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Two seats for the price of one ...

Nov 21, 2008 8:47PM PST

News from our PC neighbors:

Obese have right to two airline seats - Yahoo! News
Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.

What's next - an empty neighboring seat for the claustrophobic?

Discussion is locked

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What's next
Nov 21, 2008 9:22PM PST

Buy your ticket according to your weight?

If you can fit through a certain size opening your ticket cost a certain price?

If you weigh over a certain weight you travel in the Largest Plane in the World? One flight a day.

I listened to pilots talking to the tower and they refer to their plane as "heavy", is that what they are talking about?

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Nov 21, 2008 10:39PM PST
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How about
Nov 22, 2008 1:15AM PST

..... using up too much of my share of the air? Not only is there not enough space available in one seat, there's not enough air available , either, so they use up part of that of the neighboring seats.

I speak from personal experience. Even when I've been lucky enough to get an aisle seat, not only does their body overflow onto my seat, but they always take up the arm rest between us. Always. I can't see across them to the other arm rest, but I suspect its the same. And they pant loudly when breathing. So for the entire journey one can't help but wonder if they might stop breathing from the strain on their heart from carrying around all of that weight, So there is really no way to relax. In addition, I wonder if there is enough air left arounf me to sustain me as they are sucking up so much of it.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound unkind. But I realize that the airlines for the most part have made their seats closer together. But most of us recreational travelers shop for the best rates and make our plans accordingly. We adjust to the extra fees put on us by the airlines, put up with lost luggage, delayed flights, missed connections. There are restrictions regarding some medical conditions on commercial flights. IMO, airlines can make the rules when it comes to obese customers who want to fly. These rules are not a surprise, but posted on web sites.

Speakeasy Moderator

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There's a simple answer to your plight.
Nov 22, 2008 1:23AM PST

Fly First Class. You will get all the room you want.

Those other folks in economy are paying customers. They help keep the price of your economy ticket low, and they help keep the airlines in business.

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Nov 22, 2008 1:33AM PST

..... I just happen to be among those who must fly first or business class due to a physical requirement, thank you. And no, I get no discount for it.

And you did not note the satire with which I responded as in the article.

Speakeasy Moderator

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You are right. I detected absolutely no satire
Nov 22, 2008 2:01AM PST

in what you wrote. Satire, to be satire, must be recognized as such.

If you are flying in premium seats, it seems your claim to overcrowding was a bit deceptive. I am failing to see what point you were trying to make. Perhaps you should elaborate.

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I last flew economy
Nov 22, 2008 2:30AM PST

.... in about 1992. So I had a couple of those experiences way back then. That was about the time the airlines were making planes into cattle cars by moving the seats close together sideways and lengthwise. The general public could fly very cheaply.

My point is that , like driving, it is not a right to fly, but a privilege. Just because somebody bought a seat next to somebody else does not give them any special privileges (other than medical). He or she can't disturb their neighbor by playing their music too loud, for instance. or use abusive language, The question of invading another's physical space is one that can be objective or subjective and should be clearly and fairly spelled out by the airlines.

IMO, there is a difference in being overweight, or eevn fat, and obese. So the airlines must make the definition clear.

Some airlines "reserve" bulkhead seating for very tall passengers. I would think that some arrangement could be made for over-sized ones.

BTW, ticket prices have limited my travel greatly. In the past 6 years I have flown twice.

Speakeasy Moderator

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Your point is totally bogus.
Nov 22, 2008 3:11AM PST

There is absolutely a right to fly. Who grants that right? The airline. If they sell a ticket, they are conferring the right to fly. There is no "privilege" involved. The airlines define the terms of transport when they sell the ticket. You have no right to determine what they should, or should not, do. If they want to charge for two seats, they should be able to do so. That is their right. No government should presume to interfere with that decision. The airline is in control of your experience, and they will act in their best interests.

You have the choice of flying elsewhere (if you can find a carrier that follows your rules), buying a better seat, or staying home. Those are your rights.

I appreciate greatly the availability of economical transportation. It is not usually a terribly pleasant experience, but it gets me where I want to go for a price that I am willing to pay. To be honest, your opinion of what the airlines should do is not a factor in my decisions.

Perhaps, if folks were less demanding of their own short term comfort, ticket prices would be low enough to allow you to travel more.

I am still failing to detect the "satire" that you claim was present in your original post. It still sounds like you are complaining that other people are being allowed to interfere with your desire to travel in the comfort that you desire.

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Re: still failing to detect the "satire"
Nov 22, 2008 3:45AM PST

why am i not surprised.......


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Perhaps you should point it out to me.
Nov 22, 2008 4:27AM PST

You seem to know exactly where the comments are satirical in nature.

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sure, no problem
Nov 22, 2008 11:01AM PST

if you re-read Angelines post, it lies between 'using' and 'sites' Wink

but seriously, IMO, asking to have satire pointed out to you is the same as asking to have a joke explained

just doesn't work somehow Sad


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Hahahaha! That's no answer...
Nov 22, 2008 11:08AM PST

it's a bluff. You have no idea where the "satire" is.

