LFutia
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Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:06 am

From The Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=14907

The passenger was too obese to fly, and was kicked off 3 flights to New York after trying to return home for medical treatment. The passenger ended up dying in Hungary and now a lawsuit is being filed against DL/ LH and KL for violation of disabled passenger.

The pictures may be a bit disturbing but the article sums it all up.

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hOMSaR
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:13 am

I don't see how it's the airlines fault. If you can't physically fit safely on the plane/in your seats (either because the seatbelts aren't long enough, or because not even several firefighters can lift you up and put you in the seat), then what is the airline supposed to do?

Given the person's condition, I'm guessing it's unlikely that even returning home and getting medical treatment would have done much to keep her alive.
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Mir
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:16 am

I'm not going to get into whether the airline was right or not in denying her travel. I can see the airline side of things, and I can see the passenger's side as well - they did let the airline know, they did book two seats for her, etc.

Here's the crux of the issue: she had the opportunity to see doctors in Hungary, and she chose not to. That is entirely her and her husband's fault, and shouldn't be held against the airlines.

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futureualpilot
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:17 am

Three different airlines from three different countries said no, yet they're at fault. What happened to personal responsibility?

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plateman
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:23 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
Here's the crux of the issue: she had the opportunity to see doctors in Hungary, and she chose not to. That is entirely her and her husband's fault, and shouldn't be held against the airlines.

Exactly. And I hope a court is smart enough to see that too.
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SonomaFlyer
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:41 am

It's tragic but the kicker is that even the local fire dept couldn't get her out of her chair. It's sounds like there wasn't anything for the airlines to do.

It will be interesting to find out if obesity is the disability theory. Airlines must make reasonable accommodation. If the person is too heavy for the seat he/she is sitting on, there isn't much the airline can do. I don't see any of the airlines discriminating here; her medical condition made it so she wasn't able to fly.
 
AR385
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:42 am

Still. While I do not fault the airlines (this case falls beyond the normal fat person who is asked to pay for another seat) she did get to Hungary. I assume she did not swim her way there.

So, if they were able to get her there, I don´t see how legally they can´t get her back. Unless of course she put on an excessive amount of weight, which I find hard to believe, but possible.

What a sad case. With that weight and missing a leg, she must not have been a happy person. Poor woman.
 
Quokkas
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:50 am

It is very sad that she died but I fail to see how that is the airlines' fault. Was it wise to leave the US and travel to Hungary in the first case?

Why could she not see doctors and undergo necessary treatment in Hungary? Let me guess, no insurance cover for a pre-existing medical condition, although they claim that they felt staff would be unfamiliar with their medical needs.

But seriously, if the fire brigade was unable to lift her out of the wheelchair, perhaps they could have chartered a private plane. But I guess the lack of appropriate cover for medical evacuation would have ruled that out.
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AR385
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:55 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
It is very sad that she died but I fail to see how that is the airlines' fault. Was it wise to leave the US and travel to Hungary in the first case?

Seeing the pictures and the description of her case, I really can´t see how she was fit to fly outbound in the first place.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
Let me guess, no insurance cover for a pre-existing medical condition, although they claim that they felt staff would be unfamiliar with their medical needs.

Isn´t hungary one of those countries that have free health care?

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
But I guess the lack of appropriate cover for medical evacuation would have ruled that out.

I´m not an expert by any means, but if they were not able to fit her in an airliner, I don´t see how a smaller private jet med-evac aircraft would have been able to fit her inside.
 
Quokkas
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:46 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 8):
Isn´t hungary one of those countries that have free health care?

Residents of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, who are entitled to health care under the national health services or mandatory health insurance scheme of their respective countries of residence, can receive in Hungary health care
+ which becomes necessary
+ on medical grounds
+ during temporary stay in Hungary
+ taking into account the nature of the benefits required and the expected length of stay.
The treatment, which becomes medically necessary during the patient’s temporary stay in Hungary is free of charge. It does not cover ongoing illnesses of a non-urgent nature or emergency repatriation costs, so comprehensive travel insurance is advised as treatment can be very expensive.

