Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Southwest Airlines Tells Another Passenger She is Too Fat to Fly

During an Easter Sunday layover in Dallas, a woman was told by an employee of Southwest Airlines that she was “too fat to fly.” Kenlie Tiggeman, a blogger and political strategist, has already lost 120 pounds, but still didn’t meet the requirements under Southwest’s “Customers of Size” policy. The airline does not allow passengers to board who can’t fit between the 17-inch armrests, unless they buy a second seat.

While the airline says that it’s their policy to speak to overweight passengers in a discrete manner, Tiggeman says she was confronted in front of about 100 people.

“I know that I have a lot of weight to lose but I am definitely not too fat to fly,” says Tiggeman. “I do it all the time, domestically and internationally, and I have never had anyone approach me and particularly in the way that they did. I was embarrassed, humiliated.”


Don’t miss our interview with Kenlie:

A supervisor eventually took charge and gave Tiggeman, and her mother who was traveling with her, vouchers and an apology. No extra seats had to be purchased.

Southwest Airlines had another similar high-profile situation involving movie director Kevin Smith. Last year the airline told him he was too big to board as well.

In an odd twist, the airline also once told a thin passenger she had to get off (the unidentified woman was 110 pounds) in order to accommodate a larger passenger who had to purchase a second seat. She was able to get on the next flight out.

(via: AOL)

Also Read:

Extremely Obese Get Two Airline Seats for the Price of One

NWA Flight Attendants Demand Size 28 Red Dress

European Airline Ryanair Considers Charging Fat Tax

May 20th, 2011

> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 1 of 1, 64 total comments)

Nick

I'm 6'4".... should I be given a business class or premium economy seat for free because I'm tall? I'm also a healthy weight for my height... I should get to bring more baggage on board for free compared to obese passengers that pack the weight on their bodies.

posted Feb 5th, 2012 5:35 pm


Stuart

"Fair Is Fair": "...Tickets should reflect the reality of the cost structure and have a fixed base cost plus a variable cost based on the weight of the passenger..."

YES!

posted Jan 23rd, 2012 5:40 pm


Frequent Flier

When I fly, I ALWAYS pull the armrest down ... and will NOT let it be reaised. If the person in the next seat doesn't fit and is uncomfortable, tough. That is ther problem (and the airline's), not mine.

posted Jan 21st, 2012 6:34 pm


AlanD

I am quite obese and have found Southwest's policy of buying a second seat very fair. If the plane is not full, the charge for the second seat is refunded. As I sit by the window, the passenger who gets the aisle seat is pleasantly surprised when they realize that they will NOT have a middle seat neighbor and are welcome to share "my" extra seat. Also, I can put the armrest down, but my shoulders go about 5-6 inches into the next seat, obviously this would be unfair to the person sitting next to me.

posted Jan 21st, 2012 5:38 pm


Rina Simon

As an adult women standing 4'11" and weighing 100 lbs very few things are tailored to my size.... that is except Southwest Airlines! Obviously an obese person can not fit because an averaged sized person can hardly fit! The seats are so tiny. No leg room. It's ridiculous. I would only fly them when absolutely necessary.

posted Jan 21st, 2012 5:29 pm


toastman

Look, these seat are too small. Im sick and tired of being shoved in a seta next to some guy or woman whose blubber flows into my space- diet first and then get one seat-until then, do the right thing. This doesnt need to be added to the garbage we put up with already-whining-screaming kids, lost luggage, late flights and imprisionment on planes when traffic backs up.

posted Jan 21st, 2012 5:07 pm


derkaderkaallahjihad

As a frequent flier, I am not stoke when I have a portion of some obese person's fat ass sitting in my lap.

posted Jan 13th, 2012 6:06 pm


alain smithee

One thing that needs to be done is to have a "sizing seat" similar to the device for carry-on luggage behind a curtain that ticketing agents can use to see if a passenger fits in the seat.

This sizing seat could be shared by more than one airline, minimizing the cost.

It the passenger doesn't fit in the sizing seat, then a ticketing agent could use a tablet computer or PDA to make accommodations.

A passenger should have the option to book two adjacent seats when scheduling their flight without any action by the ticketing agent, and without being required to use the sizing seat.

As far as the woman who was separated from her daughter because of the service animal documentation, there should be a way to link tickets so that passengers who are minors, elderly, or require a medical escort are not separated from their responsible party.

