On air: Should you pay more for being fat?

UPDATE 27/1/10: We’ve had an incredible response to this post since it went up on Friday – twice as many hits as the next most popular story! So we’ll take it on air today, with the question above as our lead…

Comment pieces here, here and here and blog posts here, here and here continue to add fuel to the debate.

The sheer breadth of comment may tip the scales in favour of talking about this on World Have Your Say tonight …

Original post 22/1/10: There’s been some confusion – and lots of discussion – in the last 24 hours over Air France plans for larger passengers.

Reports surfaced that the airline was going to charge obese flyers nearly double, by forcing them to buy a second seat at a 75% rate, if they couldn’t squeeze into just one.

The airline has since clarified its position – but not before a good many bloggers weighed in (uh-huh) to say the reported idea was a good one (also here, and here)

Others claim it would be discrimination against larger people though.

The problem of an ever-larger population in some countries trying to wedge into the same-size plane seats has been rumbling on for a while – remember this stark picture apparently taken by cabin crew on American Airlines last year?

If you’re a larger person, are you prepared to pay more for the space you take up? Or is it discrimination? Should airlines just get wider seats?

353 Responses to “On air: Should you pay more for being fat?”

  1. January 21, 2010 at 11:14

    No, they should be banned from flying, unless they’re of a predetermined weight.

    • 2 gordon barnett
      January 22, 2010 at 12:04

      Discrimination in favour of someone or something must also mean discrimination against someone or something. What are we trying to say here?

  2. 3 Idris Dangalan
    January 21, 2010 at 13:09

    Large people are all human being like any so-called slim people because anything rather than this,is called discrimination or airline operators should have separate aircraft for large and slim but not additional payment.

    • 4 Ste
      January 21, 2010 at 13:41

      I’m 6 foot 6 – for me to fly comfortably I have to have the seat with extra legroom – at a supliment obviously. My height is something I can do nothing about.

      Fat people have the CHOICE to be fat (in the vast majority of cases) so why should they not pay more?

      • 5 Keith
        January 23, 2010 at 20:27

        Same here !, I have to get the emergency exit seats if available when your over 6ft 2ins and you are on a flight of 8hrs duration or more its terrible! I may be thin but the body length is the killer for me!

      • January 27, 2010 at 19:19

        My son is also 6’6″ and catches it when he and his wife flies. She is around 5’10”. Neither are over weight but my son works out and is ‘bulked’ up. Would this include him?
        To be honest and fair, if a person suffers from bulemia, anorexia or any other eating disorder, they like the heavier person should pay more for their health care, also. Isn’t that their fault, also, if being obese is that person’s fault?
        How about the person with BO? Should they be penalized? How about garlicy bad breath or whiskey breath, talk about nauseating. I hate getting on elevators with those people. For every one obese person there are ten worse reasons than that. Are they going to pay more,too.
        What is considered obese? The BMI is a farce and full of it. It is misleading and a farce. Too many people are outside the BMI and are not over weight by any means.

      • 7 mark
        January 28, 2010 at 01:13

        damn straight Ste ..

        im 6 foot 8 also..

        i`m charged more to be comfortable length wise..

        sometimes up to 30% extra just to sit in an already existing row (emergency exits) that by law have to be there anyway for safety

        so why shouldn`t wider people pay more for that space if they go past the standard

        i have no problem with over weight people, but on an aircraft space is at a premium,

        user pays, its the only fair way

        thank your lucky stars if your average people

        mark brisbane australia

    • 8 robinstp
      January 21, 2010 at 17:51

      Idris – it is unreasonable to make slim/average person inconvenienced and “sat upon” by obessa persons in the next seat. The airlines know the problem – they could and should have 10 seats on every aircraft which are 1.5 times the size and should therefore charge 1.5 times the cost. Charging double is unreasonable, but of course they are stupid and cant work out costings and service and thats why the fast majority are in the financial risk sector.

    • 9 Mark
      January 27, 2010 at 15:54

      I, too, am 2 metres tall and have to pay more for a legroom seat in aircraft. Although it’s both a blessing and a curse, I was born this way. Most fat and obese people choose to be obstructions by their lifestyles and I am firmly in favour of them having to pay more for air tickets (where so much pricing is determined by weight), unless they can provide at least two separate doctor’s opinions (from non-relatives and if possible not issued by obese or fat doctors themselves!) confirming that they are genetically obese (whatever that might mean… my goodness, the number of fat or obese people who must be praying for their ultimate excuse right now: the obesity gene). I have frequently had to pay a surcharge for an extra kilogram of luggage while the person/s before me in the queue who weighed at least twice what I do paid the same price for their seat as me. I have started pointing out this policy flaw whenever it happens during a check-in, as should all of us who have enough self-respect to be careful about what we eat and look after ourselves.

  3. January 21, 2010 at 13:15

    I agree with the first commenter. They should either be barred from entering regular commercial aircraft or if they are not large enough to be a safety risk, they should be treated just the same as any other passenger.

    (perhaps in the future there will be aircraft built with large passengers in mind)

  4. 11 robinstp
    January 21, 2010 at 13:24

    It is well overdue. This MUST happen. I am a very regular flier – and I am sick of being overcrowded (putting it politely) be very overweight and obesse persons, who also are unclean. They smell disgusting in most cases – simply because their body is so big and carrying so much stresses everything to the extent of creating BO. They should be designed to two rows of seats at the rear of the plane.

  5. 13 Julie P
    January 21, 2010 at 13:36

    It’s not discrimination when a person needs to take up twice as much space to get from point A to point B and the airline charges twice the price. The airline is losing money if they do not charge for a person taking up a second seat.

  6. 14 martyn
    January 21, 2010 at 13:42

    If anyone has ever been on a long haul flight and had the opportunity to sit next to a large person they will know firstly that the large person takes up most of the space in the seating and secondly they are prone to snoring- something I have had on various occasions as well as the hygiene issue.
    To say that it is discriminatory to make large people pay more is ridiculous, maybe they should take responsibility for themselves and not eat so much and exercise a little more.
    I challenge anyone to take a long flight with one and tell me otherwise.

  7. 15 Batcow
    January 21, 2010 at 13:48

    I disagree. It’s like charging stupid people more to use the internet.

    • 16 Robert
      January 27, 2010 at 16:29

      No, stupid: unlike fat people intruding upon their fellow passengers, stupid people do not cause any such imposition upon their fellow internet users.

  8. 17 Linda from Italy
    January 21, 2010 at 13:49

    Hey, fat persons’ ghetto at the back of the plane, with more roomy seats, would be fun, we could also bring back smoking and allow for a drunks’ corner, I’d gladly join 2 and 3 although I wouldn’t qualify for 1.
    Seriously though, I heard an Air France spokesperson on Europe Today (yesterday) justifying this with the comment that fat people can’t evacuate as quickly, following that logic, some elderly people, people disabilities and possibly non-walking infants would also be penalised/discriminated against, would we really want that?

  9. 18 Muhammad Zaman
    January 21, 2010 at 13:50

    Odd how airlines always consider the possibility of charging larger people more for their tickets, but conveniently never mention the possibility of charging thin people less for their tickets, considering how less weight/payload results in less fuel consumption.

    And if larger people get charged more, should they be entitled to bigger seats /more space?

    Every ticket, it seems, is a one-way street for the airlines.

    • 19 gary indiana
      January 21, 2010 at 14:55

      Yes Muhammad, appropriately-sized seats for large and small as well as ticket prices calculated per pound of mass are the fairest answers.

      • 20 barb
        January 21, 2010 at 15:14

        Good point! Maybe we could all be put on the scales, and priced per pound!
        Surely, it’s sounding more like an “Airplane” movie? – don’t call me Shirley!

    • 21 Roger Stewart
      January 21, 2010 at 16:37

      The most sensible observation on this issue Muhammad, perhaps if airlines catered for normal and not stick thin supermodels then we would all have a bit more room.

      • 22 mark
        January 28, 2010 at 01:23


        im not a stick thin super model neither is my partner and we fit in the seats just fine

        that theory is a cop out

        like is said no probs with overweight people

        but if you need the space you gotta pay

        M brisbane

  10. 23 Linda from Italy
    January 21, 2010 at 13:59

    Re that picture, I noticed there were two empty seats right behind this guy, why didn’t the cabin staff just move him and lift the arm rest in between – end of obstruction and potential threat.

  11. 24 gary indiana
    January 21, 2010 at 13:59

    Of course larger people should pay more. Flying creatures have weighed the value of being in the air against its metabolic costs ever since their first evolution. With what irrelevant argument about political equality shall humans ignore physical reality? Should my hazel eyes automatically double the value of my currency, or my short stature allow me first choice in front row seats at the concert? Aircraft carry mass at the expense of burned fuel. Every pound matters. Why should minimal consumers of gravitational attraction pay an extra share for their larger fellow passengers?

  12. 25 NotFat
    January 21, 2010 at 14:00

    Yes if they are sitting next to me and I should get a partial refund.

  13. 26 patti in cape coral
    January 21, 2010 at 14:02

    In the article it says that non-overweight passengers will also have the option of purchasinga second seat at a discount. Does that mean they are allowed to bring more stuff on the plane for the extra space? I’m not a segregationalist, but maybe there needs to be a fat people airline, Linda made the fat ghetto sound fun! I hope I’m fat enough to qualify, but if not, I can always gain weight. I bet they would make a good bit of money.

  14. 27 gwest1
    January 21, 2010 at 14:08

    My wife (8 stone) gets infuriated when she has to pay the same price as a person who is 18 stone. What she is actually doing is subsidising their ticket. ‘The more you weigh’ should be ‘The more you pay’.

    • January 27, 2010 at 19:30

      I guess i don’t think in such an idiotic way. That would mean a heavier person should pay more to go to a movie theater. To a concert. For everything you pay an entrance price or have to buy a ticket. I don’t care. I don’t spend my time wondering how much someone paid for something. if i cannot afford it. i stay home.

  15. 29 scmehta
    January 21, 2010 at 14:09

    Any person weighing more than 82 kgs should pay more at the pre-fixed/kg rate. Why? because I weigh 80 kgs now, and would like to have a safe cushion of 2 kgs, so that by the time I board the reserved flight after about 4 months, I don’t have to pay anything extra. Fun aside, I do seriously hold that some limit to the traveler’s weight has to be set, whereafter, they must be made to pay extra as per the new rules/regulations.

  16. 30 Ian Taylor
    January 21, 2010 at 14:14

    I disagree that overweight passengers should pay 175% for 2 seats, they should rightfully pay doublefare (200%), since they take up the space of 2 passengers, and add the mass of 2 passengers to the load of the aircraft. It is justifiable discrimination, it should cost a great deal money to be obese, as an incentive to lose weight. There is no excuse for being overweight. Stop over-eating!

  17. 31 Rena-Jo
    January 21, 2010 at 14:26

    Oh dear. Has society really sipped to such low depths?

    • 32 patti in cape coral
      January 21, 2010 at 15:21

      I’m afraid so, Rena-Jo, and this is the tip of the iceberg. Just read the comments as the day goes on, it will only get worse.

  18. 33 vivienne newsome
    January 21, 2010 at 14:30

    Yes, most certanly obese people should pay more, in fact I would go on to say that they should not be allowed to fly at all as they would pose a real danger in the event of an emergency. Trying to get past a really fat person while evactuating a plane would cause panic. Also, having sat next to a very fat person on a relatively short flight I can assure you that when I needed to get up and use the toilet it was a huge problem, the person could not move properly and then it was almost imposible to get back into my seat without using a grappling iron!

    • January 27, 2010 at 19:34

      Maybe you should be charged more for running to the toilet on a very short flight. Or wear a pamper. That is another thing that bothers me on planes, in movies when it is crowded. The person who has a bladder problem and is up and down every half hour or so. I know, it is getting silly. Now you know how you sound.

  19. 35 Peter Gizzi UK
    January 21, 2010 at 14:49

    I did think we were supposed as a world to be trying to reduce the amount people fly? At nearly 68 I have flown but not that often. At 5 foot 8 inches I weigh about 13 stone 12 lbs. somewhat overweight? I am most unlikely to ever fly again except “off the handle.”

    Baggage and freight are charged by weight. why not weigh every passenger at check in and charge accordingly? The first airline to do this would get all the thinner customers and therefore reduce operating costs? Modern technology,could easily allow this as it would simply be larger shop type scales.

  20. 36 alan loughlin
    January 21, 2010 at 14:53

    about time this was done, we get charged for baggage by weight, so why not passengers, the more weight there is the more fuel is used so it makes sense to charge by weight. also have you ever been sat next to a fat person, they encroach on your already small space, so i am all for it, make them pay for two seats if they need the space, anyway it would be a good incentive to lose some weight.

  21. 37 dan
    January 21, 2010 at 14:53

    I remember being on a plane with a woman who demanded 2 seats as her morbidly obese body could barely fit down the aisle.
    As she was stuffing her face she proclaimed “I have a glandular condition”.
    As far as I could see all she had was a “Salivary Gland” problem.

  22. 38 Rick McDaniel
    January 21, 2010 at 14:55

    Yes, it is time for those who make no effort to control their size, to be charged for being obese.

  23. 39 George
    January 21, 2010 at 15:12

    There are restrictions for the size and weight of luggage. People must stop placing political correctness over logic.
    If a person’s girth or weight is over a certain amount, he/she does NOT fly. Money is not the issue unless there is an elephant sized seat they can fit in.

  24. 40 K.Vishwanath
    January 21, 2010 at 15:15

    The World has already so many divisions; some natural and some man-made. For example we have male-female, rich-poor, black-white, east-west, north-south, developed-underdeveloped, divisions made based on continents, countries, states, religion, sect, sub-sect and what not. I feel another division classifyng people based on weight into normal/obese is not warranted. If space is the constraint in accommodating obese people, airlines should make facilities in aricrafts for them to travel in the cargo section!

  25. 41 Steven
    January 21, 2010 at 15:16

    I have a friend who is (to put it mildly) overweight. He has admitted for some time travelling is difficult because the leg room on most flights is impossibly small and the seats don’t recline (at all on the ones we’ve travelled together on).

    In his defence I say this, why should he pay more for what essentially becomes an uncomfortable sub-standard service? surely the real question should be, “Should airlines me MADE to give EVERYONE more legroom and wider seats so that we ALL have the basic comforts we should expect for the price of the flight?”.

    I’m not fat, and not very tall, but I struggle to get comfortable on most internal European flights. You are crammed in like cattle and then the airline has the affront to suggest passengers who take up more space should pay more!

    • 42 Tom K in Mpls
      January 22, 2010 at 17:17

      Come on people, don’t whine, bitch and preach. Do! If you don’t like the product or service of a vendor, go to a better one. The bad ones will adapt or die. The people running the businesses know much more than most of us about their businesses. Many here are trying to force their will on the financial future of others. How would you feel if you were the target? What if someone was setting a limit on what you could earn? What you had to do to earn money?

      Remember, fair has to work all ways, not just with the ’cause of the day’!

    • 43 julie
      January 28, 2010 at 08:09

      I agree shouldn’t airlines be looking for a more comfortable was of housing their customers,like wider seats,more leg room,rather than creating a division yet again

  26. 44 Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri
    January 21, 2010 at 15:17

    Neither injustice and discremation should be done with thin and heavy people. Some seats be less wide and some wide. Charge less and more than normal standard. If some one is heavy due to some illness, then he has to produce a certificate from any hospital. This policy encourage to be thin and good health. Thanks.

  27. 45 Steven
    January 21, 2010 at 15:25

    What annoys me are the comments above about “fat people” being a risk to other passengers in an emmergency and they shouldn’t be allowed to fly. Out of the following list how many of these people do you imagine it would be difficult to get off an aircraft in a hurry and therefore risk the lives of other passengers:

    A woman who has not followed/listened to the safety information and tries to leave with her high heels on
    A child who is panicking due to the smoke and people rushing around them
    A blind person travelling alone
    A wheelchair bound person who’s wheelchair cannot be taken onboard the plane
    An elderly person who walks with a stick or crutches that have had to be stowed in the over head locker
    An amputee
    A woman wearing a long dress which she keeps tripping over
    A man or woman wearing religious robes which also impede free movement
    Conjoined twins whose combined width is larger than the walkway
    A selfish idiot who is pushing people out of the way to get off the plane first
    Someone who has over indulged on the duty free
    Someone who is on heavy medication because they are afraid to fly

    if you prevent ALL risky people from boarding planes there would be no one on them.

  28. January 21, 2010 at 15:37

    The best idea so far,with a lot of agreement,is to charge by weight.After all,weight is the important factor in flying.You will pay excess for baggage weight,why not body weight? What does Mr.& Mrs. Average weigh? plus a few kilos.After that pay more.Very good idea.

    • 47 Jaimi
      January 21, 2010 at 23:59

      I disagree on charging people by weight – they should be charged by Width!
      A 180 pound 6ft man can easily fit in an airline seat. A 180 pound 5ft woman will take two seats.

      • 48 Josiah Soap
        January 25, 2010 at 16:21

        A simple height weight chart would be used. For a given height, you must weight within certain limits. They are used all the time. It would be easy to have walk on scales and a automatic infra red laser to calculate height. If you are over a specified weight for your height the computer will calculate how much extra you pay. I have sat next to 2 obese people on flights. I remember this well because they smelt of BO and urine, it was a horrible experience squeezed in with them spilling over into my seat.

      • 49 Elizabeth C from Ohio
        January 27, 2010 at 17:18

        I beg to differ Jaimi. I’m a 5foot 5inch woman who wieghs over 200 pounds. I fit into one seeat on 99.8% of the planes I’ve ever flown on. Though I do have to ask for a seatbelt extender most of the time.

