April 27, 2009

United Airlines Starts a Fat Tax

Another airline is making plus-size passengers pay extra if they take up more than one seat.

556524_printUnited Airlines (UAUA) on Apr. 15 announced it will require passengers who do not fit within one seat to buy another when no alternative can be arranged.

If United Airlines gets away with this, odds are other big carriers will try it as well. Could be interesting.

I can see where people think that this is unfair, but isn’t it also unfair for someone who takes up two seats to only pay for one? If I bring my kid and he wants a seat, I have to pay for it. Should fat people — and that’s politically incorrect but that’s what we’re talking about so let’s just say it — get special treatment because they’re fat?

As for the “illness” or “disorder” argument, I don’t get an extra seat because I’m tall. And when I fly coach, I love having the seat next to me empty so I don’t land with leg cramps. But if I wanted an extra seat, I’d have to pay for it. I imagine the situation would be the same for someone with a broken leg.

And what about pregnant women? Should they get an extra seat for free?

So maybe I don’t see both sides of this issue. I want to be sympathetic. But I also don’t want to have some stranger’s butt cheek in my lap for three hours.

United Airlines Weighs In on ‘Seat Infringement’ – BusinessWeek

Image: SXC


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