Plus-Size Passenger’s Ridiculous Petition Reaches Almost 35,000 Signatures; Demands More Free Space On Planes

by Anthony Losanno
Jaelynn Chaney

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Back in April, I wrote about a plus-size woman from Vancouver that started a petition demanding that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “protect plus-sized customers” by having taxpayers foot the bill for her extra space. The petition has almost reached 35,000 signatures and she’s continuing to champion her cause.

Jae’lynn Chaney claims that aircraft seating is too small for her and it causes her “pain and vulnerability, poor treatment from fellow passengers, including hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to [her and other larger passengers].”

35K Signatures

Among the petition’s many demands, she would like:

  • The FAA to mandate that all airlines have a comprehensive customer-of-size policy that prioritizes the comfort and well-being of ALL passengers.
  • Additional accessible seats to be provided (free of charge).
  • Reimbursement for passengers who were forced to buy an extra seat.
  • Priority boarding for customers of size (this is just ridiculous).
  • Employee training so that plus-size passengers are handled with kid gloves.
  • And, at least one accessible lavatory.

You can read the rest of her ridiculous demands here.

Jaelyn Chaney 2

Let me break some of these down. She wants the FAA to mandate that private companies give their product away for free. She’d also like separate priority boarding, reimbursement if a passenger bought an extra seat, and employees to treat plus-size passengers specially. This is not going to happen. If someone has a genuine disability, they can board early. If someone needs two or three seats they should buy them or purchase a premium cabin ticket.

Ms. Chaney can keep racking up the signatures, but I can’t see any airline or the FAA taking this seriously.

Anthony’s Take: Planes are cramped. I get it as I’m 6-foot-five-inches tall, but I buy premium seats and know other travelers who buy extra seats for space (we did that this summer on Ryanair going to Sardinia. We had extra space in the bulkhead even though we fit fine in our seats). Three seats for the two of us worked well.

(Image Credits: Jae’lynn Chaney and

(H/T: Points With a Crew.)

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Huy September 4, 2023 - 7:35 am

Definitely a slippery slope here. Based on current charts many people would fall into the obese category, me included. While I can easily (questionable on comfortably, but still do so without complaint) fit into a middle economy seat, why wouldn’t I exercise my “right” to an additional free seat? Most of these demands are definitely ridiculous especially when alternative options are available. I do however support the more accessible bathrooms.

Mark September 4, 2023 - 7:45 am

Airlines are not “private” companies. They are public companies.

Jim F. September 4, 2023 - 9:15 am

I, too, would like to see more spacious, comfortable aircraft seating and larger lavatories (wouldn’t we all)? But are we equally willing to pay (even) higher prices for those seats that the airlines inevitably would charge (for good or ill, airlines are publicly-held entities whose shareholders expect the best possible return on their investment)? I can’t imagine how these demands would be abused: do “customers of size” include those who are taller than average (more legroom) or only “plus-size” fliers and who would make that determination?

M. Casey September 4, 2023 - 9:52 am

Your condescending attitude is vile.

As an average height male with a 32” inch waist, and a 50” chest, I can assure you I’d rather have a higher barrier than a waist high armrest. I book either a window or aisle and lean away from the person in the middle seat… but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been elbowed by someone on their 27” laptop; worst one was a tiny woman about 95lbs. WN gives refunds if her flight is not full… she is asking for that treatment on other carriers.

Last week, I observed a person of size who couldn’t use his tray table in FC – and actually held the food tray with his left hand and ate with his right.

xshanex September 4, 2023 - 10:00 am

If you flipped her position and asked people to sign if they think obese flyers should have to pay for the space they require and that their fellow passengers should not have to subsidize them (by accepting people in their personal space) your headline would be at 3.5million+ signatures.

Court benson September 4, 2023 - 10:25 am

Take responsibility for your own health and lose weight, why should we subsidize your lifestyle. Ridiculous demands.

Chris September 4, 2023 - 10:45 am

Please reflect on issues of fat shaming, and the likelihood of one size fits all seating being realistic, or not.

lars September 4, 2023 - 2:13 pm

LOL. Why stop at free additional space on a commercial airline? Why not demand government-funded individual private jets for the large and in charge? #BeBIGDreamBIG lol

Seriously though, before this gets consideration the abnormally tall should get knee room. Can’t control height.

