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Oversize passengers - neighbours rights?

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Oversize passengers - neighbours rights?

Old 21st Sep 2009, 22:06
  #41 (permalink)  
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wowzz

When I've done it (only a few times) it has not been a problem.

I've left my hand luggage on the seat and if someone asks, just said politely that it is taken, most people move on and find another seat.

Only once, a guy decided he was going to sit there and the CC member in the area (whom I'd told on boarding) quickly and diplomatically intervened and helped him to find another seat.
 
Old 22nd Sep 2009, 09:05
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the reply F3G - not sure if I'd brave it on a 'stag' flight !
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 10:13
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I am concerned at the attitude shown by some, as to what would happen if you arrive at your seat and find that you cannot occupy it because a fatty is taking up half of it. Some people here seem to imply that in the worst case, you'd have to be removed from the flight.

I can see no possible justification for this. The person who can't fit in their own seat should be removed; there is absolutely no way I would stand for being told I had to get off because the person in the seat next to me doesn't have the willpower to lay off the snacks.

I really hope that I have just misunderstood the implications here.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 11:59
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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F3G:

I, and my wife, never fly low-cost/budget airlines. We gladly pay the extra cost involved in not doing so. Most of the time we fly with USAirways. On occasion we go with American or Delta. We do not fly low-cost airlines as a matter of principle.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 12:24
  #45 (permalink)  

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Not sure how exactly to define Low cost/budget airlines but I flew American from Dominican Republic to Miami then on to Montego Bay recently.

I managed breakfast the the airport in the morning. There was not a scrap of food avilable on the first leg of the flight. The "immigration" process in MIA despite being in transit, was so lengthy that I just made the next leg. On that leg again with good ole American, not a scrap of food was available either.

I finally made it to my hotel minutes before room service stopped at midnight and had my first food since breakfast

Not really low cost, certainly not budget, but the lousiest, meanest air journey I ever made by a long shot
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 12:28
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I am a CC and recently a "pax of size" on a Monarch airlines A300 for a reasonably short trip....2.30 mins approx. My "size" is 12-14 depending on the clothing manufacturer.

Knowing that the seating on this plane is to the max capacity (have a pilot friend in Monarch) and the legroom is tight I duly paid the excess for some legroom. There were 3 of us travelling and we were seated at the emergency exit towards the rear.....legroom therefore guarenteed. Width of seat narower because of tray table stowed within it. Not a problem for my party.

What concerned me that directly to my right (on the emergency exit row) was 2 pax of so much "size" they needed an extention seatbelt. Also when the CC responsible for that exit sat down for take off (her modified seat was directly next to them) she had to manouver herself into it to avoid them.....what would she have done in an evacuation situation if they were incapacitated?

In my opinion (and it is just that) pax of excessive size i.e needing an extention belt should never be allowed to sit at the emergency exits legroom or not. That also is the policy of some airlines.

Obesity is an increasing problem in the UK and all airlines need to wake up the that fact and maybe have a look at what their USA counterparts do to deal with this...they are somewhat more proactive than we are. It can impact on pax comfort and after safety the CC are there to try and ensure that within the resources they have.

Seated next to a pax of size which encroaches onto your personal space then the CC will attempt to deal with this within the resources and seat allocations at the time hopefully with diplomacy on all sides.

Do it after the door closes expect a different approach from the CC We have safety priorities at that point.

Bealzebub summed up the position on this and I totally respect him/her for doing that.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 12:29
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Nobody was suggesting you would be removed from a flight if somebody else was occupying your seat for whatever reason. The removal was a reply to a hypothetical question as to what happens "if I refuse" etc. That is why words such as " how long is a piece of string" and "common sense" were used.

The same criteria would be applied if someone refused to take their seat because they were sat next to a baby or a woman. A common sense solution would always be sought, but the question was posed as to where the ultimate judgment would rest and that is why the answer was given.

In all likelyhood, a passenger would have to be able to fit in to their designated seat, or be required to purchase a larger seat or another seat. However there may well be jurisdictions and specific situations where that is not the determined course of action. Similarly the decision as to action taken over the degree of inconvenience or nuisance, will not rest ultimately with the passenger.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 13:13
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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isn't it Cranfield in the UK which does evacuation time trials on various aircraft types? I believe they developed the 'model' by which these trials are conducted in other countries?

