'The bigger you are the higher the cost of a plane ticket' AIBU to think that this is ridiculous?

(385 Posts)
Poppet48 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:22:33

I have just heard the debate of should a plane ticket cost more for obese people.

I think that this is ridiculous, not only is it discriminating it is highly embarrassing to have to get weighed at the airport check in, Where have the human rights gone?

AIBU to feel this way?

I would love to hear what others think of this.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 25-Mar-13 09:54:27

Rosa I fly frequently to and from the Channel Islands and I have never been weighed. hmm I've also never been weighed flying from Bristol or Exeter. Is there another West Country airport?

pigletmania Mon 25-Mar-13 09:55:05

I think that people will know whether they need two seats really or just stipulate that anyone over say 30 stone will need to buy two seats. Mabey they should have wider seats to accommodate those who are super morbidly obese. They have special bariatric ambulances and wheelchairs, so why not seats. They may pay more than an average seat, but as i said that is what happens unfortunately

VanitasVanitatum Mon 25-Mar-13 09:55:09

?! ken I know several people with down syndrome who are definitely not fat.

MissLurkalot Mon 25-Mar-13 09:59:46

I used to be heavier than I am now, 6ft tall and Size 22.

I purchased an extra legroom seat, at extra cost (which I was happy to cover to be more comfy)... but as I also asked for an extender belt, due to my tummy being too fat to do the seatbelt up... I was asked to move as I was "not deemed 'fit' to open the door in an emergency".

So, in front of everyone, just before take off, I was asked, not so quietly, to move, and sit away from my family, and to make it worse, I was asked to swap with someone else, which meant they were separated from their family. I felt mortified...

It was a hole in the ground moment.. People turned around and were looking at me... and I spent the rest of the flight holding back the tears, and the rest of the holiday, crapping myself about the return flight.

I've lost weight now, and still get very anxious about flying.

I'm not asking for sympathy... I'm posting my experience to show the other side. I can still remember the giggles and the dirty looks from the family I had split up, unintentionally.

Something does need to be done to accommodate heavier people, I agree.. I would've loved to afford by purchase two seats for myself, but I just couldn't have afforded it.

How about offering extra width seats, away from the emergency door, and charge a premium?

My husband is 6ft, but very slim.. And even on some flights he's been on, he felt squished, width wise as well as for legroom.

I don't know what the answer is, but I wouldn't want anyone to have gone through what I went through.

Crawling Mon 25-Mar-13 10:04:16

Just to say I take meds which have made me gain 2 stone. I was slim before now I am just overweight. I am trying hard to lose weight I do 40min a day on my cross trainer and have cut my cals down but the medication I take makes it harder to lose weight. I dont spill over the seat BTW. But some disabilties do cause weight gain.

suburbophobe Mon 25-Mar-13 10:04:39

Haven't read the thread but I think it's a great idea!
(being skinny and all that!).

Nothing annoys me more than being stuck on an aeroplane next to a "big" person who feels they have the right to take more space than allocated, never being able to use the arm rest cos their arms are all over them and touching me already! Ugh!

They really should be paying for two seats!

SirChenjin Mon 25-Mar-13 10:08:22

Seems like a sensible idea - having been squashed into half my seat by a very obese woman who took up 1.5 seats I can tell you it was not fun at all. I did think of asking for a 50% refund on my ticket, but decided that I wouldn't get very far with that - though perhaps I should have gone with the human rights arguement, it seems to cover most things hmm.

Don't know how the airlines would manage it in practice though.

Rosa Mon 25-Mar-13 10:12:57

Russian.... Yes there is ...its called NEWQUAY hmm hmm the airline is http://www.skybus.co.uk/ When a friend flew from Gurnsey to Jersey they were all weighed and she was the tallest and she was put in the back !!!

Sallyingforth Mon 25-Mar-13 10:14:34

The airline business like any other mode of transport is based on weight. It costs more to send 100kg than it does 50kg.
You have to pay more to take a heavy case in the hold than a light one, because it uses more fuel to get it off the ground. The same should apply to the weight you put in your seat.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 25-Mar-13 10:20:57

Rosa Ah. Newquay. They opened that again didn't they. But I thought you meant international airports. smile And I'm sorry but I fly between Guernsey, Jersey and the mainland several times a year and I have never been weighed. And I've never seen anyone else being weighed either. I'm going next month so I shall be able to report back.

lljkk Mon 25-Mar-13 10:22:00

people with downs syndrome always seem to be fat, why is this?

For all the reasons that the rest of us struggle not to be too big, but also many (?most) DS people have weaker joints, so they can't take as much impact exercise. It's literally harder for them to lead an active lifestyle. The comorbidities with other learning difficulties that make it extra hard for the DS person to understand the value of exercise & healthy diet for their health is also high.

Poppet48 Mon 25-Mar-13 10:25:47

I agree that they should have wider seats to accommodate obese people, That way they can avoid the humiliation and discrimination of people weighed at the check in.

I also disagree with people who have said that obesity cannot be a cause of having a disability and I find it extremely uncomfortable when people have to speak about there disability due to people disbelieving them.

It's a very sensitive subject and one I think does not need to be brought forward.

Rosa Mon 25-Mar-13 10:27:28

Newquay has never closed and it is international ... Just not very often !!

slippysofa Mon 25-Mar-13 10:31:56

Penzance too, for the chopper to the sillies.

