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Fat Fliers Get An Extra Seat Free





geoveo
Airline passengers in Canada who are too fat to fit into a single seat are now entitled to demand another one without paying any extra.

The Supreme Court of Canada has made a ruling that entitles obese people to have two seats for the price of a single fare.

The court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines against a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency to allocate two seats to people who are "functionally disabled by obesity".

Any comments ??
vineeth
It is interesting.

I bet, in a few days they will put a cap on the weight of passengers like they are doing in the case of luggage. If you want to carry more luggage, you need to pay extra. So, if you are over a particular weight, pay extra money!

Will they start new human cargo flights ??
mk12327
It is actually very common for airlines to charge horizontally-challenged passengers the price of 2 seats. The rationale is that if they are charged for 1 seat, it is unfair for the passenger sitting beside to get less space for a full-priced ticket. However, I feel that by having such a regulation, it somehow shows discrimination towards horizontally-challenged passengers. I would support the idea of charging only the price of a single seat while giving them space of 2.

Although commercially, it does not seem feasible as the airline would be losing alot of seats (and money) when giving out seats for free. If an airline were to administer such a regulation without government intervention, the effect would be much better. Because by lifting the regulation of charging 2 seats, the airline can claim that they care alot for their passengers' comfort and putting them as utmost priority. Laughing
Crazy_Canuck
Does this apply only to Canadian airlines or to any flight to or from a Canadian city?
tony
It's an interesting post! And a great question! I think I am leaning towards disagreeing with the law though - it seems unfair, what if everyone is so obese they fill up the whole plane - all the airlines now cannot make money! Just my thoughts..
missdixy
Crazy_Canuck wrote:
Does this apply only to Canadian airlines or to any flight to or from a Canadian city?


I *think* it's only Canadian airlines, or like any flights within Canada. Because I know that the U.S. charges you for an extra sea if you are that overweight...so a flight from US to Canada,y ou'd probably still have to pay for the extra seat.
Helios
This is not an easy issue to solve, but they went the fast and easy way (not the best, of course, but...)..
Obese people divide into two groups: people who eat a lot, or people who are overweight because of some illness/treatment.
The most fair solution would be to give an extra seat to the ones who cannot simply go on a diet and lose the weight, and those who can - they'd pay for a second ticket, or start working on their health.
Nevertheless, they don't really have the resources nor the legal possibility (I think) to check those facts about every fat person stepping into their plane.
poppat
It is easy to say that people should just lose weight. In some cases this is not always a possibility and therefore the law is right. However, there should be a law which allows for these people and only allows airlines to charge for the fat and lazy!

This should be an incentive to lose weight.

poppat
loonix
Good news for fatties, bad news for the airlines balance sheet. In essence the goverment are forcing airlines to give away seats for free, doesn't seem quite fair to me. At least they can probably recoup some of the lost funds when with food and drinks trolley comes around?
ocalhoun
loonix wrote:
Good news for fatties, bad news for the airlines balance sheet. In essence the goverment are forcing airlines to give away seats for free, doesn't seem quite fair to me. At least they can probably recoup some of the lost funds when with food and drinks trolley comes around?

Which basically means the ticket price for the rest of us goes up... So instead of the fatties paying extra for themselves, everybody pays extra for them. Gotta love communism.
standready
I see the airlines losing money. A full flight with only half the seats purchased.
mathiaus
My view is simple and seems to be shared by quite a few who have already posted.

Those who are overweight in the sense that they need more than one seat should have to pay for the extra. It is their own fault! (With an exception of course for those with medical conditions non self inflicted)

With the extra cost, it might actually give them another reason to loose a bit of weight Wink


loonix wrote:
At least they can probably recoup some of the lost funds when with food and drinks trolley comes around?


ROFL!! Laughing
geoveo
Just a thought, how about selling airline places by weight then everyone gets what they pay for.
coolclay
Wow, that's awful! Only in Canada! While I feel awful for overweight folks, that doesn't give them the right to screw the airlines out of a seat. I don't think it is right to charge them a whole extra seat either. I think the fair thing medium, would be to have them sit in like special seats and pay an extra overweight fee or something similar. Sort of like first class seats which are larger and have more room.
Hogwarts
If you smoke, who's fault is that? Same goes for being overweight. Unless you have a medical condition, apart from a ******-and-bull "Syndrome X" or whatever gene you invented and believe somehow makes you 'horizontally challenged', who's fault is that?