If this is not done, I foresee the liability lawyers lining up to file lawsuits agains the airlines.

posted Jan 13th, 2012 3:15 pm


seedub

@Ankhorite

There isn't any "hatred" in here. More like frustration with the entitled attitude of fat people. They are selfish and have no concern for others around them... I'm sick and tired of the rolls spilling over the armrest and into me. That person wasn't discriminated against. They had every opportunity to fly. They just needed to buy two seats.

posted Jan 13th, 2012 2:45 pm


Felmmando

"While the airline says that itâ??s their policy to speak to overweight passengers in a discrete manner, Tiggeman says she was confronted in front of about 100 people." I think Tiggeman wanted them to be _discreet_; being discrete doesn't help.

posted Jan 13th, 2012 7:41 am


Susan

Southwest has poor business practices bottom line. They discriminate people, are rude and even lie about their behaviors. I was harassed on Dec 31st, taken off the plane, separated from my 13 year old daughter and detained in Buffalo NY after a militant crew member decided my service animal paperwork was not sufficient. The 14 lb animal nor I were disruptive but the paperwork was outdated by 2 months! I had to get someone to fax the same document to me with an altered date before I could get home. Meanwhile my kid flew unaccompanied and held up the plane on a transfer because she didn't know how to negotiate the terminals.

posted Jan 10th, 2012 6:23 pm


Jim in Saigon

I recently had to endure a three hour flight sitting next to an obese woman on a Delta flight. She was so large that she took about two/thirds of the space. Since the plane was full I could not be seated at another location.

I paid full price for my ticket. Am I not entitled to travel in comfort, also? There is absolutely no reason that an over-sized individual should expect to pay the same price for air passage as an average sized individual.

I view this as an issue of selfishness on the part of obese travelers. I am sorry if you have a physical condition that causes your obesity. But I don't. And I do not want to subsidize your travel.

posted Jan 3rd, 2012 1:01 pm


Willow

The answer is simple. If you don't like it, don't fly. Don't use Southwest if you don't want to be discriminated against. Boycott until they realize they need to treat customers better in general.

When the airlines start going bankrupt because people don't want to get felt up by the TSA, and we all take high-speed trains or boats instead, they'll realize that treating passengers like cattle, shoehorning as many people as possible into their sardine cans, and keeping people on runways for 8 hours or more, was the wrong thing to do.

posted Jan 1st, 2012 2:23 pm


shoedog95

I had a similar problem in San Diego where my ass was measured in front of about 100 passengers who were waiting behind me. It was beyond embarrassing. I was a frequent flyer with SWA and I began to stress every time I flew SWA. The gate people and Stewardesses are selective on who they pick on too! When I flew out of New Orleans I had a gate attendant follow me to my chair to make sure I fit.. And I mentioned to her that she was being selective on who they were picking on based on other flyers with similar builds as I.. She threatened to kick me off the plane... So now I fly American Airlines instead of SWA...

posted Jan 1st, 2012 5:37 am


Allen

If you need two seats, you should pay for two seats. Three people side-by-side makes for pretty snug conditions normally, but four people in three seats is agony--for the large person, too!

posted Dec 27th, 2011 6:49 pm


LM

PEOPLE User common sense! Seats should have space between them, quick acting like big people are second class citizens. Don't yall realize that AIRLINES are trying to squeeze as much seats a possible despite comfort zones!!!!

posted Dec 19th, 2011 8:01 pm


brucc

How can you possibly sit next to these women on an airline and consider that fair? That being said, the real problem is that US airlines shoudl make their seats larger. My shoulders are often too large while many normal weight women while have problems too. BUT if you're too large to fit in the current seats then it should not be the problem of the person next to you.

posted Nov 18th, 2011 10:53 pm


Brucc

I have had to fly next to an overweight person person three occasions and every experience sucked horribly. the first one was so large he took up two seats and there was a big commotion and delay to get him in the seats and belted with belt extenders. He still came over the second seat an touched me which was unconformable. What was the icing on the cake...once the flight just lifted off the ground he goes into his bag and pulls out a very large bag of reeses pieces and starts pouring handfuls into his mouth. I shouldn't have to suffer for that guy. But he bough the extra seat and I guess he was larger than most. The next one really bothered me because this lady was the last person on the flight and yeah it was my row she was left to sit in. She overflowed into my seat and pinned me against the the window seat. I had to use my foot to push myself away from her for most of the four hour flight just to avoid so much skin to skin contact. and my back was killing me from this experience. All the while she had a supersized chocolate bar she kept eating! The last guy was one a one hour flight and he at least tried to keep himself out of the way and wasn't so large but still I was pretty much pinned against the window.
All in all these were undue experiences I shouldn't have had to encounter because a person was too big for their seat. even if the person is a bodybuilder or paul bunyan or just too large even if not overweight the same applies. the fact that these people just kept stuffing their faces was the aggravating part of it. Complete inconsideration and the feeling of the fat person being the victim when the real victim are the neighbors!

