Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby BlackSails » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:00 am UTC

I really doubt that guy fits into the seat, sitting on the armrest or not.

Yes, they should have to buy two seats. You should have to buy however many seats you occupy, to a minimum of 1 seat.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby The Reaper » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:13 am UTC

I've got a guy in one of my classes about that large, and he fits into those really tiny ass lecture hall seats that I'm uncomfortable sitting in. I don't imagine that he's comfortable, or that its even remotely fun sitting next to him when the class is full. All I know is that he fits, and those seats are about the same size as airline seats, with less cushion for your back.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Walter.Horvath » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:32 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:I really doubt that guy fits into the seat, sitting on the armrest or not.

Yes, they should have to buy two seats. You should have to buy however many seats you occupy, to a minimum of 1 seat.

If you can prove that you don't require a seat, I think they should just comp you the flight :P

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby BlackSails » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:47 am UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:
BlackSails wrote:I really doubt that guy fits into the seat, sitting on the armrest or not.

Yes, they should have to buy two seats. You should have to buy however many seats you occupy, to a minimum of 1 seat.

If you can prove that you don't require a seat, I think they should just comp you the flight :P


I was thinking mostly of parents who would try to cram two small kids into one seat, something which is neither safe nor enjoyable for the other passengers.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby iop » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:32 am UTC

kiklion wrote:I have only travelled by air once so I have a question to those who do it often. Could you get two tickets (or even three) to get more room/aisle to lay down in?

Sure you could. However, if you are on a long-haul (e.g. transatlantic) flight it is generally smarter to spend that money to buy a business class seat where you get a single seat that can be transformed into a bed. Plus better everything else.

Internetmeme wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:Do you have to pay extra for luggage over a weight limit?

Yes

Isn't it because it costs more to transport extra luggage?

Yep. Airlines have apparently had to adjust the average passenger weight upwards, and there has been talk of making people pay more for weighing more, though I doubt that they are really going to go through with it.

OT: I am always so relieved when the seat next to me is taken by someone slim and odourless, and if there are no kids behind me to kick my back.

Also, buying a seat for your cello is not going to work - baggage has to be stored in an overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you for take-off and landing.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Briareos » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:24 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:Yes, they should have to buy two seats. You should have to buy however many seats you occupy, to a minimum of 1 seat.
Seriously. Any counter-argument to this is making the issue more complicated than it needs to be.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby dedalus » Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:31 am UTC

WRT to kids: I've been abused before for trying to prevent kids from running up and down train corridors, by their mother. Don't expect that parents really care about other people. Luckily, on a plane you actually have aircrew that can tell them to quieten down. However, most new planes have personal TV's even for economy, and a decent selection of TV/movies, which is enough to keep kids entertained and happy most of the time.

WRT to allergies/pets: people should be able to request a seat far enough away from any animal to prevent allergy problems. Possibly reserving the front/back row for people who declare allergies and the opposite side for people with pets?

WRT to large people I'm pretty much in agreement with Spacemilk. In reality, the weight of the plane itself is a lot greater then the weight of the individual person inside it, so in terms of actual weight I don't think there's that an issue (there is the whole thing with baggage, but there's a difference between fitting a person inside the cabin and a bag inside the cargo bay where space is an issue). So if the FAA sets a standard height and width for people that airplanes have to accomodate in reasonable comfort (say 95% of the population) and people who go outside this width-wise must pay for the extra seat on a full flight or get it for free if the flight isn't full. Height-wise, maybe if people are extremely tall they have to get business class? Bit more of a leeway for height then weight however.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby fjafjan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:12 pm UTC

Re
dedalus wrote:WRT to allergies/pets: people should be able to request a seat far enough away from any animal to prevent allergy problems. Possibly reserving the front/back row for people who declare allergies and the opposite side for people with pets?

The problem is planes usually move around the air inside the cabin a lot, so if someone has a cat ten rows ahead of you, that air will still get to you if you're allergic. Which is why I think allowing cats/dogs inside the cabin is a bit douchy


WRT to large people I'm pretty much in agreement with Spacemilk. In reality, the weight of the plane itself is a lot greater then the weight of the individual person inside it, so in terms of actual weight I don't think there's that an issue (there is the whole thing with baggage, but there's a difference between fitting a person inside the cabin and a bag inside the cargo bay where space is an issue).