Citizens and/or residents of countries, which are not part of the European Economic Area and which don’t have bilateral agreements with Hungary covering the provision of health care, have to pay full price for the health care services rendered in Hungary. According to Hungarian legislation, the health care provider can set the fee freely; therefore the Hungarian National Health Insurance has no influence on the amount of fee charged.

If the couple had retained Hungarian Citizenship (if it was possible at the time they acquired US citizenship) they would have been eligible for free treatment. If they were not Hungarian citizens they would not be covered as there is, as far as I know, no bilateral agreement covering health care between the US and Hungary. The US Bureau of Consular Affairs offers the following advice:
"Make sure you have adequate health insurance coverage while abroad, including coverage of medical evacuation (not covered by most domestic policies). Note that U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States."
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AR385
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:59 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 9):
If the couple had retained Hungarian Citizenship (if it was possible at the time they acquired US citizenship) they would have been eligible for free treatment.

I am assuming that they did, as they had a "summer house" in Hungary.

Besides, as far as I know, the US allows and has for a long time, allowed double citizenship. Heck, I am an example of it.

The death of this woman, thus, seems to me as being brought on by herself and her husband. I really can´t see otherwise, seeing the condition she was in before she left for Hungary. She was buried there too, which is telling.

Maybe that was the purpose all along, and now, someone greedy wants to take advantage of a rather sad situation and make money off of it.

If they had the money to purchase three Y seats, they had enough to pay for a repatriating, ambulance service.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:15 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 6):
So, if they were able to get her there, I don´t see how legally they can´t get her back. Unless of course she put on an excessive amount of weight, which I find hard to believe, but possible.

If she is in renal (and probably heart) failure and did not have access to proper dialysis treatment, she easily could have gained tens of pounds worth of fluid.

Fact is that she shouldn't have traveled in the first place. Especially if her condition was so fragile that she could die without medical treatment for a few days.

While I'm not sure if it's suit-worthy, I have to scratch my head at the physician who cleared her to fly (if one did). I sure wouldn't have.

"I'm sorry, but you're in chronic multiorgan failure. In my opinion, it is not safe for you to travel anywhere by air."
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RWA380
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:42 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 8):
Seeing the pictures and the description of her case, I really can´t see how she was fit to fly outbound in the first place.

I saw the TV news report, agree 100% with you and most folks here. Not only was I amazed that she had flown outbound to Hungry in the first place, she is very round, and extremely obese, over 400 pounds. I am not bashing her at all, she was very sad looking and I feel deeply for her situation.

I wonder how she was able to get to Europe from the USA in the first place, so she had to have flown with some carrier, why could those techniques used to get her over there, be reversed to get her home? Obviously there must be many facets to this story that the media has not filled in, therefore I reserve commenting on carrier responsibility.

But will be the first one to say, something or someone compassionate should have tried anything, even, God forbid a cargo plane. If someone like that had stepped up for these unusual circumstances to be remedied. I'm a big boy at 220 and I am flying F tomorrow because I feel more comfortable in that slightly larger seat, especially 6 hours or better. RIP to her and God bless her family, during this crisis. Are they bringing the body home to the US? guess not if they couldn't while she was alive.
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DocLightning
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:50 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 12):
But will be the first one to say, something or someone compassionate should have tried anything, even, God forbid a cargo plane.

Can you transport a passenger commercially in a cargo plane? No seat? No seatbelt? That can't possibly be legal.

Besides, how much is that going to cost?

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 12):
Are they bringing the body home to the US? guess not if they couldn't while she was alive.

Says she was buried there. I wonder where in Hungary they found the casket.

Again, she was obviously in multiorgan failure (at least heart, kidney, and pancreas, and I'd bet anyone a dollar that her liver wasn't exactly in great shape, either). She had no business going on a vacation. It's not "fair," but very sick people just should not travel.

There is a difference between "disabled," which is a static limitation that is unlikely to get worse on its own and "sick," which is a fluid and often progressive condition that will deteriorate without intervention.
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:58 am

I think the real question here, is if her condition was so severe that the 9 days away from a hospital means death, then what was she doing in Europe anyway!?