posted Nov 18th, 2011 10:41 pm


Fred

I don't care how the airline deals with any passenger - overweight or not - as long as when I buy a seat I get a whole seat.

Don't charge me for a seat and not provide me with one. If you are going to allow another passenger to take a chunk of my seat then give me my money back since you didn't give me what I paid for.

posted Nov 16th, 2011 4:03 pm


Lisa

I dont think these airlines need the extra money.. heaven forbid that "skinny People" have to sit next to an overweight person.. Just cause you are skinny does not mean better treatment than an overweight person. I do agree however if another seat is used it does take away room and i would not want to sit next to somebody that is in my space. But treat people fairly.. why dont they make special seats for different size people and charge more for them then if money is what they are after.

posted Nov 7th, 2011 9:40 pm


Jerry

If you are too fat to sit in a middle seat without spilling over into neighboring seats, you should pay for two seats - and you most certainly ARE TOO FAT to fly (and too fat for most everything else, including taxpayer dollars into the healthcare system preserving the life of over-consuming piggies).

posted Oct 18th, 2011 9:28 pm


rbmeoe

I'm somewhat large, 5'11" 240lbs, but do fit within a seat on a plane. I pay for the space I am taking up. I don't want someone else sitting in part of the seat that I paid for. I see nothing wrong with charging large people, who take up more than one seat, to pay for both of them. Then they can have both the seats they require and I can have the one that I require, without invading the space of one another. If you don't like having to pay for extra space, try loosing the extra weight!!

posted Oct 12th, 2011 4:21 pm


brian

The media always sensationalizes this. The truth of the matter is, that if someone is so large as to occupy two seats, they must pay for two seats. _IF_ the flight is not 'sold out', the passenger is issued a REFUND for the second seat. I see no problem with this.

Additionally, I feel that airlines should charge for tickets based on the weight of a passenger and their luggage. More weight equates to more fuel burned, therefore it stands to reason that someone traveling light should not have to subsidize someone that chooses to fly heavy.

posted Sep 15th, 2011 1:03 pm


R.T

Unfortunately I have been seated next to very overweight persons on a number of occasions; once for nearly 14 hours. I am a big guy; not fat (50 " chest, 36 waist, 14 shoe!) and I make every effort not to intrude on the person next to me space. Often the problem is a lack of consideration for those sitting next to you. If you are too big; pay the price of two seat. Just my opinion.

posted Jul 15th, 2011 10:00 am


S Price

You guys who are saying you or someone you know is thin yet still takes up the entire seat are full of BS. I'm 5'5" and 128lbs, just flew Southwest and had a good 3-4 inches of extra seat. My sister is my height and a little over 200lbs and even she fits in the seats, with the armrest down. Granted, we aren't hippy people, but it's not as if the seats are unreasonably small.

As far as whether people who can't fit in one seat should have to buy two, I suppose one could argue that since Southwest doesn't assign their seats--it's first come first serve--that you are, in fact, paying for the trip and not the seat. Interesting since they are the ones most known for this policy. But with every other major airline, you are issued a seat number, and should you require 2, you should have to pay for them both.

posted Jul 10th, 2011 11:07 am


jen

This is not an emotional issue. It's a factual/physics issue. The plane can hold a maximum of X pounds, in order to fly safely. This includes passengers and luggage. Set that aside....going on emotion now...if you are so large that you are going to spill over into the seat that I paid for and make my flight miserable, then you should have to buy two seats. I don't want to be squished next to you - that's not what I paid for. I have the right to sit in my "rented" seat without you "stealing" part of it.

posted Jul 9th, 2011 3:52 pm


Michele

I am over weight, and I always purchase a second seat unless I am flying.

I think it boils down to common curtiosy. If you know your bottom is larger than the size of the seat, then why is it an issue. Yes, I dont like the double the cost...but I am greatful for the extra room ....I use the second seat for my stuff, to get more comfortable, and most of time, I can use a row with just two seats, and I have it all to myself. Makes for a much better flight experiance.