    • 50 neil mccready
      January 22, 2010 at 16:04

      what about pregnant women will they have to pay more?? and will dwarfs pay less??

  29. 52 Adam
    January 21, 2010 at 15:40

    So does this if I am really thin and take up only half a seat, I get to pay half price?

    • 53 Roger Stewart
      January 21, 2010 at 16:45

      No sorry Adam, logic plays no part in this debate, its just the old bigots having a whine about their fellow man. Get a life you Muppet’s.

      • 54 Raymond Hopkins
        January 22, 2010 at 09:08

        Too true, Roger Stewart. Don’t we seem to dislike each other? When do we grow up and allow people to be what they are?

  30. 55 T
    January 21, 2010 at 15:50

    Think for a second. Name one airline in the world that would have the guts to do an ad campaign for obese people.

    Also, is being obese a “human right”? There’s no benefit whatsover in being obese. So if you’re going to charge them more, be fair. Also charge other people more (alcoholics, chain smokers, etc.).

    • 56 patti in cape coral
      January 21, 2010 at 16:38

      @ T – I still think an airline can think of good slogans and a good campaign for bigger people. After all, there are a lot of commercials for Big and Tall stores for men. I agree it might be more problematic for women, as we tend to be more “sensitive”, but I’m sure it could be worked out by some talented ad people. I love the idea of charging alcoholics more, or even better, don’t serve alcohol on airlines. I have been more offended by alcohol fumes and groping hands from a drunk than I ever was by an overweight person.

  31. 57 Dudley Armitage
    January 21, 2010 at 15:53

    I weight 27 stone and see no reason why I should be charged more for flying. What next, charging thin people less?

  32. 58 James
    January 21, 2010 at 15:56

    This is typical discrimination. How about this, all Arabic people will now be charged 4 times the amount as a non-Arabic person because of the terrorists acts and updated security systems required to fly safely today. Does this sound fair? I think all children should be banned from flying, unless there is a sound-proof chamber to store them in. Maybe we should ban the elderly from flying, they take way too much time getting to their seats which can cause delays. Lastly, we should ban anyone with a handicap. If you require special assist6ance to board a plane, you either should pay twice as much as normal people. How about we just quit flying!!!

    • 59 Ms B
      January 21, 2010 at 22:59

      You are missing the point. The idea is that people have a choice when it comes to their weight which they don’t have with their ethnicity.

      But I agree with you about it being ridiculous. If you get stuck next to an overweight person, tough, that’s just the way it is.

      From a person with a healthy BMI who often takes long flights.

    • 60 James Loudermilk
      January 22, 2010 at 14:50

      James are you fat???

  33. 61 AJDAvies
    January 21, 2010 at 15:56

    How about sticking them in the cargo hold?

    • 62 patti in cape coral
      January 21, 2010 at 20:14

      Who, the fat people, the mean people, the people with children, the alcoholics, the tall people, or the disabled?

  34. 63 Chris
    January 21, 2010 at 16:07

    Airlines sell tickets by the seat so if you take up two seats why shouldn’t you have to pay for them both?

  35. January 21, 2010 at 16:12

    large people tend to accomodate more space,so they pay double price.like in our country nigeria,many taxi collect double fare from any fat person that wanted to board his vehicle

    • 65 Roger Stewart
      January 21, 2010 at 16:50

      Well Uche,that could be why Nigeria is the way it is, how about if the taxi driver is fat, the passenger should get a cheap fare for that.

  36. 66 Neal Richardson
    January 21, 2010 at 16:26

    If I want to sent a package from the post office or Fedex, I am charged based upon weight. Why should people be any different?

  37. 67 jens
    January 21, 2010 at 16:27

    just great, am 6’8″ weigh about 260 pounds. i am not obese, live a healthy lifestyle etc. I will personally sue any airline which is going to charge on weight basis. Not only are plane seats insanely uncomfortable for people of my height, neck rest??? and the leg room is designed of short people (some planes I cannot physically sit down, since my fremur is longer than the space it needs to fit into), they now think of charging me more for this wonderfull experience. maybe they could have a stweard/ess walk along the aisle and beat peoples kneecaps with hammers to round off the experience of modern air travel.

    I feel already discriminated against when buying cloth, since any XL-tall (note XXL tall)costs more and is almost never available. XXL cloths look like a tent on me. Maybe all the short people should carry around ladders so they can get their food from the top shelves.

  38. 68 Maggie
    January 21, 2010 at 16:29

    I travelled with a very overweight and tall friend who couldn’t sit with his legs together as there was not enough legroom and couldn’t put the table down to eat his meal because of his girth, and had to share mine. He stood for a lot of the flight because sitting was too uncormfortable but when he was sitting I was squashed into the corner. He would not have been able to get out quickly in an emergency……I believe he should have paid more but only if he could have been offered a suitable, comfortable seat for the extra. If he had been a stranger I would have insisted on being moved!!!

  39. 69 Frances Jin, Singapore
    January 21, 2010 at 16:32

    Yeah right, the next thing we know, we are going to start charging people ridiculously…

    If they are going to do these, then skinny people should pay less for their seat, like i barely take up half the space because i am too skinny shouldn’t my eat be half-price according to the “pay for your space” theory?!

  40. 70 jens
    January 21, 2010 at 16:32

    Neal Richardson,
    if that is your argument, then why should tall people not get paid more since we are being charged more for everything. In addition consider this as well. How many old tall people do you know. Like larger bread dogs tall peopl die earlier so we ultimatly cost less. I am getting sick of shorties making fun of tall folks. it is socially acceptable to mock tall people, but boy making fun of little people is frauwned upon as not PC.

    Do you guys think that tall people are not offeneded by the “how is the air up there jokes”? well it smells because all the farts small people raise…..

    • January 28, 2010 at 19:59

      i am a 5’3″ woman. I admire tall people and love tall men. My best friend, since we were 15, is almost 6′. I tease her all the time and she teases me for my lack of height. My son is 6’6″ and calls me little woman and I call him ‘shorty’.

  41. 72 Rebecca
    January 21, 2010 at 16:36

    I think it’s only fair that fat people pay more – there is nothing more annoying than being sat next to someone who is bulging out of their seat and into yours! This happened to me on the train this morning which was bad enough, but it’s far worse on a plane, especially a long flight.

    The vast majority of fat people are fat because of their lifestyle choices. Perhaps there could be some way of not penalising those who are fat due to medical conditions – maybe a note on their passport saying they have medical reason and should be exempt from charges?

  42. 73 jens
    January 21, 2010 at 16:40


    really. now how would you like to treat my hip bones. shave them off so that I am thinner? could you please explain to me how I can shorten myself? my butt fits into the seat, but i know that my shoulders are wider than the armrests. i always try to get a window seat so that I can lean agaist the side of the plane. travelling like that is not very comfortable, but pretty much the only option for me not to take more room away from my fellow traveller.

  43. 75 Dennis
    January 21, 2010 at 16:44

    Yes, Larger people should be required to pay more for a seat on a plane……

    -Dennis Junior-

  44. 76 patti in cape coral
    January 21, 2010 at 16:46

    I would classify myself slightly plump, still fit into an airline seat fairly comfortably. I feel very sad for fat people. There are so many uglier, meaner vices that are so much easier to hide and lie about, so no one can pick at them. Fat is impossible to hide, and words like disgusting and smelly are acceptable adjectives, even though they probably would have been moderated out if you were talking about a particular race. I feel like I’m back in the elementary school watching the cool kids picking on the uncool kids.

  45. 77 John in Salem
    January 21, 2010 at 16:58

    NO! It allows someone to make an unqualified judgement about another person’s character by profiling or stereotyping and that, by definition, is discrimination. You cannot know by looking that an obese person simply eats too much or has a thyroid condition, any more than you can tell if a person in a wheelchair has a genetic disease or got there by drinking and driving.
    If the result of airlines having to accomodate large people means higher fares for the rest of us then so be it. We don’t have a right to yesterday’s prices on any product and no one is forcing us to fly.

  46. 78 Mel
    January 21, 2010 at 16:59

    We pay extra for additional baggage, we should pay extra for additional weight. It takes more fuel for heavier people, and inconvenience for other passengers. Make them purchase two seats. I was once stuck between two fat people in a three seat location for a long flight – very uncomfortable and should not happen.

  47. 79 hilderbond
    January 21, 2010 at 17:14

    Why is it so difficult to come to a fair reasoning.. Set a total weight for 1 body, 1 carru on and 2 pieces of luggage. Say 160 kg total. If you are over you pay x amount per kg. If you ar e morbidly fat you will obviously have a challenge to meet and actually you shouldnt be flying anyway as it is a health hazard to the person..thrombosis etc…Also overly large people should be banned from flying as their lack of mobility impedes escape in the instance of an emergency. The latter is probably the biggest single reason to curtail the flying habits of overly obese people.

    End of story.

  48. 80 Idealworld
    January 21, 2010 at 17:24

    Thin people should pay less if they can fit in overhead storage.

  49. 81 Chris
    January 21, 2010 at 17:39

    I fail to see how it is discimination to simply charge someone for what they use.

    Discrimination is to treat someone unfairly because of a particular attribute, but its not discrimination to ask people to pay for the resources they use and if some use more than others, its not discrimination to charge them accordingly. Its what we do with energy, food, communication services and any other non essential service.

  50. 82 Dibbyspot
    January 21, 2010 at 17:45

    they should be made to pay more. If they are so fat they need 2 seats the should be banned from flying on safety ground since in the event of an emergency their presence on the palne endangers all.

  51. 83 Tim Sullivan
    January 21, 2010 at 17:47

    I am 6 ft. tall & weigh 200 lbs. I fit nicely in airline seats (without very much room left over, but I fit). On a trip from Atlanta Ga (US) to Shannon Ireland, next to me was seated a person I would estimate to be at least 300 lbs. They did not fit into the seat. That person was overflowing into my already filled seat and the seat of the person on their other side. My entire flight was cramped and crowded. Why is that OK? With a normal-sized person sitting next to me, I would have had a moderately comfortable flight. Instead, I had 6+ hours of very crowded discomfort. If a person cannot fit into 1 seat… and I mean FIT, without sprawling over into their neighboring seats, there needs to be larger accommodations for the larger person. If the cost is higher for the larger seat, THEY must pay it … or not fly.

  52. 84 David Cunningham
    January 21, 2010 at 17:50

    It is not just down to space but the aircraft’s payload. Say an average 200 seater is safe to fly fully loaded at 85 kilos a seat, what happents if say 50% are obese and weigh in at 12 kilos. That not only make the possibility of a full load less safe but also it will use more feul and therefore cost the airline more.

  53. 85 Fred Bloggs
    January 21, 2010 at 17:50

    Anyone above average height and or size are discriminated all over the place, especially when it comes to travel – cars, trains, buses, coaches and airplanes. I’m sorry that I’m not the so called average bloke of 5’8 and 10stone if we where all built like that the world would be so bland.

    What next? an IQ test to see if you can put your seat belt on and if you can’t you get charged by the stewardess?

    World has gone MAD.

    • 86 Raymond Hopkins
      January 22, 2010 at 09:17

      For my generation, I’m very average indeed at 5’8″ and ten stones seven pounds. Funnily enough, I still feel cramped in an aircraft seat. Must be all those el cheapo tickets I buy. Oh yes, I sometimes have difficulty with seat belts as well, to my eternal shame.

  54. 87 sxb1234
    January 21, 2010 at 17:57

    No, the airlines need to increase the width of their seats and the pitch between rows. That would be the most humane thing to do. I’m 6’4″ and get quite uncomfortable during flights longer than 5 hours. I hear people who are a lot shorter than me complain as well. Nothing like having the guy’s dandruff in front of you falling on your snack tray! Trains are much more comfortable.

  55. 88 gary indiana
    January 21, 2010 at 18:06

    A consideration of comments on this question allows a conclusion applicable to most other questions faced by individuals and humanity in general, namely: Each of us is absolutely unique, one size does not fit all, and guilt or pride doesn’t apply. Some people are small without any tendency toward obesity, others are slim and in constant desire of more iced cinnamon rolls than they can hardly stand, and some have given into this desire. So what? The physical realities are important; but they do not augment or diminish an individual’s worth.

  56. 89 Bob in Florida
    January 21, 2010 at 18:16

    As a frequent flier I recall on one trip a man in the aisle seat in front of me got up to let a passenger into the window seat. This individual was so large that the aisle seat passenger refused to take his seat and asked the flight attendant to be reassigned. This was clearly a case where the fat person should have been required to purchase two seats.

    On another flight an obese person sat in the aisle seat behind me and I heard a loud snap as his weight broke the seat back making it unusable.

    The obesity epidemic has become increasingly worse over the past 20 maybe 30 years and yet even with experiences I just described they just don’t seem to get it.

  57. 90 Jim
    January 21, 2010 at 18:31

    If we charge obese people more for their ticket, would it then not be fair to charge other people taking up more space/adding extra weight to the plane, like tall people, people with babies, people with hand luggage, handicapped people with a wheelchair.

    No it wouldn’t.

    So we shouldn’t single obese out, when many other are doing just the same thing.

    • 91 Mick Mahone
      January 21, 2010 at 19:31

      You must understand there are two separate issues.
      On weight: Carriers work to averages and set fares accordingly. That’s just being practical.
      On size: Allowing an obese person to spill over into a second seat is illegal, pure and simple. International safety regulations require arm-rests to be down for take-off and landing.

    • 92 Steve
      January 22, 2010 at 00:53

      People with babies are already charged extra (10% of a ticket, plus full taxes)/
      People with hand luggage are charged extra – per item of luggage – on airlines such as Easyjet and other budget airlines.

  58. 93 steve/oregon
    January 21, 2010 at 18:38

    YES they should if there rear takes up more than one seat well then they need to buy that seat as well because I don’t want to try and squeeze into a seat they are taking half of. Had to do it on the way back to Portland OR after a tour in Iraq I was about 2 seconds away from strangling the behemoth next to me when the stewardess told me there was an extra 1st class seat

  59. 94 Tom Harwick
    January 21, 2010 at 18:43

    Forget about discrimination, it is not relevant in this case. An aircraft has a fixed number of seats. The rent you a seat for the duration of the flight.

    They charge the same amount per seat, regardless of what you weigh.

    But if, according to their rules, you cannot fit in one seat, they make you buy two seats if you want to be transported.

    This rule is needed in order to protect the rights of passengers who may be seated next to a person who spills over into thier space, and preserves the airline’s right to be paid for seats used.

    It is also fair to overweight passengers–use two seats, pay for two seats.

  60. 95 Mick Mahone
    January 21, 2010 at 18:48

    If one seat isn’t sufficient, then they should have to pay for a second.
    These people should be used to that principle. They’ve obviously been applying it to their lunches!

  61. 96 Tom
    January 21, 2010 at 18:50

    No they should not have to pay more. What next, a campaign against elderly travellers, or those wearing too much (or not enough) perfume? So far as I can see, blogs are the exclusive province of the feeble-minded who are so terrified of proper discourse that they seek only the company of those who agree with them. The result is that their views, and solutions to problems, become increasingly weird and extreme. Fortunately, most of us neither run, nor frequent, blogs!

  62. 97 margaret
    January 21, 2010 at 18:53

    Yes– if you take up more room you pay more. I think if you disagree with this then you probably have not been stuck in coach next to someone taking up all their space and part of yours. Not fair at all. I’m more than willing to pay some more for added comfort. Also it is a safety issue.

    Margaret Tacoma, WA

  63. 98 Mark C
    January 21, 2010 at 19:03

    Weight is weight whether its the passenger or their suitcase, so why not have a total weight limit for the person and their luggage combined? If you weigh less you can take more luggage.

  64. 99 TK Tibor
    January 21, 2010 at 19:04

    So we have better not to fly any more, but ship ourselves out by weight like UPS or FedEx does with parcels, charged by kg…
    Why not hibernate than?

  65. 100 Idealworld
    January 21, 2010 at 19:05

    Avoid the controversy & fly the planes with no passengers.

  66. 101 Syed A. Mateen
    January 21, 2010 at 19:05

    There should be no extra charge for obese passengers. The airlines should reorganize its seating arrangements and 20% extra wide seats should be reserved for obese travellers. Such seats should be requested by the obese passengers at the time of making reservations. The airlines are already charging more to such passengers who want to travel on short notice. There should be no discrimination between a normal and obese passenger.

    • January 22, 2010 at 05:05

      Syed A.Mateen.
      Since there should be no discrimination,I’ll take one of those extra wide seats.
      I may be average weight,but I’d would be much more comfortable.
      Like you said,no discrimination,so we should be equally entitled to that seat,obese or not.

  67. 103 Mike
    January 21, 2010 at 19:06

    I am slim, but if my luggage is even 1Kg over the weight allowance I get charged for it. Why should someone who weighs 3 or 4 times as much as me not pay more for their “excess baggage”?

  68. 104 Tom D Ford
    January 21, 2010 at 19:18

    If they are going to base ticket prices on size & weight, due to fuel costs and seat widths, I wonder if they should consider discounts for small people or people who weigh less and or take up less room.

    More weight costs more in fuel to fly but kids ought to get fuel discounts because they cost less in fuel to fly.

    Airlines can move seats around, maybe they should calculate and estimate the percentage of very large people who fly and make up special sections for very tall or very obese people. And maybe special sections for families with small kids?

    They already make up first class sections with more room and better seats, maybe they should further diversify their seating sections.

  69. 105 jens
    January 21, 2010 at 19:40

    I don’t mind paying a small amount, like Delta charges about 50 bucks for flights from Baltimore to SF to get extra leg room. i resent having to pay for two seats because my legs are longer than average. i had a BA person tell me I needed to pay for two seats. i told her that if that is the case BA will have a lawsuit directed against them for risking my health due to deep vein thrombosis, since I am crushed up up, plus a lawsuit for discrimination on the basis of my height. 10 minutes later I and my wife had first class seats going out and coming back and a hugh apology by the desk manager.

