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View Poll Results: Is it fair to charge obese passengers more to fly?
Yes. Other air travelers shouldn't be uncomfortable because of their seat neighbor. 36 61.02%
No. The airlines need to change. 23 38.98%
Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 07:06 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I came across an article that mentioned obese fliers should pay a “fat tax” when flying, or two seats.

Quote:
On one hand, it's not unreasonable for airlines to charge passengers extra if they occupy more than one seat. On the other, many would argue that it should be the responsibility of airlines to adjust their standard seat size, enabling them to comfortably accommodate all passengers,

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35142829/?GT1=43001


Honestly I do agree with this, I mean why should I suffer by the person next to me taking my space. When I went on vacations this break, I had the fortune of seating next to my brothers, but on the way back I got the center seat and next to me was a big man. He was taking up my shoulder space, legs space and every other space there is, he actually needed an extension for his seat belt. I had to share 1.5 seats with my sister when we paid for 2 seats.
Another point that came around is around two-thirds of Americans are obese, is it the responsibility of the airlines to adjust their seats to that? Will adjusting all the seats in the fly make it more expensive for other travelers to travel?
Another point one of my friends made is about the safety of the other passengers. What if there was an accident and have an emergency landing and need to get out quickly, having a “big” person blocking the path could endanger and even cause the death of another passenger while waiting to evacuate the airplane.
What are your thoughts on this?


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Last edited by eunoia; February 2nd 2010 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Adding prefix.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 07:27 PM

I do agree but it could be offensive. I've been next to big people before and hated it, but it's human rights and all that stuff.
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 07:43 PM

Humans rights has more to do with race and such. This is a matter of "your poor lifestyle choice is now affecting other people."

I myself am a big dude, but I'm not obese big. I'm 6'1" and a good weight, and plane seats are cramped enough for me without having to sit next to someone who is literally pouring into my seat.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 07:46 PM

Definitely not!!!

if the airlines didn't pack the seats so close together and aim for more costs there wouldn't be the problem of that.
Airlines need to make sure that they can cater for everyone's needs. People see anorexia as an eating disorder. So why isn't obesity treated in the same way?

It comes down to the fact of the airlines providing a service.
They do for the disabled ??

Its a complicated one.




   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 07:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SubFocus View Post
People see anorexia as an eating disorder. So why isn't obesity treated in the same way?
Obesity is seen as an eating disorder, but not in the same sense as Anorexia. Anorexia is usually seen as a psychological thing, where as obesity generally boils down to poor lifestyle choices. There are medicalexceptions, but "I'm too lazy to take care of myself" does not equal a disability.


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I am so scared of what will kill me in the end, for I am not prepared.
I hope I will get the chance to be someone, to be human.





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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 07:55 PM

People pay more if their bags are heavy but not if they are heavy.
Once before I have seen a severely obese person checking in and then I check in and get charged because my bag is a little bit over the weight limit.
I think the man who checked in before me weighed more then me and my bag put together.

I don't think it is fair that they charge for bags over a limit and not people.
Planes have a weight limit of how much they can carry so they can work out fuel needed, if the plane is heavier it uses more fuel. The work out the weight of the plane by the luggage and the amount of people on the plane, they don't take the weight of people into consideration. To me that doesn't make too much sense.

I think they should pay more, unless they can produce a doctors note saying their obesity is due to a medical condition. If it is just lifestyle choices making them obese then they should pay more.

Last edited by Melody Pond; February 2nd 2010 at 08:51 PM. Reason: underlining a point that people don't seem to be noticing.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 07:58 PM

i once saw a tv documentary called luton airport they stopped this really fat man from flying it was hillarious they told him 'you cant fly your too fat'. i laughed at that, the problem is i really dont have sympathy for fat people, they are the ones you see sitting in mc doanalds with a big mac large coke and an extra fries and an mc flurry. it disguists me. and they got them selves fat so its thier fault if they are too fat. i think if they are fat and need to fly they should pay more or have seats that are bigger, some airlines have comapany policies where they dont let people over a certain bmi fly due to saftey reasons.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoopyLyd View Post
i once saw a tv documentary called luton airport they stopped this really fat man from flying it was hillarious they told him 'you cant fly your too fat'. i laughed at that, the problem is i really dont have sympathy for fat people, they are the ones you see sitting in mc doanalds with a big mac large coke and an extra fries and an mc flurry. it disguists me. and they got them selves fat so its thier fault if they are too fat. i think if they are fat and need to fly they should pay more or have seats that are bigger, some airlines have comapany policies where they dont let people over a certain bmi fly due to saftey reasons.
I don't think BMI is the best way to go.
My brother is over 6 foot tall and does a lot of martial arts so it very muscley, this means his BMI says he is Obese when he is not and is actually very healthy.