I am fairly sure this is not accurate. The increased fuel consumption from a couple extra pounds is not negligible. Certainly if all passengers are as heavy as the guy in the article the fuel cost would increase very noticeably since the load of the plane would increase by a couple tonnes. (I mean that guy already weighs around a tenth of a tonne more than a normal passenger). But yeah, I would suggest you do some research before you dismiss it anyhow (I can't say I have the time atm)
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Random832 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:08 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:
WRT to large people I'm pretty much in agreement with Spacemilk. In reality, the weight of the plane itself is a lot greater then the weight of the individual person inside it, so in terms of actual weight I don't think there's that an issue (there is the whole thing with baggage, but there's a difference between fitting a person inside the cabin and a bag inside the cargo bay where space is an issue).

I am fairly sure this is not accurate. The increased fuel consumption from a couple extra pounds is not negligible. Certainly if all passengers are as heavy as the guy in the article the fuel cost would increase very noticeably since the load of the plane would increase by a couple tonnes. (I mean that guy already weighs around a tenth of a tonne more than a normal passenger). But yeah, I would suggest you do some research before you dismiss it anyhow (I can't say I have the time atm)


A Boeing 747-100 weighs 358,000 pounds empty. If we assume 400 passengers, each passenger's "share" of that weight is 895 lb.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby JBJ » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:A Boeing 747-100 weighs 358,000 pounds empty. If we assume 400 passengers, each passenger's "share" of that weight is 895 lb.

You actually want to go by maximum takeoff weight. Not empty weight.
MTOW is 735,500 lbs. Less the empty weight, that leaves 377,500 for fuel, people, and cargo.
With 48,000 gallons of fuel at roughly 6 lbs / gallon, fully fueled it would 646,000 lbs, leaving only 89,500 lbs for people and cargo.
Assuming 400 passengers and crew, that's only 223 lbs per person.

Of course, that's for a fully fueled flight. Most planes fly with just enough fuel to make the destination plus a reserve.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Random832 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:27 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:
Random832 wrote:A Boeing 747-100 weighs 358,000 pounds empty. If we assume 400 passengers, each passenger's "share" of that weight is 895 lb.

You actually want to go by maximum takeoff weight. Not empty weight.


Don't presume to tell me what I 'actually want' - you're measuring the wrong thing.

Each passenger has to pay for the cost of the fuel to carry 895 pounds of pure airplane [i.e. their share of the empty weight], plus the weight of themselves and their luggage, plus the fuel to carry that fuel (ad infinitum). The marginal extra cost for [say] 100 or 200 more pounds is not going to be all that much on top of that, since their own weight is a relatively small percentage of the total weight they are responsible for.

(I have not researched what percentage of the ticket price is actually accounting for the cost of transporting that weight, rather than e.g. paying flight attendants, maintenance, for first-class amenities, etc, which would not scale at all with the passenger's weight)

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Spacemilk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:36 pm UTC

It's hardly a matter of extra weight. It's clear there is a decent cushion (pun not intended) in the matter of weight, as I constantly see passengers carrying on two 50 lb. pieces of luggage and cramming them in the overhead bins, when the carryon luggage is intended to be one item under 50 lbs. and then maybe a purse. On top of that, the fact that they even allow you to check more-or-less unlimited amounts of luggage, as long as you're willing to pay the extra cost, means it's not a matter of whether the plane can handle it (it can) and it's instead a matter of paying the difference in fuel costs.

But once again, the biggest problem with the status quo is the obvious lack of safety. That man is going to have trouble buckling his seat belt. He is going to have a LOT of trouble getting out of his seat, down the aisle, and out the plane in the event of an emergency. The second biggest problem is that he's going to severely impinge on his own comfort and the comfort of those around him if he doesn't get an extra seat.

Also, I feel like most people are commenting on this from the point of view of the airline companies: "Well, he should have to pay for the extra weight." In other words, most commenters are thinking about the airline's bottom line. Frankly I don't give a shit about that because airlines will always find a way to maximize profit to the best of their abilities; we don't have to worry about them. The real issue here should be the safety and comfort of all passengers, including heavier ones, and how to best preserve and enhance that safety and comfort.