  70. 106 sxb1234
    January 21, 2010 at 19:42

    More airlines should follow British Airways lead. In addition to coach and first class, they have a third section of seats, which are wider and have more pitch than coach. I’m on the tall side, so next time I travel from the US to Europe, I will be glad to pay extra for one of these seats. They are closer in price to coach, than they are to first class.

  71. 107 Guerriera
    January 21, 2010 at 19:57

    Yes, I think they should be charged more! When I’m in a queue at the check-in counter and Mr & Mrs Fat with their fat kids are up ahead of me it always makes me resentful because they are automatically allowed extra carry-on weight that I am not allowed! Just charge them more and have several wider plane seats installed (I’ve also had the unfortunate experience of a large person taking up half my seat as well as their own). The airlines would have to know the weight of the passengers in order to know which kind of seat to allocate and when they were all filled, and I suppose this would be the biggest problem with this idea….over to you…..

  72. 108 John in Salem
    January 21, 2010 at 19:59

    So you’re saying it’s fair to make the handicapped pay more for services – or be denied service if they can’t afford the extra charge – because of a condition they were born with?

  73. January 21, 2010 at 20:11

    It’s not an ethical issue it’s merely an economical one. If a consumer wants or needs a side order in addition to their entrée or two beers oppose to one or extra fabric to make a dress or suit, they are charged for it and rightly so. If that same consumer buys a larger sofa or bed or vehicle, regardless the reason, they are charged for it and rightly so. There is also the right of the smaller consumer sitting next to the larger consumer, does he or she deserve getting the full benefit of their seat. Or should they have to forgo some of their seating space at their expense as one would by forgoing half of their entrée, half of their beer, or half the amount of fabric while paying full price for the sake of another consumer. The conclusion is simply logical oppose to some of inconsistent sentiments expressed on this site.

  74. 110 Keith
    January 21, 2010 at 20:14

    Based on the principle that everything on board a plane be it freight, human beings live stock etc has to be weighed to calculate the plane pay load and also calculate how much fuel is required.
    Then why not introduce a ticket based on your individual weight?, each individual, packing case, animal bears a certain percentage of the total load weight so its a much fairer way of ticketing.
    You still have the problem of huge people squeezing in to small seats and for people sitting next to them its totally unfair or unacceptable to be stuck in this position for a long flight. Introduce seats that are wider and much bigger leg room for larger people so that they do not feel embarrassed or uncomfortable sitting next to some one much smaller.
    Everybody is happy then and the system would be a lot fairer all round.

  75. 111 robin rattansingh
    January 21, 2010 at 20:38

    yeah i can agree to a higher price than the “average” person but it is a little touchy i guess it brings to the front all soughts of issues discrimination and all.Only time will tell.

  76. 112 Jim
    January 21, 2010 at 21:17

    Airlines do not charge according to the weight of a person, but by space. If a person requires more space, they have to pay for that space. Period.

    The airlines should NOT have to accommodate all possible shapes and sizes of passengers. Airline travel is a privilege, NOT A RIGHT. You fly at the pleasure of the airline, which is a money making business. Seats are made to fit the average sized person.

    If we’re going to make super wide seats for everyone, then I want fewer rows for more legroom. Keep reducing the number of seats like that, and ticket prices will go sky high to make up for lost passenger space.

    I’m 6’7″. I have to pay more money for my clothes. My clothes and shoes require more material to make. Would it be fair to manufacturers if I demanded my clothing cost the same as someone who is 5’8″? Of course not. It is not fair to airlines to ask them to give up seating capacity because someone doesn’t take care of themselves.

  77. 113 AndiD
    January 21, 2010 at 21:24

    If you can fit in the seatback pocket, should you fly for free?

  78. 114 John LaGrua/New York
    January 21, 2010 at 21:43

    A great new way to attack rising obesity.Each passenger at booking must certify that they have never eaten at MaCDonalds ,KFC of other cholesterol calorie dispensories and present verified weight info.,height and girth.Those attempting to fly in violation should be taken into custody at the airport and sent to a fat farm for mental and physical reorientation. paying for treatment before release .Failure to pay up should bring assignment to labor battalions under Siberian conditions .Upon meeting standards these new sylfh life creatures ,paragons of fitness, would receive a flight bag ,cosmetic kit and a small bag of raw carrots.,plus a cerificate of air worthness. Bon Voyage

  79. 115 Kitty
    January 21, 2010 at 21:56

    How about charging pregnant women more, they take up more space too. Also people who get on the flight drunk and then get served even more booze, progressively getting more inebriated. Oh wait, people who sneeze and cough the whole time, people who look at porn on their laptops during the flight, people whose iPods are on so loud that others can hear their crappy music. And most important, charge extra for babies who scream throughout the entire flight. Aren’t these all things YOU CHOOSE to inflict on the other passengers?

  80. 116 Jamie Ferguson
    January 21, 2010 at 22:02

    maybe better to pay by weight, i do get very annoyed when i get charged 5 pounds per kilo extra when the guy standing in front of me is more than 50 kilo’s heavier than me

  81. 117 Maria
    January 21, 2010 at 22:06

    Seems a load of airline shareholders on this site giving their views, greedy to make more money for their company. Yes lets make the airlines richer. why not charge extra for aggressive behaviour and drunkenness too. Oh and how about paying extra to use the toilet.

  82. 118 Tom K in Mpls
    January 21, 2010 at 22:28

    Old question, the old answer. If they compromise the safety of others due to ineffective restraints or the ability to fit through emergency exits, ban them.

    All travel requires energy. More mass, more energy. More energy, more money. Everyone should be charged by the total weight of their baggage and bodies. If airline wish to do differently, that is their right. If one company thinks there is money to be made by doing things differently, they will. If there is a unanimous policy, I think we need to call it reality.

  83. 119 Mike
    January 21, 2010 at 22:33

    It’s bad enough flying economy with a regular size person sitting alongside of you. Until such times (probably never) seat size is increased, overweight people should pay for two seats, albeit at reduced cost. They would be more comfortable as would
    their seating companion.

  84. 120 Nathan Hobbs
    January 21, 2010 at 23:09

    The price of airline seats is roughly the overall cost of the flight (fuel, staff, maintenance etc) divided by the number of seats, plus a small margin for the airline.

    If you reduce the number of seats on a plane to make the remaining seats bigger, then the cost will be divided amongst fewer seats, so the cost of each seat will be higher.

    If you want bigger seats you can fly with a premium airline or in the first class cabin, where the seats are bigger. If you want LOTS of room you can even hire your own plane…. the cost rises with the amount of room you want.

    If you want bargain bucket flight then you have to accept that the seats will be tiny as they have to cram more in so the cost can be divided more ways.

    If you can’t fit into tiny seats, this is your problem, NOT the airlines and NOT the other passengers… neither of whom are charities.

    It’s not a moral issue, it’s an economic issue.

    If one airline agreed to allow obese people to have 2 seats for free, they would have to raise the average seat price. People would then fly with an airline that was cheaper, and the first airline would go bust…unless you intend to legally force all airlines to offer obese people 2 seats for free, in which case, everyone pays more per seat, and if the obese person doesn’t request 2 seats in advance, the airline would have to chuck someone else off if it’s a full flight.

    Then of course if fat people get 2 seats, thin people should be entitled to 2 seats as well. In which case, why not just charge everyone double, and make the seats twice as expensive. Oh no wait… that’s the same as flying with a premium carrier in the first place.

  85. January 21, 2010 at 23:46

    Good move,should sell more seats for airlines passing through lean times.This can add as a ‘poster’ for the slimming clinics to drive up their business too.

  86. 122 Kevthebrit
    January 22, 2010 at 00:00

    I just hate it when a fat person sits next to me. Their flab hanging over in to my bought and paid for space. They sit there groning at every move they make. They take an age to get up or sit down. They usually have nasty body odor that about makes me wanna throw up! They are a danger to other passengers and themselves because in an emergentsy they could never move quick enough to get out. They struggle just to walk down the gangways as it is. Knocking in to just about every seated person as they try to squeeze their fat bulks along. They should be charged for at least 2 seats min on ALL flights!

  87. 123 devilzadvacate
    January 22, 2010 at 00:13

    Simple physics dictates that the more an aeroplane weighs the more fuel is required to fly it from point A to point B. Fuel costs money so, arguably thin people have been subsidising fat people to fly ever since commercial airlines started operating.
    My objection is that I weigh 60Kg, When I fly I am charged a supplement if my baggage weighs more than 15Kg. Put another way, I pay the normal ticket price if my total contribution to the weight on the plane is less than 75Kg.
    Next person to board is morbidly obese and weighs 150Kg, twice the weight of me and my luggage combined. As long as his luggage does not weigh more than 15Kg he gets to fly for the same price as me despite the fact that it takes twice as much fuel to transport him than it does me.
    Perhaps it is time that total weight was used to calculate ticket prices. I know that obese people would object but why should I subsidise your flight?

  88. 124 steve
    January 22, 2010 at 00:16

    Men friend had to pay $65 yesterday to check his bag on his domestic US flight.

    Jens, i’d really like to have your problem. I’m sure the pros outweight the cons.

  89. 125 Andrew
    January 22, 2010 at 00:16

    After having spent 9 hrs from Miami to the UK on BA with a larger than normal person in the middle seat where the seat rest was bent into my seat leaving me with almost no room at all, YES the airlines need to address this. Of course BA didn’t offer to move me or the larger person either

  90. 126 crackerjack
    January 22, 2010 at 00:44

    I think that obese people on planes are a nuisance to the people sitting next to them. I believe that they should be accomodated by the airlines rather than embarrassed into sitting in 2 seats. The last two rows should have double wide seats at a higher price. If there are no obese people on the flight the seats could be sold to thin people as luxury seats for the same price as the obese would pay. Fair?

  91. 127 Scorpio
    January 22, 2010 at 01:39

    How about air fare based upon miles (to be flown from point A to B) x total weight (of the baggage and the person flying) x factor (this is decided by the airline based on their costs/profits, changes from airline to airline). Also ban any alcohol serving and drinking on board.

    • 128 clamdip
      January 22, 2010 at 19:12

      Okay, so if fat people have to pay more then so do parents with screaming ,crying children who disturb airspace tranquility and obnoxious bathroom loungers who have no regard for others on the flight and loud, obnoxious drunks who make one’s flight unpleasant and religious 17 year olds, wearing tefflin praying inflight.Fair is fair!

  92. 129 clamdip
    January 22, 2010 at 01:59

    Yeah and so should drug pushers, addicts, moderate and heavy drinkers, pushy mothers, unfaithful fathers, child molestors, priests and Rabbi’s, chain smokers, obnoxious children, type A personality men, bankers etc. and so on until the list encompasses the entire range of humanity. At least fat people don’t throw up and spread their abusive contagion on others.

  93. 130 jack
    January 22, 2010 at 02:13

    if you are so large that you need 2 seats, then you pay for 2 seats. i have been unfortunate enough to sit beside someone that also took up at least half of my seat on a full flight. i was very unhappy, uncomfortable, and my body was sore afterwards.next time i will refuse my seat in a similar situation and demand extra compensation.

  94. 131 John
    January 22, 2010 at 02:21

    Charge everybody by the kilo. Simple. Also add on a Carbon Footprint tax for anybody over a certain weight.

  95. 132 Aziz Merchant
    January 22, 2010 at 03:16

    If one goes by the irrational corollary that large people should be charged extra for flying, one may deduce that thin people should receive concessions for their size. There should be some XL seats available for adipose at the fag end of the aisle. For a fact, airlines should be penalized for size-discrimination. Applying such yardstick of size, a day may be not far off for when airlines may come up with mishmash in various bodymass and sex. However, to maintain equilibrium airlines should evenly balance the seats for the obese.

  96. 133 Rodney H
    January 22, 2010 at 03:46

    Are they also gonna start giving skinny people discounts?Untill they do that they can not even think of charging fat people more because they weigh more.For every overweight person that weighs down the plane more there are enough average and under average people to balance it out, so this is just an excuse to get more money,in most places overweight people are in the minority so the plane would be carriying less weight then a full plane with average size people,In America heavy people numbers are higher so the point doesn’t match for them, but other places it does.Take Asains for example fat people are far in minority then most other places so if im flying to Tokyo or Honk Kong I want a discount, im about 10 pounds underweight so how much less will i be paying?

  97. 134 guest84
    January 22, 2010 at 04:48

    Ok so it was a small plane so weight is way more of an issue, but last year I flew on a commercial flight across the Amazon. At check in, you and your baggage had to stand on the scales and your combined weight were shouted across to the fuel man. Anything over the allowed 90kg and you had to pay extra. One set weight including you and your baggage seemed fair to me. Maybe the big airlines could bring this in (although they are bound to charge extra for check in services then…..)

  98. January 22, 2010 at 05:00

    Several years ago,the Canadian Govt.passed a bill that requires airlines to provide an extra seat for the obese for free.
    I think it’s ridiculous,as the airlines of course,have had to raise fares to provide for this.
    So if you’re slim and fit,you now pay extra,to subsidise the obese.
    Dam leftists policies!

  99. 136 Tan Boon Tee
    January 22, 2010 at 05:15

    Since there have always been excessive luggage charges, airlines may want to add extra taxes in proportion to the weights of passengers.

    In fact, why not straight away charge the tickets based on how heavy a traveller is? Then, the question of discrimination does not arise.

  100. 137 Glenn Lennox
    January 22, 2010 at 05:23

    Perhaps the airline industry could stop being so greedy and cramming so many tiny seats onto the planes then everyone would be comfortable. I am skinny and I never have a comfortable flight so I’m sure larger people have a worse time.

  101. 138 David Perth
    January 22, 2010 at 07:17

    I suppose the airlines will start giving a fair size discount for those of us who are underweight!

  102. 139 James Ian
    January 22, 2010 at 07:48

    Sure, make them pay more. I have to pay more for luggage that is too heavy.
    I mean when I’m careless, selfish, have no self controle and pack more then I will really need on my trip then I should be charged more for over packing. Same thing with fat people, when they are careless about thier diet, selfish and have no self controle and eat more then they need to they should be charged more too.

  103. 141 rick
    January 22, 2010 at 08:04

    it takes x amount of dollars to get a kilo of freight from point A to point B. We should all pay by our weight.

  104. 142 JohnW
    January 22, 2010 at 08:09

    The airlines can set their tariffs as they will. Its their business and they are in the best position to know whether this measure will be profitable or not.

    As for discrimination, obesity is a lifestyle choice not an affliction.

    I’m more worried about the known carcinogenic effects of the X-Ray back scatters that we are being forced to go through.

  105. January 22, 2010 at 08:15

    If the obese pay more do the light pay less?

  106. 144 PJM
    January 22, 2010 at 08:38

    I am an aeronautical engineer working for a major aerospace firm. I will simply say that I support the airlines’ plans (some do this already) to force passengers who cannot fit into a standard seat for a second (and in the rare cases, a third) because of their weight. My rationale is that larger people need extra space which is a premium on airplanes, and airlines have to defray the cost to carry the extra person around (fuel isn’t cheap).

    There have been some commenters saying that airlines should buy planes or seats that are larger and thus charge more. That will work too. But you cannot argue that the airlines should just absorb the losses and not charge extra because of “discrimination”. It’s math, silly. X lb of fuel + cost of the salary of airline crew + maintenance = total cost per flight. Multiply that by how many flights per year and you get the total cost per year of that plane, and for that 1 plane alone, is enormous. The way that most airlines have addressed this cost is to pack more people on airplanes because people have been shown (and there are dozens of studies which support this) that they are more likely to put up with being more crammed together to save a buck.

    That brings me to the conclusion that if we allowed to let overweight people pay the same as normal passengers then it would either drive up prices as the overweight people are allowed to take up extra space, OR increase safety concerns. What if the airplane experiences severe turbulence? I would rather have someone who can fit into their seat with the buckle on rather than a 400 lb person being hurled about the cabin. No, sir, I would rather have overweight people be MANDATED BY LAW pay for extra seats. If we put fewer, larger, seats on tne airplanes it will only drive up the need for more airplanes thus increasing CO2 emissions, thus destroying the planet faster.

  107. January 22, 2010 at 09:34

    My first ever flight in a airplane cost a penny a pound at Kings Aviation in Columbus, Georgia. I can’t see any wrong in paying for a flight according to luggage and a persons weight.

    If it can save passengers money, then and only then should it be allowed. Not beyond any determined weight extra charges but a set rate for each pound concerned with a passenger. It would truly make a safer flight if the weight of the plane is considered for every flight .

  108. 146 Mark
    January 22, 2010 at 10:03

    I had the misfortune a few times to be seated next to an over sized person in the economy seats. I would like to be tolerant but they do really infringe on your already very limited space.

    Beyond a certain waist size they should travel “business” where they have bigger seats. Or in another section where the seats are larger and cost more.

  109. 147 Robert Hancock
    January 22, 2010 at 10:31

    Set a reasonable total weight for bags, carry-on luggage and body mass (say 130 kg). Weigh each passenger with bags and carry-on at check-in.
    130-kg people get the option to fly without baggage or pay the excess baggage fees for each kg over 130 kg.
    Light people (say 60 kg) get the option to check-in 70 kg of luggage free.
    What could be fairer?

  110. 148 Daniel Pointer
    January 22, 2010 at 10:52

    Of course heavier people should pay more to fly. I have to pay more when my baggage is heavier than allowed so why not charge more for the baggage hanging around your waste??

