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Passenger charges obese man over $200 for bulging into his space

March 4, 2019 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

An extraordinary account of a flight has stirred up a social media hornets’ nest, with an airline passenger claiming to have demanded money directly from a portly man in an adjoining seat, after complaining that the man was encroaching on his space. The obese man paid up.

The writer used the social media platform Reddit to relate how he had been waiting to take off on a five-hour flight across the US and had specifically chosen an aisle seat in a row of two, so no middle seat.

“Well, a very obese man boards and I can tell instantly he is going to have a tough time fitting in any of the seats,” the writer recorded on Reddit.

“I assume maybe he bought two [seats] hence why he’s even attempting to board. I’m mentally crossing my fingers he’s not next to me, but sure enough he ends up pointing to the window seat next to me to let him in.

“I get up and let him in politely, wanting to at least give him a chance. Well, he sits down and is easily seeping into about 1/3 of my seat. I sit down and am pressed up against him, making me uncomfortable. After a minute, I decided to be upfront and tell him:

“‘Sir, I’m sorry but this situation is not working for me, you’re taking up quite a bit of my seat.’”

The writer said he then asked a flight attendant what could be done about the situation and she told the man that he might need to buy an extra seat.

There was a problem however – the flight was full.

The writer said the large man next to him was embarrassed and an awkward silence had ensued.

“The flight attendant tells him that unless someone on the flight agrees to let him take up part of their seat, he’ll need to book another flight. The guy seems really flustered by this ultimatum, and here’s where I made my offer.

“I told the guy, ‘Look, I’ll put up with this if you give me $150 – that’s half the cost of this flight and that would compensate me enough for the circumstances.’ [USD 150 is worth about AUD 212.]

Exceeding the width of a seat. An extreme example on the ground

 

“He instantly agrees, pulls out cash and pays me. He even told me he appreciated it.

“Well the people sitting behind me (who keep in mind didn’t volunteer to sit by him) were making under their breath comments about me being an a***ole for doing that. I just ignored them and put the cash in my wallet.

“From my perspective, I gave the guy a valid option to stay on the flight and I was compensated for literally having only 75% of my seat max (let alone the feeling of a person’s body pressed against you involuntarily). A win-win. He wasn’t angry at all, if anything he seemed quite relieved we could work it out privately.”

The writer finished up by asking what his fellow Reddit users (“Redditors”) thought of the situation.

His invitation produced a deluge of comments, for or against, often passionate and sometimes furious – until the Reddit moderators locked the thread. Some readers accused the writer of blackmailing his seatmate for being fat, pointing out the money hadn’t given the writer any more space.

Others took the opposite view, saying there are too many overweight flyers and blaming airlines for not regulating the situation. An outbreak of “fat shaming” erupted, with other readers deploring that.

If you want to read their views, the Reddit link is here.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    why is it ‘fat shaming ‘ when someone is large wrestlers make a living by having huge bulk , that’s not fat shaming . The guy obviously knew he had a seating problem an was happy to pay up

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