General chatter - Should obese flyers get 2 seats for the price of 1?




CountingDown
11-24-2008, 06:56 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081120/hl_nm/us_obesity;_ylt=Ale.vBL5_5qqz_GJkNhQ56WISbYF

Interesting ruling! I'm looking forward to reading what our chickies here think!

So, should obese flyers be entitled to 2 seats because of their size?


kelly315
11-24-2008, 07:00 PM
While I don't necessarily agree with some of the people who settle in to 300+ pounds and call it a lifestyle choice, I also don't believe that everyone who has obesity issues is one of those people, or deserves to be treated as such. Many of us have (or have had) very serious problems and deserve accommodation for this.

Marms
11-24-2008, 07:23 PM
I can definitely see why some would call this outright discrimination because some folks have medical problems that contribute to obesity, but airlines base their fares on how many people they can fit on a plane. If someone can't fit into a seat and takes up two, the airline loses the revenue of the other seat. That's just how it works. I don't think asking the person to pay more is outrageous.


hotmamacitax2
11-24-2008, 07:28 PM
It's hard for me to say without seeming biased. I've never actually been "overweight".

I guess I see both sides of it! I mean, if I were to gain 150lbs during my next pregnancy (please God don't throw this in my face later) and had to use two seats....it would seem kind of unfair to me to have to pay double....on the other hand, it IS a business and I do see the logic in it. You use two seats, you pay for two seats.

kaplods
11-24-2008, 07:48 PM
When I first started hearing that airlines were doing this, twenty years or more ago, I thought - well, while it "makes sense," I wondered what would stop airlines from reducing the size of seats so they could charge more people double. Would only the thinnest of travelers eventually be paying the lowest standard fare? Well, obviously they couldn't get away with it, if the majority of passengers had to pay double fares - but how many before it would be unacceptable 10%, 20% 50%? How much of this is excepted BECAUSE we're talking about fat people and not tall people (would people accept being charged extra for more head room or more leg room - how much height and leg length should be expected versus considered "extra."


Well, I've heard from several people who travel frequently, that some airlines are reducing the size of their seats. I'm not saying their primary motive is to charge more people double, just to fit more people per square inch (to maximize profits).

How far should airlines be allowed to go, in this regard? Should they be required to make seats that fix X % of flyers - and what % should that be 50% - 90%? Or should they be required to have a portion of seating that fits unusually proportioned passengers (fat, tall, in wheelchairs, or folks with the inability to bend a joint leg for example and might need extra leg room or a person who might need extra space in the seat width or floor room...)

When does it become outrageous or unreasonable? When anyone over a woman's size 12 has to pay extra? Or anyone over a size 20? When the airline charges passengers by the pound or square inch?

It isn't as black and white an issue as it appears.

And hey if two super skinny people could safely fit in one seat, why can't they just buy one ticket and share the seat?

zeffryn
11-24-2008, 08:19 PM
i'm torn on the issue. One question I have is are children/infants charged the same as adults?
here's my thinking. if there is a childrens rate that should be charged to the obese flyer in addition to one regular price ticket. Or charge regular price for two tickets(if there's not a childrens rate) only if the flight was booked and other flyers had to be turned down. Therefor becoming a loss of revenue for the company. This last one I know is impossible to make into a rule but I like it anyway! ;)

There isn't a children's rate that I know of.

I agree with most of the posters saying that if you take up two seats, you should have to pay for two. Sure, it's unfair....but being obese really isn't a lifestyle choice for most people.

I recently took a short flight for a meeting where the person sitting next to me really should have had two seats. I was 6 mos. pregnant at the time and the man took up his entire seat and about 1/3 of mine. Should I have been charged 1/3 less for my ticket because I couldn't use my entire seat?

Luminous
11-24-2008, 08:26 PM
As far as I know, they don't charge the disabled extra for assistance on and off the plane or for storage of wheelchairs.

And just as you can say many people are obese due to choices, so too are many in wheelchairs there due to choices: drunk driving, extreme sports, and so on.

Now the above sounds absolutely horrible. Think on this: it sounds horrible to consider charging the wheelchair-bound a premium for the extra services and space they require in air travel why doesn't it sound just as horrible to consider charging the obese?

bethbeth
11-24-2008, 08:41 PM
If they make a rule that says obese people can get 2 seats for the price of 1, then who will make the determination on who is "obese". Sounds like everyone will be claiming they are obese so they can get some extra room for free. I mean, when I weighed 210 pounds I was considered obese by the medical definition, but I had no problem fitting in a airline seat. Who will regulate who is obese and can get a free seat?

zeffryn
11-24-2008, 08:44 PM
The thing about charging the disabled more: First, it's illegal and second, they aren't taking up more space in the cabin of the plane. There are people who are specifically employed by the airports to assist handicapped passengers - whether you are handicapped due to old age or due to a reckless motorcycle accident. If a disabled person was obese as well, they would be required to purchase a second ticket.

The airplane has room for gate checked things like wheelchairs and strollers - when that room is gone, they cannot take any more and the things need to be checked as baggage (and if you've exceeded your limit for baggage, you will be charged extra).

The airplanes do not however allow extra space for obese passengers - how would they allot that space? Only let two obese passengers have an extra seat for free and the rest have to pay? How fair is that? How would one decide? Think of the discrimination lawsuits that would erupt from that. Keep an extra 10 or so seats open at all times *just in case* they might have multiple obese passengers on board? If you choose the latter, remember that because that of that luxury, we will all pay more for our tickets to accommodate the possibility of an obese passenger being on board. Regardless of how many passengers are on the flight, it still costs the same amount to fly the plane.

Air travel is not a human right. It is a luxury that has to be paid for. Personally, I would rather drive than pay the exorbitant airline prices for my family.

A cheaper option for obese passengers would be flying first class. Bigger seats to accommodate bigger butts.

zeffryn
11-24-2008, 08:45 PM
If they make a rule that says obese people can get 2 seats for the price of 1, then who will make the determination on who is "obese". Sounds like everyone will be claiming they are obese so they can get some extra room for free. I mean, when I weighed 210 pounds I was considered obese by the medical definition, but I had no problem fitting in a airline seat. Who will regulate who is obese and can get a free seat?

I believe (at least in the U.S.), the determination is made if you cannot fit your entire person within the confines of one seat.

JulieJ08
11-24-2008, 08:46 PM
If they make a rule that says obese people can get 2 seats for the price of 1, then who will make the determination on who is "obese". Sounds like everyone will be claiming they are obese so they can get some extra room for free. I mean, when I weighed 210 pounds I was considered obese by the medical definition, but I had no problem fitting in a airline seat. Who will regulate who is obese and can get a free seat?

Oh what fun: "Please step over here, ma'am, and we'll measure how wide you are."

You know, some people get obese in a much more ... forward ... direction, and some of us much more lateral. ;)

tinycities
11-24-2008, 08:56 PM
I do not think you should be entitled to a second seat for free if you are obese. In my opinion, if an airline chooses out of goodwill to let an obese person get a second seat for nothing, then that's down to them to make that gesture. It isn't the obese person's right, and nor should it be expected.

As far as I know, they don't charge the disabled extra for assistance on and off the plane or for storage of wheelchairs.

And just as you can say many people are obese due to choices, so too are many in wheelchairs there due to choices: drunk driving, extreme sports, and so on.

Now the above sounds absolutely horrible. Think on this: it sounds horrible to consider charging the wheelchair-bound a premium for the extra services and space they require in air travel why doesn't it sound just as horrible to consider charging the obese?