    I think the airlines should way people including their baggage so that everybody has a total weight limit to adhere to. If you are then lighter you can take more baggage than somebody is heavier, but then the costs would be the same for everybody.

  111. January 22, 2010 at 11:02

    if a person can’t totally fit in one seat; then they should pay for a second seat.

  112. 150 Rob G
    January 22, 2010 at 11:35

    It’s interesting that not a single one of the comments posted in defence of overweight people has addressed the issue that this has nothing to do with discrimination but is simply a matter of economics. People, it’s not discrimination just because you say it is. I challenge anyone to put forward a cogent argument as to why any person, obese or not, should not pay more if they use more than the allotted space. A single fare entitles you to use one seat, period.

  113. 151 Wendy
    January 22, 2010 at 11:43

    Have a few seats dedicated to those who are morbidly obese -make it compulsory for them and for which they must pay extra – but also for anyone else who would appreciate extra leg room. That way you’re not discriminating. It certainly isn’t right for someone who has paid for a whole seat only to have half of one – or less!

  114. 152 Bev
    January 22, 2010 at 11:54

    I find many comments left as overly offensive to those of a larger size for ,as has been noted, there are many worse things to be other than obese. We do live in a very image conscious society with very little interest in what makes a good person and that is why there are those who feel free to judge others not so perfect in their external appearance, but do so in such a rude manner that THEIR perfection does not make up for their offensive manner and lack of compassion.
    Beyond that, however, I can see a need for charges to be altered and perhaps a combination of:
    a) seat rental ( basic standard charge per seat with either- an overall change of all seat sizes to be more accompanying to all passengers; or a variety of seat sizes with standard seats/ extra-legroom seats/ extra-width seats etc which will be charged accordingly on a basic price for that type of seat giving even those who are standard in size but just want more room a chance to buy these seats at an extra cost.) and
    b) weight-based ticket ( with a basic maximum ) could be issued which would include luggage weight too. Anything over and beyond the weight issued for the specific seat type should be charged extra accordingly. Any spare roomy seats could be shared out as 1st class etc are when busy flight, to ensure max usage.

  115. 153 Bev
    January 22, 2010 at 12:31

    Since I sent the previous message have had a few laughs with wondering how the overall weight could be established! The obvious is to weigh everyone as they arrive and total this with the baggage before the flight takes place, but this would be time consuming, embarrassing for some and unnecessary for the majority. I then had an idea that the seats could have a weighing mechanism in them which would then notify the airline if anyone was over the basic maximum of that seat and the overall weight including baggage ( surely possible in this age of technology) a discreet note could be handed out by stewards requesting extra payment either immediately or on arrival through a payment desk before being able to leave the arrival gate. All passengers would require an exit permit to leave the airport to show that there was no outstanding payment to be made, which could be automatically issued through a machine using the seat ticket as is done now in modern day car parks . Those who needed to pay would be issued this once the payment had been made. Anyone who wanted to dispute the payment could freely be weighed at the arrival gate, as there could be chance of malfunction, and any errors could be checked on the spot, with a ticket for baggage weight having been issued at time of check-in which would have to be disputed at that time. Extra payment and time lost would be avoided by honesty at time of booking! Imagine seats that groaned or giggled when sat on!

  116. 154 George Orwell
    January 22, 2010 at 12:33


  117. 155 robin rattansingh
    January 22, 2010 at 12:50

    i wonder if they pay the larger pilots less??

  118. 156 Andrew
    January 22, 2010 at 12:57

    Just read that this is all to do with being able to evacuate a plane in 90s – so what about wheelchair bound people on the plane? Do we just leave them in their seats and in the way of the rest of us?

    This doesn’t add up

  119. 157 Stu
    January 22, 2010 at 13:01

    If they are offering a large person to buy the adjacent seat to their own at a reduced cost (75%), this reduction should also be offered to anyone who would be willing to sit next to them.
    If you buy tickets for an event, concert etc. and have an impaired view, these tickets are offered at a reduced price. If you sit in the best seat in the house, these tickets are more expensive.
    If everyone was charged per pound, based on their weight to fuel consumption relationship, then no-one would be able to complain, fat or skinny…
    But do you want to save money or have a more comfortable journey.

  120. 158 Juan Carlos Perez
    January 22, 2010 at 13:05

    Small framed adults and children will be charged less I hope.

  121. 159 Nico
    January 22, 2010 at 13:18

    Lots of comments are quite offensive and seem to always go in the direction your big, you pay more. I travel a lot about 40 round trips a year and although I weigh less than 60kg and hit a mere 1m60, I still find the seat to narrow, without any legroom specially on KLM. I know company should make profit, but maybe they should just revised and increased the space allowed to every single passenger so making every one more comfortable. Everywhere people are getting bigger and taller while seating in planes are getting smaller or remained unchanged for the past 50 years… maybe it is time to adapt the planes to your customers and not the other way around.

  122. 160 Vijay Pillai
    January 22, 2010 at 13:29

    These days with climate change and carbon footprint, flying is becoming a luxury. At the end of the if the airline is to survive it is better off flying two 50 kg passegers than a one 100 kg passenger on a long distane flight for instance and make real profit.if one look at it in another way there are people who are overweight and enjoy the benefit of their body size looking down on slim people and behave as if they are some how superior to others or even crack joke that it is ok to others to bend down and pick up a dropped pen but not them.But if they are made to realise that they over eat and dont do any excersise to keep their weight down and charged according to their over sized seats in planes, they would get a real message that either they reduce their weight or detered from flying.

  123. 161 Dinka Aliap Chawul,Rumbek-Southern Sudan
    January 22, 2010 at 14:27

    What we needs to understand is that if plane is overloaded,it can cause a crash.

    It’s fair to charge people regarding their weighes.

  124. January 22, 2010 at 14:51

    Here’s a radical thought – we could recognise that people are human beings with thoughts and feelings, and not inanimate cargo. People come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and heights. The cold-hearted response of many posters here is rather nasty. It is reminiscent of the slave traders’ lack of concern for their human ‘cargo’. Smile. Accept people’s differences. Very few people eat too much food specifically to annoy others or put on weight so that they can get 2 seats on an aeroplane!

    • 163 patti in cape coral
      January 22, 2010 at 16:28

      Wow, I think that is way to radical… recognize that people are human beings with thoughts and feelings? Too ridiculous!

  125. January 22, 2010 at 15:57

    The decision should be with the passenger himself;if he/she wants to pay for two seats there’s no problem and if he/she feels comfotable sitting on a single seat he/she should not be made to pay for two.Suppose it’s the pilot who is large?or don’t they employ such?if so, what’s the purpose of EEO?

  126. 165 Jeanann
    January 22, 2010 at 16:24

    I hate having a fat person sitting next to me when I fly. I paid for my seat I have a right to occupy it…..
    a couple of ideas
    *could there be a few wider seats somewhere in the plane where these people could sit. These larger seats, reserved only for people above a certain size or weight, would cost more as the passenger is using more space.
    *Should passengers be weighed together with their luggage? Passengers having a total weight above a certain point pay more?

  127. 166 patti in cape coral
    January 22, 2010 at 16:36

    Since there are so many overweight people nowadays, maybe they should simply boycott the airlines that require them to pay more. As so many have pointed out, money talks. Also, this gives the airlines time to see if they will actually save money flying thinner people around. Or maybe some airlines will get all the fat people, and other airlines will get all the thin people, and it will even out. From what I understand, though, about 66% of Americans are overweight, so whoever caters to the majority will probably make more money. Or am I missing something?

  128. January 22, 2010 at 16:47

    All passengers on all forms of transport should pay according to weight. I get very annoyed when I sit next to a fat person on a plane or bus who demands more than his/her share of space for the same fair. This injustice is magnified on aircraft when a thin person is charged for excess baggage and his total travel weight is less than his fellow passengers body. People should pay fairly for the energy they consume.

  129. 168 T
    January 22, 2010 at 16:52

    If you want this to be fair, then do this.

    When you want to book a flight on any airline, you must answer a health questionaire. If you have any of the listed conditions, you must pay extra for your ticket. This way there’s no discrimination.

  130. January 22, 2010 at 16:55

    Since no-one has yet given a cogent response to it, I’ll repeat my question: give me one good reason why someone who uses more than one seat shouldn’t pay for it?

    Once again, this has nothing to with discrimination. It’s about economics. End of.

  131. 170 Alan in Arizona
    January 22, 2010 at 17:16

    Lets put in bench seating like the pews in a church, but with movable head and arm rests.

    Sell space by the inch across. If you want extra to stretch out for a long trip. No problem!

    I’m a big guy at 300lbs but I only take 1 seat when I fly. But if you need more space to be safe and comfortable you should have to pay for it. Either plan on paying or plan on getting healthier.

    • 171 gary indiana
      January 22, 2010 at 18:01

      I like your suggestion. Larger people need more room; but people smaller than their seating (most children) are in effect wasting space. Since airlines charge more per “people pound” than they do for “cargo pounds,” maximizing the number of souls on board would help the bottom line, while potentially providing about equal and sufficient comfort for every passenger.

  132. January 22, 2010 at 17:47

    It is really uncomfortable being squashed in a seat next to an overwieight person. who overflows into one’ personal ‘airspace’. Everyone should get what theypay for. a seat. However the alterantive for the overweigt are not cheap. On a long haul flight tho this situation can be excrutiating. Even if seats are small if they could recline well it would be more comfortable. Airline travel is so uncomfortable these days. Every flight I take seems to be full and when it is sitting even with normal sized people makes for a very uncomfortable flight. Also with evermore security issues, getting up and stretching is even more difficult to do; adding to the discomfort and leaving one open to deep vein thrombosis, from being stuck in one position. Maybe we should go back to flying boats. I think there was more leg room. Maybe all this discussion wll give way to a new bright idea for flying. We could do wit someting new.

  133. 173 Anthony
    January 22, 2010 at 17:51

    Didn’t we already talk about this? Yes, yes, and double yes. If you have ever had to sit or stand next to an obese person for an extended period of time, you know of the discomfort you feel that surrounds all your senses.

    If I have to pay for extra baggage, obese people should have to pay for extra pounds.

    -Anthony, LA, CA.

  134. 174 nora
    January 22, 2010 at 18:03

    Forget the size of the passengers and focus on the age of the plane and the stability of the maintenance crew and pilot. What else really matters?

  135. 175 Mary
    January 22, 2010 at 18:08

    Of course fat people should be charged more to fly. Our luggage weight is limited and it is perfectly logical that people who are obese should pay for being overweight. That is something a person can control. I personally, hate being seated next to a fat person whose blubber rolls over into my seating area so I am squished like a small bug. I pay a good price for my seat so why should I have to share it with someone’s fat?

  136. January 22, 2010 at 18:58

    Perhaps airlines should have larger seats at the rear of the plane to accomodate really big passengers. The number of such seats woud only be a small proportion. One should not exaggerate the problem. The airlines should absorb the costs and should not over-charge passengers. the problem is when over-sized people are put next to average-sized persons.Asking heavy-weight passengers to pay a hefty fare(for two seats in place of one) would be down-right unfair.

    • 177 Ulygan
      January 28, 2010 at 03:46

      My family and I recently flew back to Australia after xmas in the U.K. My son, who is 14yrs old had to pay the full adult fare ( because he occupies a whole seat – he weighs 55kg) but he’s not an adult. We were not allowed to take up his ‘duty free entitlement’ of ciggies/alcohol because he is not an adult !! He doesn’t drink or smoke…..but if we (the parents) are to pay for three adult tickets, then we should have access to three lots of duty free entitlements, but we don’t. That’s downright unfair !!!
      Lots of things in life are not fair, nor are they likely to be so in the future. Let us therefore make start, a stand for the ‘Mr& Mrs Average’ and their two and a half children…..the more you weigh, the more you pay…you do the crime, you do the time….you take a life, you lose your life…..a spade is, in fact, a spade !! Humans will never get along with eachother as long as their arses all point the same way. Just try to be nice to the ones you like and leave the ones you don’t like to be liked by someone else.

  137. 178 Jeff
    January 23, 2010 at 00:44

    First of all no-one has the “right” to fly. Airlines are running a business. You may or may not agree with how they run their business or what they are charging for their service – that’s up to the individual. If you need to get from point A to point B then you need to assess your options. If the journey does not include travel over water, then you can walk, drive, take a train, take a bus, hitch-hike, or fly. If you need to cross water you can swim or take a boat. That is your choice. When making that choice you need to consider evrything from comfort, convenience, expedience, and cost. If I wanted to post 2 package weighing different amounts I wouldn’t expect to pay the same for each package – the one weighing more is going to cost me more. And I may decide on surface rate as opposed to air mail to save some money. Many shipping lines use both weight and dimensions when figuring charges – perhaps that’s the answer – weigh and measure each passenger and charge according to the formula. As for seats that are too small – the airlines could swith to bench seating and then they could assign benches based on width. Or maybe the fatties should expend more energy exercising and less energy complaining that they’re being picked on because they’re fat.

  138. 179 Herman
    January 23, 2010 at 10:50

    This sort of ways to make money out of people with a serious disease disgusts me. People who are morbidly obese almost never are so out of rational considerations. Some of them have a fysical disease. Others however have mental disorders. These mental disorders are also something you can’t really blame on people. Being schizofrenic, chronically depressed or simply having an eating disorder is just as much the persons own fault as having cancer is.

    True, there are a few people who are fat because they really don’t care, but in my opinion that’s a really small minority. If you’re fysically and mentally healthy you simply won’t let it come that far.

    So in my honest opinion charging heavily obesed people for an extra chair would be just as ridiculous as having a cancer patient who just had chemotherapy for the costs of cleaning the hair they lost while on the plane.

  139. January 23, 2010 at 11:59

    The price is determined in part by the seat. Clearly, to accommodate all passengers on a non-sizeist basis requires customizing seating for those who choose to be larger than others and an appropriate fee charged for those special seats.

    January 23, 2010 at 19:29

    Yes larger people shoud should pay more on airlines! I went on my first trip to Jamaica last year and was very careful not to overload my small suitcase then I saw a very large person who would be flying with me! It made me nervous & I thought what is the point of me been careful not to overload my case when this person is the size of 2 and a half people? So yes they should be charged extra. I also learnt while in Jamaica that in taxis if you are a large person you HAVE to pay for two as they are taking up space that could be use for two fares!

  141. 182 Mary
    January 24, 2010 at 15:50

    I agree with Mohammed Zaman.

    Small people should be charged less. I have been charged for excess baggage, when I, and my baggage put together weigh less than 140 pounds.

    If weight is so important then the fares should be on a weight ratio.

  142. 183 clamdip
    January 24, 2010 at 18:05

    As long as airlines get government subsidies paid for by the taxpayer, the fat one stays!

  143. 184 ochinkraseeva
    January 24, 2010 at 19:21

    I have to put my ten cents in here. As a Russian woman I have to laugh at the wpmen here who try and justify that 100kg is normal. In Russia women do not consume foods saturated in fat and sugar and we do not buy into advertising and media like in west. The Biggest Loser programme could not exist because there would be no contestants. Russian women are beautiful…..and for good reason. Learn a lesson or two.

  144. 185 MoscowVisitor
    January 24, 2010 at 19:48

    Just read the post from the Russian lady and I have to agree with her. In the three years I was in Moscow I never saw the gross obesity one sees in the UK and North America. Never. I find North Americans are not just saturated with fat and sugar and salt but also with an overdose of media determined to assure them that obesity is ok and a normal thing. There is a whole industry out there revolving around fatness and beauty.. The result is women in North America generally have very low self esteem and confidence and over eat through depression. In Russia it was exactly the opposite. An average woman in Moscow is a top model in the USA because there simply is not the media hype or the bad food mind set. There is no such thing as a 30% saturated fat fast meal available on the shelves. No one would by it.. If Aeroflot started charging for excessive body weight I would not disagree with it at all. If you have a medical condition then alright, you have a piece of paper to get exempted. Otherwise you pay more and rightly so.

  145. 186 Raybo
    January 24, 2010 at 20:20

    I had the misfortune on a United flight last year from LA to Dallas to be seated next to an extremely obese passenger. This person took up at least one third of my own seat and I couhe could hardly fi in the remaining space. After insisting to to the cabin crew I be reseated I was originally told the only seats available were those with extra leg room for which an additional cost applied. When responding that if that were the case I would require a refund for the part of my seat I could not occupy it became clear there were other seats available and I moved to one of these. However had this not been the case I would have had a terrible flight and seriously believe I would have the right to compensation (I would not have had the space for which I had paid)
    It is imperative airlines take whatever steps are necessary to ensure other passengers are not unduly prejudiced by obese passengers. However they do this is up to the airlines!

  146. 187 K. Piros
    January 24, 2010 at 23:42

    Being a frequent flyer myself I completely agree to charging extra for the “extra weight”. I was taking a flight from Canada to Europe to move my whole life, and as such my luggage was double the weight limit, but I had to pay extra. Meanwhile 80% of the passengers on the same flight were easily 20kg more than me, their added personal lard was not penalized, meanwhile I have to pay for luggage weight!!?!? DOUBLE STANDARDS! The way I see it, there should be scales for people not only luggage and if you exceed the healthy BMI (body mass index) for your age/height/gender then you too should have to pay per kg.

  147. 188 aliceinwonder
    January 25, 2010 at 00:53

    I agree the airlines should charge. Its about time we stoped tolerating the over-indulgent and cow-towing to the political correct nannies. If you are obese…you pay! I am sick of watching a huge passender put their extra weight for free when I have to watch the kilos in my luggage. It just doesnt make sense

  148. 189 pdxdoug
    January 25, 2010 at 05:13

    You should be weighed with your luggage and charged accordingly. It is costing the airline more to move a heavier person from point A to point B than it costs to move a thinner person. The same should be applied to seating – if you physically occupy more space then the airline isn’t able to move the maximum amount of ticket-holders.

