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Airfairs & Overweight Passengers


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Should overweight/obese passengers pay more for their seats?  

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This issue has been on the news lately. As you know, passengers are charged for excess baggage. Basically it's because they take up more space and will ultimately use more fuel.

I'm not a 'weightist' at all, but here in America IIRC, 67% of the country is overweight and 20% of those are obese. Houston, Texas, has the proud title of being America's 'Fattest City'. On a recent flight from Newark to Nashville, I had the discomfort of sitting next to an overweight man who, legs apart and elbows out, read a book for two hours. It was pointless me asking him to politely keep to his side because he wasn't physically capable, so consequently I was shoved sideways against the window for two hours!

Anyone else got a similar story?

No flaming here :nono:

DS

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You should have asked for a different seat. If someone takes up 2 seats, they should pay for 2 seats, just like a baby in a car seat has to pay for a seat on an airplane. And yes, I think babies should be fastened in a car seat even on an airplane. The same forces of physics apply to an airplane as the do to a car. Anyone holding a baby on their lap in a crash will crush a baby even faster.

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Yes, if you take up two seats you should have to pay for both. The fact that people complain to airline about sitting next to a large person is the reason why they're charging more. I can only think of one airline that charges double for a heavy person, and that's SouthWest.

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TV series "Airplane" follows the crews and staff of Southwest. Its pretty interesting to see the "real drama."

One episode: They charged a passenger for two seats. Unfortunately, the drama was short, due to the gentlemen was easily sweet talked by the boarding agent into purchasing another seat.

The funniest was when a P**ish gentlemen :whistle: was pulled to the side by the boarding agent---same agent--- and was told to take a bath and was told to put on deodorant or he will be refunded and asked to take another airline.

Complaints came from all the other passengers.

So going back to the poll. Yes, if the butt don't fit in the seat, you must purchase another seat.

:thumbsup:

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Anyone else got a similar story?

No flaming here :nono:

DS

Yesterday I flew from Atlanta to Seattle (5+ hours) rubbing shoulders and legs with a rather portly fellow in the next seat. I, too, was in the window seat with no place to go. It was such an effort for him to get in/out of his seat that I almost felt bad making him move so I could use the head. :blink:

The airlines keep shrinking the seats, but Americans keep getting bigger. Sooner or later there's going to be some serious incompatibility.

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Yesterday I flew from Atlanta to Seattle (5+ hours) rubbing shoulders and legs with a rather portly fellow in the next seat. I, too, was in the window seat with no place to go. It was such an effort for him to get in/out of his seat that I almost felt bad making him move so I could use the head.  :blink:

The airlines keep shrinking the seats, but Americans keep getting bigger. Sooner or later there's going to be some serious incompatibility.

You were that close to me and didn't stop by to say "hi"! :(

I did that same flight in December and even with two "normal" sized adults and a child, that flight wasn't overly comfortable.

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Yesterday I flew from Atlanta to Seattle (5+ hours) rubbing shoulders and legs with a rather portly fellow in the next seat. I, too, was in the window seat with no place to go. It was such an effort for him to get in/out of his seat that I almost felt bad making him move so I could use the head.  :blink:

The airlines keep shrinking the seats, but Americans keep getting bigger. Sooner or later there's going to be some serious incompatibility.

You were that close to me and didn't stop by to say "hi"! :(

I did that same flight in December and even with two "normal" sized adults and a child, that flight wasn't overly comfortable.

You were right at my front door and didn't say hi?

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  • 9 months later...

Hell....don't complain about that Collin....I'm sure that airline atleast gave you a parachute before kicking you out. Not like most of the airlines around that just give you a silly little lifevest. That's like bloody handing out parachutes on the Titanic!@

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  • 1 month later...

I have a theroy about why gas prices go up and mileage on vehicles drops, it is because of obesity you need a more powerful enginge and more gas to haul the more filled out types. My dad and i discussed this as kind of a joke but you know it my actually be a little true.

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Wow, I'm actually amazed by these results.

All I'm going to say is that this goes beyond "taking up two seats." This is a matter of unfair discimination towards overweight people. It's only "justified" by whiney people who demand their "space". Airline tickets are outrageous, making someone pay twice that because their elbows and legs might stick out a little further than the rest of us is desperatley unfair, rude, cruel and just plain wrong... IMO.

I'm also wondering how many of you grew up with someone overweight. Society has such a negative view of people who are overweight and seem to think that they don't care about their weight. Let's not get arrogant about it, especially to the point where people have to double their costs to take a flight. I want to go to New Mexico for Spring break. The cheapest I can find for me is $400, would it be fair to make a man or woman pay $800 because of their size?

