Too Fat to Fly

With airlines continuously looking for ways to maximize profit, seat sizes are becoming an increasingly popular target. While seats are getting smaller the average person is getting fatter and fatter. This will, and in some cases has, reached an impasse.

There are many overweight people who are no longer are able to fit into airline seats. The airline is then blamed for making the seats too small for the people to fit in, and the other passengers have to deal with being seated next too (and often underneath overflowing parts of) these obese people.

Firstly, these fat people are failing to understand is that the airline is not selling a seat able to seat any sized person. They are selling access to a predefined area of the plane, with given dimensions, where you can stay for the duration of the flight. This area just happens to come in the shape of a seat. There is no obligation on their part to provide a seat that fits everyone. The problem when extremely fat people end up taking up two seats its not that the seats are too small but that the fat person should actually be renting out more than one area of space (which again, happen to have seats in them).

When you buy a car you have to make sure that you can fit in the car. An extremely tall person is never going to buy a small car because they know they will never fit in it. The same goes for airline seats. There should be no surprise when you get on the plane and find that you cannot fit into your seat. Not only should one be aware of their own obesity, but there are dozens of sites that list the width of seats or amount of legroom that you get on major airlines in case you aren’t sure.

Another consideration is airline weight restrictions. Most airlines have now implemented a policy where passengers have to pay for checked luggage. Weight restrictions on checked luggage are there to help keep the load the plane has to carry to a minimum. What isn’t being considered is how a regular person is affecting the total weight of the airplane. A 200lb person who checks one suitcase (say 50lb) and has one carry on bag and a personal item (each 22lb) is adding about 295lb to the planes weight. The issue here is that the baggage allowances do not change based on how much the passengers actually weigh. This means that a much heavier 350lb passenger who brings with them the same amount of luggage is actually adding an extra 150lb to the total weight of the plane. This seems quite unfair considering I am paying for luggage when me and all my gear still weighs less than the fat person. It only seems fair that these obese people should have to pay the same rate I do for luggage for their extra weight. This is especially important to consider on an aircraft where you cannot just choose to ignore take-off weight weight restrictions to be fair to fat people

There are many fat people who complain that they face unfair judgement by those around them because of their size, especially when dealing with closed spaces like airlines. What these fat people are failing to consider is that their size is so incredulous that its a wonder people only give them a judgemental stare.

Hayward Peirce Written by:

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