I am not to sure how they could check if they are too big to fly. Weighing people would not work well either since some people are naturally heavy but not "fat"...

It is a difficult thing to enforce, I basically think if you obviously can't fit in the seat comfortably and without causing the person next to you discomfort then you should be made to buy 2 seats or not fly.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SubFocus View Post
Definitely not!!!

if the airlines didn't pack the seats so close together and aim for more costs there wouldn't be the problem of that.
Airlines need to make sure that they can cater for everyone's needs. People see anorexia as an eating disorder. So why isn't obesity treated in the same way?

It comes down to the fact of the airlines providing a service.
They do for the disabled ??

Its a complicated one.
Obesity is not a disability, and the airplane does provide services for disable people ex. Wheel chairs. Anorexic people do not take over my personal space when I seat next to them. Have you every had to seat next to a person who took half of the seat you paid for in a 10hours flight?
It’s not about treaty obesity as a disability; it’s about buying another seat when you clearly need another one.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoopyLyd View Post
i once saw a tv documentary called luton airport they stopped this really fat man from flying it was hillarious they told him 'you cant fly your too fat'. i laughed at that, the problem is i really dont have sympathy for fat people, they are the ones you see sitting in mc doanalds with a big mac large coke and an extra fries and an mc flurry. it disguists me. and they got them selves fat so its thier fault if they are too fat. i think if they are fat and need to fly they should pay more or have seats that are bigger, some airlines have comapany policies where they dont let people over a certain bmi fly due to saftey reasons.
I'm over weight.
I sit there and eat healthy foods yet my friend - [Edited: Clothing sizes] - eat's the mcdonalds eat's the fries.

You can't judge every book by its cover. Not every fat person is fat because they choose to be.

As for anorexia being different.
People who become fat can have just as many psychological problems as them. That's the barrier you face. People can find comfort in food - as can an anorexic person abstaining from the food.





Last edited by Jack; February 2nd 2010 at 08:16 PM.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razzmatazz Rach View Post
People pay more if their bags are heavy but not if they are heavy.
Once before I have seen a severely obese person checking in and then I check in and get charged because my bag is a little bit over the weight limit.
I think the man who checked in before me weighed more then me and my bag put together.

I don't think it is fair that they charge for bags over a limit and not people.
Planes have a weight limit of how much they can carry so they can work out fuel needed, if the plane is heavier it uses more fuel. The work out the weight of the plane by the luggage and the amount of people on the plane, they don't take the weight of people into consideration. To me that doesn't make too much sense.

I think they should pay more, unless they can produce a doctors note saying their obesity is due to a medical condition. If it is just lifestyle choices making them obese then they should pay more.
I agree. It does not make sense to charge a xx pound lady extra for her [ Edited: Removing weight figures] pound luggage when a XXX pound man does not pay extra for his luggage. A person's weight should be considered. Lighter people put less fuel burden on the flight.


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Last edited by Casey.; February 2nd 2010 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Please don't post any form of weight numbers, it's against the TOS
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:17 PM

yes. i shouldn't have to suffer because someone else is too fat to fit into their seat. i don't care if it's offensive, they should have to pay for two seats if they cannot fit into one seat without encroaching on the person next to them. when i flew to america in 2008 i was next to a very fat man and his flab was rolling over the arm rest onto me.. it was disgusting.

i'm not saying we should weigh people before they get on the plane because that is going a bit far.. but it should be a similar system to what they have at theme parks - where if you cannot safely/comfortably fit in the seat, you can't go on the ride.. should be the same, if you're too fat for one seat.. pay for two.

and NO, the airlines should not make their seats bigger for these fat people. then we'll end up paying more because they'll get less people on each flight.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:37 PM

If they can't fit into only one seat, why should they pay for only one seat? simple as.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:41 PM

