Just wanted to see what you guys think....
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Thread: Just wanted to see what you guys think....

  1. #1
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    Just wanted to see what you guys think....

    I have been seeing a lot about this on the news, and I wanted to check and see what you guys think...thought it might be interesting.


    Airlines under fire for making large passengers buy two tickets
    06/19/2002

    Associated Press


    DALLAS - Southwest Airlines is under fire from overweight passengers, who are charged for two tickets if they spill over into their neighbor's seat.

    The airline says it is trying to provide a comfortable flight for travelers seated next to large passengers.

    "We sell seats, and if you consume more than one seat, you have to buy more than one seat," said Beth Harbin, a Southwest spokeswoman.

    Advocates for the obese are outraged.

    "It's just discriminatory and it's mean-spirited," said Morgan Downey, executive director of the American Obesity Association. "This is singling out a group that's been very heavily stigmatized rather than making some accommodations in their cabins."



    Downey and other advocates for the obese say Southwest and other carriers should make wider seats because Americans are getting larger; the Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than one-fourth of Americans are obese.
    Southwest, whose seats are 183/4 inches wide, does not weigh or measure passengers. Ticket agents can "make a judgment call" and ask an obese person whether he or she usually takes up more than one seat, Harbin said. If the answer is yes, the person is asked to buy two seats, although the passenger can get a refund later if the flight is not sold out, the airline spokeswoman said.

    Southwest said there is nothing new in its handling of obese passengers. Harbin said the carrier has followed the same policy since 1980, although employees were reminded of the policy as the carrier began switching this week to a new automated boarding pass instead of its old, familiar plastic passes.

    Several other carriers have similar policies, including United and Continental. Northwest Airlines allows the passenger to buy the second seat at the same price paid for the first seat rather than a more expensive last-minute rate.

    "That's a compromise, and we're coming quite a ways with that. It's a very difficult issue," said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch.

    Delta does not require obese passengers to buy a second ticket and tries to handle complaints by moving passengers to empty seats or other flights, a spokeswoman said. American Airlines did not immediately return calls for comment.

    Walter Lindstrom, a San Diego attorney whose firm specializes in representing obese clients with complaints against health carriers and employers, said the airlines policy could be legal but is wrong.

    "You're buying passage from point A to point B, and they have a duty to accommodate you regardless whether it's one seat or two," Lindstrom said.

    Lindstrom said the double-charge is part of a pattern that includes flight attendants who ridicule obese passengers. He said one flight attendant made a public display of dangling a seat belt extender in front of a large woman who needed one.

    "People of size hate to travel," he said.

    Southwest said its double-ticket policy on obese passengers was prompted by complaints from other travelers. Harbin, the airline spokeswoman, said nine out of 10 letters to customer service come from passengers who were crowded by large neighbors.

    The airlines said they don't know how many times an obese passenger is required to buy two tickets, but they consider it rare. Downey, the leader of the obesity association, said he had not received complaints from members.

    Downey said his group was considering legal action or asking Congress to prohibit the two-ticket policy. He said the airlines, and many Americans, think obese people could lose weight by eating less or exercising more "when scientifically, it's much more complicated."

    Researchers cite genetics, bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle among the causes of obesity.

    "Obesity is a multifaceted issue. There are physical factors like hormones, but there are also environmental factors because the rate of obesity has grown dramatically in the last 20 years," said Corinne Borel, a spokeswoman for the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

    The group, which represents researchers, is pushing for more federal funding for research into obesity, which it calls the second leading preventable cause of death among Americans, after smoking.

    Link: http://www.dallasnews.com/latestnews....516c2065.html

    I think it's terrible...cabs don't do this, buses don't do this...no one else does this. Why should people be punished? What a load of crap.

    Deb
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  2. #2
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    well here's what i think:
    if they are actually going to take up two seats, then yes they should pay for two seats. if they are reasonably only going to take one seat(in other words if as long as they arent going to be squishing the person next to them, provided that will be a person they dont know).