If you really want to worry about weight, it should be part of the nuance of deciding how much a person has to pay for an extra seat. If they are X pounds over the weight limit (the limit decided by what accommodates 95% of the passengers, as discussed previously) they should have to pay $(X*Y), where Y is the extra cost per pound (or kilo!) of transportation.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby JBJ » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
JBJ wrote:
Random832 wrote:A Boeing 747-100 weighs 358,000 pounds empty. If we assume 400 passengers, each passenger's "share" of that weight is 895 lb.

You actually want to go by maximum takeoff weight. Not empty weight.


Don't presume to tell me what I 'actually want' - you're measuring the wrong thing.

Each passenger has to pay for the cost of the fuel to carry 895 pounds of pure airplane [i.e. their share of the empty weight], plus the weight of themselves and their luggage, plus the fuel to carry that fuel (ad infinitum). The marginal extra cost for [say] 100 or 200 more pounds is not going to be all that much on top of that, since their own weight is a relatively small percentage of the total weight they are responsible for.

(I have not researched what percentage of the ticket price is actually accounting for the cost of transporting that weight, rather than e.g. paying flight attendants, maintenance, for first-class amenities, etc, which would not scale at all with the passenger's weight)

I was reading "share" as each person's weight allotment for a flight. For that, maximum take off weight is the most important factor.

Calculating the cost of fuel per person based on the weight of the aircraft is not the correct approach either. Two 747's, one empty and one full will still burn approximately the same amount of fuel at the same speed and altitude. The heavier one will use significantly more fuel on takeoff than the lighter one. Weight is the biggest factor on takeoff. Drag is the biggest factor for cruise. Most of the fuel is consumed at cruise.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Random832 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:37 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:I was reading "share" as each person's weight allotment for a flight. For that, maximum take off weight is the most important factor.


The point is, the person's 'weight allotment' includes _both_ their own weight and that of their luggage _and_ the weight of 1/400 of the plane itself (the latter of which is what I meant by their "share" of the empty weight in particular). So someone who weighs twice as much shouldn't be paying twice as much.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby JBJ » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:53 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
JBJ wrote:I was reading "share" as each person's weight allotment for a flight. For that, maximum take off weight is the most important factor.


The point is, the person's 'weight allotment' includes _both_ their own weight and that of their luggage _and_ the weight of 1/400 of the plane itself (the latter of which is what I meant by their "share" of the empty weight in particular). So someone who weighs twice as much shouldn't be paying twice as much.

When has it ever been about weight? I weigh 4x as much as my five year old. Last time I flew back with her from her grandparents both of our tickets cost the same. It's how many seats you take up, not how much you weight. The factor is the total number of passengers that you can fit in a given volume, not mass.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Random832 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

JBJ wrote:When has it ever been about weight?


fjafjan's post was about weight. I was responding to that.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Technical Ben » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:52 pm UTC

Perhaps it would be easier to just have 1 extra large seat per plane? IE instead of making your seats fit 95% of the population, and charging extra for the other 5%. Just have 5% of chairs with extra legroom. They can also be used for those who have other requirements, perhaps those who are disabled or use wheelchairs etc. Not sure how you could market the spare extra large seats, people might all fight over them.

However, I also think a standardised seat size would be good. Would you like getting a smaller litre than your neighbour when going to the petrol station or buying milk?

[edit] Oh, and I think "Seats" is just an arbitrary way of dividing the "weight" cost between customers evenly and fairly (once luggage has been calculated). If we weighed all the people, short skinny people would start to have a bias service.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Spacemilk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:22 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Perhaps it would be easier to just have 1 extra large seat per plane? IE instead of making your seats fit 95% of the population, and charging extra for the other 5%. Just have 5% of chairs with extra legroom. They can also be used for those who have other requirements, perhaps those who are disabled or use wheelchairs etc. Not sure how you could market the spare extra large seats, people might all fight over them.

They already have seats with extra legroom, but they make you pay extra for them. The flaw in this idea is that the airline can continuously change the standards for what constitutes an "average" seat and can therefore make you pay extra for an additional seat or a larger seat or an "extra legroom" seat even if you're a small person - that way the airline makes more of a profit. That's why I am saying: Have standards, enforce those standards, and allow airlines to charge reasonable amounts for the people who cannot fit those standards.

