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back to article Air France compensates 170kg passenger

Air France has been ordered to compensate a 170kg* citizen of the land of liberté, égalité, fraternité after forcing him to stump up for an extra seat on a flight from New Delhi to Paris, AFP reports. Jean-Jacques Jauffret, 43, described himself as "deeply humiliated" when airline staff intercepted him at New Delhi airport as he …

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People of Kilo's.......

If I go over my allowance for luggage, I will be charged.

More luggage, more money.

You can see where I'm going with this...........

There is a serious point here though as well.

The Gov' are trying to force airlines to pay a 'green tax' per plane, the airlines want 'per person'. Either way, prices go up.

More mass carried means more fuel spent, meaning more tax.

Will fat people [sorry, people with extra mass ] have to pay the extra ? Probably not.

Should they ?

Of course.

More mass = more fuel = more 'greenhouse stuff' = more tax.

Simple equation.

Result : fat man goes on diet = saves money on sh1te food = gets healthy = lives longer = saves money on flights

Seems like one of those fabled 'win win's' to me............

P.

ps : and yes I know i know, personal choice, blah blah blah. I'm all for personal choice, but sometimes you have to PAY for those choices.

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Stop

What about the other guy?

Does anybody think of the poor guy that has to sit beside this fella on a flight from India to France? 8 Hours on a plane is uncomfortable enough without having to wedge yourself between this guy and the window.

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Anonymous Coward

In completely agreement with Mark Daniels

I put my foot in it a few friday pub lunchs ago. The food was late so we'd moved onto our second pints and the discussion turned to flying, I started a small rant about why should I have to pay for extra luggage when I only weight 12 stone, and someone that weights 20 stone gets to go on for the same price (I might have said something along the lines of "some fat bast that weghts 20 stone...".

The only problem being the MD sitting next to me, who at a rough estimate probably weights bang on 20 stone. There was an awkward silence until someone cherped in saying maybe pick a larger weight next time. Doh!

Oh well, I stand by my statement.

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Paris Hilton

pay for mass

Under those circumstances, people of lesser mass should pay less. What do you base the base mass on? 107kg for person and luggage? it means women who weigh less, but have heaps more luggage will not get the excess baggage charge.

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Tough issue

I think this is a tough one. Airline seats are a given size, and most people fit comfortably within that size (leaving discussions of seat pitch aside). Ticket prices are (in a convoluted way) based on filling those seats with paying bodies.

I like the approach Southwest Airlines has: if you're too big and the flight is full, you can either pay for an extra seat or take the next flight.

In any case, obesity is a growing problem, and as it grows (ha ha) more people won't fit in that standard size. So airlines have a choice:

- bigger seats (=more expensive tickets)

- allocate an extra seat for large people (=more expensive tickets)

- charge large passengers extra (seems to = discrimination)

We should get over the whole 'discrimination' thing. If you have a doctor's note indicating a medical condition, then the airline should stump up for the extra seat. If you're just fat, pay for the extra seat (50%?). It used to be that obesity was a medical condition, but now it's becoming a lifestyle choice - and that means the individual is accountable.

If I ever have to sit next to a pax who can't get the armrest down again, I'm going to go postal.

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Anonymous Coward

Humiliation?

He's 170kg, goes out in public- of course he's humiliated. So would most of us be!

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Coat

To all you fattys

Valuable lesson here dont fly economy then. Fly business or more and to top it off you get a 3 course meal so you can add a couple of extra ounces as well, bonus!

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I don't blame them!

I don't blame the airline for charging more.

If the guy is so large that he effectively renders the sea next to him useless then why should the airline pay for the possible lost sale of a seat?

And if they DID sell the seat, then who the hell would want to spend a an entire flight crammed into half a seat? They would be well within their rights to complain.

I really hate the way "fat" is becoming "normal". It's NOT "normal" and there is no reason why us thinnies should suffer as a result. There was something on telly a while ago; some guy trying campaigning to make all public toilets extra-large so that fat people could use them more easily. Firstly, it's not the answer! Secondly, why should I, as a thinnie, have to put up with using a ludicrously comedy-sized toilet?

