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Should obese people have to pay for an extra airplane seat?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 11:50 am
I was reading this article where airlines can enforce a policy where if a passenger is too heavy to fit into a seat, they must by a second one. What constitutes too big? Passengers must be able to fasten a seat belt with an extension, put their armrests down, and not infringe on another guest’s seat.

It went on to say…If the passenger cannot, airline personnel will try to get two seats together and let the passenger take both without having to pay for the second seat. If the plane is full, the passenger must get off and rebook. The airline will try to make an accommodation but may have to charge the passenger for a second seat -- at the same rate as their original fare instead of at exorbitant last-minute prices.

Is this discrimination or just plane (haha) fair? Imagine if you are the thin person and some one heavy is taking part of your seat…now imagine you are the heavy person " why should you have to pay for another seat? What if you were asked to move (say you had an ideal seat you picked out ahead of time) to accommodate a heavy person that required two seats?
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 11:54 am
@Linkat,
You should buy airline passage by weight. You ship packages by weight and volume, the same should apply to passenger travel. That might get all those obnoxious carry-on packages checked. Now there is an economic incentive to cart them on the plane with you.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 12:29 pm
@Linkat,
It's just way too slippery of a slope. If someone is overweight because of a medical condition, (which happens), should they really be penalized in this way? I think that'd be problematic in terms of the ADA, anyway.

I think it's reasonable to say that it's not fair in some circumstances, and once you're there it's really hard to enforce it. (They need to have a letter from their doctor proving that it's not their fault? Where, exactly, is the line between "their fault" and "not their fault"? Etc.)
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 12:59 pm
@sozobe,
Are obese individuals a protected group though?

I can see both sides. I am small and it irks me when I've had to "share" part of my seat because someone is obese. I paid for a ticket as well - I should have the entire seat to myself not have to give them part of my seat because their body spills into my space.

On the other hand, like you said - is it fair to pay for another seat because you have a medical condition - I should be lucky that I'm healthy.

Which way is more fair in a sense for all?
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 12:59 pm
@Linkat,
My wife at one point in her life was very heavy and she stated you just know you need to do something about your weight when the pilot come back and have you move forward to adjusted the CG of the plane in front of a jet full of fellow passengers.

During that time period the seats had not yet been make so small and pack so tightly together.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:02 pm
@Linkat,
Disabled people are a protected group -- and obesity can be a disability.

Yeah, more here:

http://library.findlaw.com/2000/Feb/1/128328.html

Quote:
Courts are taking ADA claims based on obesity more seriously. In a 1993 case arising out of Rhode Island, for example, the federal court concluded that, although simple obesity probably would not qualify, morbid obesity caused by a physiological disorder would be a disability entitling the plaintiff to ADA protection. The court's finding was premised on the fact that the disorder was permanent, and that the claimant's weight gain was not meaningfully voluntary.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  -4  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:11 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

............ What constitutes too big? Passengers must be able to fasten a seat belt with an extension....

Not so - all major airlines now require that passengers should be able to fasten a seat belt WITHOUT an extension (while comfortably fitting inside both lowered armrests, of course) or pay for 2 tickets. And obesity is not legally an illness, or a disability - if it were, supermarkets would be forbidden from selling chocolate cream pies to fatties in a manner analogous to bars being forbidden from selling alcoholic beverages to obvious drunks. It might be a good idea to pass such a law declaring fatties to be a protected class, like alcoholics or junkies, but it's not on the books so far; Sozobe's ADA court decisions link is irrelevant as it only applies to employment applications for jobs not requiring mobility.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:22 pm
@High Seas,
The problem here is that the airlines had decided to pack seats in tighter and tighter therefore casing an ever increasing percent of the population to have a problems with the seats.

As far as I am aware of there is no federal rules on how far down this road they can go, so where on the bell curve of normal human sizes should the airlines be able to force you to pay for more seats? One SD above normal size or two SDs above normal size? Should there be any limit at all?

They had already reach the point that some of their customers are at greater risk of dying from legs blood clogs then they should be.


High Seas
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:24 pm
@High Seas,
LOL - clearly this lady >
http://cityfile.com/system/article_images/5357/139078.jpg?1239838969
> is an A2K member who marked my - purely factual, no opinion included - down! Actually airline policy varies, and some airlines permit use of a seatbelt extension - but do you, personally, wish to sit next to the lady pictured there?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:24 pm
@High Seas,
Maybe a made a typo or the article had a typo on the extension thing - logically if some one needs an extension, they would probably not be able to comfortably sit with the armrest down.

