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airline seating

Are You Too Big to Fly?

As a well-known film director can attest, the seating rules for larger-size airline passengers have changed.

By Adam Bean


Are You Too Big to Fly?

Airplane seating regs don't leave room for some passengers.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—You may've heard about the turbulence last week after film director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, and the upcoming Cop Out) was removed from a Southwest Airline flight for being too large to fit in a seat. The resulting hullabaloo—Smith lambasted Southwest on his Twitter page—has called some attention to the issue of oversized-passenger policies. Turns out that several airlines have recently clarified their seating rules. (Even though the food they serve isn't helping anyone slim down.)

THE DETAILS: Smith had actually booked two adjacent seats on a later flight, but found a seat on an earlier flight once he arrived at the airport. Only one seat was available on the flight, but Smith decided to chance it. After being seated, Smith was told that, in accordance with airline seating policy, he was deemed too big to fit properly in the seat.

Southwest later apologized to Smith for the inconvenience and embarrassment, and gave him a $100 voucher for a future flight. But meanwhile, Smith had begun sounding off about the incident. A heated debate ensued across the Internet between supporters and those who felt that such seating policies—which airlines say are based on legitimate safety concerns—needed to be enforced.

Read on to see how airlines determine who needs an extra seat.

Filed Under: OBESITY, TRAVEL TIPS AND SAFETY

Published on: February 18, 2010



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Wabout the safety issue of

Wabout the safety issue of stuffing ANY person into a seat that doesn't fit? So many people screaming discrimination, but let me tell you, there'd still be a lawsuit if a person of size got hurt because the seat belt wouldn't go all the way around or because the too-small seat left bruises from the armrests.

I think that it would be

I think that it would be really interesting to create such discussion with other this website visitors. Anyway thanks a lot one more time for the great and informative publication.
Joney

Amazing

The width of the seat is, basically, determined by the size of the aircraft. They can't HP0-S25 make seats wider without giving up a complete string of seats from front to back. That would dramatically reduce the number of passengers per flight, and you could expect the airlines to increase prices proportionally to compensate.

They won't do that, because the competition would kill them. Would you pay 20%-30% more for two or three more inches of seat width? Most people of average size (and average income) won't!

Now, among the 000-973 biggest costs for the airlines is fuel. More weight requires more fuel to fly a given distance. You see the reality of this every time you pay $80-100 for extra bags.

So those who 000-331 say that heavier people should pay more are not being nasty to heavy people. It's just the truth: Heavier people cost more to carry!

You can't fault 000-201 the logic of those who are are "normal sized" who complain about subsidizing those who aren't.

Knew He Was Too Big

Seems ridiculous to me that the passenger who is the subject of the article was so upset about not being able to fly in a single seat when he clearly knew the he needed two seats. We know this for a fact because HE BOUGHT TWO SEATS ON HIS ORIGINAL FLIGHT.

Right to Fly

Since when do we have a right to fly? It is not in the Constitution. We have the CHOICE to fly and we all have different reasons for doing it. It is neither a right nor a need. It this litigious society most seem to have forgotten that there are consequences for behaviors. One of the negative consequences for overeating is becoming overweight. And, yes, our SAD diet encourages obesity, but that, too, is a choice. And if you are using food as self-medication, there is help out there for you...find it.

Obesity

Well if you have such a problem with it why dont you take the bus or a car. Id rather sit next to a fat person than a inhuman jerk like you. and as for the subject many others wrote about only fat people stinking i have seen plenty of skinny people who need a lesson in what being clean is, and have met many fat people who did not smell or look dirty at all.

obese

fatties always have the HORMONES or GENETICS or some excuse for being fat. I would be that way too (fat) if I ate everything in sight X2 or X3 and sat on my rear 24/7.
Don't sit next to me and expect to get away with nothing being said.
Drive a car or take a train or walk or BUY TWO SEATS BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU NEED!!!

obesity rules

I have learned that often what we say is more about us than anyone else. I am truly sorry you are having a problem with your inner fat person who lacks self control. You should however do a little more research on obesity and reasons for obesity. I know of several cases that are due to medications perscribed by doctors the meds even have signifigant weight gain as a side effect. Not to mention the reasons for over eating such as depression etc... Would you say what you wrote in your blog to a recovering adict ( well I guess you probably would since you show such a lack of humanity) who is just starting the road to recover. sometimes it is a way to self medicate. (not a lack of self control.) not to mention that there are medical disoders that make it very hard to loise weight. And please understand that most people ( and not just the overweight ones ) I know really would not want to sit next to a judgemental and self rightous mean spirited person.

obesity rules

These people are without self control. They over eat and don't exercise. Since many are so large they are unable to wash critical areas of their body and often smell bad. Those of us who control our diets even when we want a 2nd or 3rd helping should not have to sit next such pigs.