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Geo772
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:01 am

I can't understand why she wouldn't have sought treatment in Hungary. Kidney Diseases and diabetes aren't exactly unusual. I'd be incredibly surprised if there weren't some very good doctors in Hungary who would have been able to care for her. I suspect that there may have been a cost element, most likely due to a lack of insurance or from being underinsured for the trip. Based on what scant information the daily mail provides I am surprised that to couple would even have attempted the trip in the first place.

As for the behaviour of the airlines involved I think they all tried really hard to accommodate her on their flights. It certainly sounds as if she was in a significantly worse physical condition for her return trip than for the outbound which ultimately made it impossible to accommodate her. It certainly sounds as if a medical repatriation would have been the only way for her to return to the US.
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AF1624
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:13 am

She could also have move by ground to another country in Europe best suiting her condition. France comes to mind, the UK also (Eurostar or Eurotunnel or even Ferry).

The airlines are clearly not at fault here. It's not even a question of having to book several seats for her, it's a question of going through the door or down an escape slide if it had to happen.

How do people get that fat anyway ? ... I couldn't even if I tried and believe me I can gain 10 pounds eating a mars bar.
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shufflemoomin
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:57 am

Here's a tip for you for the future. As soon as you hear about or read a story that makes you feel outraged, seems a little over the top and you see that it's source is the daily mail, just move on. It's almost certainly not the whole story or is altered to make it better "tabloid" material. Judge the story when you hear it from a credible source.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:07 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
Can you transport a passenger commercially in a cargo plane? No seat? No seatbelt? That can't possibly be legal.

Normally not. passengers are only allowed to accompany animals (most usual horses) or courier freight.

Now, lket's say it would be allowed, her weight was about 200 kg, but her volume was, at an estimated height of 160 cm and a girver of 200 cm the calculation would be 160x200x200 divided by 6 the weight charge would be 1067 kg.

At the general cargo rate +1000 kg not cheap but acceptable.

Food would be extra.  
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baldwin471
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:08 am

She killed herself with the excessive greediness. Nothing to do with the airline if she is too fat to safely fly. Sad, but true.
 
LH526
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:12 am

Airlines are responsible for the health and safety of every single one of their passengers. If one person is too fat and subsequently is a hazard for other passengers in case of emergency (blocking the isle, blocking the emergency exits, hampering passengers from egress) than it's the airlines obligation to deny that passenger transportation. Simple as that!
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Mir
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:10 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
Why could she not see doctors and undergo necessary treatment in Hungary? Let me guess, no insurance cover for a pre-existing medical condition, although they claim that they felt staff would be unfamiliar with their medical needs.

If I'm not mistaken, whatever insurance she had in the US should cover healthcare costs while she's travelling abroad.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
Can you transport a passenger commercially in a cargo plane? No seat? No seatbelt? That can't possibly be legal.

Besides, how much is that going to cost?

You can transport anything in a cargo plane if you set it up properly (and if it will fit through the door). But yes, it would be incredibly expensive.

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GIANCAVIA
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:13 am

Nobodies fault but her own, No excuse to get so over weight. People Always have to blame someone else or call on the lawyers to get some money out of someone innocent. The airline was protecting all its other pax by not having her on board.

To her family she clearly defines the phrase "cash cow". Hrmooo.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:28 am

By the way, this woman's husband is suing DL at home, in NY State trial court (Supreme Court) in Bronx County, NY (part of NY City) which is notorious for being Plaintiff friendly with Juries there giving stupid amounts in Judgments in cases like this. I suspect their lawyer is a real 'ambulance chaser', unethically looking for a huge jackpot for himself, due to the about 1/3rd of the Judgment he can get as compensation. Most likely DL will try to move the case to US Federal District Court in the Eastern District of NY, which includes the site of JFK airport and quickly move for dismissal of the complaint on a motion for Summary Judgment, citing that they had justification under USA law to deny her passage.

One can argue with her serious medical problems she probably should not have flown in the first place to Hungary, that her and her husband knew of the risks and the medical services she needed. Of course, if DL denied selling her tickets , they would have been sued for discrimination so they were in a no-win situation. Once in Hungary, DL probably wanted to avoid the risks and costs of any possible diversion, that her obesity and medical condition was such that it put her and other passengers at risk. Perhaps USA law needs to be changed to better protect both passengers and airlines as to medical conditions to prevent conflicts like this.
 
