That obese passenger post

As you can see below, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing a lousy job of maintaining this blog – but there are reasons.

The obese pax post has got huge attention and I just thought I should tell you where I am on it.

I don’t know for a fact that the pic is genuine, and don’t have a quickway of finding out, but: nobody has challenged its authenticity,including American Airlines who know perfectly well how to contact meif they wish; several commenters have backed up the story as you cansee, although I’ve obviously got no way of knowing if they’re for real;and the objectors on ‘photoshopping’ grounds I think are wrong becausethe simple reason that the seat looks short is that it’s got a huge guysitting on it!

I’ve tidied up the comments and apologise for the multiplepublications. People tend to repeat their comments because first timecommenters have to be individually approved, and then when they getapproved sometimes all the duplicates get posted too. (This alwayshappened but it’s much worse now that I’m not spending quite so muchtime on the blog.)

And why do I operate that rule – well unfortunately I get my share ofunpleasantness in the comments (no problem with people being unpleasantto me – but not to each other please, and especially not anonymously),and occasionally more sinister and organised stuff like the Dutchfascists trying to swamp the THY Amsterdam crash post.

Tis post obviously touched a nerve and produced some very intelligentand some not so intelligent reactions. Personally I’m not so hung upabout the safety issue – safety is never perfect and there are plentyof passengers who’d be a liability in a crash for numerous reasons, Idon’t think it’s reasonable to ban them all – but I am hung up aboutforcing passengers of this guy’s dimensions onto another passengersitting next to him. Which it rather seems American eventually did notdo. But there are plenty of horror stories of airlines who just tellthe other folks to grin and bear it. And as I wrote in the post, I’mpersonally familiar with one such episode.

13 Responses to That obese passenger post

  1. Gilbert Adams December 4, 2009 at 5:46 am #

    With regard to airlines charging large/obese passengers for 2 seats: for years they have charged a full seat fare for babies, musical instruments, and other objects which could in many cases be placed together on one seat. It would not take an Einstein to devise a cost-effective system for seat sharing. It’s easier, of course, just to ‘charge the passenger, full speed ahead’.

    But now, to charge one passenger for two seats would be doubling their cake and eating it too. If they get double for large pax, they must accept half for tiny pax / objects. After all, people of the size pictured are extremely uncommon.

  2. Mark Iliff December 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Gilbert Adams: “If they get double for large pax, they must accept half for tiny pax / objects”.

    Doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve all seen those frames at check-in that say “your bag has to fit this if you want to take it in the cabin”. So why not a bigger frame saying “your arse has to fit this if you want to take it in the cabin”?

    You don’t get a discount if your cabin baggage is smaller than the frame.

    µ

  3. Mark Iliff December 4, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    I should add that I’m not saying this to be obeastly. I myself am rather short for my weight. But fair’s fair.

    µ

  4. nightmanmi December 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    WE ARE CRAMMED IN PLANES WITH LESS LEG AND SEAT ROOM AS IT IS….LET ALONE SITTING NEXT TO SOME FAT PERSON INFRINGING ON ONES ALREADY LIMITED PAID ‘SPACE’……..YES THEY SHOULD PAY FOR TWO OR THREE SEATS IF THEY’RE THAT FAT…..YES THEY SHOULD CONSIDER AN ALTERNATE FORM OF TRANSPORT….WHY SHOULD I HAVE ROLLS OF FAT AND WEIGHT PRESSED AGAINST ME FOR HOURS…..EVERYONE IF SOOOOO OVERLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR RIGHTS…….WHAT ABOUT MINE…???? …I PAY EXTRA FOR OVER WEIGHT LUGGAGE……WHY SHOULD THEY BE ANY DIFFERENT ????? ALSO…IF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION WOULD ARISE….BEING 2-3 TIME LARGER THAN AN AVERAGE PERSON…..THEY COULD KILL YOU IF THEY FELL ON YOU OR NOT ABLE TO MOVE FAST ENOUGH TO GET OUT ETC ETC….SCARY AND NOT SAFE OR RIGHT…LOTS OF FOOD FOR THOUGHT ON THIS ISSUE……NOT BEING CRUEL HERE….JUST TELLING IT LIKE IT IS……..

  5. fred December 5, 2009 at 6:46 am #

    why don’t airlines just make 2 or 4 large seats for large people in the back so that way things like this don’t happen if they can’t do this for some reason just post a comment but i don’t see why they can’t just do it i mean to avoid all of this or unless airlines like it which im guessing yea so they can make more money just because of a persons weight but yea like the comment above if they charge extra for large people why not charge half for babies and stuff

  6. Mark Iliff December 5, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Hey, nightmanmi. Space hog. Caps lock. Duuh!

    µ

  7. Anonymous December 13, 2009 at 3:23 am #

    Seriously. Could I lay across the seat and have my legs laying across you for the whole flight? No I am sure that would annoy you. It is a matter of real estate, if a person occupies two seats then why should they get preferred treatment over someone who does not by having a special, larger seat? It is not treating them differently based on their appearance it is treating them differently on the amount of space they take up. Knock off all the feel sorry for me crap because I am a “person of size”. What a crock. I am 355lbs and I am not a person of size….I am fat.

  8. Curvy-girl April 7, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    dis⋅crim⋅i⋅na⋅tion [di-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn] –noun
    1. an act or instance of discriminating.
    2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

    Why should a “person of size” have to pay twice as much based on their physical appearance? I understand the safety issues that previous posters have mentioned, but how does charging twice as much solve that? I agree with Fred, have adjustable seats in the back that can either accommodate a larger person or 2 “average” people. Fat

    And NIGHTMANMI, you tout the idea of charging larger people for encroaching on limited, personal space..why stop there? If we’re going to get annoyed with people on flights for getting in our “bubble” then let’s charge people extra that have B.O., who talk incessantly, who lean on you while sleeping, who laugh too loud at the in-flight movies, who are rude to the F/A’s, who get you to move when they have to go to the washroom for the 6th time, who have babies that cry (hell, let’s charge the babies!), and especially those that come across as ignorant that talk in ALL CAPS. I’m not being cruel…just telling it like it is.

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