Southwest's "passengers of size" policy is not new. It actually dates back to 1980........But Southwest's slim-line passengers are now revolting. The airline says 90% of the letters it receives on the issue were from passengers complaining that they were "sat upon" by people overflowing from their seat. ...........Eight years ago, a passenger sued Southwest after being forced to buy a second seat, but in court the case was dismissed.
I probably would have demanded to be seated someplace else citing medical
conditions no one ever heard of. Airlines have done what they've done for so
long because passengers rarely complain on the spot. Letters after the fact are
- in my opinion, pretty much useless.
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.
I travel with kids and depending on their age they have as much crap and more as an adult. A baby for instance can fly free in lap, but you typically have a stroller and car seat (which does not count as luggage), then diapers, and all sorts of crap.
For a toddler you bring all sorts of toys, videos, etc. to entertain them. The clothes though is much smaller.
Coffee, tea or handcuffs?
The flight attendant simply walks to the interphone, rings the captain (who being locked in the compartment up front has no idea of what is going on), and conveys they are “uncomfortable” with a passenger. The attendant could claim the passenger is or may be presenting a problem. Only the perception of the flight attendant matters. Whatever the problem, all the attendant need say is Passenger X may “interfere” with their duties or otherwise pose a problem to the orderly progress of the flight. Nothing about “terrorism” overt signs of trouble, or words used.
The captain then exercises “discretion,” to remove the passenger. Removal can either be the “easy way” or the “hard way.” In one case the airline called four burly airport police or immigration officers to remove a passenger not only in handcuffs, but after the passenger was thrown to the floor and pinned.
If a handcuffee decides the removal was unjustified and unreasonable, and attempts recourse through the legal system, he or she will be met with an airline defense of a number of court-decided cases that hold, interestingly enough:
The statute gives the carrier power to deplane the passenger in certain circumstances;
that authority is delegated to the captain of the flight;
who, in turn, makes the decision;
which rests entirely on what the flight attendant has reported, without verification;
because flight attendants are the “eyes and ears” of the captain (exact words from a court ruling); and
whether the flight attendant's report is true or false, or false because malicious, is irrelevant. No judicial inquiry is permitted into these issues.
Ergo, end of case. No recourse, including if the passenger demonstrates through many witnesses that the flight attendant overreacted.
I am smaller than many children - can I buy a child's seat?