My thought would be instead of requiring a second seat, maybe they should have larger seats that cost more...maybe not a full extra fare, but more like a fare and a half, for say 25 inches...some where near half way.....it does cost more for a larger person to fly, weight does matter...people need to get off of their high horse and realize no one owes them anything.,......if you choose to be fat (yes its a choice even though I have health conditions, there are still t hings I can and should be doing but don't)...and that reality means things are more pricy...from clothing to airline seats....

posted Jul 2nd, 2011 10:00 am


Trent

A simple solution... Everyone pay $1 per pound. If you weigh 350 pounds, your ticket is $350. I know people are stuck on equality, but how about reality. If I'm 150 & you're 350, then there is nothing equal about that. We shouldn't pay equal amounts for tickets, because we aren't equal. If you want cheaper tickets, loose weight.

The "ME" entitlement has gone too far. The fat people, gays, illegals, etc. They all want to play a game that has rules, but want to change all the rules, instead of abiding by them. Why? Because it is all about ME! Everyone should accommodate ME! I should get something for nothing! It's time to not think like a democrat, and realize that if you want something good in life, then WORK to get. Don't sue to get it or expect the government to give it to you. Go EARN it!

If you want to play the game of life, play by the rules and quit trying to cheat to win or get ahead.

posted Jul 2nd, 2011 9:17 am


Caleb

Fat entitlement has gone way too far. You have an addiction, we understand. But you shouldn't expect everyone to cater to your lack of self-control, anymore than our society caters to alcoholics or crack addicts. Get help, and stop pretending your a victim.

posted Jun 26th, 2011 5:29 pm


tc

Perhaps devices similar to those carry-on luggage measuring contraptions seen at gates - "Your carry-on must fit here" - should be installed...

Have everyone sit in a "Your butt must fit here" gizmo. No muss, no fuss.

posted Jun 26th, 2011 7:06 am


Redhead

The airlines redesigned the SIZE of their seats to put more passengers on the plane and a lot of people will struggle to fit into 17 inches. While "obese" people should pay for two seats, the airlines need to give EVERYONE a little more space. Even my 122 lb husband takes up the seat and HE is DEFINITELY NOT FAT!!!

posted Jun 17th, 2011 10:25 am


amber

I am overweight myself, so I get it. People aren't the same size. Blah blah blah. I find it highly offensive and utterly ridiculous that Kenlie thinks the 'smart' people at the airlines are being negligent by making seats one size. YOU ARE BIGGER. YOU TAKE UP MORE SPACE. I don't see where the airlines are wrong AT ALL.

posted Jun 14th, 2011 7:17 am


userfile
Ankhorite

Airlines are still basing seat sizes on standards set in the 1930s, when Westerners were much smaller than we are are now.

Now, these tight seats and shallow leg room mean that people are DYING of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long flights. This is ridiculous.

And the hatred of large people expressed here is ridiculous, too.

posted Jun 6th, 2011 5:14 pm


Shari Schwartz

I had an awful experience flying back from Vegas. An extremely big woman chose to sit next to me. I was in the aisle seat, her husband sat by the window and she plopped down between us. The first thing she did was lift up the armrest between us so that a part of her body was litterly on me. Her husband never moved after planting his body at an angle that discouraged any conversation between them (possibly he was embarrassed). I got up and spoke to a flight attendent and asked if she could be moved as I needed to be near my husband who had medical issues and I needed to be very near him. The attendent told me to litterly "suck it up" no extra seats were available. All the while she never stopped eating a very large package of chips. This trip was from Vegas to NY City and it was horrible for me. If she would have been approached before her seat was issued that she would have to pay any extra fee than I don't believe she would have been embarrassed but finally had to face the fact that the extra seat was for the extra body she had to carry around and that no other person had to suffer for it.

posted Jun 4th, 2011 6:50 am


Serena

This will be acceptable when parents must purchase a seat for every child every time regardless of age or size or whatever excuse they use to avoid such a purchase,

posted Jun 2nd, 2011 10:18 am



Flossy Spacek

Now if they could just tell people who choose to have children, then force the rest of us to listen to them scream for the entire 4 -hour flight while breathing in their germs to travel alone, close their gash or don't travel at all - I'd be the happiest man on Earth

posted Jun 2nd, 2011 8:00 am


Masood

This is absurd and unfair. No one should have to pay by "how much space they occupy". This is simply beyond decent discussion. Who are the people writing this? Are these people getting paid to write this?