And they do have larger but costlier seats. It's called first or business class.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:38 pm UTC

[quote="Spacemilk"]Frankly I don't give a shit about that because airlines will always find a way to maximize profit to the best of their abilities; we don't have to worry about them. The real issue here should be the safety and comfort of all passengers, including heavier ones, and how to best preserve and enhance that safety and comfort./quote]

They are a business. The only reason they are in it is to make money, not to ensure the comfort or safety of the passengers. Unless it costs them money to not do one of the two, they will not do it. Only if it makes themselves money, or helps their net profit. If they go lax with safety, they get slapped with a huge lawsuit/fines. If they go lax on comfort, less people would ride the planes.

Again, unless they lose money, they will not do it. The only thing a smart business ever will care about is money.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Spacemilk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:48 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:
Spacemilk wrote:Frankly I don't give a shit about that because airlines will always find a way to maximize profit to the best of their abilities; we don't have to worry about them. The real issue here should be the safety and comfort of all passengers, including heavier ones, and how to best preserve and enhance that safety and comfort.

They are a business. The only reason they are in it is to make money, not to ensure the comfort or safety of the passengers. Unless it costs them money to not do one of the two, they will not do it. Only if it makes themselves money, or helps their net profit. If they go lax with safety, they get slapped with a huge lawsuit/fines. If they go lax on comfort, less people would ride the planes.

Again, unless they lose money, they will not do it. The only thing a smart business ever will care about is money.

...So your point is that they aren't going to do anything until we start to mandate higher safety standards (i.e., everyone needs to have a seatbelt), because unless there's an associated fine they won't bother to do it...? Ok great. That's exactly what I fucking said: Institute regulations. *golfclap*

Not only that, but I've pointed out ways that they could actually make money on discomfort and lack of safety, by making seats smaller and forcing people to pay premiums for larger seats. By your own logic, a lack of regulation means that companies will actually be incentivized to skimp on safety and comfort, unless regulations are installed that disallow them from doing so!

And even if there ARE fines, if the cost of refitting their entire fleet is less than the cost of paying the fines, they won't bother to refit their fleet. So your point that they'll always maximize safety to avoid fines is, actually, bullshit. And before you say "weh weh Congress will set the fines such that this won't happen" let me just say one word: Lobbyists.

In short: Businesses are not incentivized to provide safety and comfort; they will always default to the lowest common denominator required by the law. Only on rare occasions will the threat of lawsuits force them into action, and that's only if lawsuits are in existence and only if they believe they will lose and only if they believe that settling the lawsuit costs less than increasing safety/comfort.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Feddlefew » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:04 am UTC

dedalus wrote:WRT to large people I'm pretty much in agreement with Spacemilk. In reality, the weight of the plane itself is a lot greater then the weight of the individual person inside it, so in terms of actual weight I don't think there's that an issue (there is the whole thing with baggage, but there's a difference between fitting a person inside the cabin and a bag inside the cargo bay where space is an issue).


Well.... There was that one time I was one one of those small-only-seats-30-passengers planes, and a lady's bowling league was fling with us, and the plane ended up being delayed for an hour because it (the plane) was 400 lbs (~181 kg) over weight... And not all of that was from bowling balls, unfortunately.

So, on the smaller, domestic flights, having five or so passengers that have exceptionally heavy baggage and/or themselves are exceptionally heavy can cause problems.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Internetmeme » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:26 am UTC

Spacemilk wrote:
Internetmeme wrote:
Spacemilk wrote:Frankly I don't give a shit about that because airlines will always find a way to maximize profit to the best of their abilities; we don't have to worry about them. The real issue here should be the safety and comfort of all passengers, including heavier ones, and how to best preserve and enhance that safety and comfort.

They are a business. The only reason they are in it is to make money, not to ensure the comfort or safety of the passengers. Unless it costs them money to not do one of the two, they will not do it. Only if it makes themselves money, or helps their net profit. If they go lax with safety, they get slapped with a huge lawsuit/fines. If they go lax on comfort, less people would ride the planes.

Again, unless they lose money, they will not do it. The only thing a smart business ever will care about is money.