Of course they should have to pay extra if they require more than one seat, plus the added weight also mean they use slightly more fuel D=
But seriously, so what if it's offensive (don't mean to sound rude here) but it's normally their choice to be obese, yes some people may find it extremely hard to stay a healthy weight, but it's not impossible and most don't find it extremely hard. And as it's pretty much a choice they should have to deal with the consequences, e.g. the unhealthiness, costing extra money etc etc.
And if the airlines made their seats larger it would cause yet more problems, they'd be able to fit less people on the plane, less profits per plane thus ticket prices go up, or what happens when a new wave of fatter people comes along? Exactly the same problem. Plus is makes it seem like most people think it's alright to be obese, when in most cases it's not, it's just unhealthy.
Seriously, what's happening to society? D=
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:41 PM

Honestly, I think that this is a bit ridiculous. Of course people shouldn't be forced to pay more simply because their body doesn't conform to someone's idea of "normal". We're talking about human beings here, not luggage. I think that perhaps airlines should reserve the right to deny someone a ticket for safety reasons (i.e., they don't fit in to the seat in a way that is safe), but not to charge them for an extra seat.

Not everyone is overweight because of choices they made. Certain illnesses and medications can cause substantial weight gain, and can even cause someone to be obese.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SubFocus View Post
Definitely not!!!

if the airlines didn't pack the seats so close together and aim for more costs there wouldn't be the problem of that.
Airlines need to make sure that they can cater for everyone's needs. People see anorexia as an eating disorder. So why isn't obesity treated in the same way?

It comes down to the fact of the airlines providing a service.
They do for the disabled ??

Its a complicated one.
Disabled people don't generally have a choice whether they want to be disabled or not, obese people do...
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:45 PM

Yeah, I would like to go into how it's not people's fault they are fat and whatnot...but we aren't blaming them at all. It's just physics of it, if you need an extra seat to fit you should have to pay for it. Lame


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 08:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.1415926535897 View Post

Disabled people don't generally have a choice whether they want to be disabled or not, obese people do...

People class anorexia as a disorder or disability. ??

Why is obesity different. As said before people can be obese or overweight for uncontrollable reasons.
:S




   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SubFocus View Post
People class anorexia as a disorder or disability. ??

Why is obesity different. As said before people can be obese or overweight for uncontrollable reasons.
:S
Anorexia can also be perceived as a choice.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razzmatazz Rach View Post

I think they should pay more, unless they can produce a doctors note saying their obesity is due to a medical condition. If it is just lifestyle choices making them obese then they should pay more.
I agree, if it is a medical condition they can not control, then there should be documented proof of this, and wave the fee. If not, and it is just a personal lifestyle choice, then I think the person should have to pay for two seats. They choose to live their life like that, if they use two seats, they pay for two seats. Making the seats larger will only encourage obesity in America, and that's the last thing we need. Why should we make this unhealthy lifestyle choice comfortable? We make smokers stand outside (in a lot of states) to smoke, why is this any different? You want to live an unhealthy lifestyle to the point where you are affecting others around you, fine, but we will not cater to you.




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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.1415926535897 View Post

Anorexia can also be perceived as a choice.
Anorexia, like any Eating Disorder, is a disorder. It is not a choice, it is a mental illness that completely inhibits any ability to think rationally or even take care of yourself. Anorexia develops as a reaction to severe emotional pain; the disorder chooses you. You do not choose the disorder.

I suggest that you do some reading up on Eating Disorders; it's quite interesting, and I'm sure that you will feel differently once you understand more about these life-threatening illnesses.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:16 PM

Quote:
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Anorexia, like any Eating Disorder, is a disorder. It is not a choice, it is a mental illness that completely inhibits any ability to think rationally or even take care of yourself. Anorexia develops as a reaction to severe emotional pain; the disorder chooses you. You do not choose the disorder.

I suggest that you do some reading up on Eating Disorders before you make such comments.
It does not inhibit it at all, just makes it harder, and even still you can get medication for it, or mental help, THUS it can be seen as a choice.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:39 PM

Being overweight, at first, I would say that it's not fair because some people can't really control their size. However, I said that it's fair for them to charge obese people more because they take up more room, plain and simple. I'll give you an example:

When I went to a Bon Jovi concert a couple years ago, I sat in a row with two rather large people who took up 4 seats rather than 2. Consequently, everyone was pushed down a seat or two. There was a woman on my other side who was pregnant and wouldn't move down, so I was stuck standing the entire time at the concert on a sprained ankle. It wasn't fair to me to have to be shoved out of my seat and nothing done about it.

