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There have been quite a few vocal plus-size passengers lately. I recently wrote about the TikTok influencer who wants taxpayers to pay for her extra seat and another model who thinks airlines should widen the aisles. Now, View from the Wing reports on a woman on Reddit sharing that a passenger scolded her for switching seats so that she could be more comfortable.
A recent flight from Las Vegas to New York saw a 19-year-old female sandwiched between two plus-size passengers in a middle seat. The passengers in the aisle and window seats were encroaching on her space. She describes it as:
On either side of me, my seat neighbor’s shoulder was on top of mine and their thigh was on top of mine as well. It was a pretty long flight and was kind of uncomfortable, so about an hour and a half through, I walked up to the flight attendant and explained the situation as privately and gently as I could, and I asked if there were any other seats available. She managed to find a seat a few rows behind mine that I could sit in. Getting my bag from under the seat in front of me and moving was pretty awkward, but the rest of the flight went fine.”
Apparently, one of the passengers didn’t take kindly to this seat swap and was waiting for her after they deplaned. The seat-switching passenger further explained:
After I got off, though, the woman I was previously sitting next to was waiting for me. She essentially told me that I had embarrassed her and the other man and that traveling while plus-size is hard enough without “people treating fatness like a contagious disease”. She also said that I made it a public demonstration to everyone that plus size passengers are an “inconvenience” and opened the door to fatphobia on flights. I really didn’t mean for it to come across that way, but I can understand how it did and everyone on the flight saw me move, so now I’m wondering whether I should have just stuck it out, it’s wasn’t like I was being suffocated or anything.”
In my opinion, the woman reporting this story handled it tactfully. She did not cause a scene (per her report) and it seems like the woman she moved away from was overly sensitive.
Anthony’s Take: People need to understand that airplane seats are tiny. They continue to lose pitch over time and most average adults fill the seat. Plus-size passengers should plan ahead and buy a premium seat or two seats to accommodate their size. This woman made everyone comfortable by switching seats (I’m assuming no one occupied the seat she vacated).
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