Wow... I'm just shocked at this collective debate... No offense to anyone personally in this thread, I'm not trying to start a war here... just giving a different opinion.

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My sister, a size 0, literally holds obese people in disdain. She is thoroughly convinced that it is their own gluttony and lack of discipline that has resulted in their physical state of being.

None of us in our family really excercise but we all manage to be fairly thin (granted I've put on a couple of banker pounds here and there). There are enough scientific studies out there suggesting that obesity is in fact partially attributable to genetics. Therefore, I do not necessarily subscribe to my sister's ardent beliefs.

As to whether the obese ought pay extra in the instance where they take up two seats, I am 100% for this measure. These are not $1.50 city bus seats we are talking about here. These are hundreds of dollars worth of aviation real estate. I like to lay down to sleep. I need at least 2 Tylenol PMs just to get some semblance of rest in the curled up fetal position you are forced to assume on most flights. Does this entitle me to a free seat so I can stretch my legs? No, it's not a diagnosed medical problem either.

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Wow, I'm actually amazed by these results.

All I'm going to say is that this goes beyond "taking up two seats." This is a matter of unfair discimination towards overweight people. It's only "justified" by whiney people who demand their "space". Airline tickets are outrageous, making someone pay twice that because their elbows and legs might stick out a little further than the rest of us is desperatley unfair, rude, cruel and just plain wrong... IMO.

I'm also wondering how many of you grew up with someone overweight. Society has such a negative view of people who are overweight and seem to think that they don't care about their weight. Let's not get arrogant about it, especially to the point where people have to double their costs to take a flight. I want to go to New Mexico for Spring break. The cheapest I can find for me is $400, would it be fair to make a man or woman pay $800 because of their size?

Wow... I'm just shocked at this collective debate... No offense to anyone personally in this thread, I'm not trying to start a war here... just giving a different opinion.

What one must realize is that, as theronin pointed out, this is no city bus we're talking about here.

Loading an airplane is an exact science. A certain type of airplane can only carry a certain amount of load safely, which is divided between cargo (luggage and stuff) and passengers. The airline then has to determine how much of which is carried in a single airplane, in a single flight.

Say an obese person buys a single ticket, while he/she weighs twice the average passenger. That is equal to the airline giving a free seat to one person, since they will have to take his/her weight into consideration, and reduce their passenger capacity by one to compensate. That is, of course, assuming that the airline wishes to fly the airplane safely. Now, since airlines are not in the business of charity, I think it is only fair if that person be charged twice. One for her seat, the other one for the other seat that has to be vacated because of him/her.

Out.

Say an obese person weighs twice

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Flying on an airplane is a right that everyone should have, especially if they're paying.

Making overweight people pay extra is like taking five steps backwards toward discrimination. It's wrong, and unfair. I understand there are weight limits etc etc, but they allow margin of error. Maybe have ticket restrictions and number restrictions, but making them pay extra is dumb, unless they'd rather pay extra to get the flight they want. This should be on a first come first serve basis.

My point is that making them pay extra is discrimintation at it's finest. Really, what next? Make Arabs pay more because of terrorism? Does someone under 150lbs get tickets at a discounted price? Will we have to step on a scale to determine our airline price? That's the only way to make it fair. Charge per pound, you can bring whatever you want but you pay by weight, including yourself.

It's ludacrous in my mind. If an airline company told my father he had to pay extra because he was a big man, I would have been in court. It's simply outrageous.

There are alternatives. Paying for two tickets is not one of them and it's a horrible and emberassing thing to do to someone. There are no saftey concerns here, just personal ones.

These are not $1.50 city bus seats we are talking about here. These are hundreds of dollars worth of aviation real estate

Exactly. Hundreds of Dollars. Pay for two seats on a city bus, sure, I can spare the extra cents, but not double my already rediculous price because of greedy execs, strikes and rising gas prices. Nuh-uh Jack, not on my watch.

Again, not aiming this at anyone in the thread... this logic just blows my mind. I'm presenting the arguement of the otherside.

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The way I see it you pay for a seat and if somebody else is sprawled all over you making your journey uncomfortable then you've been inconvenienced unnecessarily, how about making the fatties sit together? This way they'll see how uncomfortable it makes everyone having to sit next to them? And when I say fatty I'm not being nasty, at nearly 15st I'm no lightweight but theres overweight and then theres ridiculous, good point about kids travelling in car seats too WK, thats a must in my book.