LtEveDallas Mon 25-Mar-13 10:32:25

The question about people with Downs Syndrome is partly answered here on an info website about DS:

Reduced height is a recognised characteristic of most people with Down syndrome with their average height 2 centiles below the general population. For the majority the cause of reduced growth is not known

Some treatable conditions which may lead to poor growth - congenital heart disease ; thyroid hormone deficiency; sleep related upper airway obstruction; coeliac disease and nutritional inadequacy due to feeding problems occur more frequently among children with Down syndrome

Overweight is now recognised in children with Down syndrome as early as 7 years of age with obesity becoming more common by 10 years of age

Research suggests that children with Down syndrome have a lower basal metabolic rate (BMR) than their same aged peers

So, looking at this kind of thing, and taking into account the myriad of reasons that a person may be overweight (as it's just not as simple as "Eat less exercise more" for a lot of people) I do think that airlines would be skirting into discrimination territory if they were to introduce this across the board - I think they would have to implement some kind of 'get out clause' for those with disabilities/illnesses and I cannot see how they would be able to cover for all eventualities.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 25-Mar-13 10:38:48

Rosa sorry, I meant scheduled flights. Who knows what charter companies do, I'd be quite prepared to believe they make people strip off, to be honest! grin I thought there was some hoohah about it closing a year or so ago (or longer). There were lots of items in spotlight about it? I see that they are starting one scheduled flight from May though, to Dusseldorf sady I won't be able to use them for that because we have no offices in Dusseldorf but maybe in the future, Lufthansa will add routes and that could be very useful for me.

I've thought of another westcountry airport too, although again it isn't international but it does fly scheduled flights off the mainland - St Just! grin I've not ever used it though.

specialsubject Mon 25-Mar-13 10:38:51

come on folks, we're not talking 'a bit chubby' here. We are talking 'too fat to fit in the seat' which is 'so fat that people look twice at you in the street'. So fat that the person next to you is sitting under you. Why should they have to do that?

those who eat too much and move too little, need to take action if they want to fly. Those who really can't help it may have to accept that they cannot fly. Not being able to take an aeroplane is not an infringment of human rights.

why be embarrassed about what you weigh, anyway? It's a fact, like how tall you are.

edwardsmum11 Mon 25-Mar-13 10:41:15

Shouldnt it be based on ability to fit seat and not weight?

MoreBeta Mon 25-Mar-13 10:42:05

By the way, we all know we have to pay extra to carry extra baggage on a plane and while it would be nice if it were free to put any amount of extra bags on the plane we liked - it isnt and we all know why that is. Airlines have bceom ea lot more stringent on that in recent years.

I just think that if we all stood on weigh scale with hand bags, hold baggage and the weight of our fiirst, club, premium economy, economy seat plus ancillary serrvices added in (eg weight of food and drink carts) then we would all be clear what we were paying for and we could choose.

Someone weighing 100kg would not in reality be paying twice as much as someone weighing 50kg. There are some fixed costs no matter how big you are and some variable costs based on weight and leg room and width of seat.

I bet the extra a tall 100kg person would pay would be somethhing like 20% for an economy seat and a matter of 5% on a club class seat. Frankly for a really guaranteed comfortable flight for all concerned then that is a cost worth paying.

Rosa Mon 25-Mar-13 10:46:29

Slippy / Russian- the helicopter service has stopped as the land has been sold for a supermarket . I think it stopped last October ..very sad.

Thing is, the airlines would just charge everyone more in this weight based system and it would make absolutely bugger all difference to seat sizes. Airline seats are tiny and squashed together because the airlines want to squeeze as many passengers on as they can. They just aren't going to redesign planes to offer a variety of seat sizes in economy.

And obese people aren't the only thing that makes flying uncomfortable and unpleasant. There are all sorts of reasons why sitting next to a stranger can be a hideous experience (which encroaches on your personal space), not just that the person next to you is a bit portly.

kinkyfuckery Mon 25-Mar-13 10:48:31

I'm overweight because of my disability and can prove it. I'd sue them for discrimination.

That's grand - you'd be able to use all that extra money to pay for your extra seat! Win-win! grin

archilles Mon 25-Mar-13 10:49:54

Sounds fair to me. Although there are plenty of reasons for being overweight and taking up more space, If you need more space then sadly you have to pay for it.

If you suffer from gluten allergy you have to pay more for gluten free foods. That isn't discrimination, if you need adaptions made to accommodation then you pay for it. That is life.

Tbh I welcome this, being on the smaller side I get more than my fair share of larger people sitting next to me and invading my space, spilling into my seat as they deem me not to need it.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 25-Mar-13 10:49:58

Airline seats are not tiny!!

tazzle22 Mon 25-Mar-13 10:50:09

I agree in principle that more weight ( combined person / weight ) on a plane impacts on fuel costs ( and stability on some planes) ............ and on standard planes it impacts increasingly "overspill" into other peoples space the greater the level of obestity and it is unfair.

How to solve the issue is indeed complex ....... and my personal favourite of having different sizes seats from kiddies to comfort seats ( with increased prices as one gets larger seats) does certainly have some issues.... in that one never knows the percentages involved and even averaging it out might still leave unusable seats on most journeys because of mismatch. Even having adjustable ( sliding sideways arms rests) probably would have safety problems even if it was viable to fit them on all planes .

I think already very obese (and I am still obese atm though shrinking !) people have to accept that all things with seating facilities have their limits, from cinemas, buses, trains, planes, funfair rides etc.. Is it fair... debatable (the cost etc of adapting everything to accomodate every possible size would be prohibitive never mind get to "reasonable" as required by law) .

Maybe if the seats had "sides" so overspill can't happen ?????? ( and of you can't get in you can't fly confused

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