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'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.

GinAndSlimlinePlease Mon 25-Mar-13 09:17:31

Oh dear, I started my response before it all became a little nasty.

Anyway, back to sensible suggestions... surely it could be the norm to opt for a 'comfort seat' if needed, in the same way easy jet currently charge for luggage. If you don't, and then you rock up at the airport and it's clear you need the 'comfort seat' you have to pay for it.

I like the idea of a discreet set of scales so only check in person knows.

of course, this would go hand in hand with airlines having improved disability policies so that those who needed extra help/space as a result of a disability got it as standard at no additional cost.

BeeBopDingALing Mon 25-Mar-13 09:17:38

This is not usually the sort of thing I would agree with, however about 4 years ago my friend and I were coming back from holiday and we were seated either side of a very obese man. He was spilling over and under the arm rests onto both our seats and it was pretty uncomfortable for everyone involved. Thankfully it was only a 2 hour flight. He should have had 2 seats. If someone needs 2 seats then they should pay for them of course. It's not the airlines or other passengers fault the person is obese so why should they take on the cost.

slippysofa Mon 25-Mar-13 09:17:39

I try my best.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Mon 25-Mar-13 09:18:52

To be fair Westie why should I pay full price for a seat if someone else is spilling over into it,therefore reducing the space that I paid for? Is that not discriminating against people sitting beside those spilling over?

BertieBotts Mon 25-Mar-13 09:19:21

I don't mind paying full price for children as long as the flight isn't ridiculously expensive to begin with.

WestieMamma Mon 25-Mar-13 09:20:18

I would like to know more about this westie, surely its what goes in vs how much you burn or are you totally different to everyone else, I'm a little ( well a lot) confused????

I have a genetic, cognitive impairment which seriously impairs the signals I get from my brain regarding hunger, thirst, pain etc. Sometimes I get no hunger signals so don't eat at all, other times it's so overpowering I eat until I'm sick and then eat more, other times it drives me to eat bizarre stuff eg I once spent 6 months eating nothing but flora straight out of the tub with a spoon.

I spent 4 years seeing a specialist at the hospital weekly, which has helped get it more under control but it'll never go away. I now go once a month. It may be easy for some, but it's not easy for all.

weegiemum Mon 25-Mar-13 09:20:22

I've lost a lot of weight but am still technically obese. I only fly with my family or just with dh and just make sure a slightly smaller person like my 9yo is in between me and anyone who might complain (though I don't overflow any more and can do up a seatbelt ok now).

I lost a lot of weight when I was acutely ill in 2011/12 and would like to lose more, but like westie I have a disability now that makes most forms of exercise very difficult and I'm also on a special diet which mustn't be changed except by the dietician. Losing more weight is just not an option for me right now!

expatinscotland Mon 25-Mar-13 09:22:01

'Yes, let's humilate everyone! FFS, yes people who cannot fit into 1 seat should have to buy 2 but weighing people....too far! '

How else do you police it, though? I think the idea of a mock seat, the way they have that box to monitor the size of hand luggage, would work. If you know when you sit in that seat that you are too big to occupy it then you buy two seats.

mrsjay Mon 25-Mar-13 09:23:31

This topic is up for discussion on This Morning just thought id mention it incase people dont want to comment any more

EggsMichelle Mon 25-Mar-13 09:25:31

My DH is tall with big legs, so if he wants a comfortable flight we have to pay extra for the escape door seats with extra leg room.

NuhichNuhaymuh Mon 25-Mar-13 09:25:39

Godwin's Law, I've never heard of that before TheNebulousBoojum

MidniteScribbler Mon 25-Mar-13 09:26:10

It would be simple if people who need extra space for whatever reason would be sensible and purchase the spacethey need, then there would be no need for eembarrassment. I have friends who are large people and they always purchase an extra seat between them for their own comfort, and for that of other people. I'm travelling a bit withan under 2yo at the moment, and he could sit on my lap, but I buy the extra seat to give us more room (and to save anyone next to us getting kicked or poked for two hours). It's only that people assume that they have the right to impact the comfort of others that has led to airlines having to look at options to require people to take some responsibility for themselves.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 25-Mar-13 09:28:05

Having a mock seat in travel agents and at check in would be no more difficult to use than the cage things they already have it hand luggage. It could be used the same way as they use sticks at theme parks to measure if children are tall enlightening for certain rides.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 09:30:03

hmm I think two things:

1. weigh family + baggage on an innocuous piece of springy floor with the result visible to no one, and a charge added for excess either baggage or human.