posted Jun 2nd, 2011 1:29 am


Pilot

More weight = more fuel consumption. I'm surprised more skinny passengers aren't going to the media and demanding that overweight passengers buy tickets. It seems only the overweight are complaining, instead of hitting the gym. Lawyers and media are easier to call I guess.

posted Jun 2nd, 2011 12:03 am



Judi Valverde

How would you like it if you had to sit next to the slob spilling into your seat and on you!

posted Jun 1st, 2011 9:16 pm



Judi Valverde

@ mcat yes fat people do not have the right to spill their fat onto me while seated next to me. Disgusting!!!!

posted Jun 1st, 2011 9:12 pm



Judi Valverde

Why shouldn't an obese person have to purchase a second seat. I am no lightweight but still fit comfortably in an airplane seat. Worst flight I ever had was on an American Eagle flight with the slob next to me spilling into my seat and on me! It was disgusting and the most miserable half hour of my life. Next time, I will be bringing it to the media's attention and requesting compensation from the airline that allows it to happen. PAY FOR THE SPACE YOU TAKE UP!!!

posted Jun 1st, 2011 9:06 pm


john

I jsut returned from Florida this weekend and was forced to sit next to someone who took up their entire seat and part of mine.The flight was filled and i had no where else to sit. I was told that if i wanted to wait for another flight they would be happy to TRY and get me on another flight!!!!!!! Why should i be punished????? How about the "large" person that was half in my seat???? I have NO sympathy for this person who was told they had to buy two seats.
I fly every 4 to 6 weeks and cant tell you how often this happens.
Flying was at one time fun and exciting now its like riding a bus in the city at rush hour. Everyone fights for carry on space brings an entire buffet of food and could care less about the others next to them.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 8:49 pm


dj

"Fair Is Fair": "...Tickets should reflect the reality of the cost structure and have a fixed base cost plus a variable cost based on the weight of the passenger..."

No. Seats come in integer increments, not fractions. If you are wider than 1.0 seats, you take up 2 seats, displacing 1 whole other paying passenger, thereby doubling your cost. Individual weight is not a big factor in flight costs.

Also, this entire discussion has overlooked those with claustrophobia. Are they supposed to get a free seat on either side of them? What about very active children? They need 2 seats. What about annoying people that no one would want to sit next to? Bad breath? The list goes on and on.

It is idiotic to suggest that people who need more than one seat should still only pay for one.

I was on a train when someone who took up 1.5 seat widths went to squeeze in the middle of 2 people. When the person on the end stood up (their only choice unless then wanted to be pushed into the isle on their butt), the 1.5 person gave them a dirty look for suggesting that they were a wide (fat) AS THEY ACTUALLY WERE. This is insanity.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 5:16 pm


SKG

I encountered a similar situation around 15 years ago where an oversized man sat next to me. He clearly needed two seats and was occupying more than half my seat. It was a trans-atlantic flight on Swiss Air. The airlines did nothing about it and expected me to just tolerate the situation. It was clearly a great incovenience to me in the 8 hour flight. After the flight landed, my whole body was aching because of sitting cramped in the flight.

If I have paid for a full seat then I expect no one else to be in my seat. Maybe a legal review of the situation would have taught the airlines on how to deal with such a situation. I am glad that SouthWest did the right thing and told the woman she is fat and she needs more than one seat. I hate such free-riders who like to travel at the cost other people's misery.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 4:53 pm


Fair Is Fair

There are both fixed and variable costs associated with the operation of an aircraft. The variable costs are largely dependent on the weight of the passengers and cargo. Tickets should reflect the reality of the cost structure and have a fixed base cost plus a variable cost based on the weight of the passenger. Luggage costs should likewise be based on weight.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 1:59 pm


dj

Brandi: "She didn't buy the second ticket because she fit in the seat and no longer needed the second ticket. Southwest took it upon themselves to judge otherwise and create a very publicly embarrassing scene."

Are you kidding? Southwest took it upon themselves to use the criteria of a physical measurement which is pretty much an accepted criteria in this world (unless some passengers are supposed to get a special 17 'finches' measurement (which equals an actual 21 inches?, but, 'they've been trying so hard to loose weight...'?).