    In addition the airlines should partition the overhead bin and everyone get the same amount of assigned storage space as part of their ticket.

    That said, get rid of the ridiculous number of ticket prices and charge everyone the same – no discrimination.

  149. 190 claudine
    January 25, 2010 at 08:00

    fat people should pay more.
    They charge for every kilo luggage too much (1% of a 1st class seat) and in coach class you are usually allowed 20kg of check in luggage.
    If someone weighs 40kg too much, and there are many, its like 2 suitcases extra.

  150. January 25, 2010 at 10:04

    Of course it is discrimination to larger people, however necessary. Luggage has to be of a certain weight – if it goes over that there’s an extra charge. So why not people?

    The more weight an aircraft carries, the more fuel it will use and that is, of course, a cost which somehow needs to be met.

  151. 192 Andrew in Australia
    January 25, 2010 at 15:27

    Yes of course they should. Being overweight is either born of selfishness, laziness or simply self abuse. If you occupy the space of a reasonably sized person and deny that company their fare for thats eat then you should be held accountable, why not. How accomodating do we have to be then? Have a fat section in the rear of the plane? If you have overweight baggage you pay for it. But of course we hide ourselves from reality these days and what has happened recently here in Australia is to forget the word fat and refer to obese people as real people now, because that is reality. So rather than tackle the problem of obesity, we rename it, or reset the sizing system for clothing to make fat people size 10’s. If we simply pander to people who are in the wrong, nothing will change. Besides which, being fat is not healthy, there may be a small percentage whose body can cope, but it is not healthy at all to be overweight, let alone hugely overweight.

  152. 193 daniel
    January 25, 2010 at 16:21

    It is reasonable to charge by weight, and the number of seats taken, on air flights because both relate directly to flight costs. This is not discriminatory, it is simply good business practice.

  153. 194 Eileen in Virginia
    January 25, 2010 at 16:32

    Children have to pay full rate for a seat, even tiny ones who weigh next to nothing to transport. The airlines want to charge more for obese people, but say nothing at all about less for children.
    My 3 grandchildren under 8 in Australia cannot afford to visit me as their parents would have to pay for five seats.

    One size does NOT fit all. There should be more room for larger people and less for tiny ones. Surely they can design a plane with a range of seating? Many would pay more for a bit more space, but charging double seems punitive to me.

    The prejudice and hostility shown in this blog are sad.

  154. 195 Allan Lees
    January 25, 2010 at 16:58

    Perhaps the fairest approach is simply to charge by total weight, e.g. body weight plus luggage. If everyone gets an allowance of, say, 100kg then each additional kg above that limit would cost some additional sum. In this way, each passenger pays more or less for the fuel they use. Family groups could consolidate their total allowance so that, for example, extra luggage could be taken along with two small children.

    The current situation, whereby people who control their weight are penalized in favor of those who over-eat, is simply unfair and ultimately untenable in a world of ever-rising fuel prices.

  155. 196 David
    January 25, 2010 at 17:29

    This is ridiculous and stupid idea. In fact I suggest that all fat people should be encouraged to travel for nothing or pay very little more often. This may improve self-esteem and in effect lose weight. Have you been in a fat persons mind? They fight a war that no one wants to help.

    If this idea was hatched by the airlines, we should know which ones so that we can permanently boycott them. And shame on any one who thinks the idea is a good one. I wish those people get fat tomorrow.

    And this is capitalis in its worst form.

  156. 197 Peter
    January 25, 2010 at 17:47

    Commercial air travel is a simple equation of the cost per kilo for transporting people and goods to a given destination. It would therefore be logical for all passengers to be weighed, with their luggage, so that their ticket reflects the true cost of transporting them, and their posessions, to their destination.

  157. 198 jens
    January 25, 2010 at 18:20


    to all of whom, who would like to charge per weight, be warned that because I am tall and strong I will igonor you all and walk in a straight path, because I am worth more, since I am paying more for everything. I will obliterate the tiny people in front of me and stand on them pushes them out of the way and laugh when you small squids are trying to get the cereal from the top shelves in stores. you will be my personal entertainment because you are just little toy people.

    I am seriously getting tired of the average person mocking tall people. do you seriosuly want everybody conform to one height and size. the Nazis tried this and to me you are all size nazis. nice for you to be able to get all the cloths of the shelve (i hardly get any XL tall in any store), nice for you that planes, cinema, car seats etc are perfectly molded for you. try to think about people who do not conform to this standard. I had to beg to get an office chair and desk that was ergonomic so that I did not go home in agony because the furniture is tailored to the average person.

    be a little bit more understanding to the people who do not fit your mold.

  158. 199 jens
    January 25, 2010 at 18:22


    are you going to pay tall people more? i mean i have to pay more for cloths, travel etc. Can you tell me why I should be punished for something i had no control over? Common I seriously challange you here. WHY SHOULD I PAY MORE, without getting an adequate compensation.

  159. 200 Wendy Peyton
    January 25, 2010 at 20:38

    People pay more money for First Class tickets to enjoy the luxury of more space, so why shouldn’t anyone who needs more space pay more for as well?

    It’s not discrimination, I think there is a safety issue here that is being ignored. Perhaps airplane manufacturers will begin to consider including a seating area like First Class that allows larger seats at a higher price to accommodate larger passengers. Those seating areas would have specialized safety protocol as well to guarantee the safety of all passengers on board. If someone’s obesity restricts their mobility they could hamper access to safety in an emergency evacuation. Is this fair to everyone?

    Another topic by itself, obesity is a serious problem. I strongly disagree with Andrew in Australia who erroneously states “Being overweight is either born of selfishness, laziness or simply self abuse.” What an ignorant and position to take! The main cause of obesity is poor eating habits which can mainly attributed to the lack of affordable healthy food. When boxed mac and cheese, Doritos, and Coke are a fraction of the price of healthy foods, what will fill the shopping carts of those living on minimum wage and trying to put food on the table for their families?

    This is unfortunately not an issue of choice for the majority of cases, it’s an economic indicator that the lower class is growing and these large manufacturers who care more about the bottom line than about the health of consumers are reaping record profits. Until we can fix the source of the obesity problem, this debate will continue.

  160. 201 samuel johnson
    January 25, 2010 at 20:48

    Ugly people should pay more – I don’t like sitting next to them, either.

  161. 202 patti in cape coral
    January 25, 2010 at 21:41

    Hi jens,

    I wasn’t aware that prejudice against tall people was a problem. I thought tall people were thought to be especially desirable and attractive, especially men. All my cousins go crazy for a tall guy.

    • 203 Roy, Washington DC
      January 27, 2010 at 15:43

      @patti – In the context of flying, being tall can present its own challenges. I’m 6’2″ 185#, so while I’m not overweight, my knees usually butt up against the back of the seat in front of me when I fly. This can be a problem if the person in front of me decides to recline (like they did the last time I flew).

      Should I be charged more because of my height? I’ve heard the argument made in similar debates to this one that I should, but it comes down to a debate on who the space belongs to. Weight is a much clearer issue than height in this regard.

  162. 204 Ku Ri Su
    January 25, 2010 at 22:38

    Airlines make or lose money by the amount of weight vs. money collected on every flight. Gas prices went up, so did luggage costs.

    The airlines should have larger seats for larger people, longer seats for taller people. Everyone should get on a scale at the airport with all of their bags and pay based on that. If you are going to have 4 suitcases full or rocks, that is your choice. If you are overweight, you should get a larger seat but have the option of bringing less stuff to make the ticket cheaper.

    I weigh twice as much as my wife and the check in lady is complaining that we are 0.5kg overweight on our bags. Some things are just stupid.

  163. 205 Ronald
    January 26, 2010 at 07:41

    Not only should large people pay more, I think the question of “excess baggage” should be examined as well.

    Imagine a skinny Asian weighing 40 Kg, checking in a 50Kg piece of luggage. She has to pay excess baggage charge. But a man of 90 Kg with no luggage, doesn’t need to pay anything. That’s not fair. The passenger AND the luggage should be weighed together and if the combined weight is over a certain level, then excess baggage charge should be levied. With this, there will be an automatic levy on overweight passengers.

  164. 206 Andrew in Australia
    January 26, 2010 at 18:30


    I reaffirm (strongly) that poor eating habits fits well under laziness or self-abuse. If you think it is not true you are deluding yourself and making excuse for those who eat themselves into oblivion because in this day and age with information everywhere and the obesity message constantly ringing in our ears if you cannot eat properly you ARE abusing yourself as you are doing yourself harm or simply to lazy to bother to eat better and much easier to indulge your tatse for fatty and sugary foods. Convenience and indulgance will ensure obesity.

  165. 207 jens
    January 26, 2010 at 19:09


    yes being tall has its advantages, even i places like job marketes and surprisingly pay etc, especially if one is build proportional. My point was more ironic to a certainn extend. i had for exapmle little kids hit me in the head with ballons while standing in line to pay for groceries, chanting “tall man”. Going shopping in a chinese supermarket is a trip as well, since many of the girls working there just stare at me and start to giggle. on the flip side of the coin, comes the disadvantage that many people believe that tall people are more resilient to all kinds of things like stress or are capable of delieverying more than others. this might be true in terms of lifting stones but performing in fron of a computer is a different thing. plus everybody assumes I am eating hugh amount of food, which i actually do not. I am not complaing, my life so far has been pretty cool and i like it. one gets used to some of the comments, like “you must have played basket ball, how is the air up there”. although sometimes it just gets plain boring to here the same over and over again. you know it does not get funnier.

    the point i was making is that in air travel we are discriminated against. i dred each time i need to fly, because i usually arrive at the other end all crumpled up and in pain. it is especially vexing when you see 5.2 people sitting in the emergency row and they would fit perfectly well in a standart seat.

  166. 208 jens
    January 26, 2010 at 19:12


    why do you think it is the socio-economically more challanged section of the population who suffers most from obesity? do you seriously think poorer people are lazier or could it be that processed food full of corn starch syrup cost significantly less. if you are poor you make simple selections, like where do i get the must bang for buck calorie wise. we almost do the subconscionsly, because we have been hardwired to maximize our calorie intake…

  167. January 26, 2010 at 20:32

    For your argument to hold water, all “poor” people would have to be overweight. They’re not. I wound even venture to say most of them aren’t. It’s only those who are unable or unwilling to control their impulses who decide to overindulge. I’m not saying they deliberately decide to get fat, but at the end of the day we all make choices and reap the consequences. I’m hearing a lot of poor little me victim-speak and not much willingness to take responsibility for one’s own actions.

  168. 210 Keith
    January 26, 2010 at 20:54

    For the sake of PC correctness and being polite I will not call fat people fattiess because its rude lets look at the two extremes horzontally challenged and vertically challenged people. I am 6ft 2inches tall and I always try and get an emergency exit seat for the leg room.
    Large people are embaressed when they have to squeeze in to those small seats its uncomfortable for them and the air lines should provide larger seats for these people and they should pay more. When you check in you should weigh the baggage and the individual and add the two together then work out the excess charge if applicable.
    Its the total weight that counts due to the play total pay load calculation, then this determines the amount of fuel loaded. Under the current system you can get a light person with heavy luggage paying a charge while a heavy person pays nothing at all!, thats not right either.It does need looking at and then there is the family with 15 suitcases and they try to bring everything but the kitchen sink back home with them!
    They should pay more too!

  169. 211 Craig
    January 27, 2010 at 12:08

    If people are too fat to fit through the emergency exits they pose a risk to other passengers and should not be allowed to fly.

    They should have a frame at check in, the same as we have for hand luggage. You don’t fit, you don’t fly.

    • 212 Keith
      January 27, 2010 at 19:09

      The safety angle is a very good point, when it comes to fast egress from the plane the bigger people will slow down the rapid exit of other people from the plane. And as a consequence other people lose there lives and loved ones.
      It sounds awful to put it in those terms but being fit and being able to move quickly is mega important when a plane needs emptying rapidly. Never thought of that its a good point.

  170. 213 Bruce - Texas
    January 27, 2010 at 13:42

    They should absolutely be required to pay for 2 seats if they cannot fit into one. Everyone else should not be forced to suffer because they are irresponsible.

  171. 214 dan
    January 27, 2010 at 13:54

    For me, and without the sarcasm, I think that if people cannot fit into one normal size seat, they they should pay for and occupy all the seats they do fit into whether whole or partial.
    Airline have to decide upon and publish the width of a normal size seat.

  172. 215 Mary
    January 27, 2010 at 13:55

    Obesity: The state of being well above one’s normal weight- About 30 pounds overweight and over……..Any one with this definition should pay for two on any public transportation – Land, Sea or Air.

  173. 216 Tricia
    January 27, 2010 at 14:50

    As an obese person, I am okay with the airline charging me more if I need more space and fuel to get me from point A to point B. I think a model using a cost per pound sounds rather fair. So thin people would pay less than heavier people. The plane would know how much weight is on board and could calculate fuel costs usage more accurately. I would like to point out, while many comments posted here are offended by having to sit next to a “fat” person, I am not happy when I have to listen to a screaming child for an entire flight, or those rude parents who just let their children run up and down the aisles. We all have our beefs.

  174. 217 worldtraveler
    January 27, 2010 at 15:00

    I will dis agree with being charged as per weight. The issue is not weight of a individual for example. I am 5 feet 10 inches and weight 90 kgs but I can fit very easily and comfortably in any airline seat (even ryanair..known to have the smallest seats) but another man or women of the same height and weight as me may need 2 seats. so the best way around this is at the checkin just as they have a cabin size mesurment case , they should have a seat too. if the person cant fit in that seat size he/she should be charged extra.

  175. 218 Ronald Almeida
    January 27, 2010 at 15:02

    I am sure they are already paying more for all the goods they consume or use but nobody pays them by their weight.

  176. 219 Mike in Seattle
    January 27, 2010 at 15:04

    If there are physical limits, then buy two seats. Ensure that the airline isn’t simply shrinking the size of the seat.

    Once that’s taken care of, keep your disgust and judgement to yourself. You can be thin and unhealthy, and you have no idea why the person is overweight and if they’re already losing it. Perhaps spending that time to consider improvement’s in one’s own life would be more productive.

  177. 220 Vera
    January 27, 2010 at 15:14

    What I find lacking here are responses from the folks who are the aim of this new policy!! Statistics show that the average size of people in the US and UK has risen quite a bit — but seat size goes down!!

    I have struggled with weight since childhood and flown when more “normal” sized as well as when I had to wedge myself into the small cramped spaces that airlines sell at a premium. I have always tried to be considerate of fellow passengers and booked window seats when possible. At worst, I probably only invaded my neighbor’s space slightly and felt awful because of it. I have also in turn been crowded by gentlemen who are very tall and wide shouldered who have to spread their legs wide to fit them and whose shoulders definitely encroached my seat – where is the anger against them!!!!
    Fat and obese people here have been characterized as insensitive and smelly — I find these descriptions to be highly rude and show a definite need for diversity education.

    I really take offense at those here who insist that weight is a choice — when alcoholics quit drinking they don’t touch alcohol – there is not the same option with eating — a much more difficult struggle.

    Airlines need to figure out a fair way of pricing that does not discriminate against just “wide” people but allows for all shapes and sizes and that may mean an entire paradigm shift in the way cabin space is laid out on planes to allow for space needs.

    • 221 Ronald Almeida
      January 28, 2010 at 07:33

      The days when services and goods were sold for the benefit of the consumer are long over.

      Today all that counts is the bottom line (sorry for the pun).

  178. 222 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    January 27, 2010 at 15:30

    Restaurants and theatres provide food and entertainment and can accommodate over-sized people without a significant loss of profit. Airlines provide transportation, the costs of which are based on how much fuel it takes to lift the plane.

    The weigh more/pay more solution appears to be the only rational one.

    I must admit to being amazed by many of the above comments, wherein people actually expect some modicum of comfort on airplanes. I not infrequently must fly from Switzerland to Los Angeles and back, a 12 to 14 hour ordeal even when one flies direct. If I’m anything less than totally uncomfortable the entire I way, I consider it gravy–which, being slender, I can afford to eat without causing discomfort to my fellow passengers.

    • 223 Ronald Almeida
      January 28, 2010 at 07:41

      Sorry it’s not only about Swiss precision and logic and ‘Change’ that is at stake here. These are human beings we are talking about, who have feelings and emotions. Unlike a commodity like watches that today are sold by the Chinese by weight.

  179. 224 David
    January 27, 2010 at 16:00

    What it boils to is money, capitalism im its worst form. And for those who are against fat people, wait until they or their loving ones get real fat. I bet they will keep quiet.

    I think Marc Babbitt, first on this list, and a few others are either share holders in the aviation history or owns a plane. Ridiculous and selfish comments.

    And for the airlines, they want to put more slim seats so that they can put more people and get more money.

    Mel, (January 21, 2010 at 16:59) pathetically claims that “We pay extra for additional baggage, we should pay extra for additional weight. It takes more fuel for heavier people…” What he fails to understand is that a plane has to carry a certain maximum weight. You can not overload it. So Mel, where do you get the idea oof “.. more fuel consumption from”?

    I think humans are the worst living animals.

  180. 225 patti in cape coral
    January 27, 2010 at 16:04

    There was recently a story on NPR about healthy eating and obesity that determined that most obese people have lower incomes or are closer to the poverty level, possibly because higher quality food costs more. I wonder if there are any socioeconomic implications in all this, i.e. fatter people will need to pay more, will not be able to afford it, will fly less, etc. Would that bring ticket prices down because less fuel is needed? Or would that bring fuel prices up because there aren’t as many people flying? It’s interesting the airline clarified it’s original position. In this economy, they can’t afford to alienate future passengers.

