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Fat Guy In A Little Seat

(binderdonedat, Flickr)

It was just about two years ago that filmmaker Kevin Smith threw a fit on Twitter after being declared too fat to fly. He was mad because Southwest felt like his girth required him to purchase two airline seat tickets. And a lot of people felt that it was unfair that airlines require the obese to purchase two seats.

Those people probably never had to sit next to a large person on a flight.

Arthur Berkowitz recently took a flight from Anchorage (yeah that’s in Sarah Palin’s Alaska) all the way to Philadelphia.  The seat he was booked in was next to a 400 lb. passenger, who needed the armrest put up just to fit halfway in his seat. The other half spilled in to Berkowitz’s seat.

That meant that Berkowitz had to stand for the entire 7 hour flight. Not only is that extremely uncomfortable, but against FAA guidelines. You might know that everyone on the flight must be buckled in during take off and landing (and whenever the pilot flips that light on, which I think they do on a whim, usually when I have to pee).

Flight attendants apologized, but wouldn’t give up their seats. And the rest of the flight was booked solid. So he was forced to occupy the aisle and galley areas till they reached the destination.

Berkowitz filed a complaint with a consumer advocate, but was only able to get a $200 flight voucher. That was only a portion of the ticket priced he paid for a seat he could not sit in. The airline said they had already done enough with the voucher.


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