For me, this is a fallacious argument. Firstly, I don't think it's fair or accurate to say that "many" people in wheelchairs are there as a result of a dangerous lifestyle choice. Whilst there will be a section of the wheelchair-using population for which this is the case, it will certainly not account for all. Without knowing the figures, I don't really think we can fairly pass comment on this.

Secondly, and more importantly, I don't think that comparison of the two types of choice - the choice to overeat and the choice to participate in a potentially dangerous activity - is a fair one to make. If you choose to repeatedly consume more calories than you burn, you will almost certainly become obese if this is done to extremes and over a significant period of time. There is undeniably a certain inevitability about this choice. To contrast, if you make the choice to take up a dangerous hobby, it is certainly not inevitable that you will injure yourself and become wheelchair bound as a result of that choice. Therefore, the two things are not the same. One involves an inevitable consequence and therefore a far more direct acceptance and responsibility for that consequence. The other involves a potential consequence and thereby an unintentional "choice" to receive that consequence. To take your line of thinking to the extreme, you could almost argue that anybody that takes any sort of risk (crossing the street, eating food from a restaurant, plugging something in to the mains) essentially "chooses" their fate if they end up ill or injured as a result - this clearly isn't fair.

It's a really tricky issue though, and not immediately obvious to me what I think about it.

PhotoChick
11-24-2008, 09:00 PM
The thing about charging the disabled more: First, it's illegal and second, they aren't taking up more space in the cabin of the plane. There are people who are specifically employed by the airports to assist handicapped passengers - whether you are handicapped due to old age or due to a reckless motorcycle accident. If a disabled person was obese as well, they would be required to purchase a second ticket.To add to this, if a disabled person requires a travelling companion, that companion is not given their seat for free either. The travelling companion is required to pay full price for his or her ticket.

Also did you know that a lot of musicians who travel with expensive instruments that they dont' want to check and risk losing, have to buy a seat for their instruments? My aunt used to be a concert cellist and always had to buy a seat for her cello as well. :)

The airplanes do not however allow extra space for obese passengers - how would they allot that space? Only let two obese passengers have an extra seat for free and the rest have to pay? How fair is that? How would one decide? Think of the discrimination lawsuits that would erupt from that. Keep an extra 10 or so seats open at all times *just in case* they might have multiple obese passengers on board? If you choose the latter, remember that because that of that luxury, we will all pay more for our tickets to accommodate the possibility of an obese passenger being on board. Yup. I agree with this.

.

jessisaokay
11-24-2008, 09:46 PM
even when I needed 2 seats I did not think obese people should get a second space for free.
choosing to do extreme sports and choosing to overeat are two completely opposite "dangers".

Thighs Be Gone
11-24-2008, 09:48 PM
I know it's a sensitive issue for some but I really think obese people should pay two fairs. I have traveled OODLES. On occasion, I am in "coach" squished between two very large people--most recently two men. If I have to pay $$$ for an extra five pounds of luggage, surely something should be said about a person that can't fit into one single seat. Honestly, the last time I traveled, I couldn't put down an armrest on either side and two great big men squeezed me from either side the entire journey. JUST NOT RIGHT!@

EZMONEY
11-24-2008, 09:59 PM
Oh what fun: "Please step over here, ma'am, and we'll measure how wide you are."

:rofl:.....too funny! I can see it now...American ~ United ~ Southwest ~ Double Wide Airlines

You know, some people get obese in a much more ... forward ... direction, and some of us much more lateral. ;)

SCOOTER ~ Something tells me there are going to be plenty of worms around for fishing...for all the ones you are letting out of the can with this one ;)

kuhljeanie
11-24-2008, 10:08 PM
was just thinking as i was brushing my teeth...agreed that if you require more of a service or product (room on an airplane) you probably ought to pay for the additional product/service. on the flip side, maybe amusement parks should charge obese people less, because the rides aren't designed to accommodate them. if you can't ride the roller coaster, should you have to pay the same admission fee as someone who can? hmm...

EZMONEY
11-24-2008, 10:15 PM
Would a person with a split personality be required to pay half price or double?

kaplods
11-24-2008, 10:28 PM
I'm not sure that this is an issue that can or should be legislated, but I think there are definitely ways in which passenger expectations and airline practices can become unreasonable on both sides, and are worth discussing. Without legislation, then it's up to the passenger/consumer to vote with their business. If they aren't happy with any particular airlines practices, they shouldn't fly that airlines.

That doesn't mean this is a non-issue. I think the problem with saying that it is or isn't a disability based on whether it's your fault or not, is ridiculous. Let's not use the word many - but some obese people are obese as a result of a disability or of an illness other than simply obesity. Some physically disabled people are disabled because of a bad choice or many bad choices. Making a distinction between a disability that is your fault and one that you may have been able to avoid is ridiculous.

Even when accounting for disabilities, there's no right to a certain amount of space on an airplane. There are disabled people who cannot fly commerically, because their disability is such to make air travel too difficult to be worth it - the airlines can't accomodate the person and their medical equipment (and probably shouldn't be made to). "Reasonable accomodations," are nearly meaningless - as everyone is likely to have a different idea of what is "reasonable."

Most people who complain about the practice of double-seats, surprisingly aren't complaining about the practice itself, but how it is carried out. There aren't any consistent practices, and generally it's determined at the counter where an airline employee looks you up and down and says "you need two seats." There isn't a private area where you can sit in different style seats and "see if you fit." You may (on the same type of aircraft) be allotted one seat and on a different flight, be told you need two.

That there isn't a consistent (or at least discreet) process for determining who needs a second seat, and under what circumstances, is what most people who complain about the practice are complaining about, not the additional charge itself (there are of course, exceptions). One person who overlaps the seat by 1/4 of an inch may be asked to pay for another seat, and someone who overlaps the seat by several inches may not be asked to pay for another seat.

Trial seats sure would be nice, especially if the placement were discreet, but personally, I wouldn't care if the "trial seats" were at the ticket counter. I really appreciated amusement parks doing this at the beginning of the ride lines. I could check before I got into the lines whether I would fit in the ride's seat. Sure it was a little embarassing, but nothing compared to realizing as I tried to wiggle into the rollercoaster seat that I wasn't going to fit. Some of those ride seats though, I have to say seemed to be designed for pretty tiny people - I couldn't have gotten one butt cheek on some of them.

I don't know how many styles of airline seat there are, so I don't know how practical it would be to provide test seats, but if the amusement parks could do this, it seems ridiculous that the airlines can't. Knowing that there's no way to plan ahead of time to figure out whether you will or will not fit, and/or whether you will or will not be charged is the traumatic part of this for many.

If I'm traveling with my super skinny sister, and she doesn't mind sitting in the seat I'm overlapping into - should the airlines get to decide that I need a second seat or can we just ask for adjoining seats and tell them we've done it before and know it works? Are there guidelines for determining that I need a second seat, and are they applied consistently or arbitrarily?

If I'm traveling with my also-obese husband, do we each have to buy two seats, or can we travel together and buy one extra seat between us (obviously this would only work with planes that have at least three consecutive seats - if there were only two, we'd have to sit across the aisle from each other and each would require the extra seat)?

As I've been researching this, I've been finding that the practices are more arbitrary and inconsistent than I expected. That I think is a shame, because there's no reason that an obese person should have to be afraid of flying because they don't know what to expect at the ticket counter. Sure if money is no object, you can always buy an extra seat "just in case," but if you're on a tight budget and one of the borderline cases that may or may not (flip a coin) be asked to buy the second seat, I can definitely see where it can be quite stressful.

