FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Obese passengers might soon have to buy two tickets to fly on United Airlines. The company says "for the comfort and well-being" of all their customers, they have a new policy for passengers who:
– Can't fit into a single seat
– Can't properly buckle the seat belt using an extender
– Can't put the seat's armrests down when seated
If there are extra seats available, the passenger will be moved next to an empty seat at no charge. But if the flight is full, they either have to buy an upgrade to business or first class where the seats are bigger or change to another flight and buy a second seat.
United says they decided to adopt the policy after getting more than 700 complaints last year from passengers who didn't have a comfortable flight because the person next to them quote "infringed on their seat."
Some wonder how the airline can enforce such measures fairly. The spokesman for the Obesity Action Coalition says the policy "perpetuates that negative stigma that's already associated with obesity" and that airline seats already "could use a few extra inches of room on all sides."
But United isn't the first to charge extra for overweight passengers... in fact, now they're on the same page as the other five biggest U.S. carriers. This is something that presumably could affect millions of people when you consider that about one-third of Americans are obese - that's double the rate from 30 years ago.
Here’s my question to you: Should obese passengers have to pay for two seats when they fly?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Rebecca from South Carolina writes:
They should pay for the space they occupy. If a person is so large that he spills over beyond a single seat, he should not expect the non-obese person beside him to give up a part of the seat he has paid for. Occupying another person's seat is a kind of theft.
Jack from Lancaster, Ohio writes:
Jack, The real cost of flying should be based on weight anyway. For years, I thought those who trundled to the counter with a ton of bags were really pushing the limit. Eventually there were additional charges for extra baggage. We should fly by the pound.
As an obese person, I agree with this policy. My doctor just told me to lose weight. This is a great incentive to lay off that extra portion. It is literally something I can live with.
Twice as big = twice the fare. It's very fair.
Sitting next to an over-sized passenger who overflows his or her seat space into the space you've paid for is wrong. Buying an airline ticket is like renting an apartment: You pay for the right to use that space and the services that come with it for a period of time, just as your neighbors have. When you rent an apartment, it doesn't matter if you have a family of eight and the neighbor is a single guy, you don't get to move into your neighbor's living room.
It's a matter of physics and economics, not fat. If I have paid for a seat on an airline or bus, that square footage has been sold and is not available for the duration of travel – and I'm not obligated to share or donate.
If I can fit me and my wife in just one seat, can we get 50% off?