    "You're buying passage from point A to point B, and they have a duty to accommodate you regardless whether it's one seat or two," Lindstrom said.
    well, actually you are buying a SEAT on a plane that is going from one place to annother.
    -8-

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  3. #3
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    Well lets see last international flight I took my 6 year old his little butt took up 2/3 of his seat, mine and I got a skinny butt was full as my 16 year old. Sure pay for two seats but lets first make sure how wide those seats are, look to ergo standards and my office chair is 2 inchesj wider then any airline coach seat. Don't ask about my wife is not fat nor skinny just an average woman at 50.
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    It is sad how we do things some times. There is so many ways to look at this. I will just drop a short note on it. yes there job is to get people from one place to the other but at the same time they have to try to get as many people on the plane as they can to cover there overhead.
    When I use to work at a fast mart store some times people would come in and buy a drink and get two cups one with nothing in it so that they could pour some of the drink in it for there kid. But we had to make them pay full price for both cups. So what I am saying is you pay for the cups not whats in it. Because the cup cant be used to sale to others just like the plane set. If the person is taking up two sets then that is money lots to the air line. it is all about the money. Most of the time if a person thank they can make an extra dollor some where or save a penny they will do it.


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  5. #5
    AO Soccer Mom debwalin's Avatar
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    Well lets see last international flight I took my 6 year old his little butt took up 2/3 of his seat
    This is kind of my point....did you only get to pay 2/3 of the price?

    Deb
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  6. #6
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    Originally posted here by debwalin
    This is kind of my point....did you only get to pay 2/3 of the price?
    well that other 1/3 of a seat isnt usable for the airline. the extra seat, however IS.

    if sombody is going to take up 2 seats and they only pay for 1 ticket the airline is loosing money because they could have sold that seat to sombody else.
    -8-

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  7. #7
    GreekGoddess
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    The problem here is, 65 percent of Americans are obese.
    And the other problem here is there's not enough damn room on a plane for a non-obese person to sit.

    I have enough problems sitting in a 17 inch seat for 5 hours on a flight to California. I'm 5'4" and 112 pounds...and I have no room. There just isn't enough room in those seats for even the smaller people to sit. You have no leg room, no room to extend your arms...and if you're claustrophobic, you have no choice but to have an insane trip to your destination. Maybe it's not the size of the person that should matter here, maybe it's the size of the seats. The average American can not afford to travel first class to have the luxury of sitting in leather armchairs with enough leg room to accomodate them. Most people, like myself, are crammed together in coach.

    So maybe instead of trying to take money from 65 percent of Americans, they should think about the size of their seats. Since there's not enough room, then I would advise putting less seats on the plane which in turn would solve their obesity problem. And space the damn things out a little more. I don't have a gut and it seems as if the person in front of me is always two inches from the rest of my body. NOT ENOUGH ROOM!

  8. #8
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    but you see, GG, the problem with your suggestion of having less seats also makes the airline make less money. that makes the airline have to fire people("down size"), or more likely, makes the airline charge more money. all so that the extreme of the obese don't have to pay a bit more because they take up more than one seat.

    The problem here is, 65 percent of Americans are obese.
    well i think that is a bad statistic, but i'll go with it.

    ok, so that would mean that more than 1 out of every 2 peope in the US is over weight. however, the number of people who would require two seats on an airplane to fit is NOWHERE NEAR 1 out of every 2. infact, i doubt its even 1 out of 10 people that are so huge that they need a second seat.

    I have enough problems sitting in a 17 inch seat for 5 hours on a flight to California. I'm 5'4" and 112 pounds...and I have no room.
    hey, i feel you there, i'm 6'1", so i definatly know about the lack of space(particularly leg room), but i still dont feel i should be made to pay more(which is what would happen if they had less seats on planes) just so the few people who are grossly overweight dont have to pay a bit more for taking up more space.
    -8-

    There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who dont.

  9. #9
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    Ticket agents can "make a judgment call" and ask an obese person whether he or she usually takes up more than one seat, Harbin said. If the answer is yes, the person is asked to buy two seats, although the passenger can get a refund later if the flight is not sold out, the airline spokeswoman said.
    What do they do, get out the measuring tape? This is nuts. They should at least provide a section of the plane that has bigger seats for larger people and pregnent women etc. Everyone should have the right to fly in comfort.
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  10. #10
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    I've got an idea! How about putting the the obese person beside a kid? The kid can give up 1/3 of his seat to the obese person....if we alternate and go: kid | bigguy | kid then the big guy gets an extra 2/3 of a seat and now everyone is happy!
    well, except the guy sitting in between two kids maybe....
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