Monday, July 13, 2009

Airplane Seating for Obese passengers

Overweight passengers: Should overweight passengers be charged for two seats when flying in planes?

Should overweight passengers be expected to pay double the price for being double the weight? The airline industry thinks that reintroducing the two-seat policy will resolve customer complaints. A large number of customers have repeatedly complained about being smothered by their obese neighbor. Considering that more than one-third of the American population is obese, the airline industry must be careful in how they approach the issue. There are so many questions regarding obesity and how it relates to airline seating. Does it make any sense to charge overweight passengers for two seats? Would instructing an obese passenger to pay for two seats on a plane represent discrimination? Many people assume that laws protect obese people from discrimination.

Essentially, there is no legislation that prevents overweight people from discrimination. Society blames obese people for overeating, but ignore the fact that medical problems can also be risk factors. With the obesity problem spiraling out of control, soon there will be only one passenger per row. This research paper will determine whether overweight passengers should pay for two seats, furthermore, it plans to take diverse sides to provide a equal balance.

The Obesity Flight Plan

The airline industry has recently made some controversial decisions involving fees. While many customers were infuriated about being charged for baggage fees, they never thought it would be possible that airlines would implement a two-seat fee for overweight passengers. With proposing the two-seat policy for overweight passengers, the airline industry is making great strides in reducing space clutter. They are also opening doors to adversity, one that will cause hostility amongst overweight passengers. In order to understand the airline policy concerning overweight passengers, society must be aware of the main problem.

According to USA Today, obesity is quickly becoming an American epidemic (1). Considering that this newspaper article regarding obesity was written six years ago, the rate of obesity has substantially increased, which is quickly becoming the leading cause of health problems in the United States. The airline industry is only looking to resolve their cabin space issue. There are two ways to analyze the two-seat fee policy. An entity may either side with the airline industry’s goal to provide more seating space or the obesity population’s constant struggle with discrimination.

Supporting the Two-Seat Fee Policy

The airline industry plans to charge overweight passengers for two seats. Due to excessive customer complaints, American Airlines is leading the charge to reform their fee policy – charging overweight passengers for two seats. While American Airlines is suggesting that safety is their main concern, other airlines are going to reintroduce the two-seat policy because they have received many customer complaints regarding restricted space due to overweight neighbors. In the United States alone, there are over 65 millions adults that are currently overweight (Hellmich, 4A). Obesity is one of the leading causes of medical problems in the United States.

From a business standpoint, many adjacent airlines must address customer concerns or face losing business. Julie Johnsson states that American Airlines is taking precautionary measures to resolve overweight complaints, which consists of charging for two seats, moving the passenger to two adjacent seats, and possibly canceling their flight (par. 1). The airline industry is not looking to discriminate against overweight people. Instead of taking on the bully role, airlines seek to provide professional and comfortable service to all customers. Overweight people are not responsible enough to take care of their health, which in result causes other responsible people to suffer on planes.

Many customers already complain about the lack of cabin space. Imagine if this space is reduced into half; the level of comfortable would be nonexistent. Essentially, airplanes have to charge overweight passengers for two seats because their business depends on it. Why should healthy passengers suffer for the mistakes of irresponsible people?

Airplanes don’t have much space, especially for people that are overweight. Thin people manage to experience spacing issues; sitting next to an overweight person that smothers your personal space is particularly uncomfortable. Charging overweight people for two-seats is the right course of action. Overweight people should be required to follow the rules, as airline policies apply to all passengers alike. How would an airline determine the weight cutoff? Since airline seating was structured to only hold a person that weighs 170 pounds, airline personnel are instructed to ask for a passenger’s weight before they enter a plane (USA Today, par. 3). Personally, one can suspect that airplane seating will continue to be a problem.

Obese passengers should know beforehand whether airline seating is sufficient enough for their needs and for that of other nearby passengers. The obesity problem is determinant to airplane seating space. As Americans continue to gain excessive weight at record rates, there will be less space on planes. Because obese people are unable to resolve their weight problem, they make it uncomfortable for others. Airlines have the right to charge overweight passenger for two seats. Any such issue that presents an immediate problem needs to be dealt with swiftly. With any impending problem such as

Opposing the Two-Seat Charge for Overweight People

Charging overweight passengers for two seats is only a temporary solution to the main problem. Johnsson suggests that airlines are reducing their cabin space to fill their planes with more passengers. continue to escalate and devour the health of Americans. How does obesity compromise two-seat policy in airplanes?

If the airline industry were a restaurant, they would immediately go out of business. It wouldn’t make any sense to pay double the price for half the service. During an economic crunch, everyone is looking for a deal.

Works Cited

Johnsson, Julie. “United Airlines to start charging obese for two seats, or bump them from packed flights.” 16 April 2009. Chicago Tribune. 25 May 2009 .

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