Airlines Discriminate Against “People of Size”

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Seat 7A on Ted/United A320 by JohnCoe from Flickr

Here is a heart breaking story from Bev Sykes.

Bev was happily planning to attend her daughter’s baby shower for a long-awaited grandchild until she saw the fine print:

And there it was.

Rules for “people of size.” It appears that because I am a “person of size” (i.e., fat), I may not be permitted on the plane unless I buy a second seat.

I’m already seeing the number of times I can see our grandchild diminish because of the whole damn 300 mile distance thing and because the airline may feel I’m too damn fat to fit on their plane.

Even if I were to start dieting again now, it would be over a year before I could be considered a regular size person.

I really don’t know what I think about these policies. The airlines are stretched to the breaking point as it is and are barely able to make a profit. Making the seats bigger and able to fit normal people would probably put them out of business. Requiring someone who can’t fit into their tiny seats to pay for two is criminal. Then again, I’ve been on the receiving side of sitting next to someone who should have paid for a second seat.

20060422 Airline Seats by tspauld from Flickr

I might have more sympathy for the airlines if they spent less money on in-seat televisions. I REALLY don’t want an advertisement flashing in my face for three hours. I would gladly sacrifice that stupid TV for two more inches of butt room.

The worst of it all is the title of Bev’s blog entry, “I Hate Myself.” This is an issue of airline economics. How did the airlines make us feel guilty for being unable to fit into their tiny seats?

Her words say it all:

I may have finally done it. I may have eaten myself out of an early relationship with my long-awaited, already much loved grandchild.

The whole thing makes me want to cry…and probably eat, dammit.

According to Size Wise, the measurement of the width of airline seats ranges from 17″ to 21.5″. I just measured the width of my own butt and it’s 18″ wide. Am I a person of size? Do I have to pay for another seat as well? Even the thinnest of people are uncomfortable in airplane seats.

There is the concept of personal responsibility and there is the concept of airline economics. There has to be a happy medium between the two and until we meet it, it’s time to boycott companies that try to pass the blame solely to us.


4 Responses to “Airlines Discriminate Against “People of Size””

  1. SLB Says:

    I can’t help thinking 300 miles…just drive it and be comfortable.

  2. Keukamoon Says:

    My biggest complaint about being 50 is middle aged spread. I flew on a 12 hours flight recently and it was not the seat or my rear that was the problem; it was the seat belt length. I was too embarrassed to ask for a seat belt extension. I am not that fat, however I am working hard to eliminate my extra poundage, so that when I fly again I don’t have to go through the discomfort and humiliation. The airlines caused this problem when they reduced the seat room to squeeze in more seats. What next, an extra charge if you’re “too tall”?

  3. Don LaJocies Says:

    People come in different sizes shapes and colors, When one group of people have to pay more because they are different then it is Discrimation.

  4. keukamoon Says:

    Just flew on Delta Comfort Section to Europe – comfortable seats and it helps immensely to have lost 50 lbs since my last flight…..

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