So yes, I think it's fair for them to have to pay more for airline tickets, concert tickets, etc. so that the people around them don't have to be uncomfortable either.
In the same light, though, they should make larger seats for their larger customers so that they will be more comfortable as well. If you're going to make them pay more, accomodate them a little better.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:43 PM

Quote:
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It does not inhibit it at all, just makes it harder, and even still you can get medication for it, or mental help, THUS it can be seen as a choice.
There is no medication for eating disorders. Depression, yes. However, that does not cure all the parts of an eating disorder. If you've never had an eating disorder, I suppose it's difficult to see why it's not easy, why one cannot just take a magic pill and walk into a therapist's office and be "cured".

This has nothing to do with the original topic, however. If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to PM me.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:47 PM

Quote:
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There is no medication for eating disorders. Depression, yes. However, that does not cure all the parts of an eating disorder. If you've never had an eating disorder, I suppose it's difficult to see why it's not easy, why one cannot just take a magic pill and walk into a therapist's office and be "cured".

This has nothing to do with the original topic, however. If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to PM me.
Terms and conditions says it has to be related to the original post or previous comment, so I'm not breaking any rules. And I never stated that there was a magic pill that would cure it, but there are ways to cure it, you're making out that once you have a mental illness that that's it and you've got it for life, and that is not the case.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 09:51 PM

I'm a big guy, not "2 seats" worthy but still a big guy, and I think that if you are large enough to take up the space of more than one seat, you should have to pay for the second seat. It is completely understandable in my opinion. If you are taking up a seat that another person could use (and they could sell), they have the right to charge you for it.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 10:09 PM

I think yes, people should pay more if they're overweight as it is affecting others. However, it should be treated sensetively and confidentially. Not just 'FATTYS SIT IN THOSE SEATS!"



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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 10:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.1415926535897 View Post

It does not inhibit it at all, just makes it harder, and even still you can get medication for it, or mental help, THUS it can be seen as a choice.
And you can be seen as ignorant. I guess it's all opinions, eh? Why not talk about what the thread is actually about and quit making yourself look bad.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 10:15 PM

No need for name calling. You can all debate intelligently by debating the topic at hand, not attacking the individual with a particular view point. If it comes to name calling, clearly you have no argument left. That and it is against the rules, so please play debate maturely.

Now back to the OP.




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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 10:23 PM

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Originally Posted by TheNumber42 View Post
And you can be seen as ignorant. I guess it's all opinions, eh? Why not talk about what the thread is actually about and quit making yourself look bad.
I'm not making myself look bad though, just pointing out something that nobody seems to realise
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 10:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.1415926535897 View Post

I'm not making myself look bad though, just pointing out something that nobody seems to realise
Well, it's a good thing we have you. What ever would we do if you weren't here to tell us how wrong professionally schooled psychologists and people who've actually experienced the disease are. Thank you for enlightening us all, it's greatly appreciated. You learn something everyday, huh? ^_^


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 10:42 PM

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Well, it's a good thing we have you. What ever would we do if you weren't here to tell us how wrong professionally schooled psychologists and people who've actually experienced the disease are. Thank you for enlightening us all, it's greatly appreciated. You learn something everyday, huh? ^_^
Because I've just said that it was as easy as clicking your fingers haven't I I believe I've only been saying that it is possible to cure, if you care to disagree please give evidence to prove it, or keep your opinions away from me.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 11:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.1415926535897 View Post

Because I've just said that it was as easy as clicking your fingers haven't I I believe I've only been saying that it is possible to cure, if you care to disagree please give evidence to prove it, or keep your opinions away from me.
Maybe you'd do well to go back and read your previous posts because you did not just say it was possible to cure, you implied that those with eating disorders chose to have them. An eating disorder is a mental illness and one no more chooses it than you would choose to catch a cold. The main difference being that a cold goes away on it's own, and an eating disorder can kill you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.1415926535897 View Post

It does not inhibit it at all, just makes it harder, and even still you can get medication for it, or mental help, THUS it can be seen as a choice.
Your first sentence contradicts itself. To inhibit is to suppress, if one's rational thoughts are suppressed, then it is harder to think rationally. So you basically disagreed with yourself.

