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Crowded out of half your seat on a airplane...is this fair?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by tripwire45, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    I saw this "human interest" piece on CNN and became curious about what people thought. Apparently, this person was seated next to..."an extremely large woman. So large that she not only took up her own seat, but half of mine. There was no way for her to put the armrest down. She said she hoped there was room for me." The article goes on to say that the writer of this story had to lean out into the aisle or try to sit on this woman's lap in order to be able to be seated. It goes through all of the options she tried to remedy the situation (which I thought were fair) and states the ultimate result.

    Read the article at CNN and then let me know if you think the airline handled this circumstance well or poorly. Cheers. :wink:
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  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Sounds totally unacceptable, make em buy two seats or pay for extra baggage and stow em in the hold ! :biggrin
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  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Full refund I think. 8)
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  4. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    If someone requires more than one seat then it's fair for the airline to charge for it. I extend this to everyone, tall people, fat people, and the disabled.

    I think the airline should have done something as a goodwill guesture.
  5. Luddym

    Luddym Megabyte Poster

    Refund, refund, refund.

    I think that the way things are going with the world will only make these things worse. It seems that it is politically incorrect to say anything against the group of people whose disability it is to be fat. Did this women (the fat one) try to book two tickets? Probably not. Instead, she bought a single ticket, knowing that people would probably put up with her because of her obesity and thus she would get away without having to fork out for what she should have.

    I know it sounds harsh, but if it were me I would have been VERY vocal about the fact. Delta were in the wrong, but so was the fat passenger.
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  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Yes well, i think, given the safety necessities of an aircraft, that one would expect to be able to sit properly, with reasonable comfort in any paid for seat.

    Clearly some people are larger than others.. Maybe there should be a question on the ticket applications form, that asks.. Is there anything about your physical characteristics that would prevent you sitting in and taking up the space of a single seat? If so, and you do require more space than a standard economy aircraft seat you, will have to pay for the addional one, and book two adjoining seats.
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  7. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

    I reckon they should have said that as she was too fat for one seat she would need to hire a personal cargo plane for her flight! :twisted:

    Its bad enough that theres little room on econemy flights as it is with out having to squeeze up because someone else cant fit thier own seat!
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  8. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    If you are so fat that you take up more than one seat then you should pay for more than one seat. I can understand someone being overweight but to get to a point where you are that fat and can't fit in a chair means there is something terribly wrong and you need help.
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  9. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    The responses are going about how I expected and I agree. That said, I believe there was a part of the article that reported that Delta has no policy regarding this issue and no questions regarding the size of the passenger when they are booking the flight. Chances are, the heavy passenger didn't even think of booking two seats (twice as much money) if it wasn't required by the airline. Yes, it would have been "nice" of her to be considerate in that respect, but she's probably more used to apologizing to the people who have to sit next to her and "hoping" they'll have enough room than being proactive about it.

    I imagine most airlines would like to avoid facing this situation and especially avoid doing something about it by having a requirement for their heavier passengers. It can see that someone somewhere would probably raise a stink and most likely a law suit saying the airline was discriminating against them because of their weight by requiring them to purchase two seats rather than one.

    It would be interesting to compare the situation of an overweight passenger to one confined to a wheelchair. While most people in wheelchairs will fit in a standard airline seat, special accomodations have to be made nonetheless which will to some degree, inconvenience the people near them on the plane. Of course, the argument can be made that the person didn't choose to be confined in a wheelchair but an overweight person (in most cases) directly contributed to their own weight problem by overeating.
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  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Economy seats are designed for a small child, I can barely get my form in them and I'm considered underweight. They are designed like this to save everyone money on their tickets in a tradeoff for comfort. Anyone that can't fit reasonably should be forced to pay for an extra seat which is already cheaper because its economy. Simply apologizing because you're fat isn't good enough, certain standards need to be maintained for society to function. There recently was a first nudist flight, does that give me the right to fly nude ? Do I have the right to smoke when I fly ? Do I have the right to get drunk ? Do I have the right to use my mobile while landing ? NO ! :rolleyes:

    Anyone that can afford that many twinkies can afford an extra ticket !
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  11. harpistic

    harpistic Byte Poster

    I seem to remember that having the armrest down (in addition to tray table up, seat in the upright position) is part of every airline's take-off and landing safety requirements - which means that if there are passengers this overweight on board, then the safety regulations are in breach.

    You'd think that with the general increase in obesity and new planes being launched, airlines would be able to cater for this by offering a limited range of 'supersize' seats, as the demand exists - not to mention potential health and legal risks either from an overweight passenger crammed into too small a seat, or from having an overweight passenger sat on you for the duration of a flight.

