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Too Big For The Seat  
User currently offlineFlybynight From Norway, joined Jul 2003, 1031 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5659 times:

Whatever happened with airline charging, how shall I say, gravitationally challenged passengers (as in overweight) for two seats.
I believe someone sued, and won(!!), a lawsuit against one of the big airlines for having to sit next to someone too big for their seat.



Heia Norge!
43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5623 times:

I think it's rediculous. They aren't a government service. If you are too fat, it's usually by your own accord. Unless you can prove by doctor documentation that it's not your own fault, then airlines have EVERY right to charge for two seats, that or you can buy a first class ticket.

UAL747


User currently offlineTekelberry From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1459 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5620 times:

WN does this.

You buy a ticket on a per passenger basis, not a per seat basis. It seems pretty discriminating to me.

Gravitationally challenged? That doesn't even make any sense...


User currently offlineJcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5573 times:

Heres a rule of thumb to live by:

If you are too fat for a coach seat then you probably shouldnt be travelling by airplane in the first place.

The airlines have every right to charge people for two seats. By taking two seats, and only paying for one the airline is LOSING REVENUE.



America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineStartvalve From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5548 times:

speaking of weight.. what is the magic number airline pilots use for calculating a passengers weight for the purposes of weight and balance?

User currently offlineWmupilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1473 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5509 times:

Every airline has the overweight passenger rule in the operations manual...just not many airlines choose to strictly enforce it as it may come back to bite them. I know I try to get a passenger in a seat that will work for them or, in the case of C8 and the SAAB's, i'll try to give them their own row on the double sde.

As for weight C8 has 2 different weights that we use. Summer and Winter Weights. Winter weights are heavier because now we take into account passengers and their winter coats. I think for the summer we use 150lbs for each adult (average) and 175lbs for the winter weight.



JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
User currently offlineWesternDC1010 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 329 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5463 times:

Jcs17 and UaL747,

Lets not be too critical now. You may end up needing two seats aboard an airliner one day!

WesternDC1010



Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly
User currently offlinePER744 From Australia, joined Mar 2003, 405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5384 times:

Let's implement per-pound airfares! (Would be good for me, seeing I weigh less than 120)  Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5620 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5356 times:

I was on a AA 727 outta MBJ to MIA..luckily I gotta window seat..luck didn't last long, shortly thereafter, a 270+lb woman sweezed into the middle seat...if I had to whiz...it wasn't gonna happen until we landed in MIA. She was an employee non-reving. But I felt awful for her..it was palpable that she was extremely uncomfortable (in the small Y seat) and the fact that myself and the other guy was now trying to be comfy as possible and not be cognizant of parts of her settling onto parts of our seats. Not to mention 'owning' the armrest. I tried to stare out the window the entire time. Breakfast was served..she refused. After I finished..I took off my CD headset and decided to speak with her because I knew she was not enjoying this situation. She was a really nice person, a res. agent. I'm certain the conversation put her at great ease...cuz she didn't shut up until touchdown. I don't want to diss fat people but there has to be something done in situations like this..because had this been a MIA-LHR or LAX-AA), Japan">NRT flight...there's no way on earth I was gonna put with that situation!

BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5298 times:

>>>The airlines have every right to charge people for two seats. By taking two seats, and only paying for one the airline is LOSING REVENUE.

The issue has nothing to do with lost revenue, and everything to do with customer service/satisfaction of the pax being impinged upon by the person-of-size on one or both sides of them. They were complaining, and rightly so.

Different airlines have different policies, and from what I recall about SWA's was that you can get a refund of that second seat ticket if the flight wasn't full and you didn't have anyone next to you. Surely, if it was truly about "losing revenue" they wouldn't have that policy

It is obvious that the issue of larger customers is a sensitive one, and some of those affected feel (and react) as if they're being targeted or are otherwise victims. I respect their right to feel that way, but have to note that if a person's personal volume is such that it spills over the armrest in the adjacent seat's volume (and the person sitting there), doesn't -that- person have rights and a basic customer service expectation? Those of the ones who were complaining, and the ones the airlines reacted to.

If folks will go checkout the actual policy of their airline (instead of relying on "I heard that..." or other inaccurate stuff, I think they'd find that the policies are not that unreasonable.


