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Fat shamed (on the plane) in a text? (News story)

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12 hours ago, Quill said:

Yes. It was an adult who was also at the farm, unconnected with our group, unconnected with the farm. 

😡 !!!

I would be livid. 

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2 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

She was intolerable, but still I think it was enough that everyone in the plane told her off.  Being plastered on facebook isn't going to make her or anyone else a good person.

As an aside - what's with the comment by the journalist that it is unknown whether the airline is going to apologize or compensate the offended ladies for being insulted by another passenger?  Why should the airline compensate them?

And - honestly, airlines need to fix their seat width issues.  Anyone in that situation would have been quite uncomfortable, though most would have kept quiet for the sake of their neighbors.

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12 hours ago, EmseB said:

 

So it seems pretty obvious to me that the PP forgot to write "person", but in any case,

All of those categories are not equivalent. There are some situations where physical characteristics do set apart a group. Disabled people may not sit in an exit row on an airplane. The disabled may not sit in an exit row. Neither can children. Obese people are sometimes required to get seatbelt extenders on airplanes. To refer to people in certain categories isn't othering as in inherently negative or bad. Defining people by categories and physical characteristics may not be the most tasteful thing to do, but sometimes distinctions are made for whatever reason that has nothing to do with discrimination, racism, or othering.

I was thinking about this last night and trying to remember how the airlines describe who can sit in the exit row. I remembered it as a list of things that the exit row person should be able to do/perform. I did some googling and some airlines do list it that (the person should be able to...).

The FAA regulations list it in the negative: Persons who are not able to...should not be seated in exit row.

Disabled people/disabled is not listed as a disqualifier which makes sense to me bc it is the actions that need to be performed that are important.

(Tangentially related...some airlines are saying people who need to use seatbelt extenders may not be seated in exit row but it is not an FAA rule as far as I can see. But I might have missed it)

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36 minutes ago, SKL said:

She was intolerable, but still I think it was enough that everyone in the plane told her off.  Being plastered on facebook isn't going to make her or anyone else a good person.

As an aside - what's with the comment by the journalist that it is unknown whether the airline is going to apologize or compensate the offended ladies for being insulted by another passenger?  Why should the airline compensate them?

And - honestly, airlines need to fix their seat width issues.  Anyone in that situation would have been quite uncomfortable, though most would have kept quiet for the sake of their neighbors.

Airline should not compensate anyone. 

I am on the fence about seat width issues. Everyone flying coach class *knows* there is very little space. I am not a big person but I know it’s squinchy going in. Nobody sitting in that row was small, but none of them seem extraordinarily gigantic, either. All three look like typical large Americans to me. Even the “salad eater”, haha. (That is also a very widely observable behavior - a large person acting disdainful of other people they assess to be bigger than themselves.) 

Anyway, my point is, public seating is always arranged to fit maximum ticket-buyers; if you want comfort, you pay a premium. Movie theaters, plays and shows, sports arena, public transportation, airplanes. It is true in all instances. The main difference s with air transportation are a) a lot of people have anxiey about air travel so emotions are already provoked; b) people are “trapped” on a flight in a manner they aren’t so much at a movie or a play. 

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11 minutes ago, Quill said:

Airline should not compensate anyone. 

I am on the fence about seat width issues. Everyone flying coach class *knows* there is very little space. I am not a big person but I know it’s squinchy going in. Nobody sitting in that row was small, but none of them seem extraordinarily gigantic, either. All three look like typical large Americans to me. Even the “salad eater”, haha. (That is also a very widely observable behavior - a large person acting disdainful of other people they assess to be bigger than themselves.) 

Anyway, my point is, public seating is always arranged to fit maximum ticket-buyers; if you want comfort, you pay a premium. Movie theaters, plays and shows, sports arena, public transportation, airplanes. It is true in all instances. The main difference s with air transportation are a) a lot of people have anxiey about air travel so emotions are already provoked; b) people are “trapped” on a flight in a manner they aren’t so much at a movie or a play. 

I felt the width available for the middle person was too narrow, but then again I have broader shoulders than most women.  Most men however have broader shoulders than I have.  The middle person with broad shoulders would have to sit sideways for 4 hours since the women on both sides weren't doing so.  My arthritis is such that I can't sit in that kind of position for more than a few minutes without suffering for days afterward.

