'The bigger you are the higher the cost of a plane ticket' AIBU to think that this is ridiculous?

(385 Posts)
Poppet48 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:22:33

I have just heard the debate of should a plane ticket cost more for obese people.

I think that this is ridiculous, not only is it discriminating it is highly embarrassing to have to get weighed at the airport check in, Where have the human rights gone?

AIBU to feel this way?

I would love to hear what others think of this.

sannaville Mon 25-Mar-13 08:27:18

Hmmm I'm.not sure on this one as taxes on flights are ludicrous due to expensive fuel costs , I think rather than weighing individually they should weigh the family or group of people including all baggage

Trills Mon 25-Mar-13 08:27:54

YABU to say "human rights".

Weight would be a silly thing to base it on really. The problem is people spilling over seats.

Maybe the seats should come in narrow, medium, and wide, and you have to pay extra for a wide seat (and if you are obese or if you have rugby player shoulders, you have to get a wide seat).

There could be fake sets to test on check-in, like there are cages to put your bag in to check it's the right size.

<mostly joking>

Mrsrobertduvall Mon 25-Mar-13 08:29:07

If someone is spilling over into adjacent seats, and spoiling travelling for the person sitting there, then yes, they should pay extra.

redskyatnight Mon 25-Mar-13 08:32:51

I had to travel next to an obese person once. I had about half a seat and had to sit very uncomfortably with my legs mostly in the aisle. Thankfully it was only a short flight so I managed by standing for a lot of it. But no way should the airline have expected anyone to sit in my seat.

Trills Mon 25-Mar-13 08:34:22

I do like the idea of each seat coming with a "total weight allowance" - children weigh little but require a lot of stuff.

My proposed "wide seats" could come with a higher total weight allowance too. At least then people who were paying more would get something in return for that extra payment. Right now if the person sitting next to you spills over then paying extra wouldn;t help you and wouldn't help them.

It's all impossibly impractical though. No airline is actually going to implement anything like this.

homebythesea Mon 25-Mar-13 08:35:08

It is ridiculous that a slim person with a suitcase 1kg over the limit has to pay excess baggage when an obese person just on the limit does not, when the justification for the excess weight charge is that the plane needs additional fuel

maddening Mon 25-Mar-13 08:43:45

Mrsrobert - perhaps they should widen the seats so that all are comfortable - it's probably not pleasant to be spilling over either - especially if they charge the larger person extra that person should be comfy too. So perhaps catering for all passengers in the first place would be another way to stop fat people spoiling your travel.

Interestingly a plane did crash (in usa I think) as they had estimated the fuel based on the assumed average weight of the number of passengers but in fact the passengers weighed more - they addressed this by increasing the average they used in their fuel calculations.

Whether iit's the right thing to do is another thing. I assume the airlines are proposing it to cut costs but they risk alienating customers. Only they could establish whether the savings made would justify this commercially.

If it is a moral question as opposed to a commercial one don't think it's right to punish overweight people financially for being overweight.

I've often wondered why someone who weighs 50kg has to pay excess baggage, for say 30kg of bags (so 80kg in total). But someone who is 90kg can take 10kg (100kg total) doesn't have to pay extra. It does seem very unfair, and it is the fault of the airlines for saying that weight/baggage costs more money.

But then I don't see how it could work because some people do put on weight more easily or might be on a diet, and you might book 6 months ahead and end up heavier/lighter, so need a refund or to pay more.

Having said that, if someone is so large that they need two seats, then there should be an additional charge. I have to pay full price for my 3 year old because she needs her own seat at that age, so the airlines have a policy of charging per seat.

kim147 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:50:57

I remember taking a small plane flight in the Phillipines. They weighed the bag and then weighed me. I didn't see them weighing other passengers - think they were taking the piss.

Pilots need to know the weight of their plane for take off and landing purposes.
The weights are:
Summer
Males (12yrs&up) 13 stones
Females (12yrs&up) 9 stones
Children (2-11 yrs) 5 stones

BarredfromhavingStella Mon 25-Mar-13 08:51:44

YABU, nothing ridiculous about it at all.

Rosa Mon 25-Mar-13 08:52:57

It would be impossible to implement . In order to cram the most seats in the airlines have a set seat width ...there is no way they will give up a seat in a row to make them wider and potentially loose income. They caclulate fuel based on an average weight and make allowances for freight . Check in would take hours ..Imagine weighing 400 people it would take hours . However I am in agreement that if you obviously can't comfortably fit in a seat and you overflow into another thus disturbing your neighbour then you should be charged for a second.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 25-Mar-13 08:53:16

They will never come up with a system that will make this work fairly, but I do think it's a valid consideration.

Travelling next to someone who doesn't fit in the seat is very unpleasant for the people sitting next to them, and I'd guess its not that great for them either. Plenty of very tall people I know regularly pay extra on flights for more leg room, obese people should have that option as well, except they should be obliged to use the bigger seats because of how uncomfortable they make other people.

It would be a good idea it total weight were taken into consideration when paying for extra baggage, it would make it much fairer on people.

Rosa Mon 25-Mar-13 08:54:04

Oh and a small airline that goes from a west country airport does weigh people - I believe also the channel islands airlines do but they have like 12 people on board.

DoJo Mon 25-Mar-13 08:54:15

I know someone who has to buy two seats when travelling on a plane because he is so massive, and quite honestly, I'm glad he does because it means that there isn't someone next to him being squished by his excess and he is more comfortable too. It's quite common in the US for airlines to insist on two seats being purchased if they have concerns about a passenger fitting into one.

ENormaSnob Mon 25-Mar-13 08:54:24

I can see the rationale tbh.

We'd have to remortgage to fly as dh is rugby player build, not fat at all though.

Maybe they should do it off bmi to make it fairer to tall people. Or they could measure arse width to see if there will be overspill.

MrsBucketxx Mon 25-Mar-13 08:56:06

I really dont see a problem, being stuck in a seat between two large American men was hell on a 5 hour flight,

its not like seriously obese people cant do something about it is it, its not a disability.

mrsjay Mon 25-Mar-13 08:56:42

well you pay for extra legroom why not pay for extra space , plane seats are 1 size fits all, I am 5ft DH is 6 that isn't 1 size, if a person is over spilling a seat onto the next then I do think people should pay extra, maybe the suggestion of small medium or large would be a solution, and you said 'Human Rights' seriously yabu if you think it would be an infringement.

expatinscotland Mon 25-Mar-13 08:56:47

YABU! You are paying for space. I have to buy a ticket for my children who are over 2 although they do not occupy the entire seat. If your person occupies more than 1 seat, you should pay for it.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 25-Mar-13 08:57:36

If it is a moral question as opposed to a commercial one don't think it's right to punish overweight people financially for being overweight.

Tall people are already punished for having long legs, and there's nothing they can do about it. And they don't affect other passengers comfort as much as obese people do.

SofaKing Mon 25-Mar-13 08:57:37

They could have a weight limit per seat - if you weigh more than x, you have to purchase two seats.

But they are unlikely to charge more for heavier people, a third of people in the UK are obese, and nearly half of Americans in some areas, so the first airline to do this would lose those customers, probably for good.

It's not a risk they are going to take.

WestieMamma Mon 25-Mar-13 08:57:51

I'm overweight because of my disability and can prove it. I'd sue them for discrimination.

sannaville Mon 25-Mar-13 08:58:27

Don't think it would take ages as it usually takes a couple of mins to get checked in so family AMD baggage could all stand on a scaled platform thing while checking in!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 25-Mar-13 08:59:56

It would not be discrimination.

MrsBucketxx Mon 25-Mar-13 09:00:11

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