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Oversize passengers - neighbours rights?

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Oversize passengers - neighbours rights?

Old 19th Sep 2009, 10:47
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Oversize passengers - neighbours rights?

We have all been inconvenienced (occasionally overwhelmed!) by oversize passengers in a neighbouring seat but what are my rights to have my 'space' free of such intrusion? On such occasions I have complained (mildly) to cabin staff and have received sympathy but no relief. Am I entitled to claim some degree of refund if my seat space has been partly occupied by someone else's mass? I assume that my ticket entitles me to an unshared seat. I would also be interested as to the cabin crew's take on this.
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 11:31
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I'm in 12A, Mr and Mrs. Piggy have just squeezed themselves into 12B and 12C respectively, probably weighing in at a collective 250 kgs against my 70 kgs. We're 0 minutes into a 12 hour flight and I'm squashed against the side of the aircraft, with large flabby parts of Mrs. Piggy unpleasantly close to my eyes and mouth.

It's not their fault, and there's nothing I can say to them to make them feel better, or worse, about the predicament which is causing them as much discomfort and embarassment as it is me.

I call a FA and explain as non-confrontationally as possible that all three of us are in discomfort and at some degree of risk in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation, after all that's the line they use when they tell us SLF that we can't have anything on the floor in front of us.

The cabin is full so there is nowhere for me, or them, to move. So I ask for a seat in the front. A couple of times this has worked, but not within the last 5 years or so.

The most frequent response is, as stated, sympathy but no relief. I always write to the airline, on the basis that oversize passengers should be charged more and given bigger seats. Most replies, and I have a number of them, say something along the lines of 'it is being looked into but current conditions within the industry mean that this is unlikely to be implemented in the near future'. And of course, why don't I upgrade to business/premium/first. Why should I? I'm not the fat one.

I know this is a never ending an insoluble debate. Some people are fat bastards because they're greedy and lazy. Others can do nothing about it, it's genetic or medical.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 11:52
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I call a FA and explain as non-confrontationally as possible that all three of us are in discomfort and at some degree of risk in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation, after all that's the line they use when they tell us SLF that we can't have anything on the floor in front of us.
Apart from being a good line to affect a seat change, it is also a chilling reality. Your egress would be seriously inhibited if not impossible. What liability would the airline if that situation occured and could be proved.

Mind you, the way that we SLF are packed into aircraft these days, I cannot beleive that any evacuation could be effected in a timely or orderly fashion, despite the so called required standards.

Just to lever oneself out a seat these days requires a practised skill.
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 17:07
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I'm in 12A, Mr and Mrs. Piggy have just squeezed themselves into 12B and 12C respectively, probably weighing in at a collective 250 kgs against my 70 kgs
Just ask to sit between them, your chances of surviving any mishaps would be exponentially increased.

Just think of them as your own personal airbags.

You see, every cloud has a silver lining. And should that silver lining be another aircraft, when you are removed from the wreckage, you will be safely cocooned in 500lbs of soft, blubbery, fat
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 20:27
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Coyote, ingenious! We need more people like you who can see the solutions and not just the problems. I bet you can make a business class meal out of nothing but dry stores and a garnish.
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 21:55
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Wait till the cabin staff close all doors. Then get up and go to talk to a FA. They will want you seated as soon as possible, they'd hate to delay the flight. So, they will probably seat you up front.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 05:59
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Originally Posted by boardingpass
I bet you can make a business class meal out of nothing but dry stores and a garnish.
There are some airlines who seemingly already do.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 06:16
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Buy a ticket up front.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 16:50
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I have read/discussed this issue many a time,& on other sites as well.
Pay for the pointy end on long haul,& legroom with 2 seats together shorthaul.Simple !!
It takes me months to save up for this,but arriving at destination,not feeling like i've been "dug up " is priceless.
Apart from one bad secto in J over the years...it's been worth every penny for every sector we have flown.
Airlines like to fit as many seats into the cabin as posssible these days,to be cost effective obviously.
I often see comments that Monarch airline have such small seat pitches,(widthwise too).
My flight to Ace next july is already booked & paid for,with good seats allocated at extra cost to ourselves, i've taken the initiative to make the flight as comfortable as possible.
My view i'm afraid is to cough up for the comfort !!
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 17:18
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All this "coughing up" crap sparks of elitism.

Pay the money, pay the money, pay the chuffin money.

It is not everyone who has the luxury of choice.

Most of us have no option but to travel the increasingly downwardly spiraling Cattle Class
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 17:59
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I know SouthWest call these people "Passengers of Size" and make them buy 2 seats
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 18:02
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It is not everyone who has the luxury of choice.
Paying extra for extra comfort is a choice that should be made by the passenger at his volition, not forced upon him in order to prevent having to share his seat with an oversized passenger.