Another question of etiquette - if you're the broader person on the window or aisle seat, should you lean a bit so the middle person can sit like a normal person?  I think so.

And I don't think a person should have to pay thousands of dollars extra just to be able to sit like a normal person in a seat.

Edited by SKL
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12 hours ago, StellaM said:

Is it impolite to comment on a person's weight negatively in a text to friends ? Yeah, probs.

Is it hurtful to read such a comment ? Yep (though how anyone reads anyone else's texts by accident on a plane, I'm not sure).

Is the reaction proportionate ? Not at all. 

I mean, what is the proportionate reaction to digital  'eavesdropping' ?  Nothing, really. I suppose if she felt incredibly affronted, she could have asked to move seats or something. Idk.

I pretty much despair of the increasing acceptance that we will, can and should censor people's thoughts or speech, through social coercion and outright abuse of the law. Unless the text was a direct incitement to violence against pleasantly plump women, there's nothing to be done other than note that some people are quite rude. 

 

 

I do not think we should censor people's thoughtś  or speech.  My post about using/turning adjectives as/into nouns is more bc of awareness than anything else. 

Like Emse wrote...It isn't inherently bad...

(The meek shall inherit the earth)

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7 minutes ago, SKL said:

 

And I don't think a person should have to pay thousands of dollars extra just to be able to sit like a normal person in a seat.

 

This exactly. Once on a plane, you are stuck. It's not too much to ask that the average person be able to sit in a reasonable degree of comfort. That would avoid, I think, a lot of these unpleasant confrontations. (There will always be jerks, and there will always be exceptions to average. But it's not unreasonable to not want a stranger's body overlapping your own.)

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3 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

She wasn't tiny, but she was contained within her own seat space.  They were very large and they were close enough over their space that she had to hunch her shoulders in and still was rubbing against them unless she spent the flight leaned forward past their shoulders.  I can understand that they were likely mortified by her voicing her discomfort, but I can see how she was not wrong that it would be very uncomfortable for 4+ hours.  Why didn't the aisle person switch with her? Idk.  Maybe they just don't care about other people's comfort.  Most folks don't I guess.  But I notice all the shamers didn't offer to trade seats with her either.

I don't think the airline owes them anything, but I do think it's just a matter of time until they get sued for creating these situations. 

ETA: I change my opinion.  I think the airline should give her a free flight because she didn't get the use of the full seat she paid for. Or used her miles for to be exact.

Edited by Murphy101
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My friend and her husband were on a cross country flight a couple years ago.

They had booked an aisle and a window with a vacant middle seat between them. (Him -- an aisle seat, as that used to be the haven for tall folks. Her -- a window seat, so she could sleep.)

A hugely obese woman was seated between them, in the middle seat, with a "seat belt extender", etc. She was so huge that the poor woman's body could NOT fit between the arm rests. Her bum was up above the rests, resting upon both of them, with her body literally pouring over BOTH arm rests. She couldn't lower her arms at all during teh entire flight. She had to hold them in front of her, hands clasped in front of her face, elbows up. For 5 or 6 hours (coast to coast).

My (slim) friend was crammed against her window during the entire flight. She has so little space that she couldn't even use her small pillow between her head and the window. There was no way on earth she could have gotten up to use the restroom, as moving was pretty much impossible, and the middle seat passenger getting in or out of the seat was a heroic feat that involved a lot of time and difficulty. Thankfully, no bathroom emergency occurred.   

The obese passenger was clearly very uncomfortable for the 5+ hour flight and was sweating profusely. So, she was sweating and stinking on to both my friend and her husband. 

My friend and her husband are infinitely kind and compassionate people. They said NOT A WORD during the entire miserable flight. They did later warn me (and I'm sure others) about being aware of the middle "handicapped designated" seats, as apparently these are used for overweight folks  . . . because the aisle seats can't be used because otherwise the passenger's body would BLOCK THE AISLE. Instead, they just take over their neighbor's seat space . . .

IMHO, this is an airline problem and an obese passenger problem.