Stealthz
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:56 am

Looking at the scant information available about this in the media it appears this woman and her husband refused to seek the care that was available in Hungary yet the family is suing the airlines.

I wonder if this refusal of available care can be turned around on the family and criminal action taken against them.
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Quokkas
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:36 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 21):
whatever insurance she had in the US should cover healthcare costs while she's travelling

I don't know. The US Bureau of Consular Affairs web site suggests that not all domestic policies are recognised overseas and that while some may cover reasonable medical expenses most do not cover medical evacuations. The web site suggests that an evacuation could cost as much as $50,000. That may be worst case but they do advise all travellers to check with their insurance provider before travel.

I know that if I travel domestically in Australia my normal travel insurance will not cover medical costs because emergency medical care is provided through Medicare. My policy does cover overseas medical expenses but like every policy I have read, it does state that known pre-existing medical conditions are not covered unless notified at the time of purchase, and agreed to by the provider. Some conditions will be included automatically at no extra cost, some will be excluded automatically, some will be included against an extra premium and some will need to be assessed following a medical examination.

Another stipulation in just about every insurance policy document that I have ever read - although the wording may vary - is that the insured person must take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk.

By refusing health care in Hungary it might seem that the plaintiff failed in that regard. The linked article does not state whether their insurance paid or will pay for the funeral expenses. I wonder if they did or will?

[Edited 2012-11-27 04:42:44]
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Kiwirob
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:25 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 12):
I'm a big boy at 220

Unless you're a midget 220 pounds isn't that big.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:32 pm

If 3 airlines refused the passenger, it was because the individual was not healthy enough to fly. The reality is the human body is not designed to carry that much weight.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 26):
Unless you're a midget 220 pounds isn't that big.

The seats are only safe to 250lbm. Otherwise, they would be so stiff in a crash they would kill lighter people. In fact, people under 75 pounds are not properly safe in an airline or car seat. there is only so much variation that can be done. That heavy of a person would break a seat in a crash killing those behind them. Individuals should at least get below 250 lbm for transportation safety.

Quoting HOMsAR (Reply 1):
I don't see how it's the airlines fault. If you can't physically fit safely on the plane/in your seats (either because the seatbelts aren't long enough, or because not even several firefighters can lift you up and put you in the seat), then what is the airline supposed to do?

  

Quoting sonomaflyer (Reply 5):
It will be interesting to find out if obesity is the disability theory.

Those with food to mouth syndrome already have it treated that way.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 14):
I think the real question here, is if her condition was so severe that the 9 days away from a hospital means death, then what was she doing in Europe anyway!?

I thought that too. I have a good friend whom used to be as heavy as the individual listed here. He has done a tremendous job losing weight at quite a struggle. (He doesn't like being in the water and swimming really is the best exercise option for these individuals IMHO. But he found alternatives in the gym.) This individual should have been under a doctors care to loose weight.

I hope the airlines fight the case just not to set precedent.

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RussianJet
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:41 pm

This is what travel insurance is for. If his condition was that severe that he can't take a scheduled service, then he needs medical repatriation. If he didn't have such insurance in place, that is not the fault of any airline.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:43 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 28):
The seats are only safe to 250lbm.

That's a serious problem especially in the US where 250 pounds isn't that big anymore, how do NFL and NBA players move around I guess well over half of the player rosters for both sports would easily surpass 250 pounds. Hell nearly a quarter of the adult males in the US are bigger than 250 pounds.
 
eaglepower83
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:18 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 6):
Still. While I do not fault the airlines (this case falls beyond the normal fat person who is asked to pay for another seat) she did get to Hungary. I assume she did not swim her way there.

So, if they were able to get her there, I don´t see how legally they can´t get her back. Unless of course she put on an excessive amount of weight, which I find hard to believe, but possible.

What a sad case. With that weight and missing a leg, she must not have been a happy person. Poor woman.

True, she got to Hungary, but the article also states that she gained more weight in Hungary.
It doesn't say how much, but perhaps the further amount she gained.....sadly stranded her.
 
