Flying While Fat: Who Should We Blame?
It’s not a surprise that America has a lot of obese people… and that “morbidly obese” stat is growing at an alarming rate. We’ve all read the stories of obese people having to buy an extra seat or being denied a flight because they can’t fit into a regular-sized seat. We’ve also read stories of passengers sitting NEXT to these obese people experiencing various inconveniences such as.. well.. HAVING TO STAND during the flight (really, that just happened on a flight recently from Anchorage to Philly). The problem here is.. who should have to apologize, who should get the blame, and what really should be done about this? It’s time we start addressing this issue on a national level.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a small person. I’m rather large. I’ve been large my entire life. Can I fit into a regulation airplane seat? .. yes. Did I ever ooze over or extend my reach past my seat?.. no. Have I sat next to people who have been larger than me and have definitely made me feel uncomfortable? Absolutely. It’s nothing that just started happening… it’s been going on for quite some time and I don’t sit there thinking this person is an A-hole.. I just think.. this person is larger than their seat can handle.. and.. well, that’s unfortunate and that something should be done about it on both sides.
Some airline companies won’t allow you on the plane if you’re rather large. They’ll FORCE you to buy an extra ticket before boarding. Some companies have larger seats to accompany larger passengers. Some companies just don’t give a shit and will let an obese person sit in a regular seat, probably fairly uncomfortably, while someone sits next to them.. probably as uncomfortable. Do you think that the large person is comfortable shoving themselves into a seat like that? Of course they know its inconvenient but what can they do.. they want to fly.. they don’t want to be a distraction or a disturbance but they don’t really have much of an option outside of spending 2x their normal cost to fly. It’s not really fair.. what could possibly be done to avoid these types of situations?
ADDRESS YOURSELF AS BEING OBESE AND NOT ABLE TO FIT INTO A REGULAR AIRPLANE SEAT.
Yes, I said it.. people need to address this issue INTERNALLY. Understand that if you are 400lbs and it’s been an issue in the past for you to sit in ONE seat on an airplane, you should make special accommodations or choose an airplane company that has larger seats. It’s partially your fault. You’re large.. and you should know this. Don’t pretend the issue doesn’t exist, folks. If you can’t afford to buy two seats, well.. then don’t fly. Find a deal where 2 seats are fairly cheap. Lose some weight, work out, eat better.. stop being fat. Find medical help, work on it…. it’s not everyone else’s fault always.. it’s a combination of people being ignorant to the cause and ignorant of the cause… we’re all to blame..
AIRPLANE COMPANIES SHOULD ASK YOU A BASIC QUESTION OF YOUR HEIGHT/WEIGHT AND USE IT AS A TOOL TO SUGGEST BIGGER SEATS, MORE SEATS, ETC.
Ya I know, it’s like this huge invasion of your personal privacy. How dare a company ask you this question.. what right do they have? I dunno.. maybe it’s that we’re hearing people having to stand during flights because someone large was next to them.. maybe it’s because people are uncomfortable in small seats.. maybe it’s just because it makes a whole lot of sense. I know, it’s a big deal.. I know.. I get it.. we don’t want to have to admit things like this to a company we’re buying a ticket from.. but don’t you think that this would definitely alleviate some problems?
If you used EXPEDIA or HOTWIRE and just saved your body type to the preferences (let’s assume you’re 5’4″, 310lbs.. pretty round).. and when you try to book a flight on Air Alaska and they have pretty small seats.. they “suggest” that you may want to buy an additional seat out of convenience for you and for others.. possibly even discount it knowing you’re large and won’t really occupy that extra seat. Perhaps they don’t show you companies that have smaller seats? Wouldn’t that be nice? It would eliminate a lot of your homework and make for a safer/more comfortable ride for everyone. You’d also not get sticker shocked at the gate when an ignorant receptionist tells you that you need to purchase 2 tickets because you’re fat… embarassment/inconvenience eliminated.
INCREASE DISCRETION AND TOLERANCE
I keep reading about how an attendant will pull someone aside during check-in and tell them they can’t board the flight due to being obese.. or force them to purchase an extra ticket because they’re fat. We need to become a little more “tolerant” of the situation and be more discrete… bring them aside, be kind.. be courteous.. offer discounts, vouchers, etc.. Regardless of what people think, the airplane industry is a service oriented business… we can easily go to another company in the industry over yours. People cost-compare shop for better deals. It’s highly competitive. Don’t you think a company would win some points with the obese if they were nicer to them? Word would spread light wildfire.
STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR YOUR SHORTCOMINGS
As much as I’d like to say that it’s not your fault.. it is. People in America are getting fatter, lazier, and ignorant. It’s not McDonald’s fault that you’re fat. It’s the concept of you lacking discipline on your diet and not wanting to be physically active and fit. If you’re legitimately overweight due to some obscure medical condition or medication, then go the medical route and work to make yourself better. If you’re obese and do not want to address the situation to make yourself better, don’t expect anyone else to address it for you. People shouldn’t coddle you and give you bigger chairs on airplanes. People should be courteous and discrete with you, but they don’t owe you anything.