Airlines have made seats (and aisles, and bathrooms) ridiculously small while the average passenger is getting larger and larger. There are not easy ways to upgrade to a "plus size" seat for a modest cost. If it's a $300 coach flight, first class might be $1000. Instead, there should be a "plus size" seat available that is, say 50% wider and 20% more leg room. Charge 30-70% more for the plus size seat, but not 3-5x+.

Then they need to mandate that folks verify they can FIT INTO a regular seat if they don't want to pay for a plus size one. Honestly, I think it's abusive what happened to my friends AND to that poor middle seat woman. There's GOT to be a better way.

Meanwhile, I do think it's required by good manners that if you can't fit your body into the allotted space of YOUR seat, you figure out another seat (upgrade, etc), another airline with better seating options, or drive/train/whatever if at all possible. It's just not cool to invade a seat mate's space, IMHO.

 

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

She was intolerable, but still I think it was enough that everyone in the plane told her off.  Being plastered on facebook isn't going to make her or anyone else a good person.

As an aside - what's with the comment by the journalist that it is unknown whether the airline is going to apologize or compensate the offended ladies for being insulted by another passenger?  Why should the airline compensate them?

And - honestly, airlines need to fix their seat width issues.  Anyone in that situation would have been quite uncomfortable, though most would have kept quiet for the sake of their neighbors.

I noticed that too and thought - why would/should the airline apologize or compensate her? I can just see the precedent that would set - people would be falling all over themselves being offended by others so they can be compensated. 

I do agree that it's ridiculous how tight the seats are. It's been a few  years since I've last flown - it's probably worse now.

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

She was intolerable, but still I think it was enough that everyone in the plane told her off.  Being plastered on facebook isn't going to make her or anyone else a good person.

As an aside - what's with the comment by the journalist that it is unknown whether the airline is going to apologize or compensate the offended ladies for being insulted by another passenger?  Why should the airline compensate them?

And - honestly, airlines need to fix their seat width issues.  Anyone in that situation would have been quite uncomfortable, though most would have kept quiet for the sake of their neighbors.

 

I think this is a real issue. I know they are trying to do the minimum, but airplane seating is beyond.  I am a totally average sized woman and I am uncomfortable and feel very psychologically uncomfortable as well on a plane, and it is all down to the seat size. I remember getting on a plane once after not being on one for many years and I almost walked off, it was so horrible.  The last time I flew I took drugs to get me through it, so I was too dozy to care.

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FTR most people I know are just fine in the current seat sizes.  I mean obviously it's not luxury, but it's reasonable under the circumstances.

I think airlines could just add a row or two of extra wide seats and charge proportionately more for them, and insist on them being used by people who don't fit in a regular seat, at least on full flights.  They could even use bench seats for flexibility - one flight it could be a family with skinny parents and kids, the next flight it could be two extra large adults.  Or even jump seats.  There has to be a way, and I think they need to find it soon.

I think the airlines are afraid of being sued for singling out large people.  But IMO that is ridiculous.  Why don't we sue Lane Bryant for making clothes specific to large people?  Why don't we sue wheelchair manufacturers for making extra-wide wheelchairs?  Well because it's an accommodation for the large people themselves.  I guess it's discrimination if you dare to consider the rights of the adjacent passengers who are not extra large.  How did we get to this point?

What would happen if they seated all the large people in adjacent coach size seats?  Would they grin and bear it or demand the airlines fix the problem?

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7 minutes ago, SKL said:

FTR most people I know are just fine in the current seat sizes.  I mean obviously it's not luxury, but it's reasonable under the circumstances.

I think airlines could just add a row or two of extra wide seats and charge proportionately more for them, and insist on them being used by people who don't fit in a regular seat, at least on full flights.  They could even use bench seats for flexibility - one flight it could be a family with skinny parents and kids, the next flight it could be two extra large adults.  Or even jump seats.  There has to be a way, and I think they need to find it soon.

I think the airlines are afraid of being sued for singling out large people.  But IMO that is ridiculous.  Why don't we sue Lane Bryant for making clothes specific to large people?  Why don't we sue wheelchair manufacturers for making extra-wide wheelchairs?  Well because it's an accommodation for the large people themselves.  I guess it's discrimination if you dare to consider the rights of the adjacent passengers who are not extra large.  How did we get to this point?

