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Into thin air




Ella Perlis
AC360° Associate Producer
Frequent fliers, you might just rejoice! Your flights may be delayed or canceled, you still have to pay a fee for extra bags, the snacks are lame, and drinks aren’t on the house, BUT if you fly United Airlines, you’ll never have to share a portion of your own seat with a fellow traveler again.
Recently, United announced a new policy for portly passengers. The airline’s website says that if a person cannot buckle the seatbelt with a single extender and/or is unable to put the armrests down when seated, they will employ the “Passengers requiring extra space” policy. The first step is to relocate the customer to a seat next to an unused seat at no extra cost. No empty seats? That individual needs to upgrade the ticket to a more expensive, larger seat. No upgrade seats available? Apparently, that person would be kindly asked not to take that flight. He or she can then purchase another seat, for a total of two seats, for the next available flight.

United says this policy is not unique, and that other commercial airlines, including Southwest and Delta, have similar regulations. Still, in adopting the policy, United has renewed the controversy over what some call “Fat Fees.” My initial reaction was one of sympathy and embarrassment for large passengers. Coach seats are never comfortable, but if you’re of a greater weight than the average person, it could be downright painful. In addition to the physical discomfort, there are the unwanted stares, muffled whispers, and now the fear of being asked to disembark. Yet a friend of mine expressed her enthusiastic support for the new policy. A self-proclaimed “Fattist,” meaning she opposes fat people and fat culture, her candid response was that she prefers to travel without heavy people violating her personal space. Apparently, she isn’t alone since United says this latest change stems from 700 hundred complaints they received last year.
Many believe discrimination against overweight people is acceptable because they believe weight is a choice. For some, that’s true. However, there are medical conditions that can impact a person’s size.
In fact, Canada last year passed a law called ‘One Person, One Fare,’ treating “severely” overweight people as disabled and therefore protected, but people who are “not disabled as a result of their obesity” are not protected. The doesn’t make clear how to determine which category a person falls in, and nor does the Canadian Transportation Agency, so that leaves it up to the airlines.
And aren’t there options other than booting overweight people off planes — or crowding people who are not overweight? Should airlines make the seats roomier, for example? Or provide some wider seats, or seat extenders?
And what about charging parents with screaming children? Sure, these parents are paying for each of the seats they occupy, but a wailing baby can be just as invasive as someone taking up space beyond their armrest. Should airlines be charging extra for those who fall asleep with their head dangling onto the seat of their neighbor (you know who you are), snoring and drooling throughout the flight?
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/20/into-thin-air/

I like it.
 

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I don't like how the end of the article seems to defend fat people. That **** is so annoying. I do not want a fat ass resting his rolls on me for a several hour flight. I paid for a seat I should be able to enjoy alone.
 

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Well, lets defend screaming babies and sleeping people....

Babies are not really a choice. If people don't have them, the human race would cease to exist, right? And babies cry, right? Ok.

Sleeping people...people have to sleep, right? Sure, that ****** of them to fall asleep on you, but nudge them, say "Hey buddy, you're drooling on me...you mind?" and I bet they'll make an honest attempt to keep it from happening again, along with an apology.

Fat people = not necessary.
 

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Sure, relocate the fat person next to an empty seat... that takes care of ONE side. What about the other side? If it's in an aisle, they overflow and block the aisle. If it's a middle seat, they overflow into one person. Not exactly a great situation.

I've been in the middle seat with 2 fat people overflowing into my seat several times (no other free seats available). My pants and shirt had sweat stains because of their thighs/bellies/arms overlapping on to me. Ugh.

Babies should NEVER be allowed to sit on someone's lap. I can't even have my purse on my lap for safety reasons, why on earth should a baby be allowed to? They should be required to be safely in a baby seat. Unfortunately, crying happens, but if your kid is such a problem find a way to fix it or don't bring them on a dang plane.
 

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Your infant can be used as a flotation device.

What about us tall people 'eh? Where's the love airline companies?
 

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I get that some people have genetic conditions that cause their weight issue. If that's the case, see a doctor, get tested, wear a bracelet like a diabetic. We'll deal with those situations from there. Too many people (someone in my immediate family comes to mind) eat themselves into disability and then blame someone else. You know what fattie? PUT THE HOHO DOWN.
 

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Lots of airlines have this policy, but few enforce it. We'll see if that changes as they look for more ways to make money.
 

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Should airlines make the seats roomier, for example? Or provide some wider seats, or seat extenders?
Wider seats? Seat extenders?

The rest of the world continues to laugh at us.

:p

Yes, put the Ho Ho down. And park that freakin' electric shopping cart at Walmart and walk around the store.

Sorry, but it's gotten ridiculous. Listen to any weight loss testimonial on radio or TV.

"I tried everything and nothing worked.....until I called Jenny"

"What pray tell did Jenny suggest?"

"Healthier food choices, portion control, and exercise."

"I thought you tried everything?...."

"I did. Everything except healthier food choices, portion control, and exercise."

;)

;D
 

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I agree with DieTrying, I've met people with thyroid conditions, and people who are disabled to the point that they just can't move well enough to excercise. But any other reason just is'nt acceptable. I eat at least 5 times a day, probably put away a good 8 pounds of random food in a given day.....but I'm 5' 11" and weigh 135 in the summer and 145 in the winter, I've been heavier and was miserable, I'm amazed at how some people can weigh so much and not realize something needs to be done.

Obesity is not a disease, alcholism is not a disease, drug adiction is not a disease, those are all choices and people should'nt feel sorry for another person that chooses not to help themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I get that some people have genetic conditions that cause their weight issue. If that's the case, see a doctor, get tested, wear a bracelet like a diabetic. We'll deal with those situations from there. Too many people (someone in my immediate family comes to mind) eat themselves into disability and then blame someone else. You know what fattie? PUT THE HOHO DOWN.

In the Marines we used to call people like that "fat blisters".

A crusty old First Sergeant I once worked with was often heard saying, "You know, you don't just wake up one morning and go, 'Holy shi(r)t! My clothes don't fit anymore!' It takes time."

I like to repeat it to others now.
 

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A crusty old First Sergeant I once worked with was often heard saying, "You know, you don't just wake up one morning and go, 'Holy shi(r)t! My clothes don't fit anymore!' It takes time."
HEY, I resemble that remark! ;D
 

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Spotted my ex on the subway today... she gained a lot of weight. I had to smirk.
Should have walked over and said you're going to need her to move to the other side of the train, the conductor is scared she's going to derail it.
 

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I agree with DieTrying, I've met people with thyroid conditions, and people who are disabled to the point that they just can't move well enough to excercise.
Thyroid conditions are typically treatable with drugs...and if they are not you can't get fat if you aren't eating excess calories. If they can't exercise then they need to eat less.
 

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Out of the 1 million + miles I've flown in commercial airliners, I have never had the pleasure of sitting next to the fat person. At least not one who has merged with my side.

On the other hand, I have only once had the pleasure of sitting next to the hot chick on the plane... two of them actually (I was in the middle seat). It was awesome when I realized that they were sitting next to me. It sucked when I found out that they didn't speak a lick of English.
 
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