The Growing Price Of Obesity: Buy Two Seats To Fly Air France

 This picture, on the aviation news website Flightglobal, reignited debate about obese passengers on planes.  Photo: FLIGHTGLOBAL  Air France now requires that obese passengers must purchase two seats to fly on its airplanes. I once flew from Charlotte to New York with half of my upper body covered by just such a passenger, who couldn’t have been nicer and more apologetic, but I was still pretty upset by the experience, so personally I hope other airlines take note (United does have a similar policy). From the Telegraph:

From next month seriously overweight flyers will be asked to pay for two seats, or not be allowed on board for “safety reasons”, the airline announced yesterday.

“People who arrive at the check-in desk and are deemed too large to fit into a single seat will be asked to pay for and use a second seat,” said Monique Matze, an Air France spokesman.

“They will be charged 75 per cent of the cost of the second seat, which is the full price excluding tax and surcharges, on top of the full price for the first.

“The decision has been made for safety reasons. We have to make sure that the backrest can move freely up and down and that all passengers are securely fastened with a seatbelt.”

She added: “People who cannot fit into a single seat will then be fastened by slotting the belt tip of one seat into the plug of the next, stretching over both seats.

“However the charge will only apply on flights that are full booked. They will get their money back on flights where spaces are available.”

Two years ago Air France was ordered to pay £5,000 in damages to a 27-stone passenger who had his stomach measured at an airport check-in desk before being told to buy two seats…

[continues in the Telegraph]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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5 Comments on "The Growing Price Of Obesity: Buy Two Seats To Fly Air France"

  1. tonyviner | Jan 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm |

    Why have we not seen any kind of public programs to help these people, who I truly think would change if they just knew how. These people are sick, bottom line. Perhaps it is the same reason that we don't have publicly funded drug rehabilitation centers: there is too much money to be made off of these people, be it by the medical industry or the fast food industry, the people who helped this to happen in the first place. I know that there are likely a lot more factors that go into this but the point is that it is ridiculous. Instead we will continue to point and laugh, “Look at the fat man taking up two seats.” or “What? No, why should I help, it's not my fault he decided to live his life like that.” It is a disease, plain and simple, like drug addiction or alcoholism, and these companies like Pepsi Co. (Taco Bell, KFC) and whoever the fuck makes Hot Pockets are the dealers. Taco Bell actually tells you that you need a fourth meal every day, and they cannot even come up with a name for it so they just call it Fourthmeal, what the fuck is that? Now they have been advertising the “Drive-Thru Diet”. Fuck You.

    • Right on! Mitch Hedberg used to joke that alcoholism was the only disease you could get yelled at for having. I think eating disorders are on that list as well, but only the eating disorders that make you obese… people have come around and seem to have compassion for the other end of the eating disorder spectrum.

  2. Recent news in the UK reports that people are trying to get fatter so they can qualify for surgery! These people need educating.

  3. Diseased or not, pay for what you use.

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