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Anonymous Coward

Not just weight

I'm silly tall- over 2 metres- and the legroom in cattle class doesn't work for me.

If airlines are able to charge people for being too large to sit in a standard seat, can they charge me extra for needing more legroom?

Or, does the french decision mean I have to have a free upgrade to first class?

If so, a beer to the first person who provides me a link to a site that proves this.

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

I think we should know the full story here... Did the fat (guy with extra mass) guy ask for extra space? If yes, of course he must pay for it!!! C'mon, do you expect to ensure a free seat on a plane for free??? Should I ask Air France to dismount the seat in front of me just because I have long legs? If you don't fit in a normal seat you should

- Pay for the extra space, or

- stay at home, or

- get a private jet

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PJH

Re: Not just weight

AC: If airlines are able to charge people for being too large to sit in a standard seat, can they charge me extra for needing more legroom?

Do they charge you for asking for a seat by an emergency exit? Can you 'book' one in advance? Have you tried?

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IT Angle

Another question

Was the person originally booked to sit beside the big guy forced to wait till the next flight to get to Paris ?

Or would he be able to claim compensation for several hours of being sweated upon by Mr Jr black hole

I for one would not like to be kicked off because some lard boy wanted to squeeze himself onboard.

Though I wouldn't complain too much about an upgrade to business class.

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Discrimination

If fatties shouldn't be expected to pay for extra room then neither should tallies (especially since a person has absolutely no choice in being tall).

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Silver badge

@Jason

"Under those circumstances, people of lesser mass should pay less. What do you base the base mass on? 107kg for person and luggage? it means women who weigh less, but have heaps more luggage will not get the excess baggage charge."

Exactly! Women carry more baggage, but weigh less, so it balances out. It's a perfect system!

Though I shouldn't really be chirping up in its favour. While I'm not really overweight and even my small beer belly is decreasing, I still manage to weigh 16 stone! Big around the shoulders, honest guv.

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Ideal weight + luggage

For people who can still comfortably sit in one seat...

Use ideal weight for the height of the passenger and take this off their actual weight. this is then their 'body luggage' which should be added to the weight of their checked in luggage AND their carry on luggage and they would have to pay extra if over a given weight.*

For people who cannot sit comfortably in one seat but don't want to pay for two:

Put them all on the same row and see how they like it!!

(* hopefully ryan air are not reading this as they are always on the lookout for a new way to get more money from their passengers!!)

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Paris Hilton

TV

Did anyone see Can Fat Teens Hunt? on BBC3 the other night. Best piece of reality TV I have ever seen (wouldn't be hard seen I hate the genre)

Seems vaguely related to this topic as they would have needed huge seats to fly to borneo!

It is a quality series and I expect to be tuned in every Tuesday night for the forseeable future!

I chose Paris for my icon as if she only had half a seat because a fatty was beside her I would offer her a seat on my knee for the whole flight.

Chris

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Stop

Holy Crap

Ok, the jubs conversion was nice, but had to convert to old money to get my head around this 26.75 stone or 375 pounds or 2.4 of me.

Sorry, but if I was Air France I would have banned him form the flight on medical ground unless he had special insurance in case of the aircraft having to make an unexpected landing due to him having DVT or a heart attack due to low cabin pressure. I think airlines should offer a ticket base on a total weight allowance, you and your luggage, weight = fuel:fuel = money dead easy.

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Stop

missing the point

While I agree with a lot of the comments that people who weigh more should pay more (a combined person+luggage allowance sounds fair to me), the guy here was entitled to compensation.

The airline should be up-front about it's policy, and the staff should have been more discreet.

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Dead Vulture

SO..

As I weigh about 70 Kilos (11 Stone in real measurements :p ) Does that mean I can take an extra 100kg in luggage? Definately not. If everyone was to do that the plane wouldn't get off the ground, if it did it would crash soon after. As for 'Does it carry people or kilos?' it carries kilos. Just classing that mass as a person does not reduce the weight. The heavier the aircraft the more fuel is required to generate the thrust required to get it off the ground and keep it in the air. Given that it costs more to get a fat person in the air, they should be required to pay more especially if they need to take up 2 seats. I wouldn't be happy to find I had paid for my seat and then end up not being able to sit in it without being pressed up against rolls of blubber.