It's a negative lifestyle choice, not something you're born/forced into. If a 'horizontally challenged' person goes to a resturant, should they get a second meal free because they eat more? As far as I'm concerned, if you can't fit in one seat you should have to pay for that rather than negatively effect others for your own lifestyle choices.

loonix wrote:
At least they can probably recoup some of the lost funds when with food and drinks trolley comes around?

Bahaha Razz
psycosquirrel
I agree with Hogwarts' logic here.

Even people with eating disorders have no excuse for being as obese as society allows them.

Have any of you been anywhere in Asia before? Someone being overweight, especially enough to occupy TWO seats is completely unheard of! Even though they have the same diseases over there, grotesque obesity is a western-society only trait. There is no excuse for it, other than a blatant lack of self-control.

I believe people should have to pay for both seats. If more luggage costs more money, more human weight should cost more money.

By the way - I love the term "horizontally-challenged" now. It is discriminatory in every sense... So sad... Laughing
Crazy_Canuck
Wow, you people are harsh!!

Definitely the problem of obesity in Western society especially is a big one (no pun intended), but the causes and solutions are complex.

Those who are overweight are not helped, nor is it accurate to characterize them as 'lazy' or by blaming the victim.

In many cases, eating behaviour is a product of a lack of information leading to poor lifestyle choices, genetics and social-economic conditions, none of which are necessarily within the control of the individual and even when they are, most are very difficult to overcome.

Some compassion, please. Or at least a recognition that such rigid viewpoints about the obese, those with eating disorders, or those with any other mental health or addiction problem, not to mention disability (which is the term used by the Canadian legislation) betrays a naive and far too simplistic a view of the world.

ETA: Oh, and by the way, regardless of all that, I think people should have to pay a surcharge for an extra seat. I was once stuck between two HUMONGOUS football players/sumo wrestlers in a centre seat on a three-hour flight from Calgary to Toronto and I was praying the plane was going to go down, it was SO uncomfortable.
jsfdan
Source? Credible link?
If so... well ... ONE MORE thing they can't complain about!
Insanity
I agree. Is there a source for this?
Afaceinthematrix
Crazy_Canuck wrote:

Definitely the problem of obesity in Western society especially is a big one (no pun intended), but the causes and solutions are complex.

Nonsense. The causes and solutions are not complex. The causes are simple. People overeat and do not exercise enough. The solution is easy. Eat less, eat healthier, and exercise more.
Crazy_Canuck wrote:

Those who are overweight are not helped, nor is it accurate to characterize them as 'lazy' or by blaming the victim.

More nonsense. Overweight people are helped. Many restaurants are now offering healthier choices. There are programs (like AA) made in order to help people break the "food addiction." Also, exercise is an option. If you do not do it, just like if you don't choose healthier food, it's your fault. This reminds me of this one time where a morbidly obese woman was whining and complaining at Sears because she forgot something in her car and she had to walk all the way back to her car. I'd place that in the "lazy category."
Crazy_Canuck wrote:

In many cases, eating behaviour is a product of a lack of information leading to poor lifestyle choices, genetics and social-economic conditions, none of which are necessarily within the control of the individual and even when they are, most are very difficult to overcome.

Even more nonsense. There is so much information about the effects of obesity. This is just like smoking. Almost everyone who does it knows that it's unhealthy yet they continue to do it. Again, that's a choice. Obesity is a result of a CHOICE. I choose to eat healthy and exercise, which is why I'm not obese. People CHOOSE their lifestyles (for the most part - children and some adults don't get to). No one is forcing obese people to eat at McDonalds every day. That's a choice.
geoveo
jsfdan wrote:
Source? Credible link?
If so... well ... ONE MORE thing they can't complain about!


Yes, here is the source of the story:
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081120/scc_ruling_081120/20081120?hub=TopStories

or here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourview/2008/11/what_do_you_think_of_scoc_deci.html
mOrpheuS
Quote:
The agency had argued that airline companies were discriminating against some of their passengers because they were charging them an extra fare for taking up extra space on the plane.

Isn't that like saying the restaurants discriminate against some of their customers if they charge them for each burger, beyond one, that they eat ?
So someone has an appetite bigger than others ... why should they be "discriminated" against ?

What exactly is the criteria that decides if a person needs two seats ?
Will an average person be entitled to an extra free seat if they were to claim they're uncomfortable sitting in just one ?
Will tall people, who are (clearly) not comfortable with economy class legroom, get free upgrade to executive class ?

Has anyone tried to view this from the airlines' point of view ?

