Airlines at it again: New fat tax

April 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm 2 comments

United Logo

United Airlines announced a new policy on Wednesday, called “Passenger requiring extra space.”

This new policy’s title should change to “The fat ass tax.”

What it boils down to is that people that can’t buckle a seat belt using a one seat-belt extender or can’t put the seat’s armrests down when seated will have to pay for an additional seat. The other catch: If there isn’t an additional seat that they can sit you by, then you either have to upgrade to the bigger seats in business/first class/etc. or wait for another flight.

And when there is an extra seat, you’ll have to pay for that seat also.

Now, two things I would like to point out there. First, all fat people aren’t rich — if we were, we wouldn’t be flying coach to begin with. Second, with the way they are cramming flights these days and with less flights leaving, there are probably not going to be that many extra seats available. Having flown stand-by this year — I know what I’m talking about. It took me all day to catch two flights — and that was only waiting on one seat to become available.

What this basically boils down to is that if you MUST fly United Airlines and of are size, you might as well just drive.

Actually policy here.

I smell a boycott …


Entry filed under: Fat bias. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tom Duncan  |  June 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    This is not a new idea; many airlines have had this policy in place for years. I know that Southwest’s policy states that if there is an extra seat available the “Customer of Size” will not be charged for two seats. However, if the flight is full and a person requires two seats, they make you purchase a second seat and usually remove someone from the flight. That means that someone is being inconvenienced because someone has just taken their seat.

    I wouldn’t go by the seatbelt extender rule, but I think it is completely reasonable to require passengers that cannot put an arm rest down to have two seats. I have been on a CRJ-200 (2×2 configuration) where this was not enforced and I was pressed against the wall and entire flight. It was uncomfortable and completely violated my personal space (it didn’t help that the passenger kept resting his head on me after numerous requests for him not to stop).

    If an extra seat is available, there’s no need for the passenger to purchase another seat; put them next to the empty seat. However, if they cannot fit in one seat without impacting the comfort of another passenger (remember that they are entitled to comfort and service as well) then I think it’s reasonable to purchase another seat because after all, another passenger is probably going to get inconvenienced.

  • 2. Julian  |  July 26, 2009 at 8:40 am

    If I carry 50KG of lard in my hand luggage I have to pay extra for it, however if you eat it is it fair that you can carry it for free?”


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