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WHEN will airlines wake up to the fact that they have to tackle the issue of seating and very overweight people?

(29 Posts)
HuwEdwards Fri 18-Jul-08 12:42:17

I just endured a (shorthaul, thank god) flight seated next to a man who was plainly much too large for the cabin seat.

His thighs, hips shoulders and arms encroached onto my seat and into my personal space to such an extent that I've no doubt it was as uncomfortable for him as me.

So any suggestions about how this potentially emotive issue could be resolved?

Twinkie1 Fri 18-Jul-08 12:48:21

He could go on a diet or there could be special extra huge seats for fat people for which they have to pay a premium??

I don't know actually and have lots of flippant answers ready so should just pack it in and go and have haircut which I am panicking about because I hate my hair at the moment and know I am going to go and tell him to cut it all off and then will regert ii - sorry for digressing just trying to explain my state of mind - amazing that that should be all I have to worry about!

Earlybird Fri 18-Jul-08 12:52:59

Must have been an unpleasant flight for both of you.

There was a proposal from America recently that perhaps they would start charging extra for overweight people. No idea how they proposed to enforce it, and am sure it would be humiliating for those who 'qualified'. But seeing as they're so strict about weight allowances for bags, don't know what they do about oversize passengers.

bobblehat Fri 18-Jul-08 12:55:01

My dh always reckons that instead of a baggage allowance there should be a weight allownce - ie you and your bags should not be over a certain weight. He would say that as he is fairly compact, but it came after we were charged for being just over our luggage allowance, when a very large man in front of us was just on the luggage limit, and weighed well over a couple of kilos more than us

HuwEdwards Fri 18-Jul-08 12:59:18

but the seating still needs to be addressed bobble....I mean airlines won't want to put in larger seats as fewer passengers would be able to fly on each flight.

Hassled Fri 18-Jul-08 13:02:31

AGree they need to do something - especially as there are more and more obese people. I've had a similar flight to yours - a lovely woman next to me, but I had no space whatsoever and was ready to kill everyone by the time we landed.

nailpolish Fri 18-Jul-08 13:13:14

"So any suggestions about how this potentially emotive issue could be resolved?"

lose some weight

yama Fri 18-Jul-08 13:18:29

Bobblehat - my brother says the same as your dh. He is very light and has been charged a few times for his baggage being over the limit. In actual fact he and his luggage combined are probably lighter some people on the flights.

VanillaPumpkin Fri 18-Jul-08 13:18:53

In America they reserve the right to make you pay for two seats if you can't fit into one. At least they did on Airline USA last time I watched it grin.

norkmaiden Fri 18-Jul-08 13:20:26

what NP said

bramblebooks Fri 18-Jul-08 13:31:57

my poor father has a degenerative disease and is on steroids - hence large. He travels with mum, who is 'normal size'. They have shared a small double bed all their lives and as they say, like to cuddle. They arrange their seating so that mum is next to any other passenger and dad and she 'cuddle up'. Recently, an airline threatened to refuse to carry him as his waistline was just over their specified measurement.

He'd love to lose weight, and does try, however he has lung problems and can't walk more than 50 yds, the steroids for his condition don't help. He managed to lose a bit and was able to fly. He doesn't fly alone and he is very aware of not inconveniencing fellow passengers.

bramblebooks Fri 18-Jul-08 13:33:22

Dad also tries to upgrade as the seats are larger. It's not an easy situation - liking the idea of the combined baggage allowance though, I often feel hard done by on that front - think how many extra shoes you could take!

SpacePuppy Fri 18-Jul-08 13:45:39

Don't know who you used but I've been on BA and SAA and they both make people of a size purchase the seat next to them too.

SoupDragon Fri 18-Jul-08 13:47:34

This is a nightmare from both sides of the problem and, TBH, I don't think there is a solution. If made to purchase an extra seat due to size, the larger people will scream discrimination yet is isn't fair for the peron sat next to them having to effectively share their seat. However, it is clearly impossible to make the seats bigger to make much of a difference.

ElfOnTheTopShelf Fri 18-Jul-08 13:55:10

actually, air carriers should consider looking at their seating. Not only are seats small, but they are too close to the seats in front, which does result in a lot of leg breakage in the event of a crash.
I know crashes are very unlikely, but they should have the safety of their passengers in mind, as well as their comfort

poppy34 Fri 18-Jul-08 14:01:54

how do they know you're over a certain size space puppy? I've never been asked for weight/size when booking.

Sympathise with OP.. wasn't there some case on this actually being a contributory factor to DVT on a long haul flight? That said I'd like to see some kind of hygeine enforcement role... always seem to get seated near the stinky people

artichokes Fri 18-Jul-08 14:04:45

I have been in the OP's position and I went to the air hostess at the front and demanded a new seat. They said there were none and I said that unless they intended to make my neighbour pay for a third of my ticket I was not willing to sit there (it was longhaul). They upgraded me.

Now I long to be sitted next to the obese.

Highlander Fri 18-Jul-08 14:22:52

I had to endure sitting next to a sweaty fatty once, all the way back from Dehli. Farkin grim.

However, shall follow artichokes example if it happens again!

prettycupcake Fri 18-Jul-08 14:24:52

I think VP's idea is the right one.
if you are too big for one seat you should have to book 2 seats, it isn't fair for anyone.

HuwEdwards Sat 19-Jul-08 23:56:31

but NP 'lose some weight' doesn't solve the problem, the solution must come from the airlines.

NoBiggy Sun 20-Jul-08 00:12:29

Years ago, travelling from San Francisco, several notably large people were called up to the desk in the departure lounge. They boarded first. When we got on they were installed in business class, all of them reclined flat as we walked through.

We did speculate as to whether they'd bought these seats or if the airline had upgraded them through necessity.

swedishmum Sun 20-Jul-08 02:09:30

At a mere 5'10" I feel unfairly treated by airlines. Yes I could lose some weight but my 34" inside leg measurement is a fixture. I've paid full whack to sit extremely uncomfortably on many occasions - and there are many taller people than me out there.

LargeGlassofRed Sun 20-Jul-08 02:47:01

My brother's 7ft and usually gets upgraded for free on longhaul smile
Was on a flight with him once when they tryed to get him in a standard seat, they gave up after 5mins grin

lulabelle Sun 20-Jul-08 09:18:23

I too have suffered a similar experience on two occasions, first time was my aunty who is overweight and could not actually fit into the seat, family laughed it off and she sat in between my nan and grandad, she was clearly embarrassed about the whole thing and has not flown since. The second time I was on a flight from America and an American guy could not fit into the seat, he had not flown for a long time but explained to the cabin crew that he had told them at the time of booking that he was of a larger size and they had told him that arrangements would be made for him, which of course they weren't. I really felt for the guy and he had to stand whilst people were moved around so that he could have two seats together. I do feel for these people, it must be awful for them. I think airlines should offer two seat sizes maybe? or like you say offer two seats for a cheaper price (than it would be for two seats, i.e. full cost + one half price), I don't know I'm waffling now...sleepless nights and all that. grin

sarah293 Sun 20-Jul-08 09:24:43

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