mobility issues

Flying and Obesity: Buying the Extra Ticket for an Airplane Seat

The HealthGal Health Guide January 15, 2010
  • We can go back and forth about whether or not you are a "happy" overweight person or not.  From my perspective - it is difficult at best to carry around significant excess weight daily and be active, notwithstanding the fact that there are various associations of heavy people who claim they are ...

4 Comments
  • Phat in My 40's
    Health Guide
    Jan. 15, 2010

    Hi,

    I believe I understand the spirit in which you are asking the questions especially to spark discussion.  However in reading this post, it is not evident that there is a full understanding of the situation other than a repeat of other reports.  But perhaps that's the best way to get a discussion going.  Wink

     

    I had to search the internet...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi,

    I believe I understand the spirit in which you are asking the questions especially to spark discussion.  However in reading this post, it is not evident that there is a full understanding of the situation other than a repeat of other reports.  But perhaps that's the best way to get a discussion going.  Wink

     

    I had to search the internet to find the photo in question before being able to use this situation as a jumping off point.  What I saw in the photo was a very large man, reportly said to sit in the middle seat with only the assistance of one seatbelt extender for the flight, who looks to be sitting on the armrest and talking on a cell phone perhaps waiting to allow for a 3rd passenger in to sit at the window.  We don't know for sure because this was not reported.

     

    It doesn't look to be a passenger who is actually sitting down in his seat.  Look at the height of the shoulders.  Anyways, any bodybuilder or linebacker would have similar girth of the shoulders just without the extra fat that this man assumedly has.  And the presumption of alotted space on an airplane; well I never assume that there will be space for my legs, especially if the passenger next to me has brought on a suitcase which doesn't fit in the overhead bin.  This was the case during recent airtravel in December.  In that situation, the other passengers luggage took up the space for both of our feet and made the flight much more exhausting and uncomfortable for this arthritic body of mine.

     

    But the question of comfort for those around us is interesting.  But is there a way to address it without fanning the flames of prejudice against folks who are different than us and who might make us uncomfortable, whether physically or emotionally.

     

    As you can see from my previous posts here, I am obese.  I am large but I still am able to sit in an airplane seat with only the regular seatbelt, in a movie theater seat (although I do like to lift the armrest and do so except for the times my boyfriend would really like the comfort of the armrest for himself, lol), or in any other regular type seating.

     

    It's hard to know where to draw the line - safety, convenience, regulation, understanding.  Just seems that the original posting of the photograph in question and the following reports at New York Post and other sites were simply sensationalist rather than investigation.  Our society thrives on sensation which is truly unfortunate.  It doesn't exactly lead to motivations toward and focus on health and wellness.

    • The HealthGal
      Health Guide
      Jan. 15, 2010

      Though I often times do post an opinion, you are correct- i merely wanted a discussion to start, based on the best facts I could get at the time.  My understanding was that this man was sitting in the aisle seat, having difficulty fitting and his girth sideways was spilling over into the aisle.  Those are the facts as I understood them.

       

      In...

      RHMLucky777

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      Though I often times do post an opinion, you are correct- i merely wanted a discussion to start, based on the best facts I could get at the time.  My understanding was that this man was sitting in the aisle seat, having difficulty fitting and his girth sideways was spilling over into the aisle.  Those are the facts as I understood them.

       

      In this blog I am merely going to watch for responses and moderate when necessary, so thank you for your comments.

    • Phat in My 40's
      Health Guide
      Jan. 15, 2010

      I was completely unawares of this story until you brought it up.  Thank you!

       

      Certainly this man is much larger than the typical American male.  But it is hard to imagine that his armpits are at the same level as the top of the headrest in the airplane seat.  I just wonder how the print reporters (ie New York Post) failed to see such a...

      RHMLucky777

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      I was completely unawares of this story until you brought it up.  Thank you!

       

      Certainly this man is much larger than the typical American male.  But it is hard to imagine that his armpits are at the same level as the top of the headrest in the airplane seat.  I just wonder how the print reporters (ie New York Post) failed to see such a logical detail.  It is 'they' who I think of as being sensationalistic - not you.

       

      I've been on a plane before where an extremely large woman was relocated to the backrow of the plane so she could "spread out."  She was not very happy AT ALL about it and eventually it took the pilot coming out to talk to her about weight distribution and safety.  It wasn't a pleasant conversation to witness.  She wanted the seat which she had paid for and thought that if her travel agent (who had seen her in person) thought that she needed two seats, then she would have been advised to purchase two seat.

       

      Also, I really hope that this does spark some discussion.  I'm new around here and think it would be great to see more community interaction. The posts of mine on the MS site which push buttons (especially when unintentional) often get the most reaction I've noticed.

       

      Thank you for giving me something to think about today.  It's good for me.  Smile

    • The HealthGal
      Health Guide
      Feb. 22, 2010

      Thanks for your in depth thoughtful comments - I think many people would agree there are indeed several aspects to this challenging situation - the recent "rant" of the director who was asked offof a Southwest Airlines plane will be addressed in a future blog in March.  And yes, where do we draw the line between comfort and how we best find that answer...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thanks for your in depth thoughtful comments - I think many people would agree there are indeed several aspects to this challenging situation - the recent "rant" of the director who was asked offof a Southwest Airlines plane will be addressed in a future blog in March.  And yes, where do we draw the line between comfort and how we best find that answer for the passenger who may not fit in his seat comfortably and encroach on the comfort of another versus when someone simply disregards the comfort of a fellow passenger with his luggage or other personal items.  It doesn't feel good to speak up as a passenger when it involves another person and a "weight issue" but clearly we do need more thoughtful consideration and dialogue so everyone's comfort is addressed - emotional and physical.