What would happen if they seated all the large people in adjacent coach size seats?  Would they grin and bear it or demand the airlines fix the problem?

That's just it. There ARE solutions if the industry can be compelled to act on them. But we have to be able to talk about the problem without people screaming discrimination on the one hand or heaping abuse upon those who simply require extra room on the other. It comes down to health and safety. It's not healthy or safe for people to be squeezed into spaces where they can't stretch their legs or are contorted into uncomfortable positions for hours. That affects people with a wide range of medical issues as well as those who just want their seat to hold only one person. It's not healthy (or kind) for people to be shamed and made to feel less than because of their size. And the pitting of irate passengers against each other is a safety issue for the flight.

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I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

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7 minutes ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

I’d be seriously pissed off if I bought two tickets and they randomly decided I shouldn’t get two seats.  And if I were you, I’d tell the person they let sit in the seat you bought that you did buy two seats and it’s not your fault that both of you are now uncomfortable.  Barring some kind of emergency evacuation situation, it shouldn’t matter why if you bought two seats you should get use of two seats. 

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11 minutes ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

 

What?  Do they give you the money back at least?  It seems like this is probably a problem related to overbooking - they are happy for you to look like a jerk as long as they don't have to bump someone.

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2 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

She wasn't tiny, but she was contained within her own seat space.  They were very large and they were close enough over their space that she had to hunch her shoulders in and still was rubbing against them unless she spent the flight leaned forward past their shoulders.  I can understand that they were likely mortified by her voicing her discomfort, but I can see how she was not wrong that it would be very uncomfortable for 4+ hours.  Why didn't the aisle person switch with her? Idk.  Maybe they just don't care about other people's comfort.  Most folks don't I guess.  But I notice all the shamers didn't offer to trade seats with her either.

I don't think the airline owes them anything, but I do think it's just a matter of time until they get sued for creating these situations. 

ETA: I change my opinion.  I think the airline should give her a free flight because she didn't get the use of the full seat she paid for. Or used her miles for to be exact.

We have been on flights before where the flight attendants did not allow switching seats. Made me nervous because the only reason I could think for this was "if the plane goes down, we want the divers to identify the bodies by their assigned seating". Good grief.

On the subject of seat size, I think our government has been far too inactive on the subject. At some point it becomes a matter of public health and safety. Less than 34" of space from the back of your seat to the one in front is heavily associated with blood clots. Having to sit sideways to accommodate broad shoulders, etc. of another passenger causes back aches, head aches from the back discomfort, etc. Enough is enough. Seriously. And because everyone is crammed into a confined space, emotions do run high so at some point the total lack of comfort can and has t times had, a very real impact on the well being of passengers.

I think they need to get a good study from orthos, chiropractors, etc. and then pass a law based on those recommendations. The airlines will have people bungy corded inside sucrets boxes soon if nothing is done. Unregulated capitalism does not turn out well for the peasants. They regulate all kinds of things about the seats of cars, there is no reason to NOT regulate this for planes as well.

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34 minutes ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

I would tell the person next to me that I bought two seats but the airline took away my second seat so that more people could make the flight.

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41 minutes ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

That is ghastly. I’m speechless. 

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46 minutes ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

That's insane. You've paid (and paid dearly) for the second seat to ensure some degree of comfort for yourself and your seatmate. They have their money. They should not be allowed to do that to you. I hope you raised hell with them, though I can totally believe they simply would not care. So sorry you experienced that.

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Teachermom, you should sue. Seriously. There will be some lawyer out there that will take the case for a percentage of settlement. I would FRY the airline. Enough is enough. 

This crap only changes when it hits their pocket books because corporate leadership doesn't have any morals, just pure greed as motivation. One can't appeal to them to be human beings. They sacrificed that for dollars.

Edited by Faith-manor

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53 minutes ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

I am sorry you have been treated this way both by the airlines and by fellow passengers.

I guess the only thing to do once in the situation is to tell your neighbor that you paid for two seats and got stiffed, and it would be great if they would join you in complaining to the airline after you all reach your destination.