Other question - how much (if any) is it a safety issue if a person doesn't fit adequately in the seat? If they spill in your seat does this constitute a safety issue for you? All I know is the announcement says on take off and landing that the armrest should be down - if I have that correct...- if so this could be dangerous for the passenger forced to sit in the seat where an armrest has to be up to accomodate the larger person.
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:25 pm
@BillRM,
Bill - the blood clot problem bears no relation to obesity; very thin people can get them if kept immobile for long periods of time.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:27 pm
@High Seas,
I agree (not with some of more crude remarks). I would not want to sit next to such a large person on a plane. And I do not say it to be mean. I would like to be comfortable and get the space I am entitled to.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:30 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

Maybe a made a typo or the article had a typo on the extension thing - logically if some one needs an extension, they would probably not be able to comfortably sit with the armrest down.

Other question - how much (if any) is it a safety issue if a person doesn't fit adequately in the seat? If they spill in your seat does this constitute a safety issue for you? All I know is the announcement says on take off and landing that the armrest should be down - if I have that correct...- if so this could be dangerous for the passenger forced to sit in the seat where an armrest has to be up to accomodate the larger person.


Planes have crashed because of overload, or because of bad payload distribution. Endangering an entire plane, passengers, crew, persons on the ground by going with antiquated estimates of what one passenger weighs makes no sense - and the same problem has come up with elevators, where average weight per person used to be way under 200lbs.

Engineer said it best, passengers and their bags should be weighed together and count as one payload. On the seatbelt extension - you made no typo, I didn't clarify sufficiently.
High Seas
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:37 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

I agree (not with some of more crude remarks). I would not want to sit next to such a large person on a plane. And I do not say it to be mean. I would like to be comfortable and get the space I am entitled to.

I've reposted the picture from here
http://cityfile.com/dailyfile/5357
and see no crude remarks made either in my source, or on this thread so far; what were you referring to?
BillRM
 
  3  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:38 pm
@High Seas,
Leg s room is however an issue or the lack of same driven by the same economic factors that had created smaller seats.

One cause problems for "over weight" passengers and the other for long legs passengers.

Somehow it is harder to feel morally superior to people with longer legs then people who are "over" weight is it not?
High Seas
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 01:50 pm
@BillRM,
Bill - the standard model originates with Brauer, of Boeing >
Quote:
Brauer's findings, which explain more than 90 percent of passenger preference for particular airplane models, led to the development of the Boeing Personal Space Model. This new tool, widely regarded as the "e=mc2" of passenger comfort, was found so unique and valuable that authorities in the United States, Europe and other regions of the world granted Brauer and Boeing patents on the tool.

> and makes no mention of "moral superiority" - you must have been looking at some other model. Nor has seat size decreased on aircraft, as far as I know, the opposite is generally true.
BillRM
 
  2  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 02:03 pm
To me one of the problem here is that we are allowing public carriers <airlines> to set the rules of what is the limit of normal size that if you go over it you need to pay more.

As I said, it would seem the airlines are happily taking advantage of the fact that the public look down on people more then a few SD above normal weight however by packing seats tighter and tighter together they are causing problems for anyone who size is slighter over the norm not just those who are heavy.

As the airlines had help greatly to created this problem for their economic benefits and I see no logical end point to the packing of seats, we should as a society set the limits and rules concerning this issue not allow the airlines as common carriers this power.

0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 02:11 pm
@High Seas,
So seats size are increasing and leg room are increasing!!!!!!

I do not know what airlines you are traveling on but both the length of my legs and my weight had remain fairly constant for the last fourty years of my "enjoying" air travel and seats had not increase in size or leg room to say the least during that time period!
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 02:13 pm
@High Seas,
I wouldn't have a problem with being weighed - as financially me and my family would benefit. But is it really fair that a child using the same space as an adult pay less for example? If a 45 pound child ended up only paying $50 while a 135 pound adult paid $150 and took up the same space, is that fair? They both take one seat - the airline then would lose money when children fly vs. an adult.
Linkat
 
  4  
Reply Thu 16 Apr, 2009 02:15 pm
@High Seas,
One of the remarks about calling obese "fatties"
0 Replies
 
 

 
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