I've heard horror storries of obese people asking for two seats, being told they didn't need two seats that they would fit fine, and then being asked to leave the plane by the stewardess because they hadn't purchased two seats.

It seems that in this day and age, the problem shouldn't be that difficult to address.

EZMONEY
11-24-2008, 10:41 PM
What if all the seats were bench seats....we all had to pay $X for each square inch we took up. We could buy X-tra space for our own comfort between other passengers....we would all pay the same price for the average butt size...then a few bucks for each inch of space we took up for whatever reason after that...

now...who will volunteer to determine average butt size?

Melody2006
11-24-2008, 11:31 PM
My bf who is in a wheelchair said if he had a daily option to be handicap or not, he'd choose not to be tomorrow. You have a daily choice to eat like a pig or not. Being obese is a daily choice. Reckless accidents are a one time choice (he dove into an above ground pool at 16 and has been in a wheelchair for 20 years now). Over eating is a daily choice, his accident was a 1 day choice he has paid for dearly ever since.

PhotoChick
11-24-2008, 11:33 PM
You have a daily choice to eat like a pig or not. Being obese is a daily choice.Wow. That's a horrifically offensive comment. I think you owe a lot of people here an apology.

.

jessisaokay
11-24-2008, 11:39 PM
While majority of the obese are so by their own fault, it isn't always so. The problem is is that it is nearly impossible to determine who is truly obese because of a medical condition, and those who are just lazy. Even the ones who have a medical condition arent always doing what they can to change that.
I am actually in the process of trying to gain a few healthy pounds after losing a little too much, does that mean i get free peanut butter?

modkittn
11-24-2008, 11:45 PM
Wow. That's a horrifically offensive comment. I think you owe a lot of people here an apology.

.

It is but I can understand why she is all worked up.

Also, I agree with everything zeffryn has said!

kaplods
11-24-2008, 11:50 PM
Ok, so if a person is wheel-chair bound because of a life-time of poor choices (perhaps alcohol-induced for example) then they shouldn't get the same care and respect as a person who made a single bad choice, right?


Maybe we should tattoo (well, let's use permanent dye, so we can periodically review and update the number) the foreheads of fat and disabled people with a number - the % of fault they had in their situation. Hey, lets do it the poor, the mentally challenged and mentally ill folks too, maybe for people we don't like for any reason. Those that have a "legitimate" reason for their situation get a lower number, and get treated with a corresponding amount of compassion, respect, and assistance.

So who gets to decide "how much fault" your life situation is, and how much respect and compassion you deserve as a result?

happy2bme
11-24-2008, 11:51 PM
I agree Photo Chick. I find the wording of your comment to be very offensive Melody and totally out of line to the context of this discussion.

PhotoChick
11-24-2008, 11:53 PM
Ok, so if a person is wheel-chair bound because of a life-time of poor choices (perhaps alcohol-induced for example) then they shouldn't get the same care and respect as a person who made a single bad choice, right?

So who gets to decide "how much fault" your life situation is, and how much respect and compassion you deserve as a result?Amen to that. I'm really ... flabbergasted ... at some of the opinions being expressed by some people in this thread.

.

happy2bme
11-24-2008, 11:56 PM
As far as paying for 2 seats goes, I would agree that if someone cannot fit into the seat and spills over or infringes on the passenger next to them, that passenger should not have to be inconvienienced.

Plus sizes cost more than misses sizes in clothing and we all seem to accept that.

The problem is that it's very subjective as to when a person doesn't fit. And it needs to be handled in a manner as to not make it embarrassing.

lizziep
11-25-2008, 12:11 AM
can't they just switch out a few rows of regular seats for a bit larger seats, charge a little bit more like you would to fly first class and call it good?

a friend of mine was singled out of line in front of everyone waiting and told quite rudely that he needed to buy another seat, it was very humiliating for him. they need a system that is private and one that works.

I understand them wanting to charge extra for an additional seat but it seems to me that with a bit of modification they could accommodate people and make more money at the same time.

I'll make sure to remember though if I ever am singled out in public and accused of being to obese to fly - that I remember that it's my fault for choosing to eat like a pig my entire life- i'm sure that will give me comfort.

jessisaokay
11-25-2008, 12:14 AM
I'm not trying to be rude in any way, but wouldnt it be just as embarassing sitting in the "obese section" on a plane?

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 12:19 AM
can't they just switch out a few rows of regular seats for a bit larger seats, charge a little bit more like you would to fly first class and call it good?The problem with that, is what do you do on a crowded flight if the airline runs out of larger seats? I'm sorry, ma'am, you can't fly with us today - we're out of "fat seats"?

Or what if the flight is booked full and a skinny person winds up buying that seat? Does she get a partial refund? After all, she doesn't NEED that extra space, so she shouldn't be forced to pay for it. But if she's sitting in one of the seats with larger space, is it fair for her to pay less? After all, she's getting the use of the full space?

Setting aside a row of larger seats just isn't practical for all kinds of reasons. :)

.

happy2bme
11-25-2008, 12:38 AM
I don't fly anywhere near as much as I used to. But Northwest Airlines (and possibly some others) are starting to charge "premiums" for better seats. All passengers are booked in the middle seats starting out and you have to pay more for aisle or window seats. I believe they also charge the highest "upgrade" charge for the coveted - is it called the bulkhead row? The one just behind the emergency exit that has extra leg room all the tall people try and grab first. We paid extra for aisle seats when we travelled earlier this year.

And at one time there was an airline flying from Chicago to Las Vegas primarily. (They are no longer in business). For $35 dollars you could upgrade to what would be a business class section. You didn't get the meals or free drinks of first class, but you got the same roomy seats. Both DH and I always paid the upgrade - we fit in the regular seats but the wider ones were much more comfortable on a longer flight.

I would pay slightly more for roomier seats but cannot afford the big jump to the first class price. I got used to the little bit of extra room that American airlines was putting in their cabins and one time when we flew, we took a United flight. At the time (not sure if it's changed), they only gave you more leg room in the first 15 rows. We were in the back of the plane on the second leg of the trip and were wedged in so tightly that when the person in front of me pushed their seat all the way back, I actually got claustrophobic.

So now we don't go across country any more and drive most of the time when we do travel.

TJFitnessDiva
11-25-2008, 12:48 AM
I think you should have to pay for the extra seat....I'm looking at this from a business point of view and not an obese person, I guess some people would say it's a bad habit for me lol! I hate when people try to get something for nothing :P

JulieJ08
11-25-2008, 12:55 AM
I don't fly anywhere near as much as I used to. But Northwest Airlines (and possibly some others) are starting to charge "premiums" for better seats. All passengers are booked in the middle seats starting out and you have to pay more for aisle or window seats. I believe they also charge the highest "upgrade" charge for the coveted - is it called the bulkhead row? The one just behind the emergency exit that has extra leg room all the tall people try and grab first. We paid extra for aisle seats when we travelled earlier this year.

Wow, I haven't flown for a long time. That's nuts. Never used to be like that. They used to ask for volunteers to sit in the bulkhead row, you had to be willing to help with an evacuation.

joyra
11-25-2008, 01:06 AM
Happy2bme, you've pretty much written out my thoughts.

Air travel is generally uncomfortable for everyone unless you pay extra for it. If I could solve the obesity airline crisis, I think they should have different size/type of seats (wider, more leg room, more food, more entertainment, etc) and charge different rates for it. On my flight to Korea there was at least 4 different types of seats. Most were economy but the others ranged from nice wide cushy chair to something that pretty much became a bed. I think it's great that they will charge extra for things like bulkhead and exit row.