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Anonymous Coward

That (f)attitude is so annoying.

Ok in this instance there was fault with Air France's lack of tact. They'd have been much better pulling the chap aside privately and explaining things, and offering him the choices as described above - either take the next flight or pay for another seat.

But in general you seen examples of this attitude "I'm enormously overweight but it's not my fault" - people who are well aware that companies have to make special arrangements to accomodate their size, but feel they are somehow owed that.

It's not your fault? What, you just tripped and fell on a load of burgers?* Sorry mate but if you can't fit into a normal sized seat then you need to do something about it or accept the 'humiliation'.

*Yes I know that for some people there are medical reasons for their obesity that are genuinely not their fault, but I don't think that applies to any more than a small percentage, and am not willing to let that spoil a good rant!

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Anonymous Coward

Stick em all together

I say stick all the fatties together on the same row

It would probably be best for the pilot if this was somewhere near the middle :)

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Alert

Let he who is without sin....

I feel sorry for anyone sitting next to someone who doesn't fit the seat and I am a self confessed fatist. However, there is a general point here somewhere.

The 170kg passenger is too large. Anonymous "Not Just Weight" is over 2m tall - he has leg room problems. I am 65cm wide at the shoulder (I am a swimmer) - I'm too wide for the 42cm wide seats. I sat next to an 8 year old on a recent flight who had serious impulse control issues. I regularly end up sitting next to businessmen with serious post-prandial flatulence (low cabin pressure has a lot to answer for). While travelling to Spain on business I got stuck with a bunch of Neandertals going to watch England play France (average blood alcohol about the same as their IQs). Finally, on one particularly memorable occasion the lady next to me gave everyone a free demonstration of the behaviour of colostomy bags at altitude.

Which of these people would you charge extra because of the inconvenience they cause to other passengers?

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Thumb Up

Great idea ...

Having been the unfortunate skinny person sat next to the unfortunate guy with extra mass on a long flight back from the states in October, I have to say that I totally agree with charging people for an extra seat if they don't fit in one.

It is really not comfortable for either the person challenged in the mass department or those sat next them. I don't think that it's discrimination, it's just common bloody sense.

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Tom

Pah!

The thing that shocks me here is that he was allowed to pay for the seat next to him.

I've tried on many flights to pay for the seat next to me so I have somewhere to put my laptop and peanuts. It hasn't worked yet!

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Anonymous Coward

Health and Safety...

We are not allowed to weigh people and charge them based on weight, even then it would have to be done via height vs weight, which for some people although extremely healthy is in their disadvantage, Rugby players etc (in reference to the guy that was originally kept out of NZ).

But what about the H&S aspect of this? We are only allowed bags of certain size to make sure they don't crush our skulls as they come flying out of the overhead hold. But what about trying to escape the aeroplane in an emergency when the seat next to you is blocked by one of these obese death traps? They could cause your death... and many others on the flight... I think if you are too big to get out of an emergency exit and your BMI is too high, you are not safe to travel. No extra charges, just full stop not allowed to fly.

Or make special "Fat man seats", with a big sign saying "FAT PERSON SEAT" above. Then charge extra for it... if they chose to sit in this seat, they cannot complain about being humiliated.

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Black Helicopters

Having been the unfortunate skinny person sat next to the unfortunate guy with extra mass

I have been the unfortunate skinny person sat between two very obese middle aged American females on a centre aisle seat on a 13 hour overnight flight back to the UK.

Not one of my more pleasant flight experiences, especially when coupled with the pain of the inflight movie The Wild Wild West.

I now book my seats in advance.

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I have a better Idea.

Avoid flying all togeather.

1) Flying is horible. You wait for 4 hours in an airport, being herded around, poked, prodded, zaped, and having to take your shoes off, just to get on a plane for an hour to end up sitting next to someone fat, smelly, boring or with ADHD, and go through the same thing at the other end.