This might also be something to take up with the regulators.  I mean I know they can overbook and kick people off, which sucks, but this is different.  This is matter of health as well as plain humane treatment.  Would they be allowed to jam two skinny people into one seat against their will?

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Just now, SKL said:

Would they be allowed to jam two skinny people into one seat against their will?

Please don't give the airlines any ideas!

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1 hour ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding. 

outrageous

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1 hour ago, Faith-manor said:

Bluegoat, you should sue. Seriously. There will be some lawyer out there that will take the case for a percentage of settlement. I would FRY the airline. Enough is enough. 

This crap only changes when it hits their pocket books because corporate leadership doesn't have any morals, just pure greed as motivation. One can't appeal to them to be human beings. They sacrificed that for dollars.

 

It wasn't me that happened to, but that might be one way - there are increasingly calls for legislation to on airline related stuff.  When I was away last summer our flight out of Scotland was canceled and we couldn't leave until the next day - we were compensated and so was everyone on the plane, because UK laws says they have to, and it was a fair sum.  It must have cost them a fortune to give that amount to everyone on that airplane.  I think we've got something similar in process in Canada now, though I'm not sure the amounts are a good.

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2 hours ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

Also thinking about this more, if my explanation didn't stop other passengers from making comments I would call the flight attendant over, explain that I purchased two seats but one was taken from me at check-in and that my fellow seatmates are uncomfortable to the point of continued verbal harassment (or just comments) and is there anyway either I or they could please be re-seated to accommodate my original reservation. Leave it to the flight attendant (airline to deal with).

Easier said than done, I'm sure. I'm sorry you have to deal with people treating you unkindly.

The honest truth is that there were flights where I needed to get somewhere so badly that I would have sat in a cramped seat if it meant getting on a flight at all, so I kind of understand the other side of it, but I would never expect someone with a paid-for seat to have it taken from them either.

Edited by EmseB

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3 hours ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

 

Read the policy before you book.  Tell the boarding person that you need compensation for involuntary denial of boarding if they are going to go the route of denying you a seat.  You can then negotiate, and you can continue that negotiation later. As always, calm, polite, firm, know what your contract says. 

Anytime you are harassed, you have options - you can defuse, you can let a seatmate step in and defuse, or you can call a flight attendant. You may be able to get up, depending on what the Captain has directed the passengers to do.   I was harassed last year, my seatmate defused the cray cray, who was seated directly behind my seatmate but was also getting poked by cray cray. I hit the record button and then later took a few photos just in case she wacked out later in the flight; fortunately cray cray saved her next episode for the walk down to customs and didn't  seek me out as a target  (I had waited so she exited before me so I remained behind her)  -- and the TSA agent on the scene was able to separate her from the crowd and calm her without giving in to her demand to be expedited (her real reason for her phony tantrum). 

If the person is amenable to making the flight comfortable, by all means make suggestions  I normally suggest that the person next to me call the flight attendant and ask for assistance to stow the oversize bag they have shoved under my leg and the coat they have put partially in my seat.  I've had people indicate they will be getting up after the FA takes the meal trash, and I appreciate that notice.

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5 hours ago, unsinkable said:

I do not think we should censor people's thoughtś  or speech.  My post about using/turning adjectives as/into nouns is more bc of awareness than anything else. 

Like Emse wrote...It isn't inherently bad...

(The meek shall inherit the earth)

 

Oh, I wasn't thinking of that. 

I was actually thinking of how social media coercion through shame is one place on a spectrum of social control of others' words that runs all the way through to really sinister things like the UK police and a focus on 'precrime' - seeking out, warning, and pressuring people who have committed no crime but whose words are considered to be 'incidents'. 

And thinking about the whole 'I'll take as much space as I want' and how that tangentially links with some police forces explicitly stating they are moving away from equality and towards weighting the subjective reaction of some groups to words over an objective assessment of whether words are criminal or not. 

I feel like we are moving in the direction of extreme authoritarianism, not just from the top down, but as part of a cultural shift towards ditching freedom of speech (as definined properly, and colloquially).

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9 hours ago, Thatboyofmine said:

 

It was very rude of the woman to talk about her seatmates on the phone while the seatmates were there. If I had been one of the seatmates I would have waited till she finished the call and then said something directly. "That was very rude of you.", and I'd suspect the response would be 'well it's rude of you to make me uncomfortable' and then we'd all have a very awkward, silent flight. 