It would be interesting to see the results now if they added a 'person of size' element into the trials! Could aircraft still be evacuated in the time specified by the controlling authorities?

Good old visionary Airbus they saw all this coming, let's build the supersized A380!!
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 13:20
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Bealzebub,

A very reasonable and middle-course reply, but................

What would you do in a situation where I, a passenger of normal size, find that my seat, which happens to be the last one on the aircraft, is partly occupied by a fattie. I, unable to face the prospect of, say 2 hours+ of being squashed by this sweaty and smelly mound of flesh (as it will invaribaly be), tell the CC clamly and politely that I will not accept that seat which, for all practical purposes, is unavailable.

Are you going to offload me or the fattie? It's decision time, and an exploration of the issues, let's use our common sense and so forth, won't cut the mustard. Me or the fattie; which is it to be? Someone has got to get off, and if it's me I'll sue.

(Let's assume that no other passenger agrees to take my seat, and that the seat really is unusable while the fattie is there, wherever the armrest is.)
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 13:46
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Well done Capot, you've framed the problem very starkly there - but I'm not sure it's really much different to any other denied boarding scenario. After all, in quite a literal sense, the airline has more passenger(s) than it has seats. Now and again I've seen cases on a full plane where two passengers get on board, each with boarding passes for the same seat. One of them has to get off, and it usually seems to be the one who got there second (unless the one already seated volunteers). Whoever gets off presumably gets the standard denied-boarding compensation.

The fatty-in-my-seat scenario would seem to be the same. Since the fatty is the one already in the seat (i.e. you arrived second, or you got up to complain), it's more likely that you're the one getting off. But there's nothing to sue over - you were denied boarding, just as if the airline had overbooked in numbers rather than, shall we say, in bulk.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 13:55
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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It's decision time, and an exploration of the issues, let's use our common sense and so forth, won't cut the mustard. Me or the fattie; which is it to be? Someone has got to get off, and if it's me I'll sue.
Well it doesn't matter what you think will "cut the mustard" the situation will have been handled by the senior cabin crew member, and if called upon to make a decision, I would base that decision on their recommendation. They are the people charged with and have the day to day expertise in dealing with these matters. One thing that I would definetaly explore is the ability to create something from nothing. For example many flights are carrying off duty crewmembers (ours or somebody elses) even though they may be ordinary revenue passengers. Even where that is not an option, I may well have a spare crew jumpseat available that can be utilized to avoid a problem, provided my crew were happy with that suggestion. All sorts of options that can be explored within the day to day resources that are available to us. We want to solve a problem using common sense, compromise and resource, not create one.

However if you are not prepared to accept the seat and my decision is that we must break our contract of carriage, then sorry but off you go. It is of little concern to me whether you sue or not. That is for you and others to deal with at a later point in time. I am permitted to refuse you carriage if that becomes necessary. You have the right to seek whatever subsequent redress you see fit. The doors are closed and off we go. In other words it isn't going to become a stalemate. Next week a similar set of circumstances involving different individuals may well result in a different outcome, who knows?
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 14:01
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think that the 'two passengers with the same boarding card' comparison is valid.

It would be more valid to compare it with one passenger sitting in their assigned seat, and then refusing to allow the only passenger assigned to the seat next door to sit in it - say, because they want to keep their carry-on bag in that seat instead.

In that situation I think it's clear who would have to be offloaded!

I appreciate that this situation is very, very unlikely and that the CC would use their considerable resourcefulness as has been explained above, though.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 14:30
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Today 15:13 Bladepilot
It would be interesting to see the results now if they added a 'person of size' element into the trials! Could aircraft still be evacuated in the time specified by the controlling authorities?
I think you'll find that the answer is that, if the controlling authorities want the aircraft type to be certified, then yes, it will be.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 14:36
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Bealzebub wrote

Well it doesn't matter what you think will "cut the mustard" the situation will have been handled by the senior cabin crew member, and if called upon to make a decision, I would base that decision on their recommendation.