In the meantime, there are airlines with better seats than others. You can look up how big they are on the internet. Midwest Airlines has a bunch of planes that have first-class size leather seats throughout the whole cabin. Give your money to an airline that meets your needs and treats you right.

After reading all your comments, especially wheelchair-bound vs. obesity arguments, its so clear to me that obesity needs to be considered a more serious medical issue. Doctors should see an obese person and say "Let's help you get better!" If you landed in a wheelchair, I imagine there are so many services to address what got you in that place. If I have a heart problem, a doctor would try to put me on medication. If I have a physical injury, a doctor would prescribe me physical therapy. As a technically obese person (6 lbs away from overweight-ville), I wish a doctor would look at me and prescribe me a nutritionist and a trainer.

I can't figure out why obesity isn't taken more seriously. Does it really look like a lifestyle choice (I CHOSE to obese and I can CHOOSE to be not obese)? Does it seem like the remedy is simple enough to do on your own (for many of us, it's not)?

I know I'm on a serious tangent but as people continue to be become obese (I don't think it's stopping) and as the travel industry tries to maximize profits as fuel costs go up and the economy tanks, I think airlines will need to be more creative in addressing the needs of all their passengers.

kaplods
11-25-2008, 02:04 AM
Wow, I haven't flown for a long time. That's nuts. Never used to be like that. They used to ask for volunteers to sit in the bulkhead row, you had to be willing to help with an evacuation.

If it's not nuts to charge a person for taking up two seats because a seat to fit them isn't available, why shouldn't people who want the more "popular" seats be expected to pay more for the priviledge?

I mean, if it's just a business decision, it certainly makes just as much sense to charge more for the seats that more people want - that's just basic supply and demand.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 02:15 AM
Does it really look like a lifestyle choice (I CHOSE to obese and I can CHOOSE to be not obese)? Well .. to be honest, as someone who used to be obese (medically speaking) and is now "just" overweight ... it is to some degree, a choice.

I chose to eat more than was healthy for me. I chose to eat a 1/2 a bag of sour cream and onion chips a night. I chose to eat 4000 calories a day of food. I chose not to work out or exercise. I chose to come home from work and eat mashed potatoes smothered in gravy and to do so while sitting in front of the television with my laptop on my lap.

I'm not saying that there is no-one who is overweight despite themselves, but I'd venture to say that MOST of the people out there are like me. There's no reason I'm fat except that, honestly, I'm lazy and I like food. I ate too much and exercised too little. And yes, that is a choice I made.

Once I put my mind to it, I also CHOSE not to be obese. I chose to eat healthy food and I chose to get off my a$$ and start walking and going to the gym.

So yes, I really do believe that for many of us it is a CHOICE. That sucks. And it might not be politically correct. But I do believe it's true.

I can't get behind the "eat like a pig" statement - I think it's rude and hateful. But getting away from the semantics of it, *most* of us did "choose" (in ways direct or indirect") to lead unhealthy lifestyles that has caused us to be overweight.


.

tinycities
11-25-2008, 07:18 AM
PhotoChick, I really agree with what you've been saying.

Whenever a topic like this comes up in conversation, I'm always surprised at the number of people who feel it's their "right" to something, that they are "entitled" to a particular service, regardless of their behaviour. Life doesn't work in that way, it doesn't owe anybody anything. Yes, it's right to try and make things as fair as they can be. Life isn't fair, and so we try to level the playing field for people who have suffered accidents or misfortune, but we can't shirk our responsibility for our own health and our size and expect others to accomodate us. Harsh as this may sound, if you overeat and become obese, there are going to be certain things that you can't do as easily as someone who is not overweight. It's no-one's job but your own to ensure that your size doesn't get in the way of you living your life as you wish to, and I really think it would help tremendously if more people took personal responsibility for their choices and mistakes, instead of expecting others to cater for and accomodate them regardless.

Obviously, I don't deny that there are certain medical conditions in which obesity becomes the inevitable outcome, and I would view this differently. However, I would take an educated guess that the majority of obese people are that way through their diet (a choice) and leading a sedentary lifestyle (a choice). It is these people (and I include myself amongst this group) that should take responsibility for their condition, and if that means having to pay double on a plane because they have chosen to make decisions that lead to them requiring more than one seat to sit in, then so be it.

nitenurse
11-25-2008, 08:32 AM
if you take up 2 seats you should pay for 2 seats

tamaralynn
11-25-2008, 09:13 AM
Back to Melody's comment - I can see what she is saying... yes it is a daily choice whether you will eat more than you should - meaning obesity is a choice.... but some people have problems with obesity due to medical issues.

For everyone else - if you want to bring up sensitive issues, you have to be aware that some people will tell it like "they really beleve" it is. Not everyone has the same beliefs or ideas.

I can see where the wording will offend people - but like me, I take it with a grain of salt, and try to understand their meaning behind the words.

As for myself - it's such a hard issue, in a way Obesity is a daily thing (isn't it said that 1/3 of North Americans are obese? ) So it should be something that is taken into account when planning seating for flights. But in a way, why can't they just make larger seats like there used to? Or like Gary's idea... bench seating... with armrests you can pull down?

Then what about the seating that you book online? Could they not have "measurements" of the seating... that way you can discreetly measure yourself at home and decide for yourself whether you need two seats?

Have a lovely day everyone - I'm off to work.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 11:15 AM
To a large degree my being a business owner has a large effect on my opinions on these topics. I have had far too many people get angry at me for what I charge or try to talk me down in price because of their situations and then get angry at me when I wouldn't.

And the bottom line is that while I do love what I do, I have to earn a living. I have to pay my bills. And while I'd love to be able to photograph everyone who asks, I can't. I can't shoot a wedding for $500 or even $1000. It's just not possible.

And even though there's a difference between being a 2 person business and a large multinational corporation, I think the principle is the same. Yes the company makes a lot of money off of the price of the seat. But there are also a lot of expenses. And a company that doesn't take all necessary steps to maximize profit when and where they can is a foolish company. And if that means that some people wind up choosing NOT to use their service, the company has to decide if that's an acceptable risk to them.

I lose some business because I won't discount my prices. I lose some business because I won't compromise on the length of time I shoot on a wedding day. I won't do a 2 hour "formals only" coverage. People who hire me either hire me for the full day or not at all. And they pay for it. So I have made a choice that I am willing to lose those 2-hour people because I believe that I can still make up for it with the number of people who will pay for my all-day coverage.

The airlines are the same. As someone else said here, flying is not a right. It's a consumer product that one chooses to use and pay for. Either you're willing to pay the price or you're not. And I guarantee you that if some airline becomes completely restrictive, there will be another airline that will jump all over that and offer reduced price double seating or something like that. It might take some time, but it will happen. It's the nature of a free market. And then we'll see which airline does better in the long run. :)

.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 11:17 AM
you have to be aware that some people will tell it like "they really beleve" it is. I think I'm pretty well known around here for "telling it like I believe it is". :D

But there's a difference between what I wrote above about it being a choice to be overweight and saying "You have a daily choice to eat like a pig or not."

I would venture to guess that most of us do not "eat like pigs" ... and I think that fostering that stereotype on this board especially is just uncalled for.

.

Thighs Be Gone
11-25-2008, 11:29 AM
With the erratic fuel costs it comes down to a business decision. I wouldn't dare to say someone else chooses to "eat like a pig" or whatever. I am bothered though that I am asked to pay extra for a few pounds extra in my luggage but the guy next to me can be morbidly obese, take up a large portion of my seat, make my entire flight uncomfortable and be deemed acceptable. It doesn't make any sense.

It's **** to be fat. I know.