2) If you look even slightly foreign you may be shot (I think the increase in high SPF sun cream sales is nothing to do with skin cancer, just people not wanting to be shot in Heathrow)

3) If you NEED to fly somewhere the chances are the wildlife will be out to get you there, and if not you are in the US, where the people are out to get you. The only place that you will miss out on is Canada.

Its much nicer in the EU to go by train or Car.

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Sounds like a vicious circle to me.

Paying for two seats entitles him to two meals. Which will make him even more gravitationally challenged.

Can we have a fat bastard icon please?

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Anonymous Coward

@Andy

Your second paragraph describes one of the reasons why I no longer fly - there are too many annoying people flying these days. If I have to fly - and I have not done so now for 3 years - I scrimp and save for business class - cheap flights IMO are a bad thing in so many ways...

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Happy

Meat

I think it was Dennis Leary who said he likes sitting next to fat people on planes. If the plane went down he'd be wielding a knife with menace in his eyes to ward off the other hungry survivors a la' the film 'Alive' - this ones mine!

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Anonymous Coward

Astounding

Why is it that everyone here assumes that the man must be fat because he eats too much? There are enough medical conditions that cause things like water retention (which means you balloon up and add the weight of all the water you retain to your weight). That does not mean you're obese. Take cortisone or other steroids designed to alleviate one medical condition for a few years and see how YOU like YOUR weight gain.

A colleague has had a hormonal condition for the last 15 years which also sent his weight through the roof after an operation, even though he ate a calorie-controlled diet as per a dietician, and exercised vigorously (and hell, he runs around more than any of us 'lesser' people). Only a specialist clinic eventually cottoned on to his condition and fixed the problem with a drug cocktail that's had him shed the better part of 70 pounds in the last few months.

So please. Spare us the doughnuts and crisps comments. Besides, it was more Air France's lack of tact that's the problem. I have to say though, I have never had an issue with Air France's manners, either in respect to myself or to more... how shall we say... corpulent members of society.

I was on a flight from Washington DC in September where a rather large woman and her companion showed up. They were booked into Premium Economy because of her girth (and the aisles in Economy were way too narrow for her), and I am sure she knows that as well as everyone else did.

I've sat next to big people in Economy before, and I commiserate with those who are sat next to them, so it's not like I don't understand the reasons why a second seat would be necessary. If a doctor's certificate pointing out a medical condition is presented, then the airline should stump up for the seat, everything else, the passenger should be prepared to pay for a second seat, or upgrade to Business or First where there is no more problem.

I'm staying anonymous for business reasons.

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Something needs doing with the airlines, this is ridiculous!

My wife weighs 51kg, I way 76kg. We pay the same for tickets for a single seat, if either one of us is 1kg over-weight with our luggage we're gouged massive amounts of money in "excess baggage" as the airlines claim "it costs money to lift the weight". Yet 120kg+ people happily pay the same for a ticket and get the same luggage allowance.

The ticket price should be for a single seat plus a total of 100kg, if you and your luggage is over, you pay a per-kilo charge.

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It's complex

As others have mentioned, it's a complex issue that isn't helped by "If they weigh over X kilo's then charge them more". There are plenty of people who weigh huge amounts who are not overweight. Each member of the England Rugby team weighs well over 100KG. I dare any of you to walk up to one of them and call them "Fatty".

Are we going to start "Taxing" people based on their genes (and I'm not talking the a**holes who say they are 20 stone overweight because of a "genetic disorder"; I'm talking someone who is 2.2m tall, weighs 130KG and hasn't an ounce of fat on them)? In which case, do we tax parents of kids with low IQ's more because they are going to require more teaching? Or parents of kids with High IQ's come to that. What about those with DNA pre-disposed to heart conditions or cancer?

Absolute weights are as meaningless as the BMI system. As I say, it's complex but to those suggesting "I only weigh 12 stone so I don't see why I should pay the same as someone who weighs 18 stone" I ask do you really want a world in which people who aren't exactly average pay more? Should light people get a discount? Should we have a check-in system with laser measurement to get the exact volume of all passengers and charge everyone accordingly? How far are you prepared to take it?

