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Too fat to fly

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loobielousplaits Tue 02-Apr-19 23:55:11

Is anyone/has anyone watched this?

It's a documentary about massively obese people being interviewed about being taken off flights/too fat to flight.

While I absolutely agree it's a 'fat shaming' programme - I can't agree with some of the comments from the interviewees that have complained they had to leave the plane due to an armrest not being able to go down - a woman wasn't able to visit the toilet, another who couldn't understand why someone would be offended that half their seat was taken up by overspill - a 32 st man was offended that he was asked to leave the aircraft because he couldn't safely fit in the seat and should have paid for two - pilot decided he wasn't safe to fly.

I'm torn - I absolutely understand weight is a huge issue (I was anorexic in my teens) and it is not easy to control your weight but come on - seriously? You cannot expect to be OK to fly if your weight affects health and safety and you can't fit safely in a seat

VimFuego101 Wed 03-Apr-19 00:00:49

I agree, it's not fair to other passengers to spill into their seat. If you can't put the armrest down you should have to pay for another seat.

Fridasrage Wed 03-Apr-19 00:01:50

Making an entertainment program out of this seems crass and fat shaming, imo the fact that people are sometimes removed from flights when required for health and safety reasons is clearly upsetting but not fat shaming.

Given that most planes were designed and started manufacture decades ago, it would probably be a positive step for seats on new planes to be made larger given the collective increase in our waistlines!

WhyTho Wed 03-Apr-19 00:03:29

Where can I watch it?

I would be so upset if I was flying and someone was taking up half my seat. Economy is shit enough, who wants even less space! If you can’t fit in one, pay for two.

BloodsportForAll Wed 03-Apr-19 00:03:37

I'm a fatty, but I fit into plane seats still. I would expect to book two seats if I didn't fit. Whatever reason I have for being this overweight, it is not the fault of whoever I have to sit next to.

loobielousplaits Wed 03-Apr-19 00:13:56

*WhyTho Wed 03-Apr-19 00:03:29
Where can I watch it?*

Channel 5

I absolutely understand how hard it is to either lose/gain weight - I was a couple of pound away from being sectioned due to my issues with food in teens. The people on this programme though seem in denial why they wouldn't be allowed to fly/should have bought two seats/can't go on average slides in theme parks etc.

And I can see it from the opposite - my sister has struggled with her weight for years and had a gastric band which failed.

Brilliantidiot Wed 03-Apr-19 00:17:07

I think it's a real problem that airlines are going to have to face more and more, and they need to come up with a solution that's effective before someone gets to the plane seats and doesn't fit safely. I think that's part of the issue that usually the person feels they're being shamed in front of a couple of hundred people. I imagine that's horribly humiliating for the passenger, bloody awkward for the flight attendant and leads to delay for everyone else.
I don't know what the answer could be, I don't think fat shaming anyone is ok, at all. But I also don't think compromise of health and safety to spare feelings is ok either (and I'm overweight myself) or taking up half of someone else's seat is ok - making them uncomfortable.
I do dislike programmes like this though. I've heard of this problem, but I think these kinds of programmes take advantage and exploit vulnerable people. I doubt a programme about those who suffer with eating disorders that makes them undernourished, and for that reason they were too weak to be safe doing something, would even be made, it'd be seen to be in very poor taste, rightly so. I don't think this is any different.

thenightsky Wed 03-Apr-19 00:20:00

WhyTho Its on 5 right now, so I guess it will be on +1 at 12.30am.

Asta19 Wed 03-Apr-19 00:22:28

It’s a tricky one. If someone was spilling into my seat on a short flight I’d probably just ignore it, but if it was long haul then no way. Those seats are small enough without losing any more space. I can see how someone larger might not fit in the toilet, they’re tiny with really narrow doors.

Tbh I think there’s a lot of shows on TV now that overstep the mark. It’s like nothing is private or scared anymore, it’s all “entertainment”.

LifeReview Wed 03-Apr-19 00:26:12

I've been in the seat next to someone overweight that spilled into my seat.

It wasn't pleasant.

The airline should have insisted the person had 2 seats.

Luckily it was an under 2 hr flight.

loobielousplaits Wed 03-Apr-19 00:27:27

I do dislike programmes like this though. I've heard of this problem, but I think these kinds of programmes take advantage and exploit vulnerable people. I doubt a programme about those who suffer with eating disorders that makes them undernourished, and for that reason they were too weak to be safe doing something

Whist I agree with this, and this programme seems to be making a mockery about overweight people (from the viewpoint of the 'fat' people let alone the flight attenders etc) - I don't agree that a programme about those with eating disorders wouldn't happen - and IRL if absolutely does happen. It's absolutely fine for some of work colleagues to tell me I look like 'I'm fading away', you need some meat on your bones etc ' My response with 'ok, you've put the beef on and look chubby' ok if I comment? admittedly met with an 'it's not ok response

quizqueen Wed 03-Apr-19 00:29:25

When people buy their flight tickets, there should be information that states, if you are over a certain size then a double seat will be required, then there will be no be surprises.