Maybe not very PC but I just envisioned the "Does you bag fit here?" box at the airport. They would only need to change the size of the box and one word of that question.

modkittn
11-25-2008, 11:35 AM
I can't get behind the "eat like a pig" statement - I think it's rude and hateful.

Me too, but seriously no one could see why she was upset enough to maybe make a comment like that? That is what I am not understanding here.

SBD Sass
11-25-2008, 11:37 AM
Without reading anybody else's comments, I do think that overweight people should pay for two seats instead of 1 because they are taking up two seats. If I took up two seats I'd pay for two seat because it's the right thing to do. The same goes for charter buses and the rail.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 11:48 AM
Me too, but seriously no one could see why she was upset enough to maybe make a comment like that? No, I really can't. Especially on *this* board where we have all struggled with being overweight and we have all been the subject of hateful, hurtful comments like that from strangers. Those of us who are members here should know better.

And being upset does not give someone a pass to be hateful. Ever.

.

Extasee58865
11-25-2008, 11:50 AM
Ugh, I hate to say this, but it's how I feel. Although I don't believe it's always that persons fault that they are overweight, I don't think there is anything wrong with asking someone to pay for 2 seats. Someone mentioned previous that they are losing revenue from that seat and since being in business is all about making profit, they have the right to charges for 2 if you take up 2. Emotionally, I can see how it isn't good to subject someone to that, I can't even imagine how awful that must make one feel. But at the same time, those of us who are overweight, know we are overweight and kind of "expect" things to be more difficult for us because of our size.

modkittn
11-25-2008, 11:55 AM
No, I really can't. Especially on *this* board where we have all struggled with being overweight and we have all been the subject of hateful, hurtful comments like that from strangers. Those of us who are members here should know better.

And being upset does not give someone a pass to be hateful. Ever.

.

Well I just don't agree. People get mad at each other all the time and say hateful things they don't mean. Even to people they love, let alone to strangers that they've never met in person.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 11:56 AM
People get mad at each other all the time and say hateful things they don't mean. That doesn't make it right.

Edited to say - I think we've probably taken this part of the conversation as far as it can go. ;) I'll just agree to disagree with you on this point and move on.

.

modkittn
11-25-2008, 11:58 AM
That doesn't make it right.

.

I didn't say it did.

TJFitnessDiva
11-25-2008, 12:16 PM
People just take the extra seat too personally....the customer service agents do not wait around all day and wait to embarrass overweight people if they need to purchase another seat.

You have to pay for an extra or overweight bag right? Why not another seat if you can't fit into just one? That's a big amount that airlines have to eat esp if they have to let everyone do it.

nelie
11-25-2008, 12:17 PM
Has anyone seen early models of planes? Even from 20 years ago? They were much more spacious than our current models. Seats are getting smaller, aisles are getting narrower and leg room is getting shorter. All the while the US population is getting fatter.

If airlines did make it so seats had a bit more room, then it would increase the cost of flying and would reach back to the consumer. Airlines aren't a very profitable business but we do depend on them a lot. If airlines made it so a passenger wouldn't have to pay for two seats but needs them, then they'd have to price their tickets for such. Currently, there is no easy way to price for someone who needs two seats other than having the person buy two seats. I honestly don't think someone should be required to buy two seats but its also not fair for someone who buys a seat not to be given a seat. I read a story not too long ago of someone who had no seat on a plane because an overweight passenger took his seat and most of hers.

I think the ideal solution would be to make it so someone could buy 2 seats but at a slightly discounted price. That way the airline knows how much space they have and everyone has a seat. Otherwise perhaps go into the territory of setting a weight limit on when someone has to buy a second seat and asking that during the process. Of course no one really wants to go there and people distribute weight differently so weight doesn't determine width.

JulieJ08
11-25-2008, 12:46 PM
Well I just don't agree. People get mad at each other all the time and say hateful things they don't mean. Even to people they love, let alone to strangers that they've never met in person.

I think that is a personality and sometimes cultural thing. Because, yeah, I get mad, my friends and family get mad sometimes, but they just don't get hateful. Really. But I know lots of people who fight in ways that horrify me, and the next day every one is happy. I think the way of fighting that includes hateful stuff as just a normal way of doing it, is incomrehensible. And the people that do it seem to find it incomprehensible that we *don't* do it. I like to feel like I have a moral high ground here, but the older I get the more I realize just how much difference can all be a part of "normal."

modkittn
11-25-2008, 01:03 PM
I think that is a personality and sometimes cultural thing. Because, yeah, I get mad, my friends and family get mad sometimes, but they just don't get hateful. Really. But I know lots of people who fight in ways that horrify me, and the next day every one is happy. I think the way of fighting that includes hateful stuff as just a normal way of doing it, is incomrehensible. And the people that do it seem to find it incomprehensible that we *don't* do it. I like to feel like I have a moral high ground here, but the older I get the more I realize just how much difference can all be a part of "normal."

I don't say mean or hateful things when I get mad but I know that other people do and all I was trying to say was that I understand why Melody was frustrated and upset. Everyone jumped on her for saying something mean about obese people. Fine, I agree that it was mean and uncalled for. But no thought to mention why she was so upset. What was said before she chimed in was also wrong and mean to a different group of people and most here just glossed over it.

DisgruntledOne
11-25-2008, 01:17 PM
I say we let it go now. Melody hasn't posted again since so who knows if she has even looked at this thread since her post to know what any of us feels about it. I'm not so sure "hijacking" this thread to discuss something other than airplane tickets if fair to the original poster.
We have all stated how we feel about it so lets move on. :^:

happy2bme
11-25-2008, 01:24 PM
Has anyone seen early models of planes? Even from 20 years ago? They were much more spacious than our current models.

Geez, and here I was thinking it was just because I was a teeny little thing then :lol: But you are right. I remember being a size 12ish (not huge) and having the sides of the seat dig so uncomfortably into legs that I had to spend the entire flight with my legs crossed.

I think they sold those old planes to the discount airlines. ATA was famous for tiny seats for tiny people. My favorite plane model is the one with the 2 seats at each end. DH and I put the middle arm rest up and it's just like having a bench seat.

Last weekend we went to see the Eagles in concert. We paid ALOT of money for 3rd row center tickets. I had never been to the stadium before so wasn't sure of the seating but worried that since we were on the main floor, would we be sitting on rickety folding chairs. They weren't rickety but they sure were small and were locked together so you couldn't move them. I just fit into my seat and was looking over at the regular seats, wishing I had paid less and had a more comfortable seat. The seats to the left of me were empty until just about the start of the concert. I couldn't believe that someone would let those expensive seats go unused, but I do admit to saying lots of prayers thanking God for my good fortune and the extra room :lol: I guess I was being cocky because along came 4 people - 2 adults, a teeny weeny petite thing and her hubby who was very very large. Who do you think the guy sat next to? :chin: Yep, me. DH and I were sort of cozy with each other but these 2 must have been fighting because he was giving her a wide berth and was spilling over into my chair. As he sat down, he actually sat on top of me. Then he proceeded to sit like a guy with his legs spread out in a wide V. I did not pay that much money to sit squished so I pushed back on him. DH offered to switch seats with me before I started beating on him. But I said no, I was defending my tiny square of a metal chair. Once the concert started, (which was awesome), I moved to the edge of my seat and stayed there. At times when the rows behind me stood up, I did too so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

I guess in that situation, you just "pays your money and takes your chances" - I'm sure no one is going to pay double for 2 premium seats in an event like that.