Sometimes, though, I think people who describe rudeness  as 'verbal abuse', have never actually experienced verbal abuse. 

I can't see why the airline would be compensating anyone.

I am troubled by people believing they have the moral right to film and publish film of members of the public who have not consented, with the intent of inciting a social media pile on,  in the absence of a crime or suspected crime.

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On 1/28/2019 at 12:38 PM, Quill said:

The woman sounds nuts. The guy sounds like an ass. 

When I was flying home from France, the woman across the aisle from me was having a very difficult time closing her seatbelt over her sizeable girth. I was very tempted to help her but I was also freakin paranoid about how that would be interpreted. I figured the flight attendants could help if it came to that, but they didn’t. She flew half of the seven hours with the buckle incorrectly wedged over the armrest. She took it off eventually but did not reconnect it for landing. 

 

This reminded me of a flight home that I was on that was delayed because the woman in front of me needed a seatbelt extender to buckle and all the ones on our plane were being used.  The flight attendants had to get one from another plane.  The woman wasn’t obese type overweight, she was very tall.  I was very embarrassed for her because the flight attendants kept the plane informed about the reason for the delay and everyone knew who delayed it.

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9 hours ago, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

 

This is definitly law suit material. Beyond ridiculous. I'm sorry that you have had to deal with that.

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I have appreciated that Alaska Airlines has added premium seating that isn't all out first class and for charging extra for the exit aisle. We don't mind paying if that means there is a better chance of getting an exit row seat. I understand they can fit more people in if things are tight but they should give people the option of paying more for space without the unneeded fancy extras of first class. 

 

My son and husband are over 6 foot. My son is pushing 6'5" and has a tiny torso. Of course, manspreading is this evil thing now but where are his legs supposed to go? My husband who is shorter has had bruises on his knees from pushing them in behind the seat so what could my son do.  Luckily, the past few trips we have been able to find premium and exit row seats for him so I really don't know how he could or IF he could sit in a middle seat while staying in his own area. He can put his knees in the aisle until a beverage cart passes but a middle seat? 

It means our family doesn't sit together on a plane which isn't a big deal since my youngest is 11. Most of us fit in regular seats.

 

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I wish airplanes would have a space to park wheelchairs. Trains have them. Cabs have them. Even the tram at out little wildlife rescue lets the user of a power wheelchair  drive on and remain in their chair during the ride. We’ve avoided airplanes for years because the logistics make my head spin. At home we use equipment to move DS from seat A to seat B.  On a plane, this equipment and the chair must be checked. So do people levitate onto the airport transport chair then levitate again onto the airport seat?

Everywhere BUT an airplane has wheelchair parking. If your entire business is to move people in seats from one place to the next, why can’t they figure this out? Why can’t they have a few seats that fold away to accommodate a wheelchair or guarantee that you’ll be the only person siting in the seat you paid for. It seems they could have a few wider seats and make up the difference elsewhere with a slimmer seat for kids or a system that lets the flight attendants reconfigure the space somehow. Maybe some sort of staggering? 

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11 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I wish airplanes would have a space to park wheelchairs. Trains have them. Cabs have them. Even the tram at out little wildlife rescue lets the user of a power wheelchair  drive on and remain in their chair during the ride. We’ve avoided airplanes for years because the logistics make my head spin. At home we use equipment to move DS from seat A to seat B.  On a plane, this equipment and the chair must be checked. So do people levitate onto the airport transport chair then levitate again onto the airport seat?

The airline supplies a team that will transfer the person needing assistance, at no extra fee.

The airline supplies a place for the personal wheelchair/scooter to be parked during flight -- the hold -- and there is no baggage fee.  The personal wheelchair/scooter can be used to the gate and picked up again at the destination gate -- the airline supplies the people to do this moving at no extra cost to the wheelchair/scooter user.  The aisle wheelchair that the airline uses is stowed by the airline personnel in its designated safe spot during the trip, and can be used for trips to the lavoratory.  