I'm sure Ms. Tiggeman is a wonderful person - who should buy the extra seating space on an airplane if she cannot meet the generous 17" inch maximum width requirement.

(I guess) I'm sorry to say the 17" is 17" independent of anyone's attitude or history. That's the way inches work. They don't have personal biases.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 1:42 pm


FreeThinker

Also, for the person who claimed that she never did this for media attention..
Hmmm, lets see, she has been on The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, and multiple articles. She held her cell phone on his face the whole time while telling her that she was "personal friends with Dr Oz" Do you REALLY think she wasnt doing this for media attention?

posted Jun 1st, 2011 1:25 pm


FreeThinker

I PERSONALLY know the agent that had to deal with this monster of a woman. What she fails to mention is:
** She was NEVER an issue regarding size, it was HER MOTHER. She threw herself into it. Google pics of her mom and you will clearly see her mother was without a doubt too large to only occupy 1 seat. This horrific lady has done whatever she can do to slander the name of a man who was only doing his job ALL for the sake of her making money and getting her 15minutes of fame. Shame on you.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 1:24 pm



Brandi

We were so grateful to Kenlie for sharing her very personal story. She never sought media attention, instead, they came to her. And now she is using it as a platform to work with airlines to be more accommodating to all of their passengers, no matter their needs.

It should also not be overlooked that Kenlie has worked incredibly hard to lose 127 pounds, and is continuing to work hard on that journey. Just a couple days before we met her she had spent a day working out with Richard Simmons - exciting stuff!

It should also be noted that Kenlie was trying to skirt any system. She didn't buy the second ticket because she fit in the seat and no longer needed the second ticket. Southwest took it upon themselves to judge otherwise and create a very publicly embarrassing scene.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 12:09 pm


mcat

Southwest Really Irks Me!!!

Fat people have rights! Southwest shouldnâ??t be charging them two seats just because they are selling space on a private transportation machine! Additionally, they shouldnâ??t charge me (5â??7â? & 110 pounds) for a full seat. I only use half a seat. They need to accommodate me, me, me!!!

Additionally, they tried to kick me off one day just because I hadnâ??t showered for 30 days. The gall of them!

When will all people realize that the world revolves around me, me, me and not them!!!

posted Jun 1st, 2011 12:03 pm


dj

Kaffeguy: "I'm sorry one does not control their size."

Really? There's this trick that I learned at one point in my life: Don't consume more calories than you burn on an average basis. I know this may be complicated and difficult to understand, but give it a try. One's size (barring rare medical conditions) is something that you have complete control over.

Being fat is not bad or good. Someone else's size is not my business - and has no business hanging over into my airplane seat.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 10:25 am


MDLloyd

If you are offended because you are asked to purchase two seats since your butt cannot fit into one. Then maybe you should stop thinking of only your fat butt and think about the poor soul you are encrouching upon. In a former life, I used to do a lot of travelling and have been in very unfortunate and uncomfortable positions where I was next to someone who took it for granted that they could encrouch on my paid seat. I was so happy after I had accumulated enough miles that I could easily upgrade to business class. Folks if you don't want to lose some weight and you don't want to pay for two seats - maybe you can pay the passenger next to you for renting their space. To me it all just goes back to being aware of others and common courtesy.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 9:39 am


Greg

Come on... she was trying to scam the system. She said in her interview that she routinely bought 2 tickets to accommodate her weight on other airlines (or a 1st class seat). She hadn't flown on Southwest before and decided to try to sneak by and inconvenience other passengers by trying to squeeze into 1 seat. She got caught. She could have prevented the embarrassment if she had purchased two seats, which she knew she had to do, from the start. We also all do have equal access... she was never denied being able to fly... just that she needed to pay for the space and weight that she would occupy. She has just as many rights and access as anyone else. Thanks Southwest for not inconveniencing other paying customers with customers who clearly can't fit into 1 seat.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 9:27 am


dj

How dare an airline accuse someone of being as wide AS THEY ACTUALLY ARE!? Maybe there should be special 17" rulers with special large inches on them to measure people who are in denial of being as fat AS THEY ACTUALLY ARE.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 8:47 am


JOEL

Wow....being interviewed in such a nonchalant, jovial manner for being obese?! I would be totally embarrassed and certainly wouldn't do an interview. Let me introduce you to a new concept honey...STOP EATING SO MUCH AND EXERCISE!!!

posted Jun 1st, 2011 8:05 am


Andrea

She should not have to pay for an extra seat. Airline seats are too small, and if the airlines cared about not having to oust passengers at a moment's notice, they'd design seats of a realistic size, rather than cramming in as many seats as possible so that they can maximize their profits.