JulieJ08
11-25-2008, 01:28 PM
As he sat down, he actually sat on top of me. Then he proceeded to sit like a guy with his legs spread out in a wide V. I did not pay that much money to sit squished so I pushed back on him. DH offered to switch seats with me before I started beating on him.

Man, I HATE that.

happy2bme
11-25-2008, 01:31 PM
I remember seeing an article this summer when gas was so outrageous that the airlines were hurting more than ever. With the general population weighing more in general, the planes were heavier and consuming more fuel, costing them more money. The article's author joked tongue in cheek that perhaps the airlines would have to have a scale as you boarded and you'd pay for your seat "by the pound" (depending on what you weighed). Of course they can't really do that, but from strictly a business persective with a very narrow profit margin, they have to find some way to cut costs.

I think that's why they limit and weigh luggage now. If your bag exceeds I think 50 pounds, you pay a substantial extra fee.

junebug41
11-25-2008, 01:34 PM
Man, I HATE that.

Me too! And it's not limited to airplanes. I've had this problem on trains and buses.
It absolutely infuriates me. :devil: I get it. You have man parts.:o

Sorry. We can return to our regularly scheduled program...

happy2bme
11-25-2008, 01:51 PM
Me too! And it's not limited to airplanes. I've had this problem on trains and buses.
It absolutely infuriates me. :devil: I get it. You have man parts.:o



Hey ---does this mean guys should pay double for their extra "passengers" :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Sorry... :o I couldn't resist

JulieJ08
11-25-2008, 01:56 PM
Hey ---does this mean guys should pay double for their extra "passengers" :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Sorry... :o I couldn't resist


Yup, if it means they have to use up the width of more than one chair. :devil:

I just realized, if they measure how wide you are, some men are gonna fail at the shoulders even if they aren't obese. ;)

Operator265
11-25-2008, 02:11 PM
Yes, you should have to pay for a second seat. I also wouldn't be po'd if they charged by weight either. My X is a very huge man at 6'5", 270 lbs(ideally). He's larger than many football players. He didn't chose his size, nor did I chose to be 5'2",130(ideally), so I'm putting myself into the category of pay extras. There have always been certain difficulties and expenses for us separately, and they became amplified when we were together.

I've sat next to him on a plane. Although he certainly didn't spill over into my seat, I really don't think it would have been comfortable sitting next to him if we weren't intimately acquainted. We decided that future flying would involve paying extra for business or first class.

Try buying a car with a 15" difference in the couple wanting to use it. I can drive a sub-compact just fine, they are cheaper to buy and use less fuel. He bruised his cheek one time when we first got together while driving my Datsun b/c he hit a pothole and smacked himself in the face with his knee. Should we be able to force the auto industry to sell him a bigger car for the same price as a smaller one and then also force the gas stations to cover the cost of the extra fuel? It isn't his fault he's so big and there isn't a damned thing he can do to change it.

We had to buy more expensive, stronger furniture to support him. He broke two beds in less than one year that I had owned for more than 10 years. We paid more for laundry b/c I could only wash 3 pair of his jeans in a washer that could accommodate 6 pair of mine. I had to learn to sew as a youngun' because the industry didn't sell slacks that matched my round, sweet fanny to my short, cute legs. Even when buying a house, we had to take our sizes into account. Poor man kept smacking his head in the doorways of the little house I was renting when we first got engaged.

Should I be able to force the retail industry to only have shelves that can be reached by a person of my height? If they have to buy more square footage to spread out, so be it. Just pass the costs onto everyone else so I don't have to face the humiliation of asking for assistance getting something that most others can reach easily.

My point is, business will not be able to continue if it has to accommodate variances in people(whether by choice or not) on an unending basis. That's where personal responsibility comes in. I'm all for access ramps and requirements on doorway sizes to allow for wheelchairs and such, but, every person out here pays extra or saves some for being outside the norm in some way. Ain't none of us normal anyways. We simply cannot make this a perfectly fair world. And, by the way.....

Viva la difference

Operator265
11-25-2008, 02:17 PM
Yup, if it means they have to use up the width of more than one chair. :devil:

I just realized, if they measure how wide you are, some men are gonna fail at the shoulders even if they aren't obese. ;)

That is exactly what make sitting next to my X a less than pleasant experience for others.:^:

ImStrongEnough
11-25-2008, 02:23 PM
The way I see it is this - folks who are wheelchair bound and choose to buy a vehicle that will accommodate their chair or has a lift - they pay extra. Because it costs the auto makers more to add that equipment. They are not being discriminated against, they are paying for something extra. If they want to have a vehicle with a lift or an open area in the passenger space, they pay for it.

So, if someone wants to fly and they are big enough to need two seats they should pay for two seats. They are taking up an extra seat that could be used by another paying passenger. It doesn't matter why they are obese. They are no more being discriminated against than the person paying extra to buy the vehicle with the extras, or the person who pays to remodel a home to accommodate someone with a disability, or any number of other examples.

When someone wants or needs costly extras due to their physical state they should expect to pay for them.

Ija
11-25-2008, 02:46 PM
Everyone jumped on her for saying something mean about obese people. Fine, I agree that it was mean and uncalled for. But no thought to mention why she was so upset. What was said before she chimed in was also wrong and mean to a different group of people and most here just glossed over it.

I think there is a difference between being insensitive and being hateful. That might be a fine distinction, but to call someone hateful is to claim to know their heart and their intentions, and I just don't think that's the case here...

That being said, I agree that although it may be far from an ideal situation, airlines have the right to charge passengers for the number of seats they require. I think, though, that the dimensions of the seats should be made available for passengers when they book a flight, and an option be given (as standard protocol) to purchase an extra seat if needed.

My two cents.

JulieJ08
11-25-2008, 03:06 PM
I think there is a difference between being insensitive and being hateful. That might be a fine distinction, but to call someone hateful is to claim to know their heart and their intentions, and I just don't think that's the case here...

I agree. Mostly I just saw pain in it. I think I just picked up and continued the term in the thread.

kaplods
11-25-2008, 03:53 PM
I know it may seem kind of crazy, but I would be less intimidated by the flying process if I were asked to pay per pound (of me and my luggage) and/or per square inch or width of seat space (as long as I'm getting what I'm paying for). I think what is needed is a more consistant and discreet way of determining it (heck even a not so discreet way like the amusement park signs you must be under or over this height...) They could put up a measuring tape ideally in the bathrooms horizontally on a wall and mark at the different airline's requirements for a seat (in each class). Heck put the same measuring tape at the ticket counter.

But the idea that you can be told at the counter that you can't have two seats, because you don't need them - then get on the plane and find out you do need them and be asked to leave the plane or worse not be required to buy an extra seat and find out you're crowding, inconveniencing, or even annoying your seat mates - or that two fat folks may not be able to buy an extra seat to split between them (assuming they're not taking up more than three seats together)... and that airlines are decreasing the size of seats... and that there is no consistent and discreet way of determining whether you need two seats....

It all adds up to a situation that is very poor consumer service (especially as the population of fat folks is much higher than it's ever been). I think that it's a common perception that these situations are "rare," but I'm hearing of them more and more, so they seem to be becoming more common - and to smaller and smaller people (which makes sense if the seats are shrinking).