 

 

Edited by HeighHo
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On 1/28/2019 at 7:25 PM, EmseB said:

 

So it seems pretty obvious to me that the PP forgot to write "person", but in any case,

All of those categories are not equivalent. There are some situations where physical characteristics do set apart a group. Disabled people may not sit in an exit row on an airplane. The disabled may not sit in an exit row. Neither can children. Obese people are sometimes required to get seatbelt extenders on airplanes. To refer to people in certain categories isn't othering as in inherently negative or bad. Defining people by categories and physical characteristics may not be the most tasteful thing to do, but sometimes distinctions are made for whatever reason that has nothing to do with discrimination, racism, or othering.

 

Disabilities come in many forms. So some disabled people can do it.  There are many disabled people with invisible disabilities (at least to general public) and certainly some of those people are others depending on disability could sit in exit row and follow directions.  I have been disabled for a long time.  For most of that time, I was able to do the actions.  Depending on the day, I could still do the actions.  Not recommended for me to carry 40 lbs, etc, but I can do it.

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KungFu,   what HeighHo said is true.  I had to do this on several airplane trips when I broke my leg in Yellowstone on our 25th anniversary trip. And I hear you, KungFu about the hassles.  I am a lot less disabled and still am having lots and lots of issues each time I travel.  And it takes much more time to prepare for my travel-- like checking non smoking status (asthma), accessebility (most of my conditions), and lighting (no fluorescent lights cause they trigger a flare).

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25 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

KungFu,   what HeighHo said is true.  I had to do this on several airplane trips when I broke my leg in Yellowstone on our 25th anniversary trip. And I hear you, KungFu about the hassles.  I am a lot less disabled and still am having lots and lots of issues each time I travel.  And it takes much more time to prepare for my travel-- like checking non smoking status (asthma), accessebility (most of my conditions), and lighting (no fluorescent lights cause they trigger a flare).

 

All of the info is available from the airline.  They'll tell you how to pack any wheelchair/scooter batteries safely etc etc and how much notice needs to be given.  

There are always issues during travel.  The last time I flew out of Newark, at the time requested for passengers to be at the gate only half had shown up (enjoying amenities, not on delays). That slows everything down, as they have things to be gate checked and its a bit difficult if they all show in the last five minutes.

To streamline, one may need to go private. 

Edited by HeighHo

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Oh, they give me my money back for the second seat, eventually. And I understand what everyone is saying about negotiations, but... l can't really impress on you how demeaning the whole thing is and how much they try to pressure me into giving up both seats (for the comfort of all passengers on this very full flight). It is just so loud and so public that it is all I can do not to cry. I really try hard to avoid flying unless there is no other option.

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19 minutes ago, Teacher Mom said:

Oh, they give me my money back for the second seat, eventually. And I understand what everyone is saying about negotiations, but... l can't really impress on you how demeaning the whole thing is and how much they try to pressure me into giving up both seats (for the comfort of all passengers on this very full flight). It is just so loud and so public that it is all I can do not to cry. I really try hard to avoid flying unless there is no other option.

I am so sorry.   If I overheard this exchange, my heart would definitely go out to you and there’d be zero judgement from me or my immediate family, as they’re all very sympathetic to this.  I’d probably speak up too if I didn’t think it would embarrass someone more, just because I have a hard time shutting my mouth.  People can just be such mean jerks.  I just remind myself... karma/reap what you sow.  They’ll learn a lesson at some point.  

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1 hour ago, Teacher Mom said:

Oh, they give me my money back for the second seat, eventually. And I understand what everyone is saying about negotiations, but... l can't really impress on you how demeaning the whole thing is and how much they try to pressure me into giving up both seats (for the comfort of all passengers on this very full flight). It is just so loud and so public that it is all I can do not to cry. I really try hard to avoid flying unless there is no other option.

 

How long ago was this?  Involuntary denial of boarding goes by a procedure w/a priority list these days.  The disabled aren't even on the list on the airlines I fly.

Sorry you weren't in an area where the agent could be a bit more private. 

I have to say denigration of someone to get something the denigrator wants seems to be a frequently used tactic in public these days.  Lots of compelled students here in study hall because their classes were cancelled as they were called theives for wanting more than basic..Trig for example has been redefined as not basic for college prep students.  Law says every compelled student is supposed to have a full schedule of appropriate classes.

