Monday, April 27, 2009

the politics of seat sizes on airplanes

I do not know how to resolve the issue of seat sizes on airplanes and varying body sizes. As it stands, individuals who do not fit in an airplane seat are put on another flight with two empty seats next to one another. Proposals of a "fat tax" are alarming weight acceptance activists.

Somehow, someway, this issue needs to be adequately addressed in ways that avoid humiliation. Last year, United received 700 complaints about "seat infringement." Check out the full article and tell me how you would resolve this issue.


Kel said...

CNN's American Morning recently did a segment on this issue, which left me feeling irritated at the body-acceptance activist who wants all airlines to renovate their planes so that even the most obese passengers can sit sans-infringement in any coach seat. Not to sound insensitive, but I think most plus-sized individuals can comfortably fit in a standard economy class seat without infringing upon another passenger's space. For obese travelers who literally do not fit in a seat and infringe upon the space of a neighboring passenger (an awkward and angering position I've unfortunately held a few times), I think ít's only fair for the larger passenger to pay a "fat tax," for lack of a better term, to buy an additional empty seat to expand their space. Of course, if empty seats are available on the flight then I don't think a larger traveler should have to pay for an additional seat - this should only be done when a flight is full and the airline must rebook an individual on a less-full flight in order to maximize the space available for said traveler. In any case, under no circumstances should a fare-paying passenger who DOES fit in his or her assigned seat have to suffer the uncomfortable position of having another person's body mass invade their space, which results in humiliation and discomfort for BOTH parties involved.

Vanessa said...

It all boils down to being charged for being larger than a given, or "normal" size. What's normal?

I actually don't know the height and/or weight maximum to fit in a seat.