NedsKid September 4, 2023 - 3:38 pm

@LARS: Actually there has been a case for tall people… look up and read from the US DOT:
Petition for Rulemaking of the Tall Club of Silicon Valley 2002-7-29

They wanted airlines to be forced to hold seats with extra legroom to be reserved only by tall people until day of departure. DOT said nope.

“We believe that, provided access for qualified disabled individuals is
not unduly restrained, permitting air carriers to adjust services, such as seat size or seating
accommodations, free of government interference and in accordance with the dictates of the
marketplace, is exactly what was envisioned by the Airline Deregulation Act. Some airlines
have used greater seat size and pitch as a way of gaining customers, while other airlines
compete on the basis of lower fares made possible in part by omitting service features offered
by other airlines, sucli. as more legroom or meals on long-haul flights.”

Billy Bob September 4, 2023 - 8:15 pm

You are too fat. Prioritize losing weight before you start making demands of the rest of us.

Steve September 7, 2023 - 11:31 am

She should walk, not fly. She needs to lose the weight. Planes are cramped enough without having to coddle a 400 pound, morbidly obese, “Karen”. She should purchase two seats, or better yet, no seats. She wouldn’t be missed.

Dave September 7, 2023 - 11:34 am

As the airlines make such a big deal about the weight of someone’s luggage, why not delve into the much bigger culprit related to the problem the ariline’s crow most about (‘Our biggest cost is fuel!’) and start charging based on their weight? I’ve weighed around the same 150 – 155lbs (68 – 71Kg) for decades, while I’ve seen the ticket prices climb because of supposedly ‘the fuel costs’. If this lady wants her bigger seat, then she can pay about double as her real weight is likely about double the person sitting next to her.

Reducing one’s weight if way overweight would then not only reduce their cost of travel, they’d likely feel better for it and encourage them to get in better health condition, furthering their weight drop, and dynamic ticket cost.

Brian September 7, 2023 - 11:38 am

What a load of pure unadulterated rubbish. If she can’t fit into a seat because she is to fat tell her to walk instead of flying, she might lose some weight.

Bill September 7, 2023 - 11:50 am

The ire is being directed away from the real problem … airlines would rather make extra profit rather than participate in any kind of Customer Service. I’ve said this for many years … if I ran my company like the airlines are run, I would not have a Customer left. With that said, I am a guy who cannot comfortably fit in a non-premium seat, and I am not obese. I am about 200 pounds, 5’9″, have 56″ shoulders and a 35″ waist because I workout 4 or 5 times a week and I am very muscular. Since I refuse to pay any premium, I will drive anywhere I possibly can. When I must fly, I am miserable. And those that say I am causing my own grief, are probably the same people that pay more than retail for that special auto, etc. – who in my opinion are just blowhards …

STEPHEN September 7, 2023 - 2:41 pm

As a 6’5″ overweight male, Im thankful when all the mergers took place most of the airlines installed extra legroom main cabin seating (for an added fee) and also went to competitive pricing for First Class (instead of essentially reserving it for elite upgrades and super rich) so sufficient room for me when flying at least became an affordable option. A 350 pound cousin of mine buys first class one way – and redeems frequent flyer points for the return – to make first class affordable for her. The competitive marketplace has assured that where there is a will there is a way to travel both comfortably AND affordably.

GLCTraveler September 11, 2023 - 9:15 am

@ Stephen, You are spot on with your comments…………… Ms. Chaney should shut up and buy a 1st class seat, PERIOD!!

Joe September 7, 2023 - 3:53 pm

Airlines sell a product: a seat of specific dimension for transport from a source to a destination for a specific price. It is up to the customer to know what they will need to purchase with that known info (easily found with a google search) in order to be as comfortable as they like. If they don’t fit in one seat without infringing on anyone else, then they should consider buying a first class seat or an additional seat. If this isn’t amenable to the person, then there are other methods of transport like train, motorcycle, auto, ship, air balloon, etc. Feel free to exercise these alternate options. Airlines are public companies who need to charge fees to stay profitable to be a transportation option for those of us who wish to pay for it.

Kenzy September 7, 2023 - 7:01 pm

I only agree with wheelchair accessible bathrooms that would be a win for us all

Jon September 9, 2023 - 8:12 am

Its called First or Business class or Diet(for most). Nothing more fun than sitting 8 hours next to a whale…


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