  181. 226 Gary Paudler
    January 27, 2010 at 16:10

    This will be blatantly moralistic; might as well get it on the (fold-down) table. We are pigs! I love pigs, fine animals stuck with our metaphorical use of their name. As a society, into which I lump much of the developed world, we over-consume and expect the rest of the world to subsidize our profligate Hoovering of everything in our path. Fat people, who are barely a numeric minority in the US but probably constitute the majority by weight, have been spared many of the real costs of their disproportionate consumption just as surely as have drivers of gas-hogs and Wall Street bankers. Hard as it might be to change any bad habit, being fat is usually a choice or the result of a lifetime of choices. I don’t care what your mother said to you forty years ago that set you on a path littered with Twinky wrappers. The airlines are not the bad guys in this debate, they might be the bad guys on many issues but they are in the business of fitting as many people as possible on each plane and charging exactly what the market will bear. If I have to pay extra for 10 pounds too-much luggage, then it’s entirely reasonable for somebody packing 100 pounds of extra baggage on their person to pay more. I only get the one seat for which I paid – if I need, or want, two then I’ll have to pay for them and if I don’t reserve, in advance, two adjacent seats then I can hardly be surprised when I am not accommodated on a typically over-booked flight. I’ve more to write but I’ve used-up my alloted space.

  182. 227 jens
    January 27, 2010 at 16:10


    nice and well that you are educated enough to know what to eat. it is simply ignorrant to say “well not all poor people are fat”. it is this thinking in absolutes that makes a discussion impossible.

    if you make food full of fat and sugar cheap poorer people will buy it, period.

  183. 228 Krzysztof
    January 27, 2010 at 16:12

    I wouldn’t call discrimination at all.
    Let’s have a look. If you are really skinny (like me, for example) than you occupy only a half of a normal seat. But you pay the same as these “normal” and overweighted passengers– they take more than one seat.

    Ok but it’s only one side of the problem

    Normally, we have to pay for our luggage. And it doesn’t matter whether you are slim or overweighted. Why don’t we introduce new kind of charges. One that wont depend on person’s weight or his luggage but its sum total. What about this?


  184. 229 steve
    January 27, 2010 at 16:13

    Unless you sit in first or business class, you aren’t meant to be “comfortable” on flights.

  185. 230 jens
    January 27, 2010 at 16:17


    Don’t you think the tall gentlemen with broad shoulders are aware of the situation. I always cringe when I get a middle seat in a standart row seat, since I know that i am going to make 4 people uncomfortable. I even cringe more when I see 5’2″ people sitting in an emergency row. these seats should be strictly keept for tall people, then half of the argument is solved. invariably i am usually the tallest person on the flight, but i cannot request these seats when booking, since they can only be allocated in the airport for safty reasons.

  186. 231 Andrew in Australia
    January 27, 2010 at 16:23


    Don’t hide behind poverty to justify eating habits. There are always options available. It is simpler to take the easy way out than have to work to find an appropriate solution and considering the effects of onesity on the population, this is one area that must take priority to anyone regardless of soci-economic status and there are many examples of those in poorer homes who manage to eat better with less than they should have.

  187. 232 Robert
    January 27, 2010 at 16:37

    My suggestion is simply to sit fat people together – whether they fit or not ! That way they won’t take advantage of non-overweight passengers. And if an obese passenger insists on having two seats to him or herself, well then he or she will pay for the two seats.

  188. January 27, 2010 at 16:37

    Price discrimination based on whether a person is over-weight or not is bizarre to say the least. Some people are fat through no fault of theirs: others love their rotondity. In general people are medium weight or slightly over. The really fat ones are a minority. Charging over-weight passengers the price of two seats in place of one would be a travesty. Equating human beings to objects is a sore point. If this pricing were introduced there would be a hue and cry.

  189. 234 Kimberly Stone
    January 27, 2010 at 16:37

    Airplanes are cramped with narrow seats and tightly packed rows. Having someone who is unable to get down the aisle quickly can be a safety issue in the event of an emergency evacuation.

    Everyone should pay for the amount of space they take up. Just like we pay extra for carrying additional baggage and taking up more than our fair share of cargo space.

  190. 235 Allan
    January 27, 2010 at 16:48

    We already pay more for being able to think (and see what’s going on with big business, big government, big religion, etc), so why not pay more for the physical as well as the mental aspect of our being too – it all makes sense, sorta, in a warped but very contemporary way.

  191. 236 Barbara in Johannesburg
    January 27, 2010 at 16:53

    Ja, of course. Let’s penalise EVERYBODY who can’t fit into the box.

    If the shoe doesn’t fit, there’s something wrong with your foot!

  192. 237 Alan in Arizona
    January 27, 2010 at 17:07

    I’ll update my previous idea!
    1/2 of the ticket price would be a set charge that would cover all the cost of operating the flight divided by the average number of travelers that typically fill the plane.
    1/3 of the ticket price would be calculated using the travelers space requirement.
    1/6 of the ticket price would be calculated using the travelers total weight including baggage.

    I would mind paying for the extra space. Especially on a long flight.

    Or a simple set charge for a specific space. Sedate each passenger. Slide us into a climate controlled cube holding 20 passenger, like a set of those Japanese hotel sleeping bays going 4 up and 5 across.. Load the cube into a special cargo type plane with a group of other cubes. 12 hours later you wake up to some peaceful music on your sleep bay bed. Get up, gather your baggage and your off and running after a good nap. What a way to start a vacation. Totally rested and raring to go!

  193. 238 Russ,CA, USA
    January 27, 2010 at 17:23

    Put it this way, if you sent a person from point A to point B on an airplane and you were charged as a piece of freight your fee would be calculated on your weight and dimension! So, as you can see that’s not discrimination that’s business!

  194. 239 John in Salem
    January 27, 2010 at 18:02

    Making the argument in favor of higher rates based on “simple economics” may sound good but it doesn’t hold up.
    Except for peak holiday seasons, all airlines make undersold flights on a regular basis. If a flight is scheduled from Portland to New York with one stop in Chicago it has to make the trip from Portland whether it is full or not and the airline loses money. In order to be fair, if the logic of “simple economics” says that obese passengers should have to pay more because of the fuel used or seats used then it would also dictate that ALL passengers on that flight, obese or not, should have to pay the difference for all the empty seats.
    Saying that sitting next to an obese person makes you uncomfortable is blatant discrimination. I wouldn’t argue that it’s not unpleasant but neither is having a crying baby in the seat behind you for 5 hours.
    You have 3 choices – accomodate, tolerate or discriminate. If you don’t like any of those, take the train.

  195. 240 Bert
    January 27, 2010 at 18:09

    As many times as this topic has come up recently, my reaction has been that responders who are the most sympathetic are themselves overweight, and the least sympathetic are not. Reason being, similar to drug abuse, those who do not belong to the category in question view the affliction as being purely self-imposed.

    I do see a certain logic in measuring the total weight of passenger and his luggage. The problem with that is, it does not specifically address what to do with someone who doesn’t fit in his assigned seat. Should we design movable arm rests, so that for example two versized people can sit side by side in a three-seat row?

  196. 241 T
    January 27, 2010 at 18:20

    Speaking for myself, over two years I lost almost 100 lbs. I follow a holistic diet and firmly belive in a mind-body connection.

    Based on my experience and what I’ve learned in the process, I find it very hard to believe that overweight people (up to obese)are really happy. How can you be happy when there’s no benefit whatsoever to being overweight? I don’t get it.

  197. 242 T
    January 27, 2010 at 18:22

    If you charge more, who decides what’s “overweight”, “obese”, etc? And, will you also charge others who are judged to be “too thin”? What criteria do you use with those people? If someone does this you know that there’s going to be a lawsuit saying an equal standard for all passengers.

  198. 243 Helen Richmond
    January 27, 2010 at 18:24

    Here is a link to Jon Robison website. He will be joining us tonight on the programme.


  199. 244 Dominique Anna from Kuala Lumpur
    January 27, 2010 at 18:32

    Of course the airlines should start charging double the amount for overweight people. I mean, airlines have their standard norm on how much the weight of passengers is because they need to calculate everything for how much fuel the airplane needs. So, it is just fair, or should suddenly the fuel run out because of the overweight passengers?

  200. January 27, 2010 at 18:44

    I would like it if in giving our opinions that people would refrain from making statements that cause disrespect and cause pain to people who are overweight. There are many reasons why people are overwieight and it is not for anyone to judge that person. Airlines could be a bit more sensitive to the problem and provide more vaariety of seating. I also wonder why when I check in online at the very start of the check in process that the emergency seats are taken. I am 5′ 2 and like to sit in the regular sea . I feel it is curteous to allow people who are tall the extra space in the emergency seats. That comes with an obligation and tall people have to be honest when they sit in these seats. For safety it would not be advisable to have an overweight person as they cannot move as quickly, in general,.I remember one flight where the middle of three seats was vacant and my fellow passenger and I discussed how we could share the space and get some rest. We took turns and both ended up getting some rest on the long haul night flight. Curtesy and consideration to fellow travellers is a must, and therefore an overgirth person encroaching into someone elses space is not fair or polite. However to the point at issue, and tho it is hard everyone who pays for their seat is in my opinion entitled to that which they paid for. The full seat. It is a contract between the person and the airline. In this age of obesity becoming such a big problem airlines may need to adjust to this reality and over girth people may to pay for the space needed to accomodate them. Without Prejudice

  201. 246 James
    January 27, 2010 at 18:48

    Yet another indicator to me, human beings still have a long way to go toward understanding and respecting people who are simply different……. Charging then extra solely because they are different is not the answer… After all these many years you would think people in general would see the harm in treating people with less respect because they might be different from the majority! Sadly we haven’t learned a thing! Some comments are to the point of being ridiculous. ” the airline can build special planes for fat people” how stupid is that? Or “fat people can be required not to fly” what? I’ve got and idea, left handed people can’t fly, red head people can’t go to baseball games, white people can’t go to NBA basketball games, blue eyed people can’t own cars…. etc. Hell lets make it illegal for White’s to own homes, White’s can’t own animals.

    • 247 James Ian
      January 29, 2010 at 07:13

      @ James

      It has nothing to do with

      ” understanding and respecting people who are simply different…….”
      “Charging them extra solely because they are different”

      Your above post is so off base I had to laugh. This has nothing to do with discrimination based solely “difference” it is about shipping cost. The nuts and bolts are that it cost more to ship something OR SOMEONE that has a larger mass and a heavier weight.

  202. 248 Harry Webb
    January 27, 2010 at 18:52

    People shouldn’t have to pay extra for being fat. However, one should pay for more than one seat if one takes up more than one seat and, if one’s clothes contain more cloth and thread, then it would be unreasonable for those clothes to cost the same as smaller versions of the same garment. Common sense really. Particularly given that statistics indicate that ectomoprphs are more successful than endomorphs.

  203. 249 Mukul, Groton,CT
    January 27, 2010 at 19:03

    I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Rations!!!
    It should solve Obesity, Food and Climate crisis.

    Air France is right in charging more people who are OBESE BY CHOICE.

  204. 250 Alan in Arizona
    January 27, 2010 at 19:06

    My apologize! I meant to say:

    “I would not mind paying for the extra space. Especially on a long flight.”

    A little extra room would be worth a little extra cost!

  205. 251 Isham Crozier
    January 27, 2010 at 19:12

    Listening to these two speak makes me ashamed to be an American.

  206. 252 Nick in Atlanta
    January 27, 2010 at 19:12

    The problem is that not all overweight individuals are overweight from eating.
    In many cases it is a genetic problem. I personally knew an entire family that was overweight, genetically, and they ate like sparrows. Very healthy diets because of that genetic problem.

    In other cases it is something that is brought on medically as a combination of medical conditions and the medications used to deal with the medical problem

    The third is just age. In many cases, people simply gain weight as they age, with exercise and diet being insufficient to reduce weight.

    In any case, the entire concept engages in discrimination in all these circumstances.

  207. 253 mers in oregon
    January 27, 2010 at 19:12

    Let’s take this logic further and also fine people for being over a certain height. Many’s the time when I have had to share my leg room when travelling with a taller neighbor. Do you think that would fly? (pun intended)

  208. 255 Debbie
    January 27, 2010 at 19:14

    I completely agree with the current person on-air. This is not a weight issue, it is a size issue. I pay for approx 16″ of seat width and if the person next to me is too large to fit in their 16″, then they should have to pay for more space. Just charging them more for the seat does not solve the problem they should get more space along with the additional charge.

  209. 256 Allan
    January 27, 2010 at 19:14

    What about overhead rails and straps (just like ground transport: buses, trolleys, etc.). I rode in an old DC3 many years ago in Patagonia and it worked.

    On the other hand, the airlines might make the seats more comfortable!!! LIke a little wider and with a bit more foot room. Wouldn’t that solve the problem? How come no one ever mentions this?

  210. 257 hillary
    January 27, 2010 at 19:16

    Should anorexic people be charged more for insurance?

  211. 259 Andy
    January 27, 2010 at 19:18

    If obese members of society are levying unbearably high costs on a health care system, instead of charging them more for health care – which would invariably snare those who were obese for purely genetic reasons – we ought to tax problem food groups and use that income to offset the costs on health care.

    • 260 James Ian
      January 28, 2010 at 07:50

      I’m for that, I get so mad when I see people who are already fat loading their plates and carts up with crap foods. There should be a tax on consumable products that do nothing but make people fat. That crap food in not a necessity, it’s a luxury and should be taxed accordingly. One the other hand I think raw fruits and vegetables should be able to be purchased tax free.

  212. 261 Paul
    January 27, 2010 at 19:21

    I’m not a large person, 5’11” 175lbs. and I find most airline seats far too tiny, a lot of the planes flying aren’t designed for the larger people that exist in the 21st century, and I’m not talking about the obese. People are larger than the were 40 years ago, but that doesn’t seem to be factored.

    • January 27, 2010 at 19:53

      They will consider you fat because you weigh over 140 lbs. That seems to be the standard in America. Whoa if you look like Russell Crowe or other real men.

      • 263 James Ian
        January 28, 2010 at 07:55


        I’m 5’10 and 185 pounds and most planes I fly on have more then enough room. No they are not comfortable but there is more then enough room.
        Sure I’m only running 8% body fat but even if I was 18% I think I would still have enough room. If a person is unable to fit into one airplane seat they are obviously too fat.

  213. 264 Evan (Oregon, USA)
    January 27, 2010 at 19:21

    Why not a simple fee based on the total weight of the passenger AND luggage? If a person weighs 150 pounds and has a 20 pound bag to check (170 pounds total), they pay more than a 250 pound person who carries on two 15-pound bags (280 pounds total). Is that fair?
    If you are so big you crowd out your seat-mates, then you should buck up and pay extra for a seat that does not infringe on others’ personal space.

  214. 265 Alan in Arizona
    January 27, 2010 at 19:22

    My size is by choice, I guess!
    I like tasty foods, but I eat properly. My problem is I sit at a computer all day and then I paint in the evening. I just don’t exercise enough, which is the problem for most people. And it has effected my health. I stopped playing disc golf for about 6 months a few years ago and my body suffered for it. When I started playing again, my muscles were not in shape and as I had been an avid skateboarder as a kid, those knees problems I was never aware came to light requiring operations. Now I fight to maintain my weight to control other problems. I sure there are those out there with medical problems, but most of us over weight people, would be much healthier with steady, consistent exercise.

  215. January 27, 2010 at 19:23

    george clooney and brad pitt do not have BMI s that are overweight. Michael Jordan does. And there are other measures of health, WHR and Circumfrence. If genetics is affecting weight then one has to eat less – it is simply a matter of energy balance and sometimes, unfortunately, one has to eat less than they should. The effects of obesity are incredible and anything we can do to improve the chances that someone can eat less and move more to counteract it, the better. Or as I like to say – we HAVE made healthy eating socially acceptable now we have to make it socially POSSIBLE

    Deirdre, MPH, CHES, PAPHS

  216. 267 Patrick
    January 27, 2010 at 19:23

    The BMI is a joke. Some of the most athletic individuals are considered over or underweight. Passenger load (person + carryon + baggage) is a more accurate way to charge for the load imposed if that is the arguement the airlines are going to make. If you do not fit in a seat pay for one (or two) you do fit into. You cannot legislate/penalize every problem in society.

    • January 27, 2010 at 20:14

      Thank you and they are starting with our kids. My childrn never had weight problems. I cooked and fast food was a treat not a daily meal. To this day, my children(36, 35, 29) cannot eat too much fast food. My son was 30 lbs at a year and i was told he was too large. He is now 6’6″. My grandson, 7 yrs old, is was also 30 lbs at a year old. The doctors told my daughter she was over feeding him. I told her to ignore them, look at her brother. We have men up to 6’10” in my family. My grandson is now 7 and in the 95% for his height and the 50% for his weight. I do not feed them artificial sweeteners, either. If a doctor tells you to stay away from it when you’re pregnant, you can believe it won’t get near the finished product. The final report is still out on those sweeteners per a doctor I see. She won’t use it or uses them sparingly. I wonder how much the use of these sweeteners plays a part in the rise of autism, here, in America. The brain lives on sugar/glucose, period. Does that tell you something? It scares me how pervasive it is in our children’s drinks.

  217. 269 Rich
    January 27, 2010 at 19:23

    A tax on unhealthy foods will have no impact on eating habits of people! Is everyone forgetting that increased cigarette taxes have little to no bearing on the number of smokers? When it comes to convenience and addiction, price does not matter to people. Unhealthy foods are literally addicting because of the amount of fat and sugar they contain.