Edited by HeighHo

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1 hour ago, Teacher Mom said:

Oh, they give me my money back for the second seat, eventually. And I understand what everyone is saying about negotiations, but... l can't really impress on you how demeaning the whole thing is and how much they try to pressure me into giving up both seats (for the comfort of all passengers on this very full flight). It is just so loud and so public that it is all I can do not to cry. I really try hard to avoid flying unless there is no other option.

If they'd use some integrity when they sell the bleeping tickets there'd be no worry about "very full" flights.  Jerks.

If I heard that, I'd tell them to knock it off and just honor the ticket they sold you.  If they can't honor their tickets, that's their problem and there's a simple solution where they can solve it themselves.  I agree with pp who said it's way past time they were more strictly regulated about stuff like this as in several other countries.

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3 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

How long ago was this?  Involuntary denial of boarding goes by a procedure w/a priority list these days.  The disabled aren't even on the list on the airlines I fly.

Cute.

 

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On 1/29/2019 at 10:54 AM, Teacher Mom said:

I am overweight. I buy 2 seats to fly. More than 50% of the time, it is taken away from me at boarding.  So I am faced with two options -- leaving the airport and cancelling travel plans or being harassed (yes, harassed is the word) by my seat mates. They don't care that I did buy the extra seat, that I did try to make the flight comfortable for everyone; they just rag on the fat lady next to them. What should I do then?

 

 

I'm sorry that people are so crass and unfeeling as to harass you on the plane. You are indeed doing your part. 

What about a letter from the doctor that the two seats that  you paid for are medically required for you? I'm thinking increased risk of blood clots and so on. I'm thinking there are two reasons this might work. One, if they bump you, you are giving up two seats and they would have to offer you whatever compensation times two . . . would that be right? Two, if they bump you, they now have to find two seats on another flight for you, whereas they would only have to find one for another passenger. It might just be easier for them to move on down the list and leave you on the flight. 

Having a written letter to hand to them would hopefully cut down on the verbal discussion as well. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, unsinkable said:

Cute.

 

Thanks for getting it. I really thought it was just me. Guess it does save me a trip to the airport. Reminds me why I don't post much.

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2 hours ago, Teacher Mom said:

Thanks for getting it. I really thought it was just me. Guess it does save me a trip to the airport. Reminds me why I don't post much.

(((teacher mom)))

Thank you for sharing and making yourself vulnerable. I am sure you influenced many people here in a positive way. 

Unsolicited advice: try to find some fun posts to join in. Or start one of your own! If you want, that is. I can understand why you might not want to though.

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On 1/30/2019 at 11:52 AM, TravelingChris said:

KungFu,   what HeighHo said is true.  I had to do this on several airplane trips when I broke my leg in Yellowstone on our 25th anniversary trip. And I hear you, KungFu about the hassles.  I am a lot less disabled and still am having lots and lots of issues each time I travel.  And it takes much more time to prepare for my travel-- like checking non smoking status (asthma), accessebility (most of my conditions), and lighting (no fluorescent lights cause they trigger a flare).

 

So, where does that team of people who help transfer go once the plane takes off? How do people transfer to the chair for bathroom trips? I’ve heard of so many power chairs getting damaged it seems like a big risk for a fun trip. That power chair is expensive and means a great deal to my son’s autonomy. Cars, buses, and trains are so much easier logistically and there’s no need to transfer from a wheelchair.  I’m just glad that we haven’t run out of day trip/field trip/weekend trip options from our home. I’m sure people do it, but it seems a bit daunting when I can avoid it. 

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17 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

So, where does that team of people who help transfer go once the plane takes off? How do people transfer to the chair for bathroom trips? daunting when I can avoid it. 

 

For your first question,  there are so many disabled people traveling now that airports have squads of people to help (Big ones) and little ones also have at least one person.  My one experience with the aisle thing was flying from Jackson Hole, Wy to Denver Co to I can't remember where (but large place) to Dulles in DC.  Jackson Hole is a very small airport and they did have a way to help me on.  

As to the second question-  I do not think I used a restroom on board since these were short flights but here is a page about it.https://ablethrive.com/travel/airplane-restrooms-challenges-solutions

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