Recently actor Quinton Aaron was asked to give up his seat on a US Airways connecting flight because of his size. The star of the Oscar winning movie, The Blind Side says he didn’t cause a scene or ask the airline to reconsider, he simply grabbed his bag and left as quickly as he could.
In The Blind Side, Aaron played the real life Michael Oher, a homeless teen who is taken in by a local family and raised as their own. Oher would eventually join the NFL as an offensive tackle for the Tennessee Titans. Standing 6 foot 8 and weighing 550 pounds, Aaron’s size was perfect for the role, but after this “humiliating experience,” he’s determined to lose weight.
In the past, Aaron avoided the seat issue by flying first class, but when there were none available on the US Airways flight, he had to buy two economy seats. This solution worked until the the passenger who purchased the third seat arrived on the sold out flight.
He told ABC News, “As I saw the seats, I’m literally hoping that no one had to sit next to me because I knew it wasn’t going to work if they did.” He was asked to leave the plane and was re-booked on a later flight.
The European budget airline Ryanair is on a mission to cut fuel costs. In addition to announcing that it will now print its in flight magazine, which will also double as a menu, on thinner paper, Ryanair is also cutting the amount of ice on board and will reduce the weight of the seats and carts. These changes will save them thousands of pounds in fuel and printing costs, but that’s not all they are doing to lighten their load.
Flight attendants for Ryanair may find their jobs in jeopardy if they don’t keep their weight in check. Airline spokesman Stephen McNamara told The Telegraph: “We encourage staff to watch their weight – with the motivation of appearing in the annual Ryanair calendar.”
Sounds crazy, but some airlines do more than encourage. Thai Airways required specific BMI and waist line measurements of their flight attendants last March, and gave employees six months to drop the weight. In August 2010, the same happened to 28 Turkish Airline flight attendants who were given six months to lose weight or be faced with termination.
Are you prone to airsickness? Well, this news won’t help your traveling woes any: According to recently released government documents, meals served on many major airlines are made in unsanitary and unsafe conditions that could lead to illness.
Over the last two years, inspectors with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have cited various catering facilities that prepare airline food for suspected health and sanitation violations.
Just this past Saturday, director Kevin Smith was asked to de-board a Southwest flight from Oakland to Burbank, California because, ahem, his bum was encroaching on the seats of his neighboring passengers, which according to Southwest Airlines regulations, posed a safety hazard to his fellow passengers.
Southwest said in an official statement that his removal was for the “safety and comfort of all customers.” The airlines also extended their “heartfelt apologies” to Smith.
Travel is integral to my life. I start to relax when I walk in the airport and immediately relax when I board a plane. As a therapist, though, I know that more than 35% of the population experiences at least some anxiety about flying.
Calm your mind by practicing mindfulness and meditation. Visualize a soothing environment, perhaps your destination, imagine and experience it using all of your senses. After returning from a trip to Bermuda several years ago, I started using this picture to help clients practice visualization. What do you see? (The blue of the ocean and sea rocks.) What do you hear? (The waves crashing, the cars passing above.) What do you smell? (Salt water and sunscreen). What do you feel? (The warmth of the sun, the sharp rocks, the firm sand, sunglasses on my nose.) What do you taste? (Fruit juice.) Choose a setting that is calming for you and immerse yourself in it using your imagination. (more…)