  218. 270 Nizier
    January 27, 2010 at 19:24

    I am appalled at both the ignorance and the intolerance of so many of the comments I’ve heard and read. It’s fine if you want to discriminate against people who are overweight, but that’s only going to be the beginning of the discrimination. And furthermore, the airlines are in trouble as it is, so if you want to ban those who are overweight, then that will just further accelerate the decline, or even the demise of the airline industry. So, if you pursue this, then you certainly won’t have to worry about sitting next to someone you perceive as being overweight on a plane, because there likely won’t be any plane service.

  219. 271 Cassandra
    January 27, 2010 at 19:28

    Can we also charge people more who insist on trying to talk to you when they sit next to you? Or are drunk and annoying? How about extra charge for tall people in the theatre or at any ticketed event where they block my view? People who smell? The idea that people should be charged for inconveniencing other people is kind of nice in a funny way, but I think it’s unfair and just opens the door for all kinds of businesses adding on all sorts ‘extra charges’….and I don’t want that door opened. Or alternately, can I pay less since I am smaller than average?

    • 272 Cassandra
      January 27, 2010 at 19:43

      awww…It was a joke. I am easy to please and don’t believe in a ‘weight’ charge and think people in general should be more understanding. I was pointing out that I thought the justification of the charge was not warranted, and was as ridiculous as the other scenarios I listed. It’s the airlines, theatres, etc… that should stop squeezing people together so they can sell more seats. Even average sized people are squeezed. Thanks!

  220. January 27, 2010 at 19:29

    anorexia affects about 6-10 % not 66% BIG BIG health care difference there… also they do not typically develop long term chronic diseases that require lifelong medication

    • January 27, 2010 at 20:25

      Ask Karen Carpenter about that and the young actress who just died. Karen Carpenter died from the long term effects of her anorexia. Her heart and body gave out. I do not care how few there are, it still means extra money, health wise, doesn’t it. Psych care. IP and OP mental health care. IP care. Long term care if not stopped in time. Bulemics add dental since the acids destroy the teeth. i work in the insurance industry and it is more prevelent than you think. The amounts of money used for these cases per person can be astronomical. Attitudes like thoses expressed by some on this board, does not help the problem.
      Yes, we should htake care of our selves. Yet, the unrealistics markers are just as dangerous as over eating. Most people with eating disorders will binge and purge. That destroys the body as much as obesity if not more so.

  221. 275 gary indiana
    January 27, 2010 at 19:30

    As a sometimes biochemist, I mustn’t fail to mention being fat isn’t an illness or a failing of any kind! Some people can get fatter a bit more easily than others. Some people have indeed gotten fat. Big Deal! We take our current situation too much for granted. Continued excess food supply hasn’t always been, nor will it necessarily remain, the case. Think of it this way: Survey the room, and when you see the rounder folks; you’re looking at the survivors in case of famine. As far as flying goes, I honestly think no one should be in the air! It is too pricey from a carbon use stand point.

  222. 276 Mr. Kawakubo {PORTLAND}
    January 27, 2010 at 19:30

    NO! Peoples obsession with the overweight only, and always, stems from the wrong place. It is never truly about health concerns, even if they may at times have some validity. It is motivated by what we perceive the obese to be, and we want to blame them. They are an easy, obvious, and cliched target. This concern is, each and every time, about blame. We conduct all these studies, not to save lives, but to show why we think people or their actions are inferior. This subject is a dreadful, and contemptible, bore.

    (Yes, I have a healthy BMI.)

  223. 277 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    January 27, 2010 at 19:30

    I think on any form of transportation people need to stop focusing so much on themselves and be courteous to others. I ride a regional public train system and I’ve noticed people who fill up empty seats with bags even during rush hour, when those bags could be placed on a rack above their heads. I’ve also noticed people who make no attempt to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough or even turn away from the person sitting next to them to avoid “sharing” their germs. Overweight people taking up too much room is only one part of the growing problem of human beings ignoring the discomfort they inflict on those around them.

  224. 278 Mike in Seattle
    January 27, 2010 at 19:30

    On the issue of personal responsibility –

    I’m not sure how it is elsewhere in the world, but here in the United States our labeling laws are quite lax. There are thousands of books out there promising many different yet unproven ways to become healthy or simply thin. There are thousands of supplements out there with little or no testing. Information is incredibly hard to get because there are so many snake oil salespeople out there touting magical berries and “natural” fruit drinks.

    How can anyone without a real degree in biology or medicine filter though the junk?

    How many times does someone who wants to improve themselves pick the wrong information?

  225. 279 Mr. Kawakubo {PORTLAND}
    January 27, 2010 at 19:31


    Our persistent interest in this subject, says more about us, and our contempt for others, then it does about the obese.

  226. 280 steve
    January 27, 2010 at 19:32

    I oppose and and all nanny state tactics. However, private business should be, and are free to do what they want.

  227. 281 Francisco in Spain
    January 27, 2010 at 19:36

    I think taxing unhealthy food is not enough to avoid overweight, instead of that, a healthy lifestyle should be imposed on people, such as working out or practicing some sport..and not spending the whole day sitting in a sofa watching tv or playing video games like many kids does nowadays

  228. 282 Gregg from Southwest FL
    January 27, 2010 at 19:37

    I think this is the most rediculous thing I heard. I am a tall man. Does that mean that I should be charged more for needed leg room? We are humans. We come in different sizes, shapes and colors. THANKFULLY. I was not in control of my height and there are those who have no control over their weight. 1/2 my family is very large. They got that way not by lack of exercise or poor diet, but like me it is a trait we get from our parents and grandparents. I think those who are saying CHARGE THEM MORE, THEIR FAT. Are those who obviously lack compassion and knowledge behind what makes people large. The most fattening foods are those that are cheapest. Many can not afford it. How much of the processed foods we eat enable our large society. BGH in milk for instance.

  229. 283 Mugly Wumple
    January 27, 2010 at 19:37

    An airline’s commodities are weight, volume and distance. Yes, each person should pay for what they consume. It is not discrimination to pay for what you use. I got big feet and I pay more for my shoes. I have poor eyesight and it costs me. I’ve got a bum knee. Boohoohoo. Accommodate me.

  230. January 27, 2010 at 19:37

    o my gosh, it is the same denial that tobacco users are prone too. longer life does not mean quality life, or as Dr. Kennethy Cooper says, we are not living longer we are DYING longer

  231. 285 Karen
    January 27, 2010 at 19:38

    If you’re going to charge fat people more for taking up more space then we should also charge broad-shouldered people for also intruding on other seats, people with noticeable odors more for polluting our air, and loud people and those with noisy children for intruding on our quiet.

    Or, we could recognize that fat people are human beings who may be unable to lose weight healthily due to other physical or mental health conditions. We could recognize that just as people come in a variety of colors and heights, they also come in a variety of sizes. We could stop using weight as an excuse to feel superior to people about which you really know nothing.

    Lastly, the supposed evidence about the unhealthiness of being fat is largely pushed by the diet and exercise industry. Poor diet and lack of exercise are the real problems, but only sometimes and to a certain extent will affect your fatness. You cannot tell how healthy a person is by looking at how fat they are.

  232. 286 Joe M
    January 27, 2010 at 19:39

    I think we should just charge for flights by the pound period!

    We pay for freight by the pound and we pay more for first class so that would work too.

    We take off shoes so we need to make sure those are included.

    This might also help with other screening….a bikini could be justified because of screening easy plus it would cost less to fly in!

    A g-string would be better but ten since men dont need a shirt – there would be a gender bias.

    But the weight problem would work well for the population problem would it not? If we give aid by the pound also that would help – lifiting a fatty onto the gurrney certainly should cost more also

  233. 287 Christian.
    January 27, 2010 at 19:39

    Most freight charges are calculated by mass. Why not use this model for personal transportation? This may motivate those more budget conscious to live a healthier lifestyle.

    Simple facts are that fueling costs for air transportation are averaged amongst all passengers. I would appreciate the ability to receive a general discount because I fit within my seat and am not overweight…but now does that mean that overweight people need to understand that they are creating greater carbon emissions as they travel? 😉 I am all for whatever motivation people need to live a healthier lifestyle.

    I think we should also discuss the long-term health insurance costs of those overweight co-workers that increase my health insurance costs because they are the doctors more frequently for blood-pressure, diabetes, joint issues (due to being overweight) etc. We should really discuss what is self-induced and what is out of the people’s control. I am not trying to be better than the next person, but I think these issues need to be discussed. We (as the human race) understand some things at this point in time and i don’t see significant downsides to living a healthier lifestyle.

  234. 288 Allison
    January 27, 2010 at 19:39

    To World Have Your Say:

    People who are overweight and who are affecting my plans or life because they don’t want to take care of themselves is not acceptable. If I am going to fly on an airplane I didn’t pay to carry your weight during the trip.


  235. 289 nora
    January 27, 2010 at 19:39

    For years I could not put on enough weight to be comfortable. After nine years, I have enough fat to go to the dentist or sit on something soft. Bodyfat and stress is still a bit of a mystery, but you have to have some fat if you are going to have surgery, chemo, even a bad flu.

  236. 290 charlie in the states
    January 27, 2010 at 19:40

    This woman is ridiculous! Living a fat and healthy lifestyle.? why not smoke crack and go jogging?

  237. 291 TomK in Mpls
    January 27, 2010 at 19:41

    Does the rights of the business owner come into play here?

  238. 292 David- Texas
    January 27, 2010 at 19:42

    So, should skinny people be charged half or get a discount? I mean seriously, can’t believe this is even a topic of discussion. These are people just like you and me, just because they have more mass than others doesn’t mean you get the right to treat them differently. Hmm that reminds of the times prior to the 70’s when a man or a woman was looked down upon because of their skin tone… Seriously people, grow up and get a life.

    • 293 James Ian
      January 29, 2010 at 07:21

      @ David

      “Skinny people” ???? You mean normal sized people. Just because I can fit in my seat doesn’t mean I’m skinny it means I’m a normal size.

      Again : This has nothing to do with discrimination based solely “difference” it is about shipping cost. The nuts and bolts are that it cost more to ship something OR SOMEONE that has a larger mass and a heavier weight.

  239. 294 Michael
    January 27, 2010 at 19:42

    Please have your guest, the “overwieght” woman, cite the clinical study she has been referencing that show heavier people live longer. Thanks! From Portland.

  240. 295 Cari Shule
    January 27, 2010 at 19:43

    I am 8.5 mos pregnant and cannot imagine how some people are fat ALL the time. It’s horribly uncomfortable!

  241. 296 Anya
    January 27, 2010 at 19:45

    When it comes to the purchase of cloth food & rented space, it seems fair for bigger people to pay higher prices.
    However I do not believe that raising the taxes on unhealthy foods is a solution to the problem. In the US healthy foods cost a lot more than unhealthy food. For some low income families unhealthy food is the only food they can afford. If we raise the costs of unhealthy foods they still would not be able to afford healthier meals.
    The question of health care is highly controversial in the US in general. People already have higher health insurance prices if they are considered to be a risk factor. For example, women of child bearing age pay more for health insurance than men of the same age. Is it fair? What if people gain weight because of a health problem, should they be financially punished for something they can’t help? It’s a very complicated question; I don’t believe raising prices for healthcare for overweight people would encourage them to have healthier lifestyle.

  242. 297 H
    January 27, 2010 at 19:46

    If people want to eat themselves away and smoke themselves away…so be it.
    Aren’t we worried about world population issues? Perhaps some see these self-destructive actions as making positive contributions to this cause?

  243. 298 steve
    January 27, 2010 at 19:47

    Airlines are in the business of making money, not making you comfortable. You’re sitting in a aluminum tube. If you want to be more comfortable, you pay a lot more for business class. They are NOT going to make coach seats larger, that means less passengers, means less money.

    But think about it. If you were to mail yourself using the postal service, if you weighed more, it would cost more to ship yourself. So why shouldn’t airlines be allowed to do the same?

    I can see the weight issue being irrelevant on public transit, or on railways, but weight has a significant impact on airplanes.

    • 299 TomK in Mpls
      January 28, 2010 at 18:03

      Actually steve, making customers comfortable, happy, is a way to attract customers. A marketing tool. A way to make money. When US airline deregulation ended, they had to fight for customers. The big marketing point was leg room. If airlines feel they can make more money by accommodating anything, they will. All for profit.

      All this debate about rights trumping business is hot air. Businesses have equal rights to. Even government owned ones. Because the government is the people. They have rights too.

  244. January 27, 2010 at 19:47

    If obesity is not a choice, then why does this seem to be a rich country problem?

  245. 301 Lise Pace
    January 27, 2010 at 19:48

    Yes, that is only fair (coming from a thin persons perspective who always gets fined for excess baggage weight!) But they should also get bigger seats when they pay more.

  246. 302 Sanjevan
    January 27, 2010 at 19:48

    I want to ask. You keep saying over weight versus obese. Isn’t it the obese that are having the problems with seats and not over weight people?

    I am 5’7 and weigh 167 lbs and I am considered over weight, but not nearly obese and I do not have any problems fitting into an airline seat.

  247. 303 Raphael
    January 27, 2010 at 19:49

    If we are to pay more for unhealthy food then we should theoretically pay less for healthy food. Which unfortunately is not the case today. Poorer people tend to have more weight problems because fatty foods tend to be cheaper. e.g Mc Donalds, Burger King etc

  248. January 27, 2010 at 19:49

    heck ya, i want to pay for half a seat! and half the insurance too!

  249. 305 Breanne in Portland
    January 27, 2010 at 19:49

    Yes, there are studies showing overweight people live longer. Example here: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20090625/study-overweight-people-live-longer

    Overweight, not obese. It’s an important distinction.

  250. 306 Lori in Hoosier Land
    January 27, 2010 at 19:51

    Could Marsha speak a little on how she arrived at her current weight? It might be helpful if she mentions what she weighs currently. I have many friends that share her opinions.

  251. 307 Keith
    January 27, 2010 at 19:51

    Just like cigarettes we increased the price to try and deter people from smoking.
    Does it cut down the number of people who smoke no it does not.
    Why not charge more for goods & services if you are a high risk case?
    Obessity is a big problem, the companies selling the junk food should be levied a fat tax.
    Make the junk food more expensive to try and deter people from eating it.

    • January 27, 2010 at 19:55

      it does reduce the number of persons who start smoking and this is very important. prevention of tobacco dependence and obesity are both far better than the treatment of either..

  252. 309 Lacey (California)
    January 27, 2010 at 19:52

    The average weight in the United States and many other countries is going up year by year. As adults, we have a choice on what we eat, but as children who cannot choose what we are fed. Often-times unhealthy food is less expensive and more convenient, making it a common choice for busy parents and those in the lower socio-economic brackets. The United States subsidizes the production of unhealthy foods. I am making an attempt to fight off years of eating habits (begun by my parents) that have led to my current weight. It is difficult to fight off the urge to eat the foods I grew up eating when I was in a lower SES. I think that there needs to be a change in policy, taxes, and food regulation, because obesity is not %100 a personal choice.

  253. 310 Fred in Portland Oregon
    January 27, 2010 at 19:53

    I’d say let the airlines charge what they want.

    Boycott the ones that you don’t like.

    The oil companies learn this lesson two years ago and dropped the price of gas.

  254. 311 Louis
    January 27, 2010 at 19:53

    The American popstar died because of her overweight plane. I’d rather not take that chance.

  255. 313 Mark
    January 27, 2010 at 19:53

    A caller to your programme just said ‘obesity is a disease’. I would counter that with the statement by Ricky Gervias when asked to participate in a fundraising exercise for obese people: ‘Obesity isn’t a disease. It’s greed’.

  256. 314 AWLinNC
    January 27, 2010 at 19:53

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S. – The Air France plan does not go nearly far enough. All air travel should be sold by the pound. After all, that’s how they ship cargo, right? Ticket prices should be sold by the pound for all routes, higher for Business class, of course. This would be less crazy than the current pricing of air tickets, which no one can figure out.

  257. 315 steve
    January 27, 2010 at 19:55

    At work, we have daily uses fridges and freezers, so you’re not supposed to store food in there, overnight. I see in the freezer, multiple GALLONS of ice cream. The people who eat it at the overweight people here at work. Coincidence?

  258. January 27, 2010 at 19:55

    The airlines should charge a set price per pound of passenger weight. The cost of the flight is fairly distributed in this way. There could be fat people seats, large people seats in the wing seating areas. Why should a four year old pay the same fare as some fat person?

  259. 317 Francisco in Spain
    January 27, 2010 at 19:56

    135 kilos! Wow! Im sure this woman has some kind of health problem with that weight

  260. 318 steve
    January 27, 2010 at 19:58

    Saying obesity is a disease is like saying smoking is a disease, except for the few with glandular problems. The label “disease” is used so people feel like victims, and discourages them from doing anything about it to remedy the situation.

  261. 319 Ryan T
    January 27, 2010 at 19:58

    I have a couple of overweight friends, so I don’t hate fat people. However, it bothers me when people selectively pick medical studies to avoid addressing their obesity. A certain amount of “reserve fat” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the preponderance of evidence seems to suggest that obese people put more burden on the medical system in the long run. And in many cases they’re wasting resources, when growing populations combined with high consumption are increasingly problematic. If they’re taking up two seats on airplanes and significantly increasing other costs to society, then they should pay more, as smokers should.

  262. 320 Monika
    January 27, 2010 at 19:58

    Ask Justin what other solutions are avaliable to encourage people to loose weight besides taxing food–have they found out other ideas from encouraging smoking cessation

  263. 321 Steve/Oregon
    January 27, 2010 at 20:01

    I like the idea of charging passengers based on weight because the the fattys can’t claim to be discriminated against. If you take up more than one seat you should have to pay for the additional room. if you are fat you should pay more for healthcare. if you smoke you should pay more for health care. etc etc. its called capitalism you pay for wat you use

  264. 322 Joe M
    January 27, 2010 at 20:07

    Yep paying by the pound makes sense.

    sure would add to the incentive for corporations with lots of people who fly hire short and skinny people.

    with a bit of time and evolution we might be able to shrink us humans!

