My wife and I were once separated seat-wise on a Virgin Trans Atlantic flight, and she was informed that she could use the FA seat [opposite me] at any time during the flight other than take-off or landing.
Ridiculous , most airlines are now being very tough about the dimensions of cabin baggage , why not about size relative to seat purchased ? All this PC BS is dangerous - I suppose said large passenger was also entered on load sheet as 80 kgs ?
My company will not fly people whose dimensions mean that they encroach on space they haven't paid for (unless the adjacent seat is free). If you are 'two seats large" and you need to fly, you buy two seats. That is a reasonable policy.
Well I think a qualified cabin crew might have a different opinion, they can't be everywhere at once, especially with the chaos just prior to pushback, most passengers of average intelligence will either stand up or raise their hand, either way, the cabin crew would have sorted this out.
This is a classic case of passing the buck to the nth degree.
Let's assume that the overweight pax checked in online, that he only had hand luggage and that his first encounter with a human was at the time of boarding.
The boarding agent - knowing that the flight was full - should have checked for 2 boarding passes for adjacent seats and the FA at the door - knowing that the flight was full - should have checked for 2 boarding passes for adjacent seats.
The airline then absolves itself of all responsibility and allows the situation to drift down to a conflict between 2 passengers, one of whom is significantly disadvantaged by the airline's negligence and is then fobbed off with the offer of a pittance of compensation.
Don't blame the morbidly obese pax ....er... passenger of size for only being charged for 1 seat - that was the airline's decision - and don't blame his neighbour for not kicking up a fuss - people in the USA have made the acquaintance of PC Plod for a lot less.