...So your point is that they aren't going to do anything until we start to mandate higher safety standards (i.e., everyone needs to have a seatbelt), because unless there's an associated fine they won't bother to do it...? Ok great. That's exactly what I fucking said: Institute regulations. *golfclap*

Not only that, but I've pointed out ways that they could actually make money on discomfort and lack of safety, by making seats smaller and forcing people to pay premiums for larger seats. By your own logic, a lack of regulation means that companies will actually be incentivized to skimp on safety and comfort, unless regulations are installed that disallow them from doing so!

And even if there ARE fines, if the cost of refitting their entire fleet is less than the cost of paying the fines, they won't bother to refit their fleet. So your point that they'll always maximize safety to avoid fines is, actually, bullshit. And before you say "weh weh Congress will set the fines such that this won't happen" let me just say one word: Lobbyists.

In short: Businesses are not incentivized to provide safety and comfort; they will always default to the lowest common denominator required by the law. Only on rare occasions will the threat of lawsuits force them into action, and that's only if lawsuits are in existence and only if they believe they will lose and only if they believe that settling the lawsuit costs less than increasing safety/comfort.

You must have misread my post.
Well, if they can still make a profit, then they'll skimp on everything. I never said they'll maximize anything, just that if it hurts their profit, they'll do it. The only thing businesses understand is money. Plus, that's all they care about.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Aetius » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:20 am UTC

Spacemilk wrote:In short: Businesses are not incentivized to provide safety and comfort; they will always default to the lowest common denominator required by the law. Only on rare occasions will the threat of lawsuits force them into action, and that's only if lawsuits are in existence and only if they believe they will lose and only if they believe that settling the lawsuit costs less than increasing safety/comfort.


Safety is something that the government should (and does) regulate. Comfort is not. The market will dictate what level of comfort people are willing to pay for much more efficiently than any government body, and businesses will change to accommodate. If you'll notice, Southwest is now heavily advertising the fact that they don't charge fees for bags, because of how negative the consumer response was to that practice. If there's money to be made by offering bigger seats, some airline will fill the niche.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Kyrn » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:36 am UTC

Aetius wrote:
Spacemilk wrote:In short: Businesses are not incentivized to provide safety and comfort; they will always default to the lowest common denominator required by the law. Only on rare occasions will the threat of lawsuits force them into action, and that's only if lawsuits are in existence and only if they believe they will lose and only if they believe that settling the lawsuit costs less than increasing safety/comfort.


Safety is something that the government should (and does) regulate. Comfort is not. The market will dictate what level of comfort people are willing to pay for much more efficiently than any government body, and businesses will change to accommodate. If you'll notice, Southwest is now heavily advertising the fact that they don't charge fees for bags, because of how negative the consumer response was to that practice. If there's money to be made by offering bigger seats, some airline will fill the niche.


There already is such a niche, it's called business/first class. Of cause, whether people are willing to pay for such a niche is a different matter.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby kgirlfae » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:10 pm UTC

The difficulty arises when airlines don't have a business or first class. Southwest Airlines is one example of this behavior, as is Frontier. On airlines where they do have a business/first class, if it is cheaper to upgrade to the larger seat, rather than having to buy two coach seats, you should be able to do so presuming there is a seat available in first or business class. It is becoming more common in the budget airlines to have only one class - coach - so that makes the "Why don't they just buy a larger seat" argument harder to make in these cases.

Personally, I think Southwest has it right - if you can't lower the armrest you should pay more. It's a simple measure, it doesn't go into an exact measure of weight (because it really isn't about weight, it's about volume). Unfortunately, it makes it difficult on the people who are forced to purchase another seat, and it can be embarrassing for these people. My younger sister rather dislikes flying because she is JUST barely able to lower both arm rests, but she is still horrified that the person next to her will complain about her size. Sadly in this industry, there really isn't a tasteful way to say "You know, you're simply taking up too much space and we are going to need you to remedy that situation. Buying an extra seat is our remedy." They're not going to put in larger seats that they can sell for slightly more when they can make someone purchase a second seat outright.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby mattsparkes » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:28 pm UTC

On a slightly different note, I used to take the Amsterdam>Norwich hop quite a lot, and it was often empty.

This is a pic of me enjoying two seats to myself, and my Strat enjoying another two...