    It seems that airlines are increasingly treating their passengers as a sufferance, and accommodating passengers is becoming more of an exception rather than the rule. (And don't get me started on Delta or Virgin! :twisted:) The attitude on board seems to be 'we've taken your money, here's your seat, now leave us alone', whereas in the airports it's often more like 'you are the enemy'. :rolleyes:

    Delta are blatantly in the wrong here, and should have addressed the issue at the start of the flight - but then again, this is an industry which has managed to take the 'customer' and the 'service' out of customer service... :rolleyes:
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    That's why I fly Southwest whenever possible:

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  13. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

    I honestly don't understand how that plane took off with someone hanging half out in the aisle. She should have been asked to leave the plane if they there was not even room for people who had bought tickets beside her. That she did not even try to find different seats so that she would not put others out doesn't say very much for her. I think the airline owes that other woman her money back. She did not get what she paid for not to mention what she had to put up with during that flight.
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  14. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    Airline is at fault. Can't blame the "fat lady", she played by the airline’s rules. On top of that, I'm sure she was embarrassed too - I would've been (if I was a fat person - which I am not, maybe :rolleyes:)

    The whole political correctness is becoming politically incorrect. If an organization decides to squeeze more people together (for added revenue) then certain policies are required. In this situation I see the following:
    - Extra ticket
    - Bus / First class seat

    Besides, don't most planes have single seats for the airline staff? Wouldn't it have been sensible to give the fatty one these seats for the safety of the other passengers? Compensation should be full refund or free return airfare on any Delta Air Lines flight.
  15. richardw

    richardw Nibble Poster

    The seats that the cabin crew use are there for take-off & landing, they are usually fold down seats, near the entrance, & face backwards.

    If you cant fit in an average width seat, youll cause problems not just on planes, what about buses, trains, cinemas, theatres etc.

    'Larger' people do ask about sitting near the exit on planes, as there is more space, however they are not allowed to as they wont be agile enough to open the door. same reason you wont see old people or children sat there.
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  16. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    The responses here are interesting
    it's true that Delta and the airline industry in general are in the wrong here, i'm not sure the overweight lady is

    it's easy to sit here judging people, not knowing anything about them, blaming them, but as posted above, she played by the rules

    Personally I don't think large/tall/disabled/whatever people should ever have to pay more to begin with, if it wasn't for the airlines trying to gradually shrink people into 17" wide seats then I a) don't think it would be such a big deal, and b) think everyone would be better off whatever size they are

    Tall people can get a break on a plane, in an exit row or a bulkhead, but there usually gone pretty quick
    larger people don't always need the legroom, but could often do with a few extra inches of width, I agree more with the above that airlines should be more accommodating, either with a few extra wide seats at the back or some other method

    As a disclaimer, I am a pretty large person, although have never had a problem in an airline seat, despite 11h flights not being the most comfortable thing in the world, that's often more to do with the fact I'm also 6'4 and have to do weird yoga style contusions just to get my legs in!
    I often upgrade to premium economy for the extra few inches of pitch and leg room, the seats are a little wider too, but on BA at least, the arm rests don't go up, meaning it can often be more constrictive

    The sad fact is if you want to be looked after these days, its very much a case of finding the smaller niche player, or paying stupid money, it seems all the companies who have 'made there money' so to speak, don't give a **** about their customers any more

    My missis just got back on Saturday and due to the short (20min) lay over at LAX her bags never made it onto the plane, not a total shocker, they said we would have them that evening or Sunday as they would be on the next flight
    calling up yesterday a rather rude person on the phone told her she needed to be 'more patient' as they had already contacted LAX twice about her bags.. I mean shite had i been making that call her manager would of been summoned rather fast, you just DONT talk to customers like that, or ever make them feel like the bad guys, when YOU cocked up! anyway here's hoping they show up soon!
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  17. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    Spot on Ryan, totally agree mate.
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  18. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    I'm "only" 6'3" so I guess you've got me there. :wink: Despite my height, I still prefer the window seat because I get to look out (I've always enjoyed looking out the window during take off and landing since I was a kid). While the leg room is cramped, I've managed to put up with it and the situation certainly doesn't impede on folks sitting next to me.

    I do have an interesting story to recall. Several years ago, I was on a flight back to Boise from Phoenix (Arizona, that is). The woman next to me was traveling with her infant and this woman was just amazing. She must have been a gymnast or contortionist. She could turn a complete 180 in her seat to feed and change her child. Her husband was sitting behind us and when the woman got up to use the restroom (I got to watch the baby for a few minutes), I actually complemented him on her abilities (he seemed quite proud of her).

    Not much to do with the topic but Ryan's comments brought the incident to mind.

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  19. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

    When ever i fly i always let the carrier know that i'm over 6ft 6' and hope they put me somewhere with some space.
    That said i always turn up early & dress smartly in a suit and normally get bupped up to business class.
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