Should fat airline passengers pay extra?

461 posts in this topic

 

I think the seat belt rule is a good one...assuming the person could use the strap from one seat and the buckle from the other seat. I would rather sit next to an uncomfortably large person rather than say the skinny guy with bad hygiene AND a flatulence problem as I did on the long leg from Tokyo to San Francisco. I still have nightmares.

 

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

I don't know man, A fat sweatty dude is pretty bad. And you can always lock the little guy in the bathroom :P I don't think you could get some of the bigger people into the bathroom, let alone close the door! (on that side of things, I do kinda feel sorry for the buggers... especially on long flights. It can't be easy/pleasent to be in such a small cramped environment like that)

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My little input here, having a bit of an inside knowledge into airline and travel industries, is that the travel agents themselves (or booking agents at the airports) should take it upon themselves to be a bit discriminative and request economy seats which would best suit the person. It's not hard to tell if someone is fat or not, and a request can come in to be put on a seat either down the back right near the toilets where the seats curve and offer more space, or over the wing.

 

Now before you all rush in, I know the seats over the wing are the last option due to the wings being the exit points in case of emergency, but having sat there a few times before - I'm quite tall - I've sat next to larger people and rarely had a problem.

 

Unless people book over the internet, surely people can take it upon themselves and offer these seats to larger people. If there are potentially 24 of these seats on a 747 for example, there surely wouldn't be more than 24 obese or amazingly tall people on one flight could there?

 

Have I made any sense?

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Unless the seats are pre-booked at time of purchase (which some charter airlines offer - at extra cost on longer haul routes - you can book bulkhead seats), check-in (and ultimately the station manager) decides where you sit.

If they care enough.

Which on their wages in a front-facing relatively hectic job often at mad hours, usually getting people yelling at you that they've missed their flight and it is *your* fault, that they've packed too much and it is *your* fault, that the sun is still in the sky and it is *your* fault... well you get the picture.

And it is a lot of part-timers, students, returners, etc. that take these ground crew jobs. It usually isn't a career (the pay will keep you in beer and skittles but that's about it).

Good staff will allocate well but don't expect them to match up fatty and skinny in the queue.

Flight attendants will also find you an alternative seat on-board if one is available and if you are pleasant about it.

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@mightypies - It sounds cool w/ me as long as there is an end to the encroachment into other seats.

 

@BD - I remember the SW airlines thing, but I thought there was some group that tried to sue them for discrimination...? It was a big deal a couple years ago I remember, with all the littler passengers up in arms about the encroachment into their paid-for space by larger passengers, while the larger passengers were pissed off that they would have to pay more, calling it discrimination against fat people. Does SW still do that?

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@katrina:

 

Stand a bit corrected, cheers. Understand it can be a bit hectic at the 'port, was thinking of those who actually enter a travel agency, or go to a counter at the airport in advance. Can see why clerks would see a free seat, see a long queue and plonk em wherever, just like they do at the cinemas, but thought maybe 2-3 times out of ten common sense would prevail.

 

Has been a solid while since I stepped behind the scenes at a travel agency though...

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If you are tall, you can get the travel agent to enter a remark on your ticket requesting a bulkhead. It isn't binding but is a gentle nudge.

Very, very large people should really be regarded as requiring "special handling" (at the ticketing stage) if their weight impedes them IMHO. This would mean that you could board them early along with those not usually placed at exits, so the families with small children, the disabled, etc.

But as long as price is the driving factor, seats will remain small (but it could mean a new potential market for a specialist airline?).

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No.

Weight and Balance doesn't work like that.

I used to work for an airline doing systems.

And there is always someone thinner than you.

 

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

Unless you're her...

 

post-4210-1120050574.jpg

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I think it's hard, especially in the US, because everyone's so PC.. if they charged obese people extra, there would most definitely be a lawsuit.

 

I see it as the guy does in "Supersize Me," .. they've descriminated against smokers because it's unhealthy.. they'll fine you if you light up in the airplane, but for some reason the obese thing is taboo, but these people can just spill onto a seat you've paid a shitload for

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I remember the SW airlines thing, but I thought there was some group that tried to sue them for discrimination?

 

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

There were quite a few suits filed against Southwest and other airlines. Every one of them was thrown out, many in summary judgements and again on appeal. A good eaxample is Luther v. Southwest Airlines Co., B147399

 

The case was thrown out in summary judgement in Los Angeles Superior Court. It was appealed and thrown out again in the Court of Appeal based on Cassista v. Community Foods, Inc, (1993) 5 Cal.4th 1050. California's Unruh Act bars “all business establishments

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You've obviously never been stuck flying next to someone who was so obese he took up part of your seat as well and whose elbow was constantly dug into you. I have.

 

woof.

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I have been stuck next to a clinically obese person on the way to the States and that was the most uncomfortable journey of my life. This man was taking up most of my room, too and I couldn't sit up straight as I was squashed up against the window. The worst thing was, I found out that his (thin) wife was sitting behind me - she refused to sit with him!!!

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@jip, why do you allow them to raise the armrest then?  :huh:

 

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

They generally have never asked first, they just do. There have been times when I can manage to get it back down, and other times I thought I was going to be lunch as soon as I touched it. That's about the time I start squirming.

 

@BD - Thanks for the answer! (there should be a +helpful button).

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yes. tax people according to their body weight. they use more fuel so therefore they cause more air pollution.

it's a joke that a 50 kg person can only have 20kg luggage when someone 100 kilos has the same 20kg but there is a difference of 50kgs...

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This is getting out of hand.

 

Buy a car people, or better yet, catch the bus.

 

An dif you live over the ocean? Learn to swim

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I was on a flight to Egypt last year and it was physically impossible to actually sit in the seat without my knees being jammed - and I mean jammed - into the seat in front. So I walked the plane for 4 hours, and twisted sideways for takeoff and landing. Same happened to me on a flight to Canada once.

 

I understand the economies of the situation, and that we altogether cause the problem by only buying seats based on price but it does get crazy sometimes! Most of the time it is just about OK.

 

Flying is a miserable game frankly.

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Ah - the joys of being short. I actually put my luggage under the seat in front of me so I can rest my feet on it.

 

And I don't tend to have a problem with people sitting near me since I started flying with my kids :rolleyes:

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tax people according to their body weight. they use more fuel so therefore they cause more air pollution.

 

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

Go back and (re-)read my posts. You're paying the airlines for a set volume you take up, not for weight (unless you're shipping specific types of cargo). The weight is already guestimated high. And the addition of 50kg to a 757 which weighs around 58t empty and 116t when full (including up to 36t of fuel) ain't gonna cause the thing to use any significant amount of additional fuel. More fuel is wasted on a one minute delay taxiing.

 

woof.

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