I don't think "fault" should come into the conversation at all. There are reasonable similarities between the needs of handicapped folks and obese folks. It's sad that we can't make the comparison without offending someone, because we want to distinguish between the "merit" of the need, not the need itself. We don't (and shouldn't) treat a handicapped person differently when their disability is their fault. We agree that "some" people who are fat may not be entirely responsible for their size. Whether the numbers of handicapped who are at fault is under 10% and the number of fat people who are so because it's not their fault is under 10% - it doesn't matter because you can't look at a person and determine which percentage they fall into, nor the thousands of factors it would take to even try to determine it. Besides which people with disabilities often do have to pay extra because of their disability. It's just ridiculous to compare the value or worthiness of another person in determining how to meet an unconvental need. You can't compare one life to another easily and decide who does and doesn't deserve compassion. If we're going to do that we might as well take babies away from unwed mothers like we used to, because hey they should have known better.


Yep, we all need to take more personal responsibility in ALL areas of our lives (as a nation, we're getting into the habit of doing so less and less). And we all need to have more compassion for situations other than our own (and some of us may even need to learn more compassion for ourselves).

I think the market will determine what people are willing to pay. But if the seats are reduced in size to the point that 50% of the clientelle have to pay for double seats, I think the general consensus would change. If anyone over 140 lbs, needed to pay for a double seat - almost ensuring that few men would pay the cheaper fair - I think more people would be complaining (and calling it discrimination).

No, I don't think the ticket agents or the flight staff are intentionally out to harass fat people. But, there are a lot of us out there, and we have to go places, just like everyone else. That you can't determine ahead of time if you need a double seat, I think it the worst part of this. I am very fat. I've been very fat since I was five years old with only a couple years "in normal size" in high school (with the assistance of prescription amphetemines). Until five years ago, I was a very active fat person, with a crazy appetite I couldn't control and didn't understand (I now know that carbohydrates and hormones were causing the hunger - if I stick to a low carb diet and bc that control progestin levels I can control the hunger and lose weight without feeling like a trapped starving animal in a cage). Is my fat my fault? Mostly yes, but also a great deal of no. It's a mixture of factors some I have control over and some I don't. It's not much different than some people with diabetes and heart or lung disease - it's often a mixture of factors both in and out of a person's control. I don't think any of that is at all a part of the issue. This shouldn't be about who deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect. Most of the worst complaints that I have heard do focus not on the requirement to pay extra, but on the way they were treated when asked to do so.

I'm not going to criticize or plug a specific airlines, but I've heard enough from fat folks who are frequent flyers (ooh that's a tongue twister) that I know a few airlines I would gladly fly and others that I would avoid like the plague.

I think it's Phillippine airlines that I've heard have the smallest seats (it doesn't really matter if they're the smallest or one of the smallest) - well that makes sense as a seat to fit an average person in the Phillippines is a lot smaller than the average American. But for Airlines in the US, it seems reasonable that the average seat should fit the average person. So, as the average person gets bigger, the seats shouldn't be getting smaller. If that means fares go up, I think that's a better idea than making the chairs smaller and smaller until it's almost inevitable that people are overlapping into each other. Or make a variety of seats with varying widths and amounts of leg room, and charge accordingly. Whether you're fat or have a disability in which you can't bend your leg - you might not be able to fit into the smallest seats.

I think "fair" is something everyone wants, but is nearly always impossible. I think what makes it so hard to agree upon what IS fair, because fat is an issue we're not supposed to talk about. Fat people aren't supposed to admit they're fat, and people aren't supposed to notice when other people are fat. If we're not allowed to talk about it, how can a person not take offense when they're confronted with the issue (especially when the standard is applied unpredictably - you mean I was too fat for a normal seat yesterday, but I'm not that fat today?)

I've never been afraid to talk about being fat - and it intimidates a lot of people (both fat and slim). They don't know how to interact when fat is used as a matter-of-fact word and not a horrendous insult. Even if we were all as healthy as we could be, people would still come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and abilities and it shouldn't be so taboo to discuss (and issues of blame shouldn't immediately come up). However, being the subject is so taboo even to mention, let alone discuss, makes it very hard, and I think in a large part because it's so tied with blame. It's sometimes more socially acceptable to be an alcoholic or drug addict than to be fat. When being fat means you are a horrible person, who is entirely to blame for their situation - unlike people with other behavior-induced disabilities like drug and alcohol addiction, well who wants to admit to that?

We do consider "blame" an important factor. Many of the needs of a person with a mobility disability are the same as those for me. But, if I complain about restaurant booths being too narrow to fit me - I'm a fat b**** who expects the world to cater to her self-inflicted giant butt. I'm a big girl (in more than one way) and can take the criticism, but that doesn't change the fact that restaurant booths are not made for people who havesize or mobility issues that are not average. The world is build for average folks, and there's not much anyone who is off-average can do about it. I never realized how much the world is made for small, limber people not when I faced the issues myself, but when I faced them with disabled relatives. I really didn't consider the unfairness of places I couldn't fit because I was fat (because I was taught to see it as 100% my fault), but when my smaller Mom and Father-in-Law who used wheel chairs couldn't fit, I was outraged on their behalf (even though I don't take up any more room than their chairs). I guess my mom (obese, but not morbidly obese) is one of the disabled people who's disability is her "fault," because as she's lost weight she no longer needs the wheelchair and rarely needs the store's electric carts. But if you take blame out of the equation, the space needed for an average wheel chair is about the same space needed for a very obese person.

Before my FIL passed away last year, my husband and I went to a new restaurant. The booths were all on a second level (four steps) and the table and chairs were all very tall. We squeezed into the booth fine, but realized that FIL couldn't eat there. On the main floor the tables were about the level of his forehead. Everything was packed so tight that even a person with crutches or moderate arthritis faced a dangerous obstacle course. We asked why they had six handicapped spots in the parking lot, when there was no handicapped access to the tables - and we were told (this is great) "it's what we're legally required to do." So they're required to have handicapped spaces in the parking lot - and they're required to make the bathrooms handicapped accessible as well - but they have no obligation to make the premises handicapped accessible (we have to let you park in the lot, and have a bathroom built for your use - but we don't have to make it possible for you to use the premises or be able to get to the bathroom).

I think the issues aren't clear cut. How much should we ever make any business accomodate anybody? I'm sorry, you're not our intended clientelle, we can't help you. I think that was the position of the restaurant we visited - the obvious clientelle were young, active folks. It was not a restaurant suitable for families either, because while they had high chairs, the baby's head would be under the table or (in the booth area on the second level) the aisle so narrow that an accident with hot food from the servers would almost be inevitable), especially with the servers periodically line dancing in the narrow aisles.

Should the restaurant be legally obligated to not just have a handicapped accessible bathroom and parking lot, but a handicapped accessible restaurant as well. Well, this gets a little sticky. After all, what use at all are the parking spots and the restrooms if the restaurant itself (and the path to the restroom) is restricted to the slim and able-bodied. The accessibility of the floor plan apparently in our area isn't legally mandated, so there is no legal recourse. But, while there are no grounds to sue the restaurant, there are always grounds to complain (for any reason). If you don't like a businesses practices, or their charges, you always have a right to complain about them (and the businesses, unless they're in violation of legal statutes, have a right to ignore your complaints). Then you're left in a situation of voting with your money and feet, or working to change the laws. Whether or not a law will be made, in a democratic society, depend on how many people agree with your.

But back to flying, if fat (or being a little differently able than the norm) weren't so taboo to talk about, common courtesy could go a long way toward solving some of the issues. On a bus shopping trip once , I was overlapping into my mother's seat quite a bit and my two (thin) sisters were in the seats in front of us. I asked my sister (the thin, but not thinnest one) to switch with me so we were more evenly distributed in the seats. She asked me why (duh) and I told her and I was shocked by the reaction of some of the ladies around us (it was a bus trip sponsored by an employer for which both my sister and I worked). I felt a distinct negative "vibe" that I had spoken with such mundane practicality about my size (yes, I'm hugely, obscenely fat, I get it - do you really think we should all pretend I'm not). I can't imagine what the reaction would have been if it had not been my sister I had asked to switch with me (Oh, I'm an idiot - I just realized this very second that this probably was the very reason it stirred such a reaction. It was an employee only trip, and we were each allowed only one guest, so there was no way for the other women to know that I was related to the women in the seat in front of me - oh that's hilarious).

