Fat flyer

Earlier today, ABC News posed the question: “How Fat is Too Fat to Fly?“  The photo seen here – which is circulating on the Internet – has apparently rekindled this debate.  In the photo, allegedly taken by an American Airlines flight attendant, a very large man is spilling out over his armrest (he actually appears to be sitting on it) and filling half of the aisle.  Not only does it look really uncomfortable for the passenger — and the passenger next to him — but it also seems like a safety hazard.

“American, like most other airlines, has a policy for larger passengers.  Roughly speaking, most airlines try to make accommodations for passengers if the person’s body is large enough that it prevents the armrest between the seats from being fully lowered.

American tries not to charge passengers for an extra seat unless there are simply no other options.

If the flight is not full, American tries to seat the passenger in two adjacent seats.  Otherwise, the airline tries to book the person on another flight. If there is no other available flight or the passenger needs to be on that flight for scheduling reasons, the airline will sometimes book and charge the person for two seats.”

We addressed this particular topic back in June, noting that sometime in the future airlines may charge you for a seat based on your weight.  With airlines still wrestling with managing the cost of fuel – and attempting to cut other costs – it makes sense.  If you think about it, passengers are treated more and more like air freight anyway.  The only difference between you and the freight that’s transported on a plane is you get served a drink… sometimes.

What do you think?  If you have an opinion on this matter, sound off here.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has announced that it is introducing sleep rooms. The rooms, which will be operated by Minute Suites, are just 7 feet by 8 feet and are designed for travelers who want to relax, sleep or conduct business in between their flights.  The rooms come equipped with a daybed sofa, pillows, and fresh blankets.  There’s also a desk, phone, office chair and a Wi-Fi connection.  The rooms, which are in Concourse B, cost about $30 for the first hour and $7.50 for each additional 15 minutes.
  • The USA Today’s Hotel Check-In blog notes some current hotel points promotions from Doubletree, Hilton, Omni & Carlson Hotels.  If you’re interested in earning double loyalty points or obtaining hotel credit, check out these promotions before they expire.

  • Budget Travel spotlighted a “quickie deal to the Big Apple” that includes round-trip airfare on Southwest Airlines, 3-nights’ accomodations at the W New York, and hotel taxes, from $468 per person – plus about $35 in airport taxes.