YYZYYT
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:54 pm

From a legal point of view, there are many issues identified in the posts above... this is not an easy case, and the plaintiffs will have problems proving their case (assumnig the legal system is working as it should).

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 3):
Flying is a privilege, not a right. Buying a ticket still comes wih constraints.



Sort of true... Where a service is offered to the public, access to that service without discrimination is a right, in the EU and in the US (on an airline, in any event).

I'm not familiar with the way that human rights law is practiced in those jurisdictions, but here the airlines would have a duty to accommodate if it can be done reasonably... and that is of course the question: was it possible to reasonably accommodate her?

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 3):
Three different airlines from three different countries said no, ... .



That will be relevant to the question of whether the airlines truly tried to accommodate (or in tort, whether they met the standard of care). If there are 3 separate airlines who come to the same conclusion (more or less) it carries more weight than if one airline alone says "not possible".

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 28):
The seats are only safe to 250lbm. Otherwise, they would be so stiff in a crash they would kill lighter people. In fact, people under 75 pounds are not properly safe in an airline or car seat. there is only so much variation that can be done. That heavy of a person would break a seat in a crash killing those behind them. Individuals should at least get below 250 lbm for transportation safety



Also very relevant to the reasonability of the airline's actions. (though, scary in another way: I'm guessing that passengers over 250 lbs are carried routinely! but that's for another thread)

Quoting HOMsAR (Reply 1):
Given the person's condition, I'm guessing it's unlikely that even returning home and getting medical treatment would have done much to keep her alive.



Causation. Would her injury (death) have occurred but for the actions of the airlines? That may also be a hard one to answer. Cue the medical experts providing opinions as to what her prognosis was.

Quoting Geo772 (Reply 15):
I can't understand why she wouldn't have sought treatment in Hungary. Kidney Diseases and diabetes aren't exactly unusual. I'd be incredibly surprised if there weren't some very good doctors in Hungary who would have been able to care for her. I suspect that there may have been a cost element, most likely due to a lack of insurance or from being underinsured for the trip. Based on what scant information the daily mail provides I am surprised that to couple would even have attempted the trip in the first place.


Failure to mitigate? If you are wronged, you have a duty to take reasonable steps to try to avoid a loss / injury / damage... Was this a reasonable decision? that might be a tough sell.

I try not to generalize (particularly, as I do not know what the situation in Hungary is at present) but the health care system in "eastern block" countries was at one time very good... many of those countries are perceived as economically disadvantaged after the events of the early 1990's but that does not necessarily translate to a health care system that is incapable of managing diabetes (my grandmother's diabetes was very well manged in Yugoslavia in the 1960's and 1970's... )

Quoting Mir (Reply 21):
If I'm not mistaken, whatever insurance she had in the US should cover healthcare costs while she's travelling abroad.
Quoting RussianJet (Reply 29):
This is what travel insurance is for. If his condition was that severe that he can't take a scheduled service, then he needs medical repatriation. If he didn't have such insurance in place, that is not the fault of any airline.



Pre-existing condition, symptomatic before travel commenced: will almost certainly be excluded. I'd be amazed if they could find insurance that would cover this condition.

It's hard to say how this case would turn out if fought...
 
gulfstream650
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:27 pm

She could have taken a ship. They still have them.

http://www.freightercruises.com/voyages.php#transatlantic
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Oroka
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:31 pm

Regardless of her condition... if she cant safely fly, she doesn't fly. She cant get herself out of the aircraft (or seat) in an emergency, and would be a danger to other passengers trying to evacuate. Easy call. Sad that such a restriction would have to be placed on a person, but it is a safety issue. Im pretty sure there are stipulations you have to meet in the fine print that you have to be able to get yourself out of an aircraft in the event of an emergency.

They airlines did their best to accommodate her within reason... what can be asked beyond that?

Special transport arrangements should have been made. Traveling abroad with health issues is risky at best.
 
JAAlbert
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:35 pm

Quoting baldwin471 (Reply 19):
She killed herself with the excessive greediness.
Quoting Giancavia (Reply 22):
Nobodies fault but her own, No excuse to get so over weight.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 28):

Those with food to mouth syndrome already have it treated that way.