User currently offlineBeltwaybandit From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5207 times:

If I (200lbs) decided that I could only sit cross-legged, and as a result I consumed two seat widths, then I should absolutely pay for two seats. You use the space, you pay for it. It's not discrimination unless you charge differently for the same product.

Is it discrimination for Hanes to charge more for XXXL briefs than they charge for M or S briefs? Use more, pay more.


User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5131 times:

They don't go by weight. They would go by whose stomach etc starts seeping over onto another person's seat.

You can't really go by weight.

A 300 pound woman most likely would take up more than one seat, or a man 5'6" 300 pounds. A muscular man who maybe is 6'6" 300 pounds like a pro wrestler with only 10% bodyfat is big but probably wouldn't be big enough that the person sitting next to the window is going to be squashed against the side of the plane.

Not only is it a revenue issue, but it is also a safety issue. If the plane makes an emergency landing and people need to get off as quickly as possible- a 300 pound athlete would probably be able to get up quickly, but the 300 pound woman or 300 pound non athlete is not going to be so quick to move out of the seat and the people behind him/her cannot just simply climb over them either.


Back when air travel was starting in the 20s, they used to have scales at airports to weigh passengers before they got on a plane.


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5129 times:

Southwest took a lot of heat when they announced the enforcement of this policy that has been on their (and most other airlines) books for quite some time. The "solution" proposed by the groups that opposed this policy was for the airlines to "simply" provide wider seats. They didn't say what the airlines should do about recovering lost revenues caused by the loss of seats on their aircraft. The most vocal group was NAFAA, and at one of their conferences, they invited representatives from Delta, American, and Southwest to address the topic. Southwest explained the program, and explained that if the flight were not sold out, those passengers who paid for two tickets would recieve a full refund (even for nonrefundable tickets) for the "unused" seat. The whole idea was to have those who won't fit in a seat that is 17 inches wide to go ahead and purchase a second seat in advance...saving themselves the "embarassment" of being denied boarding on the day of the flight should the flight prove to be full.

A big hoopla was made about "selling" a second seat at the gate, and the decision for requiring the seat was to be made by the gate agent. But they didn't address the concept that IF the flight was not sold out, they would be refunded the price of the second ticket - and they didn't address how on earth one was supposed to buy a second seat on a flight that was sold out. At the NAFAA conference, the reps from Delta and American kind of danced around the issue, although the NAFAA members applauded their "sensitivity". Basically, what AA and Delta said was that they would only do something if someone else complained...in other words, make the customer out to be the bad guy, not the airline. But AA and Delta were avoiding the issue of a full flight. And if you read their responses closely, would subject the obese person to even more humiliation, since they proposed trying to find someone who would not object to sitting next to the obese person while everybody was already on the plane. If no volunteers could be found, the obese person would be placed on the next available flight out. WMUpilot sort of responded the way that they did....we'll just give you your own row. But what do you do if there aren't any empty seats on the plane? Whose "rights" or more important, the obese person who needs to share your seat, or the person whose seat is being shared?

As for the policy on other airlines, should an obese person who paid for a rock bottom fare be given priority for a first class seat over an "elite" customer looking for an upgrade? Whose goodwill is more important - the occasional obese passenger, or the passenger who flies you on a weekly basis?

[Edited 2003-10-01 15:36:50]

User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5110 times:

I believe the customer that won the lawsuit had her arm literally trapped in the fat fold of some glutton sitting next to her. There were no other seats onboard--even up front.

I'd give her money too. But more realistically, I would have demanded to deplane.

I've only heard of the case, I have not read the brief....


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5058 times:

Yes I believe the people who were forced to sit next to the overweight person for the flight have recovered money when taking them to court. Now the overweight who have challenged the rules about buying 2 seats have all lost the cases. Go into any store and look at men's clothes t-shirts in size small to 2X-Large is one price and then from 3X and higher the price is more.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13751 posts, RR: 61
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4948 times:
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Different airlines have different policies, and from what I recall about SWA's was that you can get a refund of that second seat ticket if the flight wasn't full and you didn't have anyone next to you. Surely, if it was truly about "losing revenue" they wouldn't have that policy

Regardless of what you may think, it's about passenger comfort AND losing revenue.

You provide a disservice to a customer who has an obese seatmate literally spilling over the armrest into their seat. You also lose revenue if you just give an obese person a "comfort" seat next to the one they purchased, as it could have been sold to another revenue customer.

