Kieran Daly wrote an article called Passenger creates big debate at American – I mean big! a couple of weeks ago. The story originated as a result of the following photograph taken by a flight attendant aboard her flight while the plane was boarding.
Now anyone who has to do a lot of traveling can empathize with the guy in the middle seat here who is stuck by this morbidly obese person. God knows I’ve had experiences where a huge person has spilled over onto me, and frankly I don’t want another person touching me for even a second, much less hours on a long crowded flight.
Now, I find it completely unacceptable that the gate agent didn’t stop this man before boarding and tell him that he simply isn’t going to fit on this airplane – but I can understand why they didn’t do it. No one wants to be placed in the situation of telling someone they are too fat to fly. But clearly, the evidence we see in this photo is that this man is not going to fit in a single seat no matter what they do.
So tell me this:
- How is this guy going to affect traffic flow in some sort of emergency situation?
- What do you think his fellow passengers are thinking?
- Is it fair that AA charges small passengers money to check a bag when this guy weighs more than a small person plus their bag?
- Do you think this guy could even fit in the lavatory?
So the real question is: Should the FAA actually step in and provide some standard guidelines for how fat you can actually be and still get on each type of plane? Personally, I think so since the airlines (except for Southwest) are apparently too scared to actually do something about it without big brother leading the way.
By the way, if something like this happens to you, head over to Elliott.org and look up the airline’s contact details on the right side of the page and complain like hell! They should reimburse you as the most basic starter.