My friend Ted and I were talking today on our way to the golf course about the problem of obesity in America, which led to a conversation about airplane travel and overweight people, which led to my facebook post in which I stated “If they charge extra for overweight baggage, why don’t they charge extra for overweight people?,” which got a whole lot of comments, which now leads to this blog post.
I have decided that the airlines need to devise a new system for how they charge for baggage, which needs to include the weight of the passenger. Their theory is they can charge for baggage based on weight and my theory is they need to devise a total weight formula. For example, I weigh about 170 pounds…OK, 175…fine…180. My last flight to Florida, my 2 bags weighed a total of about 85 pounds, making my total weight 265 pounds. Now, the guy on the aisle next to me (who’s stomach came down below his schmeckel…really, it did) very easily weighed over 300 pounds, probably closer to 350. Shouldn’t he be charged an excess baggage fee? Seriously, he had a whole lot of excess baggage. Make this guy step on a scale – with his baggage – when checking in for the flight or when he goes through security. If the airlines contend that excess weight costs them more to fly, shouldn’t the weight of the passenger be taken into consideration as well?
Based on the comments my recent facebook post received, many of you also share my opinion that people whose bodies spread over into your space should be forced to pay for more for that space. As my friend Jennifer called it, a “width fee.” If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of sitting next to a person whose arms, legs and other body parts, extend into your seat and onto your body, all I can say is “get the hell out my space!” They don’t allow smoking on planes anymore because of the discomfort and health risks to the other passengers. Well, same thing here. More discomfort than health, unless of course the plane goes down and you have to navigate your way over some 350 blob of humanity who is now stuck in his seat.
The airlines offer seat belt extenders. Guess what? If you need one of these things than you need more than just an extension, you need another seat or maybe one in first class. It is simply not fair to the passengers sitting next to you to put them through this for even a few moments, let alone an airline flight of any duration.
So, to all you thin (or less than fat) people out there, stand up for your rights. The next time some person’s leg or arm invades your airplane seat space, hit them over the head with a piece of oversized carry on luggage.