2. Have seats to cater for larger passengers as with extra leg room seats.

DontmindifIdo Mon 25-Mar-13 09:32:05

Surely a 'total weight per seat' - so person plus baggage would be fairer? You could have scales you walk onto with your luggage. I know a lot of smaller airplanes do that, you have a total weight allowance.

It could be equally said that charging excess baggage for someone who needs to take equipment with them due to a disablity/medical condition is discrimination.

I know someone who used to work as ground staff for an airline back before everyone did on-line or touch screen checkin, they were told to discreetly "spread the loads" - in the same way they try to even out very heavy bags on either side of hte plane to avoid one side being considerably heavier than the other, they were unoffically putting larger people on opposite sides of the plane to try to even it out. this was stopped once they realised it was becoming public knowledge, she said the lady from head office said they'd rather take the risk and offend anyone - so I can't see something like this ever being done.

SoupDreggon Mon 25-Mar-13 09:35:25

Travelling next to someone who doesn't fit in the seat is very unpleasant for the people sitting next to them

This. I'm not entirely sure what the solution is but airlines can't afford to make every seat wide enough for large people (whether obese or "rugby build") without increasing the cost. Should everyone bear the cost of making seats wide enough for a minority?

lljkk Mon 25-Mar-13 09:39:04

Total weight allowance sounds good.
Filing Godwin's Away in my Geek bibliography (should know it already as am an old Usenet hound).

is it really a valid principle that disabled people should never pay extra to accommodate their disability? I am trying to decide if that isn't patronising.

MildDrPepperAddiction Mon 25-Mar-13 09:39:30

YABU. It's a horrible experience being squashed by your seat neighbour in a plane. If someone had to buy two seats it would also be less embarrassing for them knowing they are not infringing on someone else's personal space.

thelittlestkiwi Mon 25-Mar-13 09:40:26

I think it's weird that we don't seem to mind the new 'naked scanners' but no one wants to be publicly weighed........

Icelollycraving Mon 25-Mar-13 09:40:42

If I had to get weighed,I wouldn't fly. I am overweight,well actually obese. We pay to go into premium economy which is roomier.
I understand about being uncomfortable squeezed next to someone on the hefty side. If someone cannot fit in the seat comfortably,they should have to upgrade to a wider seat.
You'd have to have the sections of wider seats evenly distributed through the aircraft though grin

Kendodd Mon 25-Mar-13 09:40:58

I have had the misfortune of sitting next to an very obese person on a plane, it's no fun at all, and embarrassing for him I'd bet. He was lovely though, travelling with his wife, also very obese, and interestingly not sitting next to each other, but sitting in opposite aisle seats. During the meal, DH and I ate their salads and they had our cake, not joking! Actually, the wife didn't have any cake the husband ate ours.

I heard somebody on the radio a while ago talking about obesity being a moral and environmental issue. Example, more fuel needed to transport people around, more food needing to be produced, more fabric to clothe them etc. He said that all the 'extras' needed added together was having a massive impact and should be addressed. I'll try to find the link.

It seems to be that obese people sometimes try to dress their problem up as some sort of disability, called themselves discriminated against. IMO obesity is not a disability (although it might lead to one). One question though, people with downs syndrome always seem to be fat, why is this?

pigletmania Mon 25-Mar-13 09:41:22

I am going to be flamed but yes if they are taking up to seats with their weight, why should the person be squashed and uncomfortable during the flight that they too have paid for. I am afraid you pay that price for your lifestyle choices. Yes airline seats should be wider, but how wide when a single person can weigh as much as 40 stone plus, noway will they be able to sit in one seat, its pretty obvious

Peetle Mon 25-Mar-13 09:42:19

I still resent paying a full price ticket for my 5 year olds, who weigh 16Kg each, and then not getting a 50Kg luggage allowance for them.

Kendodd Mon 25-Mar-13 09:47:17

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LtEveDallas Mon 25-Mar-13 09:54:04

Certain medications affect a persons weight. My MIL was a size 8 before she developed Emphysemia (sp?, sorry) and a year on was a size 16 as a direct result of the steroids, the drugs keeping her alive and the lack of exercise - she eats like a bird though.

Also anti-rejection drugs for certain transplants, steroids for lung complaints and so on.

In fact, for a lot of people simply the lack of exercise as a direct result of a disability/injury will cause them to put on weight - I know I did after my accident, and I have always been a healthy eater - but going from running and gym work every single day to absolutely nothing for 6 months saw me put on 3 stone - and it took almost 2 years because of my reduced mobility for me to be able to get it back off. It was very hard work and totally demoralising, so if this had been bought up back then I think it would have destroyed me.

I think the airlines would be leaving themselves open to a world of hurt if they were to implement this, I really do.

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