GO SOUTHWEST.

Airline seating

If the airlines compensate a large person $100.00 for being unable to fit in a seat, they should allow $100.00 off of the price of a second seat.

The airlines could set aside a limited number of seats for the larger people. A sample seat could be placed in a private area of a terminal for the person to test whether they will fit or be a problem. If an offical determins they would be a problem, they would have to sit in a reserved large size seat at a minimal charge.

Most obese folks cannot help their size any mor than a physically challenged person can help their condition. I know of no obese people who want to be heavier than normal.

Pay by the pound

The width of the seat is, basically, determined by the size of the aircraft. They can't make seats wider without giving up a complete string of seats from front to back. That would dramatically reduce the number of passengers per flight, and you could expect the airlines to increase prices proportionally to compensate.

They won't do that, because the competition would kill them. Would you pay 20%-30% more for two or three more inches of seat width? Most people of average size (and average income) won't!

Now, among the biggest costs for the airlines is fuel. More weight requires more fuel to fly a given distance. You see the reality of this every time you pay $80-100 for extra bags.

So those who say that heavier people should pay more are not being nasty to heavy people. It's just the truth: Heavier people cost more to carry!

You can't fault the logic of those who are are "normal sized" who complain about subsidizing those who aren't.

INADEQUATE AIRLINE SEATING

I believe we are putting the blame on the wrong party. The fault lies with the airlines, not the passengers. As Wanda said, everyone who can afford to fly has the right to fly. Statistics have shown that the MAJORITY of Americans are NOT 6'5" and 200 lbs. or thin for our height. You, my friend, are the MINORITY. Furthermore, as for the comments posted by "IGNORANT Bystander/Sitter", perhaps you should charter a private jet for yourself so that no one should be subjected to your cruel, narcissistic judgements. I'd much rather sit beside a heavy breather than someone like you just whining in judgement of others. That being said, the airlines should stop being so GREEDY and make the seats larger to accommodate the true MAJORITY of Americans. That way, we may all fly in harmony.

Re: Airline Seating

No one should have any of their space encroached. However, for those who are discussing pay by pound, ect. I don't think that anyone should have to pay for an entire extra seat because they are not deemed an unacceptable weight. For good customer service airlines should allow people to buy a second seat for a maximum of $100 extra. But the problem with that is people would complain about someone getting two seats for $100 and how is it fair that because someone who is overweight gets all that extra room, well I say it is fair because they need it. SO SHUT UP. People will complain about anything. So yes, people who do not fit into one chair should get a second one, but no, they should not have to pay full price for two seats, that is unfair and unjust

Pay by the pound

Because humans aren't luggage. Also please take into account that America is pretty much making their citizens fat. No one chooses to be fat, people have diseases, addictions, slow metabolism. Just because you don't have these issues, someone should have to suffer and go through embarrassment because of it. I don't like whinny newborns, people who snore, people who smell, people who make weird sounds with their mouths, people who get drunk on flights, people who fall asleep and try to sleep on my shoulder (btw invading my space), any many other things, but it is something we have to deal with in life, I would never expect anyone to have to pay for another seat in these circumstances, so why should anyone else.

Oversized Passengers

First of all no individual is oversized, some people are just larger than others. Any yes, maybe mr.smith could easily afford a second seat (which is you read he originally purchased). However, a lot, and let me make this clear, ALOT of people can barely afford one seat, and because they are not UNDERWEIGHT, like you claim you are, they need to purchase two seats. We are basically refusing service to people who are heavier than what is considered "ideal". Is that fair that because you are 6'5 and under 100 pounds and the man next to you is a man who you claim is a "400-plus-pounder" should have to buy another ticket. I am not large and I find the seats on airplains to be quite restraining. Maybe airlines should have the option for people to get a second seat, without paying.

