American United Airlines Discriminates Against Obese Passengers and Overweight Pregnant Mothers

News stories surrounding U.S. Airlines discriminating against any person who is overweight has been making quite a stir with the U.S. populace.

Although most believe obesity is attributed to poor health habits and over-eating; what is not taken into consideration is millions of people taking prescription drugs that actually contribute to contracting obesity. Isn’t it strange how pharmaceutical companies and physicians don’t normally disclose this information to the public
There are enough problems in this world with religious and racial bias accompanied by acts of violence. Why this kind of discrimination at Airlines ?
Sheesh ! I wonder how a family member accompanying a loved one at the airport who is obese and have to stand by and watch their loved one stand on a public scale in front of all travelers before being allowed to board a plane.

Seems a little off color and extremely biased to me that an Airline company would have to stoop to such practices. And how about pregnant mothers who naturally gain weight during pregnancy. Does that mean they get their ticket bumped or worse not allowed to board the plane ?

See items below:

huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/15/united-airlines-to-charge_n_187123.html

chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/04/united-to-charge-obese-passengers-more.html

nbcdfw.com/news/us_world/United-to-Charge-Fat-Passengers-for-Extra-Seat.html

equalopportunitycommission.vic.gov.au/types%20of%20discrimination/default.asp

On the other hand, have you ever sat next to an extremely obese person for a long flight?

The problem stems from the seat size…same as in stadiums with bench seating…they want to cram as many people into the plane or stadium as possible. Can’t blame them for trying to be efficient and profitable (most airlines nowadays are neither), but the answer lies somewhere inbetween, methinks.

Perhaps allow an obese person to buy two tickets at a discounted price?? :shrug:

A private company charges overweight people extra…I’m afraid that I don’t see the problem.

Me either…

Airlines are taking reasonable measures to ensure that the flights are not carrying too much weight for the fuel put in the plane and that people who make the flight cost more pay for it. It is not “discrimination” to ask people to pay for what they use, including excess fuel due to weight. They already charge for baggage over a certain weight, so passenger weight is the next logical step.

I’ve been sat upon by someone who was too large to fit into his seat on the commuter bus. I was extremely uncomfortable for about an hour during rush hour. I cannot imagine having a stranger’s leg, torso and arm crushing me into the side of the seat and airplane wall for a long flight. It is not fair to the people who paid to sit in one seat when someone whose size clearly requires 2 seats is crushing into the seat of another paying customer. It does not matter why a person is oversized for the plane since gravity does not give a free pass for “medical” excuses.

I don’t advocate shaming the person at the gate, but the airline can give advance warnings when booking that people who cannot fit into a seat of certain dimensions need to purchase 2 adjoining seats or people over a certain weight need to pay a surcharge. To be fair on the weight deal, they would need to weigh everyone. If I had advance warning that everyone over a certain weight needed to pay more, I would pay it if the rule applied to me. I’m not a tiny person, so I would pay my fair share instead of expecting other smaller passengers to subsidize my flight.

I’m not a very big guy, and I’m not overweight. Nevertheless, I find airline seats extremely confining and uncomfortable. I just can’t imagine what a trial it must be for a pregnant woman to get into one, particularly if she has gained the usual weight pregnant women gain.

from one of your links…

Passengers who are too large to fit comfortably in single coach seat will be required to buy a second ticket or upgrade to business class, where seats are larger, if United’s flight attendants can’t find two open seats for them.

…]

United said it will waives fees it would normally charge for changing travel plans. If seating is not available and a passenger decides not to travel, the ticket will be refunded without any penalty, even if it is a non-refundable ticket.

Sounds reasonable to me. Heck, what were they doing before?

This is entirely reasonable.

Airlines fare structures are put together (via highly Byzantine logic) with the goal of making enough money to pay the cost of the flight and some profit.

If an extremely obese person simply doesn’t fit into a single seat, the airline must use TWO seats for that person. There are only three viable potential solutions to this problem:

  1. Estimate the number of obese passengers, expect that reduction in salable seats and readjust prices accordingly.
  2. Ignore this reality and become unprofitable.
  3. Charge those who require two seats for the two seats they require.

In a less competitive and more profitable era, an airline might get away with option #1 or #2.

Today with razor thin profit margins based on totally full airplanes, #3 is a way to offer lower fares to the 98% of the world who can fit in one seat.

IMO, it is not an injustice to make people pay the cost of the services they are asking for. Am I discriminated against if my lawn mowing company charges more for my 2 care lot (I wish) than he does for the guy on the 1/4 acre lot? Nope.

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