If I pay for an economy class seat I am entitled to sole occupancy of it. In any case, on a lot of shorthaul flights there is no choice even for those willing to pay for it.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 18:06
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Yeah, they all bark the same old mantra. "it was cheap, it was cheap, it was cheap, what do you expect"


Acceptability, is my stock answer
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 18:23
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If you read my post el grifo...you will see that i said it takes me months to save up.
Also living in lanzarote,you should already be aware that it is mainly charter flights that land.
2 seats by themselves,at a princely extra cost of 60 shorthaul...hardly luxury
It's a fact that there are many passengers that fly,who aren't exactly on the lean side.
If it means me waiting longer till i can afford to book & fly...then so be it.
have had too many flights from hell to continue just getting on & boarding with check-in agents choice.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 18:37
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Am I entitled to claim some degree of refund if my seat space has been partly occupied by someone else's mass?
I have been amused by some of the comments resulting from my initial post but disappointed by those whose solution is simply to buy a more expensive ticket. Why the hell should I? Surely my ticket entitles me to my own space however small, so I come back to my original question which basically is, what are my rights?
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 18:53
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Originally Posted by beachbumflyer
Wait till the cabin staff close all doors. Then get up and go to talk to a FA. They will want you seated as soon as possible, they'd hate to delay the flight. So, they will probably seat you up front.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. You are right that once the doors are closed, we want people sat as quickly as possible, but at this time, we also don't want passengers changing seats, along with all their hand luggage etc. The amount of time between the doors closing and push back can be less than a minute and we have very little time to get everything done. There's also a good chance that most crew will be well aware of why you have chosen this moment to ask. And that will ensure you stay exactly where you are.

If the situation is truely unbearable, then I would suggest that your best bet is to either wait until after take off or to try to speak to the senior crew member whilst boarding is still in progress. If you explain your situation discreetly and without any dramatics, you will be more likely to get a sympathetic response. Picking a time when the crew are at their busiest is not a good idea.

Ironically, I actually had this type of situation today. A roundish gent and his wife were unfortunate enough to be sat next to one of the nastiest peices of work I've ever had the misfortune to meet. And this precious little butterfly didn't see the need to get up to speak to us. In front of everyone and in a very loud voice, she snapped, "I'm not sitting next to him! He's too fat! Get me another seat..." The gentleman in question was undoubtedly rotund, but certainly not big enough to affect her in any way. Upgrades were indeed made. But neither of them were her. And it was worth it, just to see the look on her face!

Nipva,

In response to your question, I'd be amazed if any airline would give you a refund for another passenger encroaching on your space. To be fair, why should they? It's not really the airlines fault, after all. The only answer would be to insist passengers of a certain size buy two seats and I don't know where they would stand on this, with regards to the discrimination act. I know this came up fairly recently in a rather heated thread, but can't remember what the conclusion, if any, was. I should imagine the thread is still around somewhere though, if you wanted to search for it.

Jsl

Last edited by jetset lady; 20th Sep 2009 at 19:05.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 19:52
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All this "coughing up" crap sparks of elitism.
I don't agree with you, El Grifo.

It is a matter of paying for the service that you wish to receive.

Buying C should mean that you have a guarantee of more space, but it comes at a price differential.

Buying Y means you will likely have less space, but that is the choice you make.

As to whether the airlines are liable, I don't know.

Although the contract probably does not even specify what an economy seat is, there is a thing called 'implied terms and conditions of contract' that may cover this.

I'm not a lawyer though, so don't have an opinion whether it does.

Bravo to Southwest Airlines for having a fair policy (buy two seats, get refunded for one if the flight is not full.)

One can also buy two seats as a 'person of non size', as I do with Ryanair if using them. As there is no premium class, having guaranteed space is worth every cent and makes a 3 hour flight much more comfortable.
 
Old 20th Sep 2009, 20:00
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Its not just Southwest but also a number of other US airlines who do it as well.

Attenpts to sue have failed as being Fat isn't regarded as a disability and Airlines have a duty to protect the safety of other passengers as well.

Can these passengers be evacuated safely in an emergency without blocking other passengers route to safety is a valid arguement.

IMHO You pay for a seat and thats it, this applies to the 70kg person as much as the 130kg person, they making inroads on your means they getting more than they paid for. Let them pay the extra.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 20:25
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Originally Posted by Final 3 Greens
One can also buy two seats as a 'person of non size', as I do with Ryanair if using them.
How do you ensure that no-one tries to occupy the seat next to you? Do the cabin crew indicate the seat in some way, or is it left to the passenger to tell his fellow travellers that the seat is reserved?

What happens if you board the plane and can't find two seats together? Do the cabin crew make someone move to make space for you? What if the only empty seats are alongside families or couples? Or speedy boarders who have paid extra to get the seat they want?

Reserving two seats would obviously work well on an airline that offers assigned seating, but this sounds like a recipe for disaster.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 20:33
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How do you ensure that no-one tries to occupy the seat next to you? Do the cabin crew indicate the seat in some way, or is it left to the passenger to tell his fellow travellers that the seat is reserved?
A bit of both, but it's no problem. Placing your hand luggage on it will deter all but the most persistent and the crew will help them find another seat, if they need one.

What happens if you board the plane and can't find two seats together? Do the cabin crew make someone move to make space for you? What if the only empty seats are alongside families or couples? Or speedy boarders who have paid extra to get the seat they want?
The crew will find you two seats together.

It is not a recipe for disaster, it works fine.
 

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