Good heavens, folks, the judgments! You have no idea why she became so heavy. There are lots of conditions that can lead to weight gain. Her photos suggest something other than a sweet tooth is at issue. Her distended belly and puffed face look to me like fluid retention which would go hand in hand with kidney disease and circulatory problems both hallmarks of diabetes. Diabetes is an insidious disease - it attacks all organs, including the heart and kidneys, and destroys the circulatory system. Without a proper blood flow through the body, fluids back up, limbs become gangrene and things begin shutting down. How she became so ill, whether lifestyle or an aggressive form of disease, we just don't know.

I think we can discuss this issue without attacking her.

The problem here is that most airlines are simply not suited for a passenger of this size - whether the passenger buys two or three seats. She also looks so unwell - I can't imagine the difficulties she'd have during a long haul commercial flight. Healthy passengers often have problems with swelling and thrombosis during a flight. Her challenges would be exponentially greater.

In her condition, it looks like she needed a specialized medical transport, which she could not afford or was otherwise not available.
 
Quokkas
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:42 pm

I would like to add to what I have previously posted. Perhaps I have contributed to the view that the effected parties have only themselves to blame, but that was not my intent and I apologise for any offense that may have been caused by such an implication.

While I have endeavoured to point out that not all insurance policies automatically cover health problems abroad and I support the right of airlines to determine whether passengers present a risk to themselves, other passengers and crew if they travel, I do not condemn any person who, feeling aggrieved, seeks redress under law. I do retain the belief that people need to be aware of what cover they are purchasing for the simple reason that there are plenty of sharks out there.

That said, one thing that we need to remember is that grief can and does affect people in different ways. I am not suggesting that claims should be automatically discounted on the basis of grief, but I do recognise that in situations of extreme stress peoples' responses will vary. Some will appear to be blasé. This does not mean that they don't care. It may suggest that they are attempting to block out pain. Others may lash out and blame all and sundry. That does not necessarily mean that they are on the make and want a few million in compensation.

I do not know the people involved in this case. I did guess that they may have been under-insured or not have purchased appropriate cover. That may or may not be true. But we can not deduce from that an idea that the family simply wish to make a profit. They might but we can not assume it.

I recall when my father died, my mother was angry. She was not angry at the hospital. She was not angry at the radiologist. She was not angry at the doctors or any on else. She was angry at my father for abandoning her. As I said earlier, grief affects people in different ways. If you were to ask my mother if she blamed him for his cancer at the time she would have said no. But all the same she blamed him.
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 17):
Here's a tip for you for the future. As soon as you hear about or read a story that makes you feel outraged, seems a little over the top and you see that it's source is the daily mail, just move on. It's almost certainly not the whole story or is altered to make it better "tabloid" material. Judge the story when you hear it from a credible source.

Ja sorry I live in the US and based on all the other articles I read ( De Telegraaf and The NY Post), this one seemed more detailed.

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usscvr
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 3):
Flying is a privilege, not a right. Buying a ticket still comes wih constraints.

Amen!
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asctty
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:39 pm

It s a shame ths woman died but I fail to see how the irlines can be directly held responsible for her death due to refused carriage out of Hungary. What I don't get it who managed to transport her there in the first place?
As other posts have pointed out, the captain of an aircraft is responsible the safety of all passengers. I have been on numerous flights where the captain has served a refusal order based on his assessment of the condition of the passenger. He doesn't have to be medically qualified to make a subjective judgement. In each case a medical advisor has been called, or if one is not available the passenger was off-loaded to avoid delaying departure.
In this woman's case, it appears her medical team/family may have failed her for allowing her to consider ling-distance travel and I would question the airline captan who permitted her to leave the USA in the first place. If she had been prvented from doing so at the outset, the outcome may have been different? That said, from the press photographs, she was clearly not in good health at all, neither is her partner.
 
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 3):
Flying is a privilege, not a right. Buying a ticket still comes wih constraints.

Do you still have to send in an application to get a permit to buy a ticket?



Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 35):
n her condition, it looks like she needed a specialized medical transport, which she could not afford or was otherwise not available.

