Man Forced To Stand For Over 7 Hours On Flight From Anchrage

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A man flying on US Airways flight 901 was forced to stand for over 7 hours. The flight from Anchorage to Philadelphia did not have a seat for him to sit in.

The reason was that a morbidly obese man was sat next to him and was taking up half his seat. You can read the full article here.

Apparently US Airways offered him a $200 voucher for his trouble. I think that is a little off the mark in terms of compensation, don’t you?

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. I expect that many frequent flyers have been imposed upon by a neighbor that was too big for their seat. Addressing this issue through clear polcies is a hot potato no agency or airlines has been willing to step up to. Who wants to be labeled descriminatory in the press? Libertarians will jump all over the Feds if they say something. Consumer groups will barate airline cold hearted insensitivities. On the other side, larger passengers should really buy two seats if they don’t fit in one. Unless their is a mechanism to do so I don’t imagine that the typical larger flyer wants to call up and make a special request “hey I am just too big for your seats can I have two”. Right now flyers are getting imposed upon to the discomfort of all involved.

  2. Aren’t they supposed to kick off the Person of Size if he doesn’t fit in his seat? And wouldn’t it be unsafe (and therefore somehow illegal) to stand in the aisle the whole time? Wasn’t there even a jumpseat available?

    There are lots of missing pieces here.

  3. The passenger was not allowed to sit in the jump seat, he inquired about it. He apparently didn’t accept the $200 and is asking for safety procedures to be put in place. Good for him.

  4. An article on has US Airways giving the guy a response that equates to little more than flipping him the bird. They basically take no responsibility for this situation and say that it was the passenger’s choice to stand. This kind of garbage response from US Airways is absolutely ridiculous an unprofessional. US Scareways has managed to live up to the abysmally low expectations most frequent fliers set for them.

  5. The worst part is he is reported to have flown US Airways for over 50 years and is a loyalty member. He paid over $800 for standing room an all they could offer is $200, no thanks.

  6. I don’t know how they were allowed to take off with the guy standing, something is missing here. Really it was the guy’s choice to stand; I’m not sure how “it’s a safety issue because I couldn’t use my seatbelt” works because he could at a minimum have asked the obese guy to stand up while he fastened his seatbelt.

    We’ve all been in a seat where the other person’s arms hang over the arm rests, or a few folds are hanging over, etc. I don’t know really how much space he lost but probably still could have sat down.

    The safety thing of a guy standing an entire flight is a concern, but should the airline then regulate anyone whose arms or elbows extend over the armrests? Should the fat guy be forced to buy two seats (I think this is probably the best policy)? Or do regular customers take the risk of sitting next to someone who takes up more space when they buy the ticket?

  7. I’m not sure it was his choice to stand, from the article, the other passenger said “I am your worst nightmare” and was taking up over half his seat.

    I know I’ve dreaded seeing an overweight person walk down the isle towards my coach seat, wondering if they were going to sit next to me and encroach on my space.

    I think the best policy is to enforce having people sit within the seat dimensions, if they don’t have them purchase “space” to accommodate themselves on the journey. But then again, someone has to enforce this policy and is susceptible to negative perceptions resulting from enforcing the policy.

  8. Full refund of the original ticket plus 400 in travel credit for the trouble. This case is similar to denied boarding and treated as such.

    Doesn’t making a passenger stand for the duration of the flight violates some kind of FAA rule? US have a serious liability to the passenger if the flight hit turbulance and/or atypical takeoff/landing…

    Passenger should contact a lawyer if US doesn’t resolve this and FAST!

  9. If I were him I’d not consider compensation. This is an opportunity to drive some clear policy development on this ignored issue.

  10. Well, it actually looks like there are quiet policies in place. The Canadian Supreme Court in 2008 ruled that Large folks are entitled to a second seat from the airline. United and other airlines have a different point of view (link on that below).

    So Dear Ms Manners (if you are reading) if a large, friendly, but unapologetic neighbor is heavily spilling into my seat how should politely I resolve the situation?

  11. Are you freaking serious??? They should have charged that fat ass double and get this guy a different flight. This happened to me a few years ago but demanded a different flight and compensation.

  12. I’ve had obese people try to lift the arm rest in the seat next to me and I simply won’t let them. If they can’t fit into their allotted space, it’s not my problem. If they spill over the arm rest, I can deal, but no way would I give up half my seat or stand for 7 hours. If he’s been flying US Airways for 50 years he’s got to have their number by now. This guy kind of reminds me of the lawyer who sued because he wanted to pay for earbuds with a cash and was denied.

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