Airline seating policies will tend to bias against women in general, because women often carry their weight differently than men do. Men may carry fat in their gut, whereas women see it more often in their hips/thighs, and width is where airline seats are most limited. I am 5'10" and 130 lbs., but because of where I carry my weight, even my thighs tend to edge over the sides of an airline seat. Do I need two tickets?

Considering airline seat sizes, it's physically impossible that anyone flew from Florida to California with literally half a seat -- there is no human being that small. The hyperbole here is needless and harmful to the discussion, as I have never in my life seen any person riding on a plane sit entirely on another passenger's leg. You can see the woman in the video as well as I -- she would not have been sitting on half of the next passenger. Guess what --having you all up in their space is just as unpleasant for your fat fellow passenger as it is for you -- did you think she wanted you all up in her personal space, either? Plus she can guess what charitable, Christian thoughts you might be having toward her.

The amount of inconvenience I face, if I spend a flight where someone's shoulder or arm or leg (or all of these) is touching me, is nothing to me compared to the amount of shame I would feel if I let someone else be publicly humiliated for their size and told that they'd have to pay more or get off the plane.

Many passengers who buy two seats (when they can AFFORD this expenditure, which isn't easy!) do it not because they're sure they'll need the extra seat, but because some people are willing to spend $300+ more just to avoid the CHANCE of an airline deciding to publicly embarrass them. Frequent flyers may spend thousands of dollars that way -- and every time they do, that's profit that the airlines are making off of someone else's shame and fear and humiliation.

In Canada, the Transportation Agency instituted the "one-person-one-fare" policy -- the U.S. needs to get on board with that. If U.S. airlines were faced with such a policy, maybe then you'd see airlines revisiting their 17"-wide seat design and actually making a change that would protect us poor, innocent thin people from the abhorrent risk of having to brush arms with a fat person.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 8:03 am


dAVE`

STFU u stupid cow....lose weight or buy 2 tickets... i have a sneaking suspicion you initiated this... you knew you needed two tickets...you usually buy 2 tickets...y not this time... oh i get it you are looking for attention.. and airlines didnt decide what a normal size is.... shut up and buy 2 tickets

posted Jun 1st, 2011 4:43 am


KWest

They say it is not up to the airline to make the decision about charging hefty passengers for two seats, but I say it absolutely is the right of the airlines. In fact, it is the duty of the airlines to protect the rights of all passengers, including those of us who can easily fit in one seat and don't want lard enfringing from the other seat. I'm sooo sick of the political correctness that dictates we be "sensitive" to everyone. She needs to pull up her really big big girl panties and let it go.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 3:18 am


txpyr2

welcome to today's flying buses, like Spam in a can.

posted Jun 1st, 2011 1:03 am


Kaffeguy

I've heard of everything now. I don't agree that people that weigh more need to pay for more. I'm sorry one does not control their size. I do not fall into that category, but I will defend anyone that is

posted May 31st, 2011 11:39 pm


kogo

First from the video she really didn't look all that big. On the other hand I've had the same situation as Diane Adkins If she can't fit into a regular seat then she should have to pay for the extra space that she wants.

posted May 27th, 2011 5:21 pm


Mel McCann

Why is this woman complaining? The first few moments into the interview she states that she is a frequent traveler and that she buys two seats. So what's different this time? She claims to have been humiliated but when she was purchasing her tickets she would have known to buy two.

posted May 25th, 2011 3:49 pm


FM Sweat

I also have traveled from Fl to California with only 1/2 a seat for the longest leg of the flight. It was miserable. I was on Southwest.

posted May 25th, 2011 3:37 pm


Diane Adkins

Although I appreciate that airlines need to be respectful and kind when approaching a 2-seater passenger, I also agree with the airlines that they may require more than one seat. I have been on the other side of this issue, of being squashed in my own paid seat, by a large person spreading over to my seat, pressed on my body. I don't appreciate being sat on by the person next to me. Thanks.

posted May 24th, 2011 5:39 pm



   
 

Leave Feedback

Skip the moderation queue by becoming a MyDIR member.

Already a member?

Need to sign up?
It’s free and only it takes a minute.
There are two ways to join:


Or, proceed without an account