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My sister, a size 0, literally holds obese people in disdain.  She is thoroughly convinced that it is their own gluttony and lack of discipline that has resulted in their physical state of being.

None of us in our family really excercise but we all manage to be fairly thin (granted I've put on a couple of banker pounds here and there).  There are enough scientific studies out there suggesting that obesity is in fact partially attributable to genetics.  Therefore, I do not necessarily subscribe to my sister's ardent beliefs.

To some measure you sister is right. I'm the kind of person that could easily weight 300lbs and take up two seats on an airplane. However, I don't weight 300lbs because I don't stuff my face full of cookies and ice cream every night. As a matter of fact I make it a point not to buy ice cream at the store, and often when I go out to eat with friends I pass on the all of the goodies at the end.

I hit the weights religiously and excercise. It isn't rocket science. I have been injured playing ball, and even then I went on a diet, did what little cardio I could, and dropped my weight to 175lbs. Now for those of you who don't know me, 175lbs is an EXTREMELY lite weight for me, and although it was not easy, I have done this three times now. I have now "retired" from competitive sports, but I still workout and keep the "unwanted" pounds off.

The way I see it is, if I can keep the weight off, anyone can.

Having said that, I know we all have certain areas that we all struggle with, so like I said, to SOME measure Ronin's sister is right.

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Flying on an airplane is a right that everyone should have, especially if they're paying.

Making overweight people pay extra is like taking five steps backwards toward discrimination. It's wrong, and unfair. I understand there are weight limits etc etc, but they allow margin of error. Maybe have ticket restrictions and number restrictions, but making them pay extra is dumb, unless they'd rather pay extra to get the flight they want. This should be on a first come first serve basis.

My point is that making them pay extra is discrimintation at it's finest. Really, what next? Make Arabs pay more because of terrorism? Does someone under 150lbs get tickets at a discounted price? Will we have to step on a scale to determine our airline price? That's the only way to make it fair. Charge per pound, you can bring whatever you want but you pay by weight, including yourself.

It's ludacrous in my mind. If an airline company told my father he had to pay extra because he was a big man, I would have been in court. It's simply outrageous.

There are alternatives. Paying for two tickets is not one of them and it's a horrible and emberassing thing to do to someone. There are no saftey concerns here, just personal ones.

These are not $1.50 city bus seats we are talking about here. These are hundreds of dollars worth of aviation real estate

Exactly. Hundreds of Dollars. Pay for two seats on a city bus, sure, I can spare the extra cents, but not double my already rediculous price because of greedy execs, strikes and rising gas prices. Nuh-uh Jack, not on my watch.

Again, not aiming this at anyone in the thread... this logic just blows my mind. I'm presenting the arguement of the otherside.

Well, I see your point, but I disagree with your analogy.

To charge a person of a certain descent (e.g an Arab, as you say) twice the price because of terrorism, now THAT'S discrimination, because, as I see it, the Arab being discussed (if he is of 'average' size and weight) doesn't really affect the flight phisicaly. He could, if he turns out to be a hijacker, but it is not proven positive without evidence.

An overweight person will affect the flight. It is proven that the person does not weigh the 'average' weight which was determined by the industry, based on the load capacity of each type or aircraft, as economically and as profitable as possible. We have to accept this. They are running a business.

As I said before, the ticket price was determined based on the 'average' size of a human being. Since they're running a business and charging people less is usually not a good capitalist practice, so people who are lighter than the norm will have to pay the 'average' price, while people who are heavier will have to pay more (or that one extra seat).

I don't think that's discrimination.

Out.

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  • 1 month later...

some people get fat because htey have no self control and just eat and eat and do no exercise. is it their fault? partly, depending on what age you get overweight it may or may not be your fault entirely.

some people have glandular problems, slow metabolisms, retain water alot.

if you really want to lose weight it isnt hard for most people, its just a lack of will power for many. Society doesnt offer much help for fat people though.

instead of charging double for people who take up two seats or such they could raise prices, have a rate per lb over average weight you are, or something of that nature.

i remember seeing something on the news a year or so ago saying airlines use 350million extra gallons of fuel because of oeverweight people, heavy luggage etc.

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you say just cause someone is fat they should have to pay more? then what about those whos is fat because fo medcial reasons? they wouldnt be the way the where if it wasnt for haveing health problems (aka haveing tyroid cancer which affects peoples ability to lose weight, or becomeing disabled where you cant runa round or even wal that far and a bunch of other things) and what about those of us who are just natully tall and big boned? shouls you ounsh htem for how god made them?

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