Small seats - big passengers

Sep 20th, 2015, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
"Other arrangements," eh? I am appalled, but not surprised, considering the source.

But this is the prevailing fantasy on these boards, that bad things--such as pickpockets, too small airline seats, rude waiters, fraudulent rentals, dishonest car rental agencies, etcetera-- only happen to unprepared and foolish people.

This who have prudently remained slender may continue to travel in comfort, lol.
NewbE is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2015, 12:29 AM
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An easy solution - several airlines sell premium coach seats with a bit more leg room for a reasonablel amount over basic coach ticket. Why not sell premium width seats as well.

I have a suspicion that many normal weight passengers might pay extra for them by choice.
gail is offline  
Sep 27th, 2015, 10:16 AM
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Great idea, Gail.
Underhill is offline  
Sep 27th, 2015, 03:49 PM
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I think some (but not many) premium economy seats already also offer extra width.

As a kinda tall guy, I learned the hard way that I simply cannot fly several low-cost airlines in Europe. At least not using their standard seats.
Two hours with Vueling had been nonstop contact of kneecaps with hard plastic rear of seat in front of me. Even though the guy in front of me did not recline one bit.
So, next time I need to fly with Vueling (or the other low-cost carriers), I will pay 10-20 euros extra for a seat in the exit rows or row 1.
On long-distance flights, I need to pay for premium economy to get acceptable leg room. My problem, not the airlines or my fellow passengers'.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 01:49 AM
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Such interesting comments. I see all sides of this issue. I'll present mine. I am one of those larger passengers you all speak about (though, I don't need a seatbelt extender and the arm rests can go down but it's certainly tight). I go out of my way to make it more comfortable for whomever is sitting next to me. I also do significant research in advance on the seat size (though this is often not accurate) and make a point to fly airlines with larger economy seat sizes. If possible I do make special plans to upgrade to business class, ask for a vacant seat and even on one occasion tried to buy it (the seat got filled though so once bitten, twice shy). Unfortunately, I can't afford business class on many flights when it's 10x more than the regular fair. But whenever possible, I do whatever I can, including flying in non-peak times but those days are also behind us in North America as most of the flights are now always full. I guess that's my point: it's not always possible unless you always fly business class or just stay home. I have to fly for work so staying home is not an option. When it's not possible for me to put in one of those extra measures, I pray and hope the passenger next to me is a child (even a screaming child) or someone larger who will share my incredible discomfort with kindness and patience. I think passengers of all sizes are becoming increasingly selfish about their so called space. When someone's seat is reclined to the maximum - is that their right or are they encroaching upon the space of the person behind them? Taking up the entire armrest - is that their right or is it intended to be shared? Bottom line, flying economy is becoming increasingly unpleasant for many reasons (carry-on luggage woes are a whole other topic). If everyone just approached it with a dose of humility, common sense and consideration for all around them (regardless of size) it would be much better. I can't imagine there is a large passenger out there who is enjoying being such an annoyance to those next to them. Put yourself in their shoes for just a minute and it might change your outlook.
wbeau is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 05:12 AM
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Well you can fly next to me Wbeau.

I may be inconvenienced, but I'd rather fly next to a nice obese than to some slender nazi like people.
pariswat is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 08:53 AM
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What makes them "nazi like"?
NoFlyZone is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 11:06 AM
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Their blinkered intolerance of imperfect humans, perhaps?
NewbE is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 03:44 PM
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Calling someone a nazi because they want to occupy the space they have paid for, which is likely only just big enough for them, is ridiculous. Try recovering your sense of proportion, assuming you ever had one.
thursdaysd is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 07:53 PM
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Oh, indeed! Hilarious!
NewbE is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2015, 04:54 AM
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Excellent. Indeed.
pariswat is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2015, 07:56 AM
Original Poster
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wbeau, I appreciate your comments and also the care you take to make things as easy as possible for all passengers. I know it can't be pleasant to be the person who is overfilling the admittedly small seats that are provided on the airlines these days.

I think on a shorter flight - less than three or four hours - it's not as difficult for everyone to make allowances for the differences in size of neighboring passengers.

On the long haul flights, though ... ten hours or more of having one person taking up space another person has paid for and expects to utilize? That's when things get dicey.

I don't know what the answer to this problem is - assuming the airlines have no motivation to make things more comfortable for everyone. It doesn't seem fair to suggest that overly large passengers should have to pay for highly expensive larger seats in business class, yet it also doesn't seem fair that others would have to give up what they have paid for in order to accommodate the larger people - or pay for the more expensive seats in order to ensure their space.

I'm actually surprised there have not been more cases of passenger-rage under the overcrowded conditions that prevail in economy.
scdreamer is online now  
Nov 4th, 2015, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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>>Well I've next to an obese guy on a translatlantic flight, couldn't lower my armrest and didn't feel unsafe.
couldn't sleep, though, each time the guy moved or laughed I was propelled towards my other neighbour.

Not to be insensitive but thanks for the laugh and visual Pariswat.

I see both sides. A very tall, obese man occupied the middle seat beside me on a 4 hour flight. His, well, girth kept rubbing up against me no matter how far over I crammed myself into the window. He was also profusely perspiring. I felt just as bad for how embarrassed he was as I did my own discomfort.

The reality of the situation is that obesity is prevalent, and won't be going away any time soon. Air travel needs to get with it and figure out a solution suitable for both sides.
boots08 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2015, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Airlines do have options for accommodating those who need or want extra room. Business class is not always the best solution due to the fixed armrests, economy is better. Some airlines do allow the option of purchasing the seat next to you, it has always been the case, it is nothing new. There are many reasons for wanting additional space, for instance some buy seats for their musical instruments/sports equipment etc.
Odin is offline  

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