    CEO’s might escape cause they have their own jets but the middle managers would evolve for sure.

    It would help large young families too.

    Small dogs and cats could be taken with you much easier, it might be good when you want a vacation and company but dont want to take the spouse.

  265. 323 Jonas Peterson
    January 27, 2010 at 20:24

    Normally, if you buy 1 1/2 or 2 of anything you get charged more. This has nothing to do with discrimination, it’s more of a practical problem. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of rubbing torsos with a obscenely overweight stranger on an overbooked trans-atlantic flight. I’d say it’s about time someone addressed the issue. Maybe some of you who are against this policy can volunteer to share 1/2 your seat with them?

  266. 324 Joe M
    January 27, 2010 at 20:24

    if you read the contents of food boxes at stores you will see lots of starch and super sugar…….High Fructose Corn syrup and other corn sugars…..

    if you graph/plot the increase in weight with the increased use of these sugars and starches in the foods in the boxes you will find them on the same slope.

    people process food differently and have different hormonal reactions to sugar and fat levels in the blood and digestive system, as different as the different personalities we have. some people put on weight easily some don’t.

    people genetically disposed to put on weight likely have a place in our evolutionary history…..maybe during very lean times or during ice ages….

    the food industry – to provide us with cheap and tasty food – has increased the amount of carbohydrates we get in the boxes and cans we buy…….some peoples bodies don’t put on weight from it but some do and the increase has really taken place since the 80’s here in the U.S.

    maybe we should plot this for other countries too.

  267. 325 octavio
    January 27, 2010 at 20:33

    Business is business if you are going to be charged a certain amount it should be equal to all passengers. I feel like I am being discriminated against by being charged the same amount as someone twice my weight. It takes alot more petrol flying 400 pounds than flying 200 pounds ( including luggage) but yet we all pay the same? it is not fare.

    Lake Tahoe

  268. 326 rick rodriguez
    January 27, 2010 at 20:38

    The airlines have one goal in mind, profit. Any excuse to get people to pay more will be utilized, yesterday it was extra luggage, today it’s weight. Eventually we will all be charged up in one way or another. Airlines will make the category of normal passengers so small that everyone will fall outside their definition. Packing each plane with many more but much smaller seats until the vast majority of people will have to buy two or three seats. Eventually passengers weighing under 100 pounds, without luggage and willing to stand during the duration of the flight will be the only people paying the advertised flight.

    Or we should we believe that airlines have our needs in mind when designing cabins or structuring fees.

    Regarding related discussion:
    I don’t think people should be charged more for insurance. But discounts given to those that are healthy, don’t smoke and exercise frequently.

    Healthy food should be subsidized in order to increase it’s accessibility rather than taxing unhealthy food. Poor people acquire cheapest solution that stops hunger.

    Alcohol and tobacco should be heavily taxed.

    East Stroudsburg, PA USA

  269. 327 Sharai
    January 27, 2010 at 22:18

    First thing, the airlines should be required to provide seating that is adequate for an average sized person to be comfortable, including enough leg room. From the time I first flew, I believe that seating area has gotten smaller, maybe as much as 50% smaller. In the meantime, people have been getting larger. Something has to give. I think it’s only fair that airlines take that first step of making seats designed for real people to be comfortable in. Then see how much of a problem there still is, and move on accordingly.

  270. 328 John
    January 27, 2010 at 22:52

    It seems to me that there is a lot of discrimination being cultivated here because people do not apparently “like” larger people.. The issue is that airliners are not built for the comfort of passengers, regardless of passenfer size. Airliners are built to maximise profit. Sardines fit better in sardine tins! If and when the airline industry decides that going from A to B should involve comfort for the passenger, things will improve. As the world economy myths encourage extra charges for oversize persons, it is too easy to forget that people should be treated with respect and with equality. Sadly many of the commentators on this site have forgotten that fundamental obligation of being human. If one is to travel in more comfort, perhaps we should start by making sure that all pasengers have no carry-on baggage at all (except for medical requirements). Airlines and other services shoujld not punish people for being tall or large…discrimination is still discrimination no matter how it is presented. Why should that be considered acceptable on airlines when the rest of the world forbids it?

  271. 329 Robyn Lexington, KY USA
    January 27, 2010 at 22:53

    My My My we all seem to be in the judging business. It would be one thing to confine your conversation to the logic of mass and space, but many people have taken the comments about fat people to a new low. I didn’t know the world had so many perfect people.

  272. 330 John in Ohio
    January 27, 2010 at 23:39

    I listened today to arguments that health care for obese people is too expensive and that they should be taxed as encouragement to lose weight and live longer.

    WHAT ARE WE THINKING? We can barely support old people now. Medicare is strained to its limits, or will be soon if people live much longer.

    The cost of medical care for people in their 80s and 90s is astronomical compared to the cost of treating someone who is obese.

    I say let me have 70 happy years with good food than severely limit myself so I can live long enough to be incontinent, unable to feed myself, unable to remember my own or my children’s names, etc. The list goes on and on. How many people are healthy enough to enjoy life in their mid 80s and on?

    Another point:

    To all of you who are so quick to discriminate: What’s next? Will the airlines or the government attack you or your lifestyle? Should we tax African Americans since they are more likely to have high blood pressure, women since they can get breast cancer and it’s almost sure that I cannot? What’s next?

  273. 331 jens
    January 28, 2010 at 00:00

    eating habbits are in large the consequence of upbringing and education. it still cracks me up when i hear americans say they baked their cookies. by baking cookies they mean open a can and put them on a cookie sheet. same for cooking. reaheating a slice of pizza or TV dinner is not cooking. the problem is that a large percentage of food is highly processed. when i go shooping i never venture into the center ails of the store since all the fresh veggies, fruit, meat, fish, dairy products are on the periphery. plus i am only getting organic unprocessed meats and all my fish is wild caught. it costs more but 6 oz is all you need anyway, the rest should be veggies and complex carbs.

    anyway i am still about 260 pounds, because I work out i have a larger muscle mass, but i am still considered way overweight according to the BMI. i am by no means a body builder type at all, but at 6’8″ and proportinal build the weight comes with the frame and packaging. should i pay more? as i said above i am already paying more for clothing since i cannot get stuff of the shelves and have cloths tailored. i have problems finding suits since my jacket size for my shoulders is a US 50 which comes with 44 size pants, that look like tents on me. XXL shirts fit the shoulders but I could house a family in the excess material around the waist.

    try finding a car that fits…..do i need to pay more for my hotel room, since i use more of the bed and the springs……

  274. 332 Michael
    January 28, 2010 at 00:22

    I completely agree with the ruling. When I’m a normal 79Kg and got charged an arm and a leg for having 5Kg extra in luggage I don’t see why someone who weighs in over 150Kg should basically get free baggage. In essence the rest of the flight is paying for their fat.

  275. 333 Cynthia L.
    January 28, 2010 at 01:47

    I think when you purchase a seat on a flight, you are actually purchasing a certain space. If you need more space, buy more.

  276. January 28, 2010 at 02:58

    UPS (United Parcel Service) uses a combination of weight and dimensions to determine the cost of shipping a package. If a package is huge but light it will probably be weighed by its dimensions because it takes room which is limited and means less money per trip. If it weighs a significant amount but is small it is charged by weight because it takes more fuel to get to the destination. There is no reason why this can’t be applied to passengers. They should categorize passengers into different tiers based on the dimensions they require and determine how many of what tiers the average flight would require. People requiring more space both width and length should be given the proper seat to enjoy at least a moderately comfortable flight. The required dimensions should also be based as the distance between the furthest points on either side (i.e. shoulder to shoulder). Just because their waist fits between the arm rests doesn’t mean they fit in the seat and most people’s shoulders are wider than their waist. As a person of moderate height (6’2″) and broad shoulders, I usually take the full seat at movie theaters with my shoulders so when you throw in someone that flows over into mine, I have to lean to the other side and infringe on someone else’s space. It’s not discrimination to require someone to pay for the resources they utilize. The same goes for utilities, food, drinks, etc. When I go to a bar it takes me more to become intoxicated than some; this means I pay more for one night of intoxication.

  277. 335 steve kadar
    January 28, 2010 at 05:31

    Perhaps the problem is that we that are overweight are not too big….perhaps the problem is the seats are too small for almost anybody to be comfortable?

  278. 336 T M
    January 28, 2010 at 10:15

    On the one hand, everyone who has travelled next to a seriously obese person on a plane probably remembers their bent spine and visions of burning to death while their travelling companion is stuck in the corridor in an emergency.
    (Which is probably the main reason why the idea has so much vocal popular support.)

    On the other hand, airline seats have progressively gotten narrower over the past 15 years, a little bit at a time, and it is clear that airlines are trying to squeeze as many people in the plane as possible.

    If this proposal becomes wide-spread, sooner or later the seats will get narrow enough that most of the population will be too wide …

    There would need to be very clear guidelines, with only extreme outliers in body size falling outside the system – and these people as a first choice re-seated to empty double seats (window, not aisle) or re-booked if these are not available.

  279. 337 David P
    January 28, 2010 at 11:47

    I really don’t have a problem with this, more fabric is used in an XXL product than a XS product. We pay for our baggage on flights by weight. more weight equals more fuel and more emissions . Why not an XXL seat for an XXL price? Discrimination is there for those who want to see it, and transfats, fructose and subsidised maize (modified starch) has much to answer for. Ultimately our bodies are our vessels for life, and it is our responsibility to maintain them in good working order ~or they will remind us (sometimes in a catastrophic way) that the way we are taking care of our vessel is not sustainable. A prompt ~ similar to a smoking ban for a smoker can be a life saving hint – disguised as frustration……

  280. 338 SUPERSIZE ME
    January 28, 2010 at 12:16

    Hey…..we can have turnstiles at airports like for “hand luggage” ……If you can’t squeeze through you can’t get on… they could be introduced everywhere…. trains shops burger bars, yeah definitely burger bars theatres. maybe then i’ll be able to relax in my seat and have some breathing space instead of being wedged in between farting sweating blimps who really should be considering what they are doing to a once perfectly good athletic vessel.

    Sugar has never been so freely abundant in human history ~ ditto Diabetes…..

    Modified Maize Starch is in most ketchup/mayonnaise products ~ and the body cannot process it as it is a non-natural creation and can’t be broken down…so it becomes fat.

    Fructose is a modified lard product and also has difficulty being processed by the body.

    Most Doctors do not study nutrition, and prefer to subscribe medication than consult a nutritionist. medications address symptoms NOT the CAUSE…..

    • January 28, 2010 at 20:34

      Excuse me fructose is a modified lard product? Lard is fat, pure and simple. Fructose comes from fruit and it is a simple sugar manufactured, naturally, in your body. That is what spikes after eating. It is not made from lard. if you are going to put info out there, tell the truth. It is also the compnent of honey. It is good for you unless you over eat it when found in other products. LARD!!
      This is just like a radio host telling his viewers cane sugar is full of escrement. That is what causes the brown color, instead of the fact it is molasses. Cane sugar is the purest food on the planet. The abuse of it is the danger. Yet, i have no intentions of using artificial sweeteners. Even my body rebels against it. Give it to me and i don’t know before hand, it triggers my gag reflex. Just cannot use.
      As for not breaking down of fructose, only in people without the enzyme to break it down is there a problem. Look it up. Hereditary Fructose Intolerance.

  281. 340 moe
    January 28, 2010 at 12:34

    NOOOO!!!!….equally if my son and I can fit in one seat..should i then pay for two seats or one seat???the air lines are in business of travel and need to adopt to all shapes and size of its travelling customers. no extra pay……

    • 341 TomK in Mpls
      January 28, 2010 at 18:10

      Can you safely hold our son in the event of a crash? Will the current seat and belt system hold anyone, no matter how fit, that weighs over 300 lbs? Would you like to have one sitting behind you? Can someone with a 65 inch diameter fight through an emergency exit?

      Leave emotion out of this, at least for now, and first deal with the reality of physics.

  282. January 28, 2010 at 13:15

    When my children reach a certain age they pay more for public transport travel and air fares. If I take my car on a cross channel ferry I pay by car size. If I choose to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes I pay a hefty tax.
    Overweight people use up more of the world’s resources and cost health services much more for their treatment. If overweight people choose to ignore their health and engage in over consumption in an age where children around the world starve to death at the rate of one a second then I say an obesity tax should and must be implemented.
    Just as the increasing price of cigarettes has more effect on smokers giving up perhaps this tax would help to bring the greedy obese back into line!

  283. 343 gurt
    January 28, 2010 at 13:46

    My BMI is within the normal range.
    I workout very hard, pay for a gym, pay for a better quality of food. I hardly ever eat fast food, and limit my sugar intake.
    All of this requires an effort on my behalf. And a bit of money.

    So in a way I pay to fit in a regular seat.

    At the same time I understand perfectly that there are people with diseases that make them gain weight, there is no reason they could be exempt from an “obesity charge” if they have proof that theirs is a medical condition. Just like anyone with a disability can get help at an airport.

    I really don’t think it is fair at all that I shouldn’t get my whole seat that I paid for.

  284. 344 shirley
    January 28, 2010 at 15:42

    Where do you draw the line and how do you determine who is fat and who is not, I carry abit more weight than I should but I fit perfectly well into to an aircraft seat with out annoying the person at the side of me. What are they planning on doing weighing passengers along with there luggage and then sending them to the plane with a label on stating there weight. If the airlines want to make their passengers happier then give them more leg room, at 5foot 3inches I find the leg room very restricting

  285. 345 T Male
    January 28, 2010 at 16:16

    No, no, no. The Govt get all the benefits of a taxation system that includes production, storage and sales of unhealthy foods along with the money it gets from these foods being advertised. As people get bigger they have to buy bigger clothes, bigger beds and chairs and cars etc. bigger sizes cost more money. So the Govt makes money on all of this and now all of a sudden we’re being taxed on seating due to having bigger bottoms!!!!!

    Smoking advertising was outlawed but smokers still pay tax on their ciggies and the Govt have hawk-eyed customs officers looking to stop the illegal imports of any goods by which the Govt can not benefit. ie it’s illegal cos it’s not taxed by them.

    If the junk food industries didn’t contribute to Govt coffers we wouldn’t have this problem in the first place.

    • January 28, 2010 at 20:42

      What did you do start with a baby bed. I have always had a queen to king size. I like the room. It made sleeping more comfortable for my husband me. Now, we are getting silly. about the only thing that fits would be larger clothes. A lot of big people sqeeze themselves into small cars to save money(gas, maintenence, etc.), with no care for their girth. in America, short or smaller people, usually men, will get the largest vehicle available. It must be the ‘size’ thing, again. it is nothing to see a 6’+ man get out of a compact to mid-sized car, while a 5’5″ one will get out of a conversion van or hummer.

  286. January 29, 2010 at 11:40

    its only in the weights,scales and measures industry that a fee should be according to ones weight or size….here,its still 2 shillings for anyone who weighs himself on these scales at the markets which produce some noise to alert YOU.

    AKA daudee mwanzi
    TV(tambua village/jebrock),HAMISI,VIHIGA,KENYA.

  287. 348 gurt
    January 29, 2010 at 13:17

    The government also gets taxes from healthy foods, sneakers, gym memberships and so forth.

    Why shouldn’t I get my whole seat when I fly? That is discriminating against small people. At 5 foot 5 inches I have no problem fitting in the smallest seats, as long as the person next to me is fairly average.
    However I often PAY EXTRA for the extra leg room available on certain airlines because it is more comfortable.

  288. 349 Raybo
    January 29, 2010 at 15:36

    Gurt, you are absolutely correct. This is the point, not a debate about diet, fat people generally and the like!

  289. 350 steve
    January 29, 2010 at 17:57

    Check out how canada handles it, the obese have a right to a FREE second seat.


  290. 351 gurt
    January 29, 2010 at 19:30

    Just because the seat is free to the person using it ,does not mean that the seat is FREE to consumers.
    Either it is subsidized by the government / tax payers, or by all the fellow travelers who pay a higher fare (including tall people who don’t get extra legroom for free), or by the airline through loss of payment of that seat.

    I find it pretty strange that people are calling the airlines greedy, when so many people are consuming far over their needed caloric need every day (see above comment quoting Ricky Gervais).
    That is just as greedy, if that argument is going to be thrown in there.

    Please note, before you start saying that I am being judgmental, that I have to work very hard to keep a healthy BMI.
    I gain weight by looking in the general direction of a cookie.
    So why do I keep at it? Because there are quite a few people in my family who are overweight, and I see how limiting the weight is. Walking, walking up steps, carrying things, stamina and so forth.

  291. 352 Roland
    February 1, 2010 at 13:59

    Of course FAT people should pay more – they take up more space. On the other hand if I am getting squashed out of by seat by a FAT person I should get a discount. I pay for a full seat not a shared seat. If their FAT body encroaches in to my space they should pay. Sounds logical to me. If my seat is next to a FAT person I should be offered an alternative seat, a discount, or some other incentive to make up for sharing my space with a FAT person.

  292. 353 Stephanie
    February 2, 2010 at 04:50

    Yes, if someone cannot fit on one seat, they obviously need to pay for two. That’s not discrimination. I don’t get to pay half either when squeezed in next to someone huge.

    Maybe it’s an idea to allow everyone to bring 100kg on board. These may then be distributed as needed. If you weigh more, you can bring less luggage. Given that weight on board to features into fuel costs this strikes me as rather fair.

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