If you think that is satire, you don't really know what satire is.

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wow are SO RIGHT!
Nov 22, 2008 11:14AM PST

it was so obvious, i mean, if YOU haven't already pointed it out to KP.......


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When at a total loss....
Nov 22, 2008 11:21AM PST

complete nonsense will always do, eh?


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if folks were less demanding of their own short term comfort
Nov 22, 2008 3:56AM PST

Sit on the runway for 6 hours. no washroom, no food, no drink?

And the seats are too soft, a wooden box should suffice.

If they just slowed the plane down and let the passengers parachute out, it would save fuel and increase profit margin.

[satire?]The airline is in control of your experience, and they will act in their best interests.[/satire?]

In control of YOUR experience and will act in THEIR best interest.

The fact you worked in an aircraft assembly plant is showing.

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(NT) or perhaps you were a pilot/steward
Nov 22, 2008 4:00AM PST
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It might balance if they'd
Nov 22, 2008 11:33AM PST

give discounts to all the kids and little Asian peoples.

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Nov 23, 2008 2:08AM PST

Is that more "satire"?

The DC 8, 9 and 10 ALL had smaller seats, less leg room and less overhead room as well and all were out of production looooooong before 1992 and all were jet aircraft.

If you want to consider propeller-driven airliners, from the Ford Tri-Motors of the 30s to the Lockheed Super Constellations of the 50s, things were REALLY CROWDED.

No "satire" here, just factual info.

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DC9 out of production looooooong before 1992
Nov 23, 2008 2:27AM PST
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Glad you can afford it.
Nov 22, 2008 1:44AM PST

At first class prices, I may have never met and married my wife.

Hmmm could I then sue the airlines for depriving me of my right to pursue happiness?

The cold truth of it is though you can buy 3 economy seats for the price of one first class. Interesting note, a few years ago several airlines were playing with the idea of charging for the second seat for oversized passengers. I never found a definition of what that meant.

I did see one news story where a man, and his wife were stranded in Chicago because American Airlines refused to see him without charging for an extra seat on their return flight. No problems on the way out, just on the way back, same airline.

After their appearance on the evening news talking about it while standing in the airport waiting for a resolution, I never hear of the rule being enforced again.

I am oversized, fat if you prefer to be obnoxious. When travelling, as much as possible my wife and I try to get a pair of seats on the two seat side of the plane. I don't really like squeezing other people and do my best when force to sit beside someone I don't know to keep as much as possible to my space. I have seen some who can't possibly fit into less than two seats, I have no idea if they were charge for two seats or not. I did notice they were treated as a medical condition, being allowed to board first, with the handicapped passengers.

Maybe you'd like to charge me extra for the weight strain on the sidewalks and highways too.

If they're going to penalize based on size, there has to be state measurements. Or else charge everyone by the pound for themselves and their luggage. Granted that would still charge me more, but then, some of the luggage I've seen carry on probably would be overweight for checked baggage judging by the strain of the passenger and stewardess trying to get it overhead.

Of course, I know, fat people should be allowed to exist anyway.


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Perhaps you missed it Roger.
Nov 22, 2008 4:25AM PST

I never said that I fly first class. I do not. I fly in the economy section of the economy section. My tickets are priced accordingly, and I do not complain that my flight falls short of what first class passengers experience.

I also did not say that I prefer that heavier people receive higher fares. I simply said that the airline has the right to determine the terms of the contract when they sell a ticket. It is other people who have been complaining that heavy people interfere with their enjoyment of the flight. I do not sympathize with their complaints. I did note that, if they want to insure an enjoyable flight, they should pay for a better seat.

I don't know where you got the idea that I am attacking fat people. I was not. I was answering those who are attacking "fat" people.

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Correction to my assumption noted
Nov 22, 2008 1:23PM PST

Regarding right to determine terms of the contract that sounds like a legal correct statement.

However, not providing a complete listing UP FRONT (not in "fine print")of their definitions of oversized etc is misleading if not legally fraudulent. Hey, that's business, infer one promise, deliver something else.

Regarding first class, most of my flights I've ever made are on a MD-80 or very similar class aircraft. There aren't that many first class seats and as I think I noted, you can get 3 coach for the price of one first class. Mainly the rich, or those that someone else (the employer, be it corporate or government) pays the price, can really afford first class for air travel.


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I don't know what you are really saying Roger.
Nov 22, 2008 10:47PM PST

Are you one of those who needs two seats, or are you simply a plus size that Angeline doesn't want to sit next to? If the former, then I do think you should pay for two seats. If the latter (you can fit in one seat), then it is Angeline who should pay for an upgraded seat if she wants more room.

As long as the airline spells out its terms, it is incumbent on YOU to look at and understand those terms. If you don't, then you must be prepared for the consequences. Since when is the seller held responsible to beat you over the head with the obvious?

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Nov 22, 2008 10:49PM PST

You don't consider air travel a "right"?

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Sure it's a right,
Nov 22, 2008 10:53PM PST

as long as you accept the conditions that the airline stipulates when they sell you a ticket, and you pay for the appropriate ticket. Yes, that includes the fine print that does not affect 99% of the traveling public.

