United To Charge Heavier Passengers Twice To Fly
Airline Says Overweight Travelers Will Need To Buy Extra Seats Or Be Denied Entry To Planes
CHICAGO (CBS) -
If “beefy” or “curvy” describes you, here is a word of warning: United Airlines will begin aggressively enforcing a new policy that allows it to charge heavier passengers twice to fly.
United will now implement new policies for passengers they deem to be overweight.
Under the rules outlined by United, passengers who “are unable to fit into a single seat in the ticketed cabin; are unable to properly buckle the seatbelt using a single seatbelt extender; and/or are unable to put the seat’s armrests down when seated” will be denied boarding unless they purchase an extra seat.
If no empty seat exists, the passenger will be forced to take a later flight.
“The seat purchase or upgrade must be completed for each leg of the itinerary,” the United policy states. ”If a customer meeting any of the above-listed criteria decides not to upgrade or purchase a ticket for an additional seat, he or she will not be permitted to board the flight.”
How do you feel about this??
The other day when I was traveling, I had to sit next to a guy that was let's just say, he was on the "heavy" side. Not simply overweight. He was at least 300lbs and for the entire flight, he had to try to clasp his hands together over his stomach so that they wouldn't come over the armrest into my seating area. As much as I felt for myself, I felt badly for this gentleman in his predicament because his fingers were turning pink because he could barely hold onto his other hand:(
Now while I totally understand the reasoning behind United's policy, I guess the whole question of discrimination comes into play and exactly just what is fair. Yes, I guess if you go strictly according to the rules, if you're "spilling over" into someone else's seat and for all intents and purposes, taking up two seats, then I guess perhaps you should be charged for two seats. Not to mention, making the other passenger uncomfortable. On the other hand, it seems a little calloused and heartless but I guess in this economy and in the world of business, heart and compassion have nothing to do with anything!
All I can say is, personally I hope they put in place a similar program for smelly people too because that negatively impacts fellow fliers as well. Just imagine the pre-flight check!