How about this - http://news.aol.com/article/430-pound-convict-released-early-due-to/247968 ?
deanhills
This is a difficult one to solve. A week ago I was on a half-empty flight from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi. There was an enormous passenger who comfortably fitted into almost three seats. I felt VERY sorry for him. Wow! Nothing like travelling to bring out all the weak spots in a person.

A year ago I was travelling with China Eastern Airlines from Dubai and I had a shock of my life. I am medium sized, got a window seat towards the front, and could not quite fit into it! Thankfully not all the seats are the same size, and when I asked for a larger seat, could get one that fitted me right at the back. But imagine what that must have felt like, as the regular travellers on China Eastern Airlines are of course tiny. The aisle is also not quite straightforward, as with the seats that are not all standard sizes, the aisle gets narrower at one point with more seats and wider in other sections.

Not good for the ego however, and now feel even worse for this very big guy of the last weekend.

In my experience however, and with lots of air travelling, I rarely see people as big as that. I can imagine with all the walking that air travellers have to do, in order to get to where the plane is, it has to be arduous to the extreme, not to mention that awful big step one has to take, when you have to use a bus in order to get to the plane, and then all those non-standard height steps up to the plane. So I cannot think it would make such a big difference to Canadian airlines. Think fatties would not enjoy to be made spectacles off, and when travelling by air, it just makes it stand out much too much.
deanhills
A week ago I was on a half-empty flight from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi. There was an enormous passenger who comfortably fitted into almost three seats. I felt VERY sorry for him. Wow! Nothing like travelling to make that stand out a million miles.

A year ago I was travelling with China Eastern Airlines from Dubai and I had a shock of my life. I am medium sized, got a window seat towards the front, and could not quite fit into it! Thankfully not all the seats are the same size, and when I asked for a larger seat, could get one that fitted me right at the back. But imagine what that must have felt like, as the regular travellers on China Eastern Airlines are of course tiny. The aisle is also not quite straightforward, as with the seats that are not all standard sizes, the aisle gets narrower at one point with more seats and wider in other sections.

Not good for the ego however, and now feel even worse for this very big guy of the last weekend.

In my experience however, and with lots of air travelling, I rarely see people as big as that. I can imagine with all the walking that air travellers have to do, in order to get to where the plane is, it has to be arduous to the extreme, not to mention that awful big step one has to take, when you have to use a bus in order to get to the plane, and then all those non-standard height steps up to the plane. So I cannot think it would make such a big difference to Canadian airlines. Think fatties would not enjoy to be made spectacles off, and when travelling by air, it just makes it stand out much too much.
Crazy_Canuck
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Obesity is a result of a CHOICE.


I agree with you and I hold people accountable and responsible for their behaviour too. My comment that the causes/solutions of obesity are complex was directed at the societal level -- especially because the Canadian court ruling applies to the public.

While there is plenty of help and information for people who are overweight to learn about proper nutrition and exercise, that doesn't change the fact that doing so is not necessarily an easy task. Blaming them, implying they are lazy or lack discipline or simply aren't trying may in some cases actually be true, but I stand by my earlier comment, it is not helpful. It does not achieve behaviour change at an individual level, and certainly not at a societal one.

Those of us who know a bit about behaviour change, human psychology and how difficult it is for people to actually act to get or stay healthy (smoking included), choose to have a certain amount of compassion or at least consideration for those who are struggling to make those choices. One can do so without condoning the poor choices or absolving anyone of personal responsibility for making them.

Furthermore, the links between socioeconomic status, in particular low education levels, and obesity are well documented. I suspect you won't throw out the same charge of "nonsense" at The New England Journal of Medicine.
milk
They should have to pay.
Although, perhaps the embarassment will be all the price they need.
friuser
Fat people should have to pay. Obesity was never a problem like it is today. It is not a disability being fat. Yes because of your mass it is difficult for you to walk and get around. However unless it is medical meaning you have an incredible slow metabolism which is rare, You are fat because you eat unhealthy for a very long time or eating for the sake of eating.

It's so sad that a condition that is easily corrected by self control and better eating habits have court support. Obese people also cost the taxpayer much more and consume the healthcare system of associated medical costs because of their obesity. This is so sad.
ocalhoun
friuser wrote:
However unless it is medical meaning you have an incredible slow metabolism which is rare

It must be very rare. In fact, I suspect it is something doctors tell patients to make them feel better.

I have yet to meet someone who ate with restraint and had a good, regular exercise program that was truly obese despite making good choices.
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