Clearly this only becomes an issue if the flight is totally full, but it's an issue of lost revenue nonetheless.

The problem is that in today's "I'm a victim, and therefore cannot be held accountable for anything," society, this concept of "Obesity Tolerance" has become ridiculous. It's not up to others to make accomodations for someone who has, for one reason or another, gotten morbidly obese. It's their burden to bear, and if that means they occasionally have to buy a second seat on airplanes, in movie theaters, etc...then so be it.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4865 times:

OPNLguy:

No, it has everything to do with the airlines losing revenue. Most human beings fit into an airline seat. The airlines base their fares upon how many seats are available on the plane, due to economies of scale. If you're going to take up more than one, then the airline might as well have charged twice the price and put half as many seats in. Oh, wait. YX has tried to do this and failed!

HlywdCatft:

Actually, they recommend you do exactly that. In an emergency situation, do everything you can to make it to the door. If you feel you're going to die, climb over the seat. Just don't try to squeeze out of the door once you're there.

When I was at Vanguard, we had people call up in advance asking about buying two seats. Obviously, people have known about these regulations. The people who are now complaining about them are probably the people who would never have flown prior to deregulation.

A lot of people seem to think that it is their right to "feel good". While I certainly encourage people to feel good about themselves, I do not want that at the cost of my wallet, as that would be violating my rights. If I am a shareholder of an airline and I find out they are giving seats to obese passengers that could otherwise be sold for more money, then I'm going to be pissed.

For many people it is their choice to remain obese, whether by laziness or psychological defeatism. I'm overweight, though only by 15 pounds over the upper limit of my "ideal weight range". I know I could lose that weight if I tried, but I don't. That's my choice. It's not dibilitating and so it's not important to me.

Say all you want to about "fat genes" and "eating disorders", but you can always simply say to yourself, "I'm not going to eat too much today." I have in fact done this today. I'm not going to eat too much. I'm going to resist the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in my freezer. I'm going to avoid the potato chips on my stove. I can do it. So can 99.9% of everyone else.

Okay, I've ranted. Flame me.



Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offline767Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4744 times:

Now, granted I don't know what's involved in assigning seats to pax, so I don't know what happened here, but I was on a flight that was not full, and an extremely heavy pax was assigned to sit next to me -- she by the window, me on the aisle on the "2" side of a 3-2 config. She took up half of MY seat. Yet there were a couple of empty rows on the plane.

I'm not sure why the agent didn't seat her in an empty row in the first place. Wouldn't this be an obvious choice for an extremely heavy pax?

I snuck up to one of those empty rows before we left the terminal. I felt kind of embarrassed because it was obvious why.


User currently offlineWNfan From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4667 times:

I like Southwest's policy. If you need two seats, you pay for two seats, and if the flight isn't full, you don't pay extra after all. Very sensible.

I believe the policy is that if a passenger can't sit down between the armrests without raising them, then they require two seats. Also very sensible to me. Passengers of size can easily book two seats and then request a refund after the flight.

I don't like the AA and DL policies mentioned above; relying on passengers to complain is not a proactive way to deal with the situation.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2983 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4652 times:

The lawsuit where someone sued the airline for damages was against Delta. Evidently the story goes something like this: the plaintiff is flying on the 2 seat side of an MD-80. He gets the window seat. The aisle seat end up being occupied by an obese man. The plaintiff said something to the effect that he ended up being pressed against the side of the aircraft, and was "fused to the other man from the shoulders to the knees" for the duration of the flight. he sued for emotional trauma, and claimed medical expenses to his neck/back from being shoved into the side of the plane.

T.J.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineDFWLandingPath From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4602 times:

Not to be mean or anything, but what about the safety issue of exiting the plane in the event of an emergency, how is that adressed?

Cheers,
DFWLandingPath


User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4576 times:

Jus for the record... a couple of days ago I saw an interview with the Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti and he was "complaining" (actually he was mad as hell) about that he could not fit into the Business Class seats on Alitalia.

Regards


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4550 times:

>>>Luciano Pavarotti and he was "complaining" (actually he was mad as hell) about that he could not fit into the Business Class seats on Alitalia.