There are excellent schemes for coverage of overseas medical expenses. The German automobile club ADAC offers coverage where they fly you home either in an ambulance jet or on a stretcher over 3 rows in a pax jet. The condition is that you must fit through the door. I believe however that in this case the latter option would have been a bit difficult as well.
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135mech
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
That's a serious problem especially in the US where 250 pounds isn't that big anymore, how do NFL and NBA players move around I guess well over half of the player rosters for both sports would easily surpass 250 pounds. Hell nearly a quarter of the adult males in the US are bigger than 250 pounds

Very true, however NFL players etc can still move under their own free will and will not be a hinderance to an evacuation. This lady (RIP) would have been problematic at best in, even the simplest form of emergency or even bathroom usage. But, as you see from one of the pictures posted, that she could not even get in or out of her wheel chair without severe help! That should be enough to warrant not flying.

It's very unfortunate that this happened, however, refusing medical service (for her own convenience/insecurities) was all on them and the Airlines did the right thing!

May she rest in peace, however may her husband grow up and realize that is how they lived their lives; as you see in the one pic (of him in the tiny car), he's not small either...and that is how your life ends up. SAD!

Regards,

135Mech

[Edited 2012-11-27 10:16:29]

[Edited 2012-11-27 10:17:19]
135Mech
 
boysteve
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:28 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 6):
Still. While I do not fault the airlines (this case falls beyond the normal fat person who is asked to pay for another seat) she did get to Hungary. I assume she did not swim her way there.

If she had of swim it might of done her some good!
 
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:38 pm

Quoting YYZYYT (Reply 32):
Pre-existing condition, symptomatic before travel commenced: will almost certainly be excluded. I'd be amazed if they could find insurance that would cover this condition.

Bingo. The only way a pre-existing medical condition can be used is if it dated further back than 120 days before travel commenced. Given the physical symptoms of whatever she was suffering from, I highly doubt any unforeseen red flags suddenly became noticeable within that window.

My guess is that her husband is distraught/grieving and is grasping for straws at some sort of conciliation, but this likely won't stand a chance in court (for all three cases).
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:43 pm

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 3):
Flying is a privilege, not a right. Buying a ticket still comes wih constraints.

I think that sums everything up excellently. I heard about this story and didn't read too much into it until now, but after seeing the pictures I can understand why the airlines said this lady wasn't fit to fly. More than considering the comfort of her fellow passengers it is a safety concern as well. In a worse case scenario, suppose there was a crash and she wasn't able to be helped off the plane or somehow inhibited other passengers ability to escape to safety. Unfortunately in the world we live in today I think situations like this are going to happen more frequently, though her dying makes this an extreme case.
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mnik101
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:27 pm

Long story short this will probably settled out of court if a suit is filed.

But as a passenger I see why the airlines didn't let her fly. Not to sound crass, but I would not want to sit next her, especially if it were a middle seat.

God for bid there is an emergency, how would she have gotten off the plane? She would be an impediment to other passengers trying to get out.
 
wb556
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:50 pm

There's a good chance that her medical conditions were either caused by or significantly aggravated by her extreme weight issues. It was irresponsible to get like that in the first place and irresponsible to fly in that state (it was not for treatment etc, purely for pleasure). I am sure this talk of suing comes out of the guilt felt by the husband as he is partly responsible for this situation and from a lack of clarity due to grief. Hell maybe it's just pure greed, we don't know him.

It's a sad end to what looks like an unpleasant life (at least the last few years of it). As a human I hope she gained some enjoyment from her final trip back to the country of ther birth before it all started to go wrong but its hard to have a huge amount of sympathy. The airlines did nothing wrong, by the sounds of it they went out of their way to help.

Life is tough, tougher for some than others. She lived longer than many in this world and died a much less painful and violent death.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:09 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
That's a serious problem especially in the US where 250 pounds isn't that big anymore, how do NFL and NBA players move around I guess well over half of the player rosters for both sports would easily surpass 250 pounds. Hell nearly a quarter of the adult males in the US are bigger than 250 pounds.

Then make them pay for a heavier seat. It is only the crash which is unsafe. There are many individuals below 75lbm (we were all there once) who aren't safe either. If you make the seat safe for a 400lbm person, that means the 120lbm woman dies in the crash. Pick who you want to live, there is no 'all of the above.' How much do you want to pay?