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Coat

The upside of fat people

As a person of normal height (6'8", over 2m), living in a world of rather stubby people....

I once managed to be subjected to a very public tirade from an airport manager, who screamed that she needed medical proof that I was tall. The height details in my passport were insufficient evidence, as was the fact that I towered above her and everyone else on the flight, and the fact that the whole departure lounge were laughing. She just kept screaming 'I need proof that you are tall, you have no proof, how do I know you are tall', over and over again. (?)

I would have found it funnier except she put me off the flight.

Oh, my point. I once spent a long flight in a draughty plane being kept nicely warm by the larger Caribbean lady sitting next to, and on top of, me. Think I would have died of cold if she'd been any thinner. She also fed me cakes and rum throughout the flight. That's real service.

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This post has been deleted by its author

As the legend once said

"You're not retaining water, you're retaining chips"

Billy Connely

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What about generally big people?

I'm 6'3, have a 50" chest, and yes I'm a *bit* overweight, but not excessively so. I go to the gym regularly and do weights, so I'm very broad, reasonably fit, and carry my weight well.

Due to legroom, the people sitting in front of me cannot recline their chairs as my knees are invariably wedged against the. For the people next to me, I usually sit with shoulders almost touching.

Not pleasant for anyone, least of all me.

And people believe that I should pay more for this level of discomfort???

Even if I lost that weight, my chest and shoulder measurements are going to be about the same, and therefore my impact on the people in front of and next to me will be the same, and my discomfort will be the same.

I think a point has been missed that people are getting bigger all-round - not just in weight, but in height too. I really don't agree with the sentiments that larger than average people should pay more. Not everyone is large because they eat too much. Some are large because they are tall, naturally broad shouldered, go to the gym, etc.

I'd much rather see plane seating plans revised to take account of a physically bigger population.

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Happy

....really?

The French being rude? Surely not.

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He's fat, he must eat 12 meals a day...

Some of you make me sick with your comments.

You see someone fat and you automatically think that they are eating loads, thanks to programmes like "Inside Britains Fattest Man" that show someone eating 5-6 takeaway meals a day.

I am 6ft6in tall, and up until a few years ago I weighed in at 23 stone, which makes me obese in BMI terms but I was far from obesity...

I had a car accident 2 years ago, which meant that I was on tablets for the best part of a year. In that time, despite not eating more, in fact eating a lot less than I had previously I managed to gain 6 stones in weight, about a month after stopping the tablets my weight levelled out and since then I have been unable to lose any despite a calorie controlled diet and regular exercise.

On an average day I eat:

Breakfast: an apple and an orange.

Lunch: A sandwich (2 pieces of wholemeal bread, thinly spread butter, chicken or ham)

Dinner: usually meat with some kind of vegetables and potatoes.

Drinks: nothing sugary, normally water during the day and sugar-free lemonade in the evenings.

So where is all my extra weight coming from? My doctor blames overeating, refers me to a dietician, who tracks my eating over 2 weeks before stating that I am not overeating, refers me to the doctor (rinse and repeat).

People don't judge people for their race or disability, so don't judge someone that is overweight, you don't know the circumstances behind it.

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@Adrian Tritschler

I agree. At the very least they should have cheaper little seats for short skinny people.

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Mars

Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If airlines were to adopt a Person weight + Luggage Weight = Price policy, then surely that would eventually mean that fat people would simply leave their luggage at home. Holidays would be ruined by the sight of fat people bathing in their opaque pants, or worse having to sit next to a fat naked bloke on the plane!!!!!!!!!

I say we ship all the fatties out to Japan, and let the "Research Ships" deal with them.............

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Anonymous Coward

There's a problem with choice here

I sympathise with the very tall people who have posted here. I am only 6'-1" tall and often have trouble fitting in to standard airline seats, especially budget airlines. I wedge myself in at the start and can't really move much for the whole flight. I can't imagine what it would be like if I was a few inches taller.

