Should airlines discriminate against "heavy" people?

I got this article here:

To me it seems pretty black and white. If airline seats are only 17 inches wide and you are twice that wide, then you should have to pay for 2 seats. It just seems like common sense to me. A person who is 800 pounds is just not going to fit in a seat that size. I weigh 230 pounds and I dont have a problem fitting into an airline seat or into air plane bathrooms. People in this article have problems with both and feel like it is the air lines fault for it. I guess no one told them that there is only so much room on an air plane. What do you think? Should the airlines make the planes bigger or should these people just face the reality of it and either buy 2 seats or fly first class?

Should a tall person have to pay for the seat infront of them because they need the extra leg room?

first off, i dont think the airlines should be in such a hurry to make people less likly to fly, such as insulting them by saying, “I’m sorry sir, but your going to have to pay for two seats because your a fat bastard.”
Secondly i wouldnt be surprised if the airlines were later sued for such a thing.
thirdly, make the seats bigger, its supposed to be a comfortable flight for everyone, i say that if the fat bastard has to pay for two seats he should get a seat in first class, which have larger chairs, i said chairs, cause they are not just plain old seats.

for crying out loud next you’ll see amputees asking for discounts.

[Moderator Hat: ON]

BURNER said:

And when you got it there, did ya happen to notice the little line at the end that says: “© The News Chief”?

Guess not.

Copyright violation is forbidden on the SDMB. I am cutting your post down to size. Anybody who wants to read the whole thing can go to the link which you have already supplied.

Don’t do it again.

David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator

[Moderator Hat: OFF]

Sorry, my bad I didnt realize it would cause problems. it wont happen again.

The airlines are selling a seat of a certain width. If you “spill over” into the next seat, you are taking up someone else’s property. Pay up. The tall person analogy doesn’t work. Tall people are stuck with limited leg room. They suffer, but cause no one else harm. I’m a tall person, and realize that when I fly I can’t ask the person in front of me NOT to lower their seat back. If I need or want more room, I pay for it by flying Biz class.

Fuck it; I’m taking the train.

Not sure I’d call it “discrimination”. The seats are designed to work for MOST people, that’s all. Not necessarily ALL people. I’d hate to try and fly on a plane that was designed to handle every single kind of human ever made! For one thing, it wouldn’t have very many seats, I don’t think. For another, I think it would be hellaciously expensive…

You have a right to be as fat or as tall or as thin or whatever as you can manage… but not necessarily in MY house, y’know? My floors weren’t designed for half-ton people. I think the same should likely go for someone’s airplanes…

The size of the seats is determined by the economics of operating a plane. Bigger seats = less passengers per flight = higher ticket cost. We should all pay more because some people are obese?

You could say that wider seats would attract more fliers, but you’d always have one airline with 17 inch seats offering cut-rate fares stealing everyone else’s business. Midwest Express offers wider seats, and they’re near bankruptcy, because people in general won’t pay for them.

Well, actually all the airlines really care about is making money and all the pilot is really concerned with is how much weight is onboard. Now, up to a point, they say everybody can be called the same. When the people will not fit, the SPECIAL arrangements must be made. Nothing is more important than weight. So, All airline tickets should be according to weight, baggage and all. Only fair way to do it. Little kid with a W*W sack gets by cheap, 800 pound person with 500 pounds of baggage pays for the privilege. The number of seats used does not enter into it. Use benches like the military does, Maybe better cushions but… he he he Works for me and I’m a big guy.

Well we’d all like more space. But if you can’t fit into the meagre amount the airlines give you then you’re going to have to pay extra if you want more. It’s not unreasonable.

I do have a solution though. All people who tip their seats are instantly ejected and fat people get their space.

I maintain that when I buy a plane ticket, I am paying for the airline to transport me from point A to point B, not for the seat.

But they don’t get the extra leg room, do they?

Instead, they get their knees cramped and squashed to hell by the chair in front.

If the chair in front was moved forward (or removed entirely) to accomodate a tall person, then sure, yes, they could start talking about compensation.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for airlines to charge for two seats in the case of obese people. I agree that if all the seats were made wider to accommodate more sizes of folks, prices would go up for everyone, and that’s less fair.

As for comaparin height with weight, a point that I’m surprised has not been made is this: There is an element of choice in obesity that is not present in height. I am both obese, and tall. I can certainly take steps to make myself thinner (and don’t tell me about metabolic disorders, etc. I think those folks are a true minority), but I couldn’t make myself shorter without doing something really radical, like amputation.

Where’s the discrimination - either you pay for the space you use or (the space you do use and not pay for) is subsidised by other passengers on the flight … … it’s not exactly complicated economics …

Nothing to do with ‘discrimination’, unless you’re arguing that the (obese) two-seats-for-the-price-of-one-ticket policy amounts to economic discrimination against the normal one-seat-one-ticket people ?

Well, the airlines disagree, and they’re the ones who own the seats.

If you don’t agree, try buying a ticket for “standing room only.”

A pit thread about this

By “should”, do you mean should they be legally allowed, or do we think it’s a good idea for them? Unfortunately, since lots of people want to make a law about everything to impose their views on others, the former case is usually true, so I thought I’d ask.

In the case of a law, hell no. It’s a private service, and they can charge by the pound, if they want.

If it’s a matter of company policy… A good compromise seems to be charging half the normal charge for an extra seat. They lose some money, but not as much as if they give the seat for free, and they don’t generate as much resentment in general.

I keep waiting for them to start charging a premium for the exit rows. I’d pay it if it were small, and I’m not even tall!

And it’s worth noting that many airlines do indeed have seats that are wider that 17" and have more legroom than standard (which is what, 22" pitch room these days?). They charge extra for those seats.

To be frank, it doesn’t matter what you think. The airlines are selling you a seat. If you can’t get a seat, you can’t fly. Period.

To put it another way, try demanding that airlines give you train tickets or bus tickets or rental car fare to get you where your going.

sure, they discriminate against light people.

i weigh 45 kg, my luggage allowance is 15kg, same as everybody else, even if they are three times my weight.

i’ll have to pay excess baggage if i’m over, even if me, plus my bags, weigh less than them minus theirs.