Thursday, April 16, 2009

My thoughts on the United obese passenger policy

My thoughts:
  • United is not the first airline to do this, though they probably should have been one of the first movers on this -- there is precedent.
  • This is not a revenue issue for United; there is a revenue component, but I think that they are responding to frequent travelers like me that are tired of it. Every time I complete a survey from United, I voice my opinion about this issue.
  • I bought my seat. The whole seat. And half of the arm rest on the seat next to me. Remember the invisible line in the back seat of the car? Don't cross over (or under) my invisible line.
  • Seat belt extender = automatic second seat purchase. I've never seen someone that needs the seat belt extender contain themselves within the defined area of a single seat.
  • United is not discriminating against you for your weight problem. If they're discriminating against you, then they are also discriminating against me by maintaining my weight in such a way that I can fit in the confines of my seat and allowing you to encroach on the area that I paid for.
  • If you hide behind blaming your weight issue on genetics or issues beyond your control, read The Body Fat Solution by Tom Venuto or save the cost of the book and realize that you will lose fat by expending more calories than you take in on a daily basis.
Sure, big rant on my part. But I spend a lot of money on airplane flights and a lot of time in airplane seats.

Link to the LA Times article

Picture from Matt's Flicks

1 comment:

aletheis said...

I've been thinking about how to approach this issue in terms of the rights of the neighboring passenger. Most discussions I've come across deal with the right of a person to their entire seat (with armrest as the "divider"). However, I think discussion needs to occur on the right of a passenger not to be touched by another person for an unreasonable length of time. Imagine a scenario with an obese man seated next to a 15-year-old girl. Is it OK for him to spend the flight nestled against her simply because of his size? Could she or her parents make a complaint (founded or unfounded) alleging that he purposely kept touching her? Or that the airline was complicit in allowing the girl to be touched against her will? And is it unreasonable to imagine an obese predator, someone who would take pleasure in making another person uncomfortable by touching him/her against his/her will?

Just some thoughts...