But seriously I now understand why we got such crazy looks. After all, under normal circumstances it would be considered very rude to say to strangers, "hey I notice that you two are skinny chicks and my seat partner and I are both fat so why don't we pair the fattest chick with the skinniest chick to even things out." Can you imagine if all four of us were not related how well that conversation would have gone - Hey I notice you're fat too. That doesn't give us much space, hey why don't we ask those skinny chicks in front of us if one of them will switch with one of us - ideally the fattest paired with the skinniest?"

I don't know, but I wish we could be that open. It sure would make for a lot fewer awkward momements when we're supposed to pretend we don't notice the differences. I'm extremely open about my size (and I don't apologize for it, I am fat not a serial killer), and I find it rather funny that I'm expected not to be. When my MIL buys me a size 16 nightgown and I'm a size 34 (and had told her so), and I'm supposed to pretend it's going to fit? I was very careful how I told her that for the most part, I could only find my size through catalogs. When a friend asks me to sit in a chair that I know isn't going to support me, I'm supposed to say "I'd rather stand," or worse, sit in it and break it? But if I say "no, I don't think that chair will support me," no matter how kindly I say it, the person looks horrified like they don't know what to say or do. It's not their "fault" either, we're not taught how to respond to candid conversation about issues of size or other taboo topics.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 03:55 PM
Has anyone seen early models of planes? Even from 20 years ago? They were much more spacious than our current models.Yeah, but does anyone remember the COST of flying 20 years ago?

20 years ago I used to pay double or more what I do now to fly home for the holidays. And traveling for business was freakin' expensive. If anyone had told me 20 years ago that I could fly from Atlanta to NYC for $150 round trip, I'd have told them they were on some serious drugs. :)

So yeah, there was more space years ago. There were also full meal service, movies on every flight, blankets and pillows. :) And you paid for all of it.

.

kaplods
11-25-2008, 05:10 PM
Yeah, but does anyone remember the COST of flying 20 years ago?

20 years ago I used to pay double or more what I do now to fly home for the holidays. And traveling for business was freakin' expensive. If anyone had told me 20 years ago that I could fly from Atlanta to NYC for $150 round trip, I'd have told them they were on some serious drugs. :)

So yeah, there was more space years ago. There were also full meal service, movies on every flight, blankets and pillows. :) And you paid for all of it.

.

(I finally figured out how to use the quotes - I'm a smart one).


But this is a very good point. I think a lot of the complaints about flying in general are related to changes being made rather than the conditions themselves. But the very nature of flying has changed. Flying until very recently, was a rare luxury, not a common form of transportation. My husband and I are talking about flying to visit my parents as it may actuallybe about the same cost as driving. But as flying becomes more like taking a bus, the inconveniences are becoming more comparable as well, and that includes the relationship between comfort and cost. Comfort costs more. Now that flying is more about cost-effective transportation than luxury, cost and comfort are inversely proportionate - for all folks not just the bigger folks.

I think decent customer service though is often caught in the cross-fire. Courtesy on both sides (customer and service provider) is becoming a rarity. I'm constantly shocked by behavior on both sides. Once in a line for returns at a Walmart, a woman pushed to the front of the line and demanded that she be served before the rest of us in line. The woman at the counter tried to be polite, but had to get more and more firm about the woman needing to get into the line or come back at a slower time. I actually got a call from the Walmart clerk, because the woman was trying to get the girl fired by how "rudely" she'd been treated, and she asked if I would talk to her manager about how she had handled the situation.

I've also seen the other side, where I or other customers were treated as though we were inconveniencing the worker by expecting them to carry out their job. Probably the worst was in a shoe store, in which every shoe I asked to see the (only) clerk in the store would reply "we don't have it in your size." I started to get suspicious, as I wear a size nine (a common size) but really understood when the clerk "went to check" on the shoe I asked about - just as the manager was returning from lunch. Coincidence that the only one of six or more shoe styles I asked about - the one that "might" come in my size was the one I asked for after the manager returned?

EZMONEY
11-25-2008, 09:51 PM
I took Melody's "eating like a pig" as a common everyday figure of speech of eating too much.

I didn't feel she was out of line.

I think a lot of trouble in the world today is because of sugar coating everything

we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings

No matter what we say someone is always offended

every kid has to come in first

no one wins...it's a tie

Seriously....if you want more food....you gotta pay

if I want another beer I gotta pay

if I want more than the normal haircut (back in the day....wink) I had to pay

if I want "more" from Ang....somehow I'm gonna pay

Bottom....get it? bottom line


if it's more....you gotta pay

kaplods
11-25-2008, 10:43 PM
I don't think anyone should have to tip toe around issues or sugar-coat, but
I think "blame" is inappropriate when talking about disability or obesity. Not everyone believes obesity is any more of a choice than it is a choice to have many disabilities that are commonly percieves as more worthy of sympathy, but contain just as much of a lifestyle component. It certainly is not a daily choice, because the cause and effect take many months and evey years to do or undo (No matter what I choose today, I cannot wake up tomorrow slim - or next week, or even probably next year). Many disabilities contain a lifestyle component that a person has a certain amount of control over, and some are even as reversible, or nearly so as obesity. The parallels between a smoker with emphysema and a morbidly obese person may outnumber the differences. Some of the damage we each have done to our bodies may be just as permanent.

"Eating like a pig," is a common phrase, though very inaccurate and deliberately provocative (it cannot be misconstrued as a compliment). It's a term that connotates disgust and an accusation of a very abnormal (non human) eating pattern, that often just isn't true. There are people who (as the documentary of the title refers to) on a daily basis eat 33,000 calories, but this is very rare. Often even with extreme weight differences, the differences in eating habits between slim and overweight folks are sometimes very subtle (and sometimes they're not).

I think the difference is in the motive. When the motive is to wound (and only the speaker can truly say how much of that intent was there), it makes honest and open communication difficult, even when or maybe especially when the comment could have some truth to it. It's much easier to hurt a person with a half truth than it is to hurt them with a lie.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 10:50 PM
"Eating like a pig," is a common phrase, though very inaccurate and deliberately provocative (it cannot be misconstrued as a compliment). It's a term that connotates disgust and an accusation of a very abnormal (non human) eating pattern, that often just isn't true.Bingo.

It is possible to say that one considers being fat a choice and therefore one should deal with the consequences of that choice, w/out using this type of phrase

.

EZMONEY
11-25-2008, 11:11 PM
I'm not sure if SCOOTER intended the thread to go this route when she asked our thoughts.....but once again we have proven that as a "team" that we can just about nit-pic anything to death.

JulieJ08
11-25-2008, 11:19 PM
Since the OP hasn't been back to post again, I kinda doubt it matters too much to her.

kittycat40
11-25-2008, 11:24 PM
He bruised his cheek one time when we first got together while driving my Datsun b/c he hit a pothole and smacked himself in the face with his knee.

Poor man kept smacking his head in the doorways of the little house I was renting when we first got engaged.

Viva la difference

:lol:
:D

what an image!

EZMONEY
11-25-2008, 11:35 PM
Since the OP hasn't been back to post again, I kinda doubt it matters too much to her.

;) I bet she is just lovin' it!