It makes you wonder what Alitalia was supposed to have done--charter a USAF C-5 for him?  Big grin


User currently offlineB4real From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2661 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4455 times:

2big..2seats

I was recently on a DLConnection flight from GRR to CVG on the CRJ-700 series.

This guy must have been over 475 lbs. just huge and over 6'6", I was in the Window seat, he walks down the aisle, part of him bumps on me (I'm in the window seat of a 2x2 config) - and he stunk (another of today's topics). I think he was Russian as well (so no one could talk to him) or he did not know how to talk.

We had a weight balance issue preventing takeoff - he moved forward of the landing gear around row 12, and we were able to take off. He had two seats to himself (thank goodness the flight was not full) and I think he was miserable and I think I saw two extensions on the seat belt.

If the flight was full, he should have been (no-charge) reaccomodated on another DL/DLConnection flight in coach that would have an empty seat next to him. Offer him a discount to do the same on another airline. Or - refund his money.

That would have been a nightmare if the flight was full. There is no way someone could have sit next to him in a seat, nor on his lap, nor on one of his rolls.



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4405 times:

767lover-to try and answer your question as best I can. Depending on the program each airline uses, normally the computer will assign the seat to each person. The agent doesn't have as much to do with seat assignments as they used to. Example, the first row on what used to be DLX was held back by the computer to be used for special needs people(unless of course a person requested the first row). The same idea applies to certain other rows-they may be the last assigned because the company deems them to be the least desirable. That is why so much of the time as a non-rev we get assigned the middle seat(one of the least desirable). Yes of course the agent can change a previously issued seat, but if a mention is not made then it may not be noticed that a change is needed.

25 Jeffrey1970 : I am a rather large person who is 290 lbs. I can see the airlines point in charging a large person the price for two seats since space is what airline
26 Swafa30 : Not to be mean or anything, but what about the safety issue of exiting the plane in the event of an emergency, how is that adressed? I can't speak for
27 Post contains images Cancidas : could we be a little more sensative to those of us that are a bit 'gravitationally challenged?' i do think that it is fair. i manage to fit into one s
28 Motorhussy : I fly Polynesian Airlines every-so-often between Samoa and New Zealand. They always have the chubby old boys up the front of the cabin and have specia
29 PROSA : could we be a little more sensative to those of us that are a bit 'gravitationally challenged?' i do think that it is fair. i manage to fit into one s
30 Goingboeing : I thought people could stand on the subway, so passenger comfort is kind of a moot point.
31 HlywdCatft : **could we be a little more sensative to those of us that are a bit 'gravitationally challenged?' i do think that it is fair. i manage to fit into on
32 Cancidas : did you all notice that little smiley with his eye spinning? ok, take a chill pill and read my post: i do think that it is fair. i manage to fit into
33 CanadianNorth : Airlines make money by selling seats. More seats they fill the more money they make, Thats how it goes. If you can not fit in the seat because of yer
34 Beltwaybandit : I despise the "blame everyone but yourself for your problems" trend in society, and I suspect that a vast (huge?) majority of obese people are so due
35 JGPH1A : Technically, when you buy the ticket, the contract is to transport you, the person, from point a to point b. It does not say, we will transport 80kg o
36 Goingboeing : The choice of the airline to make the seats 17in wide is purely arbitrary, if they had made them 21 inches wide, then far fewer people would have a pr
37 Cfalk : If you're that fat, buy a first-class ticket. C'mon, tasty, low-fat, healthy foods have been available in the U.S. for many years, as have jogging sho
38 Post contains images Jumbolino : everything is said with the last posting, but I vote for the idea with pay per weight, as I fit in clothes made for 12 year old children I aim to get
39 767Lover : Goingboeing brings up an interesting point: Let's suppose the airline does increase the seat width to say 21" instead of 17". On a 3X3 config, this me
40 767Lover : And about the venomous attitude being displayed by a number of posters here: yes, there are people out there who are lazy and gluttonous. There are al
41 Cfalk : 767Lover, There are also people out there who struggle with their weight and can't help it. I know what it's like. I've struggled with my weight all m
42 767Lover : Charles, Again, I know it is a difficult dilemma, and I agree that neither pax nor airlines should suffer because some people request triple the stand
43 Post contains images 767Lover : P.S. I'm sure nobody would complain if the person they were "squeezed" next to was a famous linebacker!
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