With budget airlines there is no choice of a larger seat as they are all one class. With traditional airlines there is a choice, but only if you have deep pockets, you can pay a LOT extra to have a seat with masses of legroom and presumably better meals and service. I often wish the airlines would seize the obvious business opportunity of providing just slightly larger seats for a reasonable price premium - no need to have so much space (wasted) for the first or business class seat pitch. I would pay this.

And I agree with the comments about being the poor sap stuck next to some passenger suffering from cake retention. OK maybe a few of these are fat for medical reasons, but the majority are just greedy pigs with no self-restraint.

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Coat

Simple

If you're in my seat because you're spilling over the arm rest then that part of your body is forfeit. Biro + blank canvas baby!

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@PJH

I'm another one "above 2m" (just how many of us are there these days?).

To answer your questions about emergency exits, "do they charge you?"- I've had BA try, unsuccessfully, on a couple of occasions but nobody else (and I try to avoid BA if I can - service with a snarl). And "can you book an emergency exit seat?" - in my experience, never, and I've tried. Any flight covered by FAA regs forbids it - you have to show up at check-in before they are allowed to allocate you one (something about you satisfying them that you are both fit and happy to operate the exit in an emergency). I have yet to find any seat selection page on any airline's booking website that gives you the option - and requests made when booking by phone or face-to-face always meet with some variant of "we can't do that".

Mind you, I've found most airlines very accommodating when I show up at check-in. On a number of occasions this has included free upgrades :-)

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Waist size

And maybe we should go for simplest solution of all: check the waist size?

And tax only people who are too big to fit in a seat. Simple, isn't it?

Put a sample seat next to check in desk and check - if they fit, fine. If not - pay extra and get a first class.

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Joke

So, that´s why Airbus A380 was built!

Don´t you get it? Airbus designed a new über-large airplane so they could carry all large people (both fat and tall) in ultra-wide comfortable seats.

In my family we have plenty of those, and we almost really bought a second seat beside us once, so it would go empty, so we could travel more comfortably. Perhaps on this route they were not planning to use this model of airplane; now they are.

Perhaps now he will consider buying two seats everytime, in any company, so he won´t feel humiliated again. If I was that big, I would for sure. Perhaps he will fly with Air France everytime now, always carrying a copy of the law suit with him, and showing it in the counter when buying a ticket, because I am sure that will happen again, no matter the airiline.

On the other hand, the available room in any airplane is ludicrous, and the 170kg passenger really deserved compensation for that misfortunate event.

Or you can always chart an Antonov 225.

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Happy

whats the problem?

I dont know what all the fuzz is about - the airlines ALREADY charge less for smaller people - you know the ones - theyre called children. All the airlines have to do is introduce another category - Chlidren, Adults and Pie-Eaters. See - that was easy!

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Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Why only pick on fatties

Why not people with BO or who wear perfume you don't like, criers, coughers, sneezers, snorers and farters - whining kids, chatty kids, bouncy kids - people who talk a lot, people who talk with annoying mannerisms.

FFS - if you are concerned to any degree about your personal comfort zone WTF are you doing travelling cattle class.

Airline seat sizes are a commercial decision based on numbers of units that can be sold. The size and layout is arbitrary as far as human needs are concerned except that some generic human shaped thing that fits a marketers perception of average circa 1970 can fit in the space.

The whingers here seem to be saying that people who don't fit the airline standard mold should have to face up that artificial-commercial reality. Maybe it would be better if anyone who wants to travel on public transport faced up to the real-human reality that everyone is different.

Me - I go everywhere by car

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The man was fat.............

To all of you out there who are complaining about 'assuming' he was fat. Well, read the article.

"" deployed "wrapping tape" to measure his circumference in front of other passengers. ""

Do you do that with tall thin 'HEAVY' people. No.

Long legs ?

No.

Swimmers.

No.

Fat people.

Yes.

Sorry about this, but he was fat. simple as that.

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Coat

Women

"it means women who weigh less"

Over there maybe but in America, women usually weigh more.

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