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Airlines spelling out the conditions
Nov 22, 2008 11:21PM PST

Another point right there, the conditions don't seem very fixed, not just regarding weight, but in general.

The period I mentioned a few years ago when they had some fuss about over-sized passengers, they never made it clear exactly what was over-sized. As I noted, the man in the news that AA was saying needed to purchase a second seat to return home had flown the same airline on his way out without a complaint from the airline.

You can't play by the rules when the rules are continuously in flux. is incumbent on YOU to look at and understand those terms. Yeah, right, while legally that is definitely true, how many can truly understand the legalese doublespeak of terms? It can be almost as bad as an EULA.

As far as can I fit in one seat, define fit. The seats are extremely narrow. While I can fit between the armrests, my shoulders are wide enough that they are certainly not going to be 100% within the edges of the back of the seat.

And yes, I'm overweight also. I'm sure many would prefer not to sit next to me. However, on the notion of preferring not to sit next to me, does the airlines spell out other conditions that one intrudes on one's seatmates?

Let's see; body odor, alcohol rowdiness, constant up and down for something overhead, kicking the back of the seat in front, shifting feet constantly and bumping their neighbor's. Granted, knee/leg room is almost nonexistence, those tall people someone mention as being less of a problem than fat people normally have their knees pressed into the seatback in front of them.

You have to deal with reality flying. Airlines have to be profitable. And I like lower rates as much as anyone. The question becomes when do you pack another body in to make costs at the current rates? Maybe we should be like those far east shuttle flights I saw a news broadcast about? they had them standing in the aisle holding on to straps like a subway car.


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You seem to be confusing rules with accomodation.
Nov 23, 2008 9:56PM PST

An airline may accomodate a passenger who requires two seats if it has the room on a flight, and if it chooses to do so. That doesn't mean it's required to do that on all flights. It means super heavy weights try to rip off the airlines just as most people do. They buy one seat, and hope to get away with it.

As for crowding, everyone knows that it's crowded when they buy those cheap tickets, so I don't see why you are complaining about it. If you want a better experience, buy a better ticket. You'll get champagne and all the perks. That's simply the way it is. You usually get what you pay for. If the airlines were not in business, you could drive your car. That would be ever so much more fun.

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re accommodating if it chooses to
Nov 25, 2008 10:36AM PST
An airline may accommodate a passenger who requires two seats if it has the room on a flight, and if it chooses to do so. That doesn't mean it's required to do that on all flights.

So they can take his money for a round trip flight, say it's alright on the way out, and then tell he's too fat to go home.

It means super heavy weights try to rip off the airlines just as most people do. They buy one seat, and hope to get away with it.

Yeap, fat people are always trying to game the systems, that's why we shouldn't be allowed out in public isn't it?

As for crowding, everyone knows that it's crowded when they buy those cheap tickets, so I don't see why you are complaining about it.

No one should ever complain about being decent treatment being sacrificed for profit, gotcha boss.

you want a better experience, buy a better ticket. You'll get champagne and all the perks.

Champagne tastes nasty and gives me gas and a headache, you can have mine.

You usually get what you pay for.

Now that may be true. But it's also true that often you're given a choice between having nothing and having to give in to extortion. Sometimes we just have to put up with it.

And regarding You seem to be confusing rules with accommodation.

please notice my first line of the post you replied to.

Airlines spelling out the conditions

Another point right there, the conditions don't seem very fixed, not just regarding weight, but in general.

I suppose it's normal to change rules, guidelines, and expectations in midstream, or mid-flight as the case may be. As far as confusing rules with accommodation, I'm pointing out the inconsistency in selling him a round trip ticket, taking his money, and then saying at the other end of the flight that because he's fat they only have to fly him one way for that ticket. That's fraud. They sold him the ticket. If they couldn't guarantee his return trip when he arrived at the airplane and they saw his size, they should have refunded his ticket and refused to sell him a round trip one. If that's they way they want to play the game, changing the game every flight, they should tell everyone that if you're over a certain size, you can't ever count on our word and commitments.

Then if he had wished, I guess he could have tried a lawsuit discrimination against a class (fat) people when they refuse to sell him a round trip ticket. Of course, fat people aren't suppose to exist, so I doubt he'd get a day in court.

Once they allowed him to depart on a round trip ticket, they accepted the conditions.

I know you'll disagree, so go ahead. It's pointless anyway for me to debate such issues.

Fat people aren't suppose to exist, they depress everyone else.

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Since you refuse to acknowledge the difference
Nov 25, 2008 10:57PM PST

between accomodation and the actual rules the customer agrees to, I don't think that any effort expended in replying to your complaints will be useful. Your argument seems to center on the idea that, if you can rip the airline off once, you should be able to do it again.

The bottom line is simple. If you need two tickets to sit down in an airplane, buy them from the gitgo. Anyhthing less than that is an attempt to rip off the airline. If you opt for the rip off route, don't expect any sympathy if the airline decides at some point that paying for one seat does not confer a right to have two seats.

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Have it your way
Nov 26, 2008 8:11AM PST

I realize now I can never be right.