23 February 2010

Frequent Fatty Fliers

Lately, there's been a lot of hubbub about extremely overweight travelers having to purchase two plane tickets in order to fly and accommodate their large size...and they're not happy about it.

If you've ever been on an airplane sitting next to someone who is pushing 350, you know what it's like to contort your body into a pretzel shape in an already crammed seat.  Although I think airline companies lack tact and compassion with this rule, I have to say I agree with it.

I have absolutely nothing against fat people by any means, but when it starts to affect my life, then we're gonna have some words.  I have sat next to large people on planes and although I'm a nugget, that doesn't mean that it's okay for you to share some of my seat.  I stay out of your $300 space, so stay out of mine.

If you want to fly but are so heavy that you bulge out of your seat into someone else's seat, you should have to pay for that extra baggage! That's just the way it is.  As harsh and cruel as it may seem to the overweight person, it's only fair and logical.  No one wants to be stuck in the middle seat as it is, let alone with someone whose arms and belly are practically in your lap the entire flight!

This issue has made headlines again with Kevin Smith, the popular film director whose resume includes films like "Mallrats" and "Clerks".  Smith was kicked off a Southwest flight because of his size, but he claims he had no problem buckling his seatbelt or lowering his armrests, two of the requirements for every passenger.  The airline's policy states, "If a customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat, a customer seated adjacent would be very uncomfortable and a timely exit from the aircraft in the event of an emergency might be compromised if we allow a cramped, restricted seating arrangement."

According to an article on CNN.com, Smith says "Dude, I know I'm fat...That's not why I was truly thrown off that plane because I fit perfectly in the seat...I am not fat enough to eject off a Southwest flight."  Smith actually suspects he was bumped by an airline employee who did not like his comic films, which include "Zach and Miri Make a Porno," "Clerks" and the upcoming "Cop Out."

First of all Kevin, I highly doubt there is a conspiracy against you or your work, so much so that an airline employee would see you on the flight and say "hmm...I hated 'Jersey Girl' so damn much, how can I seek revenge against Kevin Smith for the 2 hours of my life that was wasted from watching that dumb movie? Oh, I know. He's fat, and it just so happens the airline I work for has this policy...yep, I'm gonna toss his fat ass right off this plane."


Well, apparently Smith's goal is to force Southwest to change the way they deal with overweight passengers.  I can agree with that. Being fat comes with a stigma, and airlines are among the rest of society's bullies.  But I also agree with Southwest and any other airline who implements this policy.  How is it fair for the fattest person onboard to take up 50% of my seat, a seat I spent hundreds of dollars on? The overweight person should help me incur some of these costs, or just purchase a second seat because they're taking it up anyway?

And if it's such a huge deal (pun intended) for these heavyweights to purchase a second seat, why don't they stop and think to buy a business or a first class seat? We all know those seats are a lot bigger, roomier, and they're usually only two on each side, versus three.

Basically, these heavy passengers who would purchase two economy seats to accommodate their weight could purchase one first class ticket for approximately the same price, be the first to board and exit the plane, and get complimentary beverages and warm towels!

The way I see it, you have 3 options. 
1. Buy the two economy tickets
2. Buy a first class ticket
3. Buy a gym membership instead of that second ticket and the problem will literally solve itself within a year's time...or less if you become a contestant on the Biggest Loser


MrsRaeHallberg said...

I completely agree with the airlines enforcing this rule. And to add to it, I'd also like to be asked permission. Like when I'm booking on Orbitz I think there should be a prompt that tells me there's a fat person sitting next to me and give me the option to purchase another seat. Cuz I'm not gonna lie, I already have to deal with my own "flowage", and do NOT want to have someone else's in my lap!

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