WhyTho Wed 03-Apr-19 00:30:02

Whoops, I’m not in the UK. Thought it might be on Netflix or something. Bugger.

For me, the spilling over into the seat would probably be solved in one of two ways. If I was sitting first - a polite refusal to put down the arm rest. No sorry, this divides our two seats. I would do exactly the same with a skinny person, I don’t want to sit that close to a stranger without some sort of barrier, even though an armrest is at best arbitrary, it makes me feel better.
If they were sitting first - I would find an attendant and politely say someone was in my seat and I could not get in. All could be done without fat shaming I think, eg. making it about me and not the other person.

Overall, I do think airline seats need to be a bit bigger.

WhyTho Wed 03-Apr-19 00:33:21

Put UP the armrest, sorry!

mantlepiece Wed 03-Apr-19 00:33:44

Well yes, it’s the denial from obese people that makes them the subject of these programmes.

They should know they are going to have a problem on an aircraft and book 2 seats. Problem solved and embarrassment averted.

As PP have said the seats are a squeeze for people of moderate size.

Sparklesocks Wed 03-Apr-19 00:34:35

I just don’t find programs like that add anything to a nuanced debate, it’s just painting the people in a bad light and trying to make the viewer vilify them, in the same way channel 5 loves all the shit about people on benefits and the life of luxury they suppsedly live. I think there is definitely a discussion to be had about weight on planes and how best to handle it, but I don’t think the program wants anything to do with that.

BlueCornishPixie Wed 03-Apr-19 00:36:11

I sat next to someone who was overspilling into my seat. I always thought before it wouldn't be too big of a deal but it was really unpleasant because in order to then fit in my seat our thighs had to be squished together the whole time. And I only had about half a seat left, the arm rest couldn't go down. It was horrible and I felt really claustrophic the whole time.

Whilst I feel a lot of sympathy for someone in this situation, it doesn't change the fact that's it's really unpleasant for other passengers to be sqaushsed and have to rub hot sweaty thighs with a stranger. It also doesn't change the fact that if it's unsafe it's unsafe.

It's similar I suppose to if someone was severely underweight and someone said it wasn't safe for them to run a marathon or something, whilst it's upsetting it still can't be done. I think if you are severely obese you need to recognise that. I'm really against fat shaming, and I think a lot of people do have really issues with fat people but I don't think it's fat shaming to say someone's too large for a seat. It's a just a fact really, a bit like my dad is too tall for some rollercoasters.

loobielousplaits Wed 03-Apr-19 00:41:38

the seats are absolutely not a 'squeeze' for anyone of moderate size. Maybe that's where the problem lies?

loobielousplaits Wed 03-Apr-19 00:43:39

On this programme they all recognised that they were overweight/obese yet seemed to be offended that their weight affected their lives

Sparklesocks Wed 03-Apr-19 00:47:08

I think large people know very well their weight affects their lives, chances are they are embarrassed/frustrated more than offended.

EmeraldShamrock Wed 03-Apr-19 00:48:57

It takes lots of guts to fly if really overweight. The seats on a plane are tiny, I am fairly small in comparison to most people and I find it uncomfortable. The way things are going the airline companies will need to invest in much bigger seats in future designs.

WinterHeatWave Wed 03-Apr-19 00:53:12

The airlines already have larger seats - premium economy, business and first all have more space. And they cost more. If all seats increase in size, the price will correspondingly increase.

colehawlins Wed 03-Apr-19 00:53:44

* It's a documentary about massively obese people being interviewed about being taken off flights/too fat to flight. *

That's not a documentary, it's tabloid telly.

LittlePaintBox Wed 03-Apr-19 00:57:56

I've been booking short haul flights to see family for the past 5 years, and haven't noticed any point at all in the process of online booking where the possibility of needing 2 seats has been mentioned, fat people are hardly going to book 2 seats just in case.

Let's be honest, part of the problem is that airlines have been reducing seat and leg room so they can cram more people onto flights for years now.

I'm overweight and would happily pay a supplement for a larger space, for my own comfort as much as anyone else's, but there isn't that option. I'm not nearly large enough to need 2 whole seats to myself.

colehawlins Wed 03-Apr-19 01:03:18

* the seats are absolutely not a 'squeeze' for anyone of moderate size. Maybe that's where the problem lies?*

You do that wide-eyed innocent GF thing passably well, you know hmm

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