Seat size on planes

Do airlines put their seat measurements in writing? If not, they should. Who would wish upon anyone to go through that embarassment--show up to travel and not fit? The airlines could offer some non-firstclass seats at a set higher price for those who do not fit in smaller spaces or those who are bothered by tight places. Comparing baggage to passegers! Let's be kind to human beings of every size. Some of the sweetest smelling people I know are large.

Airline seating and ovesized passengers

I get that people no matter who they are need to have some kind of prejudism but some of you are just plain mean. Although you wouldn't be able to tell now by looking at me. I have spent time as a overweight person. I have a thyroid disorder. When I got pregnant I gained 3 times the weight I should have because my practitioner did not realize I needed my blood checked regularly through my pregnancy because of how the body processes the thyroid supplement with incresed levels of estrogen. After My doctor said i should eat more soy protien to help me lose the weight. I didn't Lose any I did not gain but no matter what I did I did not lose (this was because soy protien and thyroid meds do not mix well). One day I went to my local health food store and talked to someone there he told me to stop eating all soy and amazingly I started to lose weight. Although I am in so much better shape It still is hurtful to hear people be so mean. It is almost like being insulting over someonse race!!!!!!!!!!!! Weight is not an easy issue for anyone and being on a plane for someone who is obese or overweight is difficult as well. I am not saying that people who are thin do not have any rights either just that their are both sides to the issue and instead of being insulting their are better ways to create actual solutions.

Oversized passengers

On a long and full Delta flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Atlanta, I was in an seat next to a 400-plus-pounder who took up all of his seat and literally half of mine. No one--not even a small kid--was willing to change seats, so I was painfully cramped in for HOURS (I am 6'5" and under 200 pounds, thin for my height). He should have been REQUIRED to pay for two seats since that's what he needed; he was certainly NOT entitled to half or more of mine! OR I should have been offered a fee-free flight later or the next day, whenever they next had a seat available. A considerable amount of my time was spent near the rear of the plane, standing; the crew was quite understanding and sympathetic, but there was nothing they could do. So I have NO sympathy whatever for this film director, who could surely afford a 2nd ticket if that meets his needs--or for that matter, a 3rd or 4th one too.

oversized passengers

On a connecting flight from Paris out of Amsterdam on Northwest my seat was changed from isle on the outside of the plane to isle on the middle rows by the airline and not my choice. Seated next to me was a very oversized passenger with BO. So eversized that I had to sit sideways to have any seat at all for several hrs with my hands on my knees to keep from falling to the floor of the plane. When I complained I was told nothing else was available. Seated in the row behind was 3 of her relatives who thought it was terribly funny! Not Americans by the way and they all smelled!! Last time I flew with Northwest and no interest in visiting Amsterdam....ever!!

Oversized Passengers

Anyone who can afford to fly has the right to fly. However, in 2005 on a Continental plane, I was in the middle seat squashed between two very large men, their bodies were hanging over into my seat. The only thing I could think of was to drink 3 glasses of wine and go to sleep, because I could not move or anything else. They were inconsiderate and Continental is just not customer friendly. My first ride with them and my last ride with them.

Nonetheless I believe if your butt and arms are in my seat, you need to buy two seats...plain and simple.

Oversized Passengers

The fact of the matter is that not only do these oversized passengers have extra poundage which can't help but hang over, they are out of shape and breathe heavily, and many don't take baths very often and they stink!!! Sorry, but I am just not up for a long ride on an airplane when I can't choose who sits next to me and I end up with someone who is "out of order" and not normal!!!

The comments

I am in agreement with every comment above.

Pay by the pound

If we have to pay a surcharge for a heavier than normal bag, why not make passengers' seat tickets be subject to the same rule? The plane doesn't know the difference between overweight flesh or overweight bags. Either one takes more fuel to carry.

I paid for my seat; I should't have to share it

"You must not significantly encroach on adjacent seat space."

"Significantly"? How about not at all!

Oversized Passengers

There is a lot of talk about the rights of oversized passengers, but what about the rights of the non-oversized passenger unable to even use half of the armrest if they are unfortunate enough to be squeezed into the seat next to an overly large passenger?

Airline Seating

I can't tell what your stand is on the issue. All I know is that I want the seat that I paid for and if you use 1/2 my seat, you owe me half the cost of my airline ticket.

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