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:47 am UTC

Internetmeme wrote:They are a business. The only reason they are in it is to make money, not to ensure the comfort or safety of the passengers. Unless it costs them money to not do one of the two, they will not do it. Only if it makes themselves money, or helps their net profit. If they go lax with safety, they get slapped with a huge lawsuit/fines. If they go lax on comfort, less people would ride the planes.

They want to make flying safe because if people think flying is unsafe they won't fly. It's in their interests to make flying as attractive as possible, which means they will spend a lot of money towards that goal, regardless of lawsuits. Pointing out that it comes down to money is a fairly bland observation. Businesses have lots of goals: to continue to stay in business, to deliver a return for their shareholders, to invest in the growth of their business and in new technologies. If all they wanted was to make money, they would be run very differently to how they are now.

In essence, Imeme, you're oversimplifying things again and that makes you wrong.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Pansori » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:34 am UTC

On the subject of crying children: I have a little more sympathy and patience for the newborns and tots who are crying because of the discomfort flying can be for them. I was on two flights recently where a couple of newborns cried pretty much the entire time. I just assumed that their ears were popping, and there's nothing those little guys can do about it except scream. I do think that the parents should be prepared, though. Mostly I have a problem with children who are screaming and crying just because they are out of control brats. Pets don't bother me, I have yet to have a bad experience with the small critters.

About the obese passenger: I agree with what others have said about if they are morbidly obese they should have to buy two seats, but I'm on the fence on whether or not they should be reimbursed for the two seats if the flight is not full. =/ I always fly Southwest, myself, which is practically a cattle train, and the flights are almost always full.

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby Sourire » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:37 am UTC

Pansori wrote:On the subject of crying children: I have a little more sympathy and patience for the newborns and tots who are crying because of the discomfort flying can be for them. I was on two flights recently where a couple of newborns cried pretty much the entire time. I just assumed that their ears were popping, and there's nothing those little guys can do about it except scream. I do think that the parents should be prepared, though. Mostly I have a problem with children who are screaming and crying just because they are out of control brats. Pets don't bother me, I have yet to have a bad experience with the small critters.

About the obese passenger: I agree with what others have said about if they are morbidly obese they should have to buy two seats, but I'm on the fence on whether or not they should be reimbursed for the two seats if the flight is not full. =/ I always fly Southwest, myself, which is practically a cattle train, and the flights are almost always full.

Agreed on being charged extra-They're larger customers. They have more needs to accommodate.

However, I don't really see the argument, from a business standpoint, of reimbursing them if the flight isn't full. As someone who does not take up two seats, I'd be rather pissed to find out there was a free money line after the flight landed and I wasn't invited. Mostly because flights that aren't full are times when airlines are already down (prospective) profit, so I don't see the reality behind them giving up more money.

Also, I really don't see why this is a debate about person/weight, we're talking about purchasing seats. A volume that has a minimum (the greater of your size or one seat), and really no maximum (buy out the plane!). It's not an attempt to discriminate against anyone to use measurable quantities to say that people come in different shapes and sizes.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby dedalus » Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:26 am UTC

Actually, if you travel internationally a lot, it's fairly rare to have a full plane on many trips, especially ones flying late at night/early in the morning. It really depends where the flight is to/from though. And companies tend to up the fare because of this.

Apparently some flights will fill additional seats, so you can't actually buy extra seats. In regard to the refunding the customer on non-filled flights, if the flight isn't filled, then it becomes them not buying the extra seat, but merely getting a seat with no-one in the seat next to them. And would you prefer that they who need it get that extra seat, or that they sit next to you, and the armrest between the pair of you will have to be up as they can't close both armrests and can't spill out into the aisle for safety issues etc.
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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby ianf » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

mattsparkes wrote:On a slightly different note, I used to take the Amsterdam>Norwich hop quite a lot, and it was often empty.


A few times now (I think 4) I've had an entire row of 3 or 4 seats to myself on long haul (Caribbean to UK) out of season. Just pushed up all the armrests, laid down and slept for most of the flight!

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Re: Pic of obese air passenger reopens extra seat policy

Postby DJOuk » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:39 pm UTC

I don't see why he should not have to pay for 2 seats, he is taking two seats or at least he would if had a seat to the right of him. Also there is no way he would fit into the seat, he is pretty much taking up the one he has and most of his body is outside of that seat. To be honest I question if he should have been allowed on at all given his size.


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