Air France and the corpulent passenger

There was a collective guffaw in the Flightglobal/Airline Business editorial office here in south London yesterday when a press release with this headline fell into the inbox:

Air France denies the obligation for corpulent passengers to pay for a second seat

It was the politically correct use of the word corpulent that tickled us.

The story came up after Air France issued the release clarifying its policy on accommodating larger passengers (full release below).

It is a touchy subject and was covered recently, with much subsequent web coverage, after Kieran Daly published a remarkable picture of an American Airlines flight with a corpulent passenger overflowing into the aisle.

Here’s the release:

As opposed to the information disclosed in the press this morning, Air France has no intention of making corpulent passengers pay for a second seat.

However, Air France plans to make one single change to its service starting 1 February, which is to refund corpulent passengers the cost of the second seat in economy they have purchased, if the Economy cabin is not fully booked. 


Since 2005, Air France has been offering corpulent passengers the possibility of purchasing a second seat to ensure they travel in optimum comfort and safety. This second seat benefits from a 25% discount.


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