanic legs.
    Normals are being really discriminated against, if they complain they risk being thrown off the plane so they remain silent and suffer greatly for the duration of the flight. They are being cheated out of what they paid for, a full seat, a clear evacuation path, and the ability to eat their meal they bought or use the restroom. Airlines are missing the opportunity to cash in on our outrage and pain, by creating special sections for fatties far away from the emergency exits that cost more, or seats that cost a little more that guarantee full access to the features they claim a seat holder is supposed to get when they buy any ticket. I would gladly pay $100-200 more for an economy seat that guarantees no broken knees, no fat person pinning me in my seat so I have to sit for 10 hours without using the restroom or being able to eat the meal provided, and that I am provided enough room to enter and exit my seat when needed. But I SHOULD be getting those things automatically by virtue of paying for the seat in any class.
    But we can't even complain now, or fear being denied any access to our seats, stranded in an distant airport having been kicked off the plane for speaking up. We do have one option since the government won't do anything and the airlines keep stuffing planes. We can demand refunds for services not rendered through our credit card companies. If you buy something and it is not delivered we have every right to get a refund. It is up to the airline to prove their delivered. If on the next flight back to the US next week, I am pinned in my seat again or suffer from a badly bruised knee cap I am going to make a claim for a substantial portion of my card charge. If 10s of thousands of people did that the airlines would do something. they might correct it or they might put all those people on terrorist no fly lists but something would happen quickly. It is time for regular people who obey the rules and limit their impact on others to fight back. Normal sized people still but just barely outnumber the obese people in the US so we need to be heard and paid attention to for once.
    Stan
    St Petersburg Russia/San Francisco/USA

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Miami Beach, Florida
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Poll: Airline Obesity Policies

    I totally agree with the last poster about people using brute force to force their seat back into someone's knees and hurting the person behind them. It happened to me about two years ago. What really pisses me off are the jerks (including one of my sons in law) who think that people have an inalienable right to do this, even if the person begs them not to because they have a bad knee.

    Having said that, I totally disagree with him/her about the expressed views about obesity, especially the cavalier statement that it's always the obese person's fault that he/she is that way. I view anti-obesity prejudice as the only remaining socially acceptable form of bigotry in America, and that's a shame. I started trying to lose weight at age 11, tried everything you ever heard of, and finally at age 66 found something (in my case, NutriSystem) that worked for me. I suppose the poster would also ban disabled people because of the problems they might have re. the exit.

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