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Live and Let’s Fly reported this morning that a plus-size woman from Vancouver has started a petition demanding that the US Federal Aviation Administration “protect plus-sized customers” by having taxpayers foot the bill for her extra space. The petition has over 6,200 signatures. (The photo above comes from Change.org.)
Jae’lynn Chaney claims that aircraft seating is too small for her and it causes her “pain and vulnerability.” From the petition:
Being forced to occupy only one seat can result in pain and vulnerability to poor treatment from fellow passengers, including hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them. This mistreatment of plus-size passengers is unacceptable, and it highlights the urgent need for better policies that protect the dignity and rights of all passengers, regardless of size. Unfortunately, plus-size passengers often experience discomfort and discrimination when flying. The lack of a uniform customer-of-size airline policy is unacceptable and must be addressed. “
Some of the claims are outrageous:
- Provide accessible additional seats: All plus-size passengers should be provided with an extra free seat, or even two or three seats depending on their size, to accommodate their needs and ensure their comfort during the flight.
- Reimbursement: Airlines should offer a refund for plus-size passengers who purchase additional seats independently. This should be a straightforward process that can be accessed online or through customer service.
- Accommodations: Airlines must provide additional airport assistance to plus-size travelers if necessary, including wheelchair assistance and priority boarding. Airlines should also create accommodations for larger passengers, such as larger bathrooms, seat belt extenders, and alternative seating arrangements.
Okay, let’s break this down. She feels the airline should give extra seats (even two or three if needed) for free. I’m sorry, but if you want that much space pay for it. If you can’t fit in an economy seat, buy a premium cabin seat or don’t fly. She also feels airlines should reimburse those who proactively buy a second seat. Good luck! I feel the airlines should reimburse me for my seat because I want them to do so to make me happy. Will that work? Nope. I’d also like to know where a larger bathroom would be installed with planes crammed to capacity. If I go to a restaurant and am not full after my meal, can I get a second for free? If I buy a studio apartment, but decide it’s too small, can I get an upgrade to a free mansion?
Folks on Twitter do not agree and are calling her out.
The bottom line is that people need to take accountability for themselves. I’m six-foot-five-inches tall. I buy seats in First Class (and usually in the bulkhead) to accommodate my height. Should taxpayers or the airline reimburse me for these seats. Nope. I pay if I want to travel. Flying is a privilege and not a right. The government should not be involved in making people feel good about themselves. I’m sorry that Ms. Chaney had a bad experience on a Southwest Airlines flight where her “fiancé was subjected to hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them, amounting to discrimination.” How is this discrimination? Weight is not a federal protected class. This petition screams entitlement and looking for others to give you something because you’d like it.
Anthony’s Take: Just as I can’t get an additional seat to stretch out due to my height, the airlines should not have to provide free seats for passengers that can’t squeeze into one. Pay up or don’t fly.
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