In effect, one is designing a spring and absorption constant for a range of weights. The weights that are protected are determined by the seat's 'spring constant.' A heavier person needs a stiffer seat that just won't move for a lighter person, so a crash for them is like landing on concrete. Pick your spring constant based on who you want to live. Shall we design a seat where most teens die? It is a problem.

Now if a person fills two seats, they will get the cushioning of two seats (e.g., up to 500lbm would be safe for neighbor passengers). However, there is no designing the seatback to cradle a large variation either. For example, I bought sport seats in my prior car which made it the *safest* seat in a crash for people in the 80 to 220 lbm range. It also made them unsafe seats for anyone above 220lbm. Oops... There is a reason in automobilies below 75lbm a 'booster seat' is required by law (with bolsters for side impact) and below 30lbm (varies by district) a child's seat is required. There is no making one seat safe for everyone.

The same goes for seatbelts. I was in a car crash back when I weighed 180lbm. The seat belt stretched 6 inches to absorb the impact energy. The same seatbelt is simply not stiff enough to save a passenger above 250lbm. It is possible, in an automobile, to buy a seatbelt system certified for heavier people. I know a few people who have done so. Note: a 5-point belt is good for more weight than a 3 point which is superior to a 2 point seatbelt.

Airplane seat belts are the same. A person weighing twice as much will stretch the seatbelt twice as far. A stiffer belt would cut that 110lbm woman in half during a crash. The current belts with a 400lbm person will stretch so much that said individual will be half way through the next seat before the belt can do its job. That is just how one must design seat belts. Forget fancy features, they aren't reliable enough to meet FAA standards. So... the FAA only requires one design a seatbelt to save people in a weight range. Again, pick the weights you wish to live.

Should there be a 'person of size section?' Maybe. Charge accordingly.

Lightsaber
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:11 pm

They should have strapped her to a pallet and put it in the cargo compartment.
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meister808
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:13 pm

The fact of the matter is.. if I was the captain of the flight, there's no way that passenger would have set foot on my airplane. Safety does play a role here, folks. Some peoples' inability to accept responsibility for the fact that their actions endanger their own safety (such as being gravely ill or morbidly obese and attempting an international airplane ride) does not waive the fact that the crew's job is to ensure everyone's safety for the duration of the flight.

Arguments could be made that allowing this passenger onto a commercial airline flight would be negligent. End of story.
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aztrainer
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RE: Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:25 pm

Quoting Mnik101 (Reply 44):
Long story short this will probably settled out of court if a suit is filed.

Depends if they filed it in the EU or in the USA. But, I think that they will cause it to "go away" just from the PR perspective.

Quoting WB556 (Reply 45):
There's a good chance that her medical conditions were either caused by or significantly aggravated by her extreme weight issues. It was irresponsible to get like that in the first place and irresponsible to fly in that state (it was not for treatment etc, purely for pleasure). I am sure this talk of suing comes out of the guilt felt by the husband as he is partly responsible for this situation and from a lack of clarity due to grief. Hell maybe it's just pure greed, we don't know him.

Agree, she was diabetic and had kidney failure. She has a amputated left leg, which is common with a person that is diabetic and not eating and exercising correctly. From the pictures, she was not able to sit in a "normal" position in her own wheelchair. This is an example of what a sedentary lifestyle can do and how it can effect a persons life.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 6):
Still. While I do not fault the airlines (this case falls beyond the normal fat person who is asked to pay for another seat) she did get to Hungary. I assume she did not swim her way there.

We are assuming that she flew. For all we know she took a cruse between North America and Europe. Also it stated that she "gained weight over holiday". If that is the case and they can document that, how much weight was gained? It also said that one of the flights two seats were booked for her, but she could not transfer to the seats and the firefighters could not mover her in the last scenario. To me, this is simply a case of safety and security to all on-board.

With all this said, I am wondering if it was of been a different article if she was able to fly where a plane was diverted due to a passenger with a medical emergency. I feel sorry for the family, but as has been stated: flying is a privilege and not a right.

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