[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/24/art.airplane.seats.a.gi.jpg caption="Should obese fliers get an extra free seat?"]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The Supreme Court of Canada is upholding a regulatory ruling that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" have the right to occupy two airline seats on a flight for the price of one.
The ruling late last week said that airlines in Canada can no longer charge an obese passenger extra for an additional seat. The same goes for a disabled person who needs space for a wheelchair or who must be accompanied by an attendant.
This applies only to domestic flights within Canada.
Air Canada and several other Canadian airlines had appealed the original ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency, but the court refused to hear it. Air Canada will lose an estimated 5.6 million dollars annually on the ruling.
U.S. airlines are not currently required to follow similar regulations. However, it's not unreasonable to expect that obese people in this country might try to make the same argument here at some point.
Here’s my question to you: Should obese people be entitled to an extra free seat when flying?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Leah from Toronto, Ontario writes:
If thin people got to pay less for taking up less space on planes, trains or buses, there would be public outrage at the discriminatory practice, so why is this acceptable? We pay extra for oversized baggage. Sorry, this isn't different. Space is space no matter what's taking it up.
Morbid obesity is considered a disability. To charge a morbidly obese person an extra fare because of their size is discrimination. Period. Not everyone is Brangelina you know. And for the insensitive jerks who have made snide comments about another's size, get over it. Let's see if it's that easy for you to put down that cigarette, or bottle of beer, or gambling or crack or whatever your vice is.
Mark from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma writes:
I think the airlines should make seats in their planes actually big enough for a normal size person to sit in them. You don't even have to be "obese" to be unable fit in one of those junior car seats the airlines claim is a regular coach seat.
Ann from South Carolina writes:
I'm hung up on that word “entitled” in your question. I think I am entitled to a seat without the overflow of an obese person sitting next to me. Are they entitled to two seats? No.
Jim from Reno, Nevada writes:
This makes me think of the smoke breaks that smokers used to get at work, with no comparable break offered to non-smokers. A free extra seat to an obese person is a seat not available for purchase by someone of normal size. There are other solutions. Airlines could install a few over-sized seats on all airplanes specifically for over-sized persons, just as movie theaters reserve some places for the non-ambulatory.
Buster from Poughkeepsie, New York writes:
Shame on you, Jack, for “hating on” fat people. We need to protect the civil rights of all individuals, especially the obese. Such talk about denying a gravitationally-enhanced person the right to spread out is clearly racist in nature and should be banned from the airwaves. Yes, free seats should be made available...when pigs fly.