And, again, it is not a choice. No one chooses to develop an eating disorder. And one can choose to seek treatment, but often it is not so simple. As with any mental illness, rational thought is impaired, making it impossible for some to seek treatment without outside intervention, or even before the disease kills them.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 11:12 PM

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Maybe you'd do well to go back and read your previous posts because you did not just say it was possible to cure, you implied that those with eating disorders chose to have them. An eating disorder is a mental illness and one no more chooses it than you would choose to catch a cold. The main difference being that a cold goes away on it's own, and an eating disorder can kill you.




Your first sentence contradicts itself. To inhibit is to suppress, if one's rational thoughts are suppressed, then it is harder to think rationally. So you basically disagreed with yourself.

And, again, it is not a choice. No one chooses to develop an eating disorder. And one can choose to seek treatment, but often it is not so simple. As with any mental illness, rational thought is impaired, making it impossible for some to seek treatment without outside intervention, or even before the disease kills them.
To inhibit is to stop, an eating disorder does not stop rationality, though it may reduce it.

And I did not say it is a choice as such, people choose whether they want treatment or not, this way it can perceived as choice, though I must accept I was slightly wrong, I was still thinking about how the majority of obese people are obese by choice.
   
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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 2nd 2010, 11:25 PM

Guys, can we stay on topic please?

Anyway, I think it depends. I'm considered obese by my BMI, and yet I'm not that overweight. If you base it on bmi, then I say no. If you base it on actual weight and size, then I can understand that. If you use two seats, you should pay for two seats.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 3rd 2010, 12:01 AM

IMO, it is COMPLETELY unreasonable to expect someone to pay extra because they are...larger and take up to seats. The airlines need to make/use LARGER seats so that some of the (no other way to put it) large passengers can occupy only one seat and pay the same as anyone else. You could almost categorize this as discrimination against over-weight people.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 3rd 2010, 12:07 AM

Person takes more than one seat, person pays for two seats. There is nothing complicated or unfair about it. The airlines are not going to make seats bigger right now, I assure the industry is more fucked about other things, big seats is the last investment it wants to make right now.

And I'm sorry, it's not... insensitive. If you do not fit in the seat, and the seat fits the average healthy weight human being (a reasonably sized seat), you should not infringe on the rights of other people to enjoy the space that they paid for. That is not fair to those people. I suppose there could be a waiver if there was a clear indication that the obesity is a result of a disease, but I could see that providence being abused and don't know enough about medicine to control it.

And ok, I've been on a plane. Those seats are not an unreasonable size, I don't think.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 3rd 2010, 12:18 AM

I remember reading about this in a book called incompetence, it's really quite hilarious. It makes perfect sense for people who weigh more to pay more. With airlines such as ryanair charging for everything, such as check in and luggage, why should a person who is overweight pay less when it takes more fuel to lift them off the ground.
Of course, if the person is obese due to a medical disorder such as taking steroids, then I don't think they should have to, as they could not have avoided the weight gain.
The airline seats will fit most people who have a healthy weight. Sure the leg space is non existent and you always end up next to someone who steals the arm of your chair, but they are sized fine for the average human being. Airlines have larger seats, in first class, because it costs more for more luxury as it does in almost every aspect of the world.


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 3rd 2010, 12:23 AM

Ah, but from what my dad has told me (I've never flown) even the AVERAGE human is crushed like a sardine when flying, so the airlines need to at least invest in comfortable seats. I mean, come one! Even TRAIN seats are more comfortable then those on an airliner in the United States. The airlines could take a lesson from Amtrak!


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Re: Should obese flier pay more? - February 3rd 2010, 12:57 AM

How much each person weighs on a flight is calculate at a certain weight per booking, and from that the amount of baggage/cargo/fuel that can be loaded onto the plane is calculated. But given the fact there are kids on flights as well as adults, it balances out so a handful of obese passengers won't affect the plane very much. On those grounds, it's a pointless tax.

Although, when you factor in seat availability, the size of the individual (they may need to be moved to an exit seat, or a couple), it can become an issue for other passengers. I don't like the idea, but it might be worth it for long-haul flights only, so long as the tax is below 5%.

Seats can't be made any wider, there's not enough room in the aisles as it is. Building a bigger plan would increase costs for everyone as it would need bigger engines, more fuel, etc. The planes don't need to be changed, they've been roughly the same for decades.


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