Yet another "sloping" of four barred shoulders. The CC will resolve the situation and that´s fine by me. SLF, just button it or suffer the consequences.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 14:51
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Yet another "sloping" of four barred shoulders. The CC will resolve the situation and that´s fine by me. SLF, just button it or suffer the consequences
Yes well, that may be your opinion, but the point of managing a team of competent, sensible and able people, is that you do so in a capacity that enables and assists them in carrying out their tasks in accordance with their own expertise and personality. There is precious little point in managing if you are simply required to carry out each individual team members task. Obviously that doesn't prevent me from being called upon to make a decision, assisting or consulting, or on rare occaisions overruling something.

I think I have tried at some length to point out that we are looking for the common sense, compromise approach. The scenarios being presented are obviously marginal hypothesis and unlikely to frequently arise. Nevertheless just like Judges, Juries, democracies, tribunerals, publicans rights, ships and aircraft captains authority, etc.etc. It is an imperfect and often flawed system, but one that we have made and therefore have to live with.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 16:28
  #56 (permalink)  
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What people are seeking here is some clarity around the definition of what is a 'economy seat'

If someone who is enormous gets into a seat and then de facto splills over into the next seat, is this reasonable?

If the airline asks a pax to sit in a seat where the neighbour is spilling over the armrest or has even lifted it up, is this acceptable?

Some months ago, I got shouted down on a thread by self righteous bigots, when I suggested that everyone could pay a small levy to provide a spare seat so that this problem would not affect anyone, in the same way everyone pays the wheelchair levy on Ryanair.

Amazingly enough, I was hammered even though I usually fly business class and I was prepared to pay the levy with no direct benefit to me.

Well, as ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Beazelbub has told you how it is going to be, you pay for your seat, if you encounter a behemoth, you accept the remedy available or you are offloaded.

It seems reasonable from where I am sitting. If you can't or won't afford a premium seat or buying an empty seat, then you have chosen your own predicament.

lowcostdolly - person of size 12-14???? Norma Jean was size 16.
 
Old 22nd Sep 2009, 17:08
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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No, I will not accept the remedy as put forth by Bealzebub. If I have to sit next to a fat slob - usually a fat slob by choice - then I will expect a remedy acceptable to me and not one acceptable to said fat slob. If my expectations are not met then I will simply spend my hard-earned money on some other airline. I understand what you are saying, Bealzebub. But I do not understand how anyone can entertain the notion that any remedial action would be biased toward the poor fat blob next to me.
The simple solution, in my mind anyway, to this whole issue is: if you cannot sit in a seat without spilling over into your neighbor's seat then you just bought that seat as well.
Don't like it? Either don't fly or, gasp, lose weight.
I will admit, thought, that my outlook on this issue is clouded by the great state of
Connecticrap, USA, where obese people are considered "handicapped". As such, they are "entitled" to handicap cards which they place in the windshield of their car.
Or, believe it or not, on their motorcycle. This makes it much easier for them to get to McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, etc., for their next grazing.
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 17:22
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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So many assumptions! I feel as if I have wandered into Golds Gym rather than the passengers and SLF forum.

It might be the larger passenger who cannot get into his or her seat because you are sat there? It might be the larger passenger who wants to see what happens if they attempt to provoke a stalemate? It might be a thin passenger who refuses to sit next to you for religious reasons? It might be a case of relative size rather than absolute size. So many variables.

So when you dig your heals in and refuse to sit next to the "fat slob" would it be worth the cost of the photograph to see your expression when the other "fat slob" with four gold bars is summoned from the flightdeck to deal with your complaint?

I think I may have already pointed out that common sense and compromise would be the preferred choice.

B. (weightwatchers)
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 17:46
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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@Bealzebub:

I do not normally dig my heels in and refuse to sit next to "one of large girth". In all my years of flying as SLF I have often sat next to persons of immense proportions.
However, when said person of large girth assumes that it is their right to take 1 1/2 seats and too bad on me then, yes, I do have a problem. Where is the line in the sand? What about someone who takes the equivalent of two seats? Should they not have to pay double?

r. (Gold's Gym family plan member)
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Old 22nd Sep 2009, 17:56
  #60 (permalink)  

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Bealzebub has taken both time and trouble to explain what the likely procedure would be on the day of operation, and at the sharp end.

What you, as an individual may choose to do after such a hypothetical incident is entirely up to you: Any disagreement that may arise would be with the airline involved, and their lawyers if appropriate, not with the individual crew members involved.
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