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Help - need advice on horrid flight experience

Help - need advice on horrid flight experience

Mar 30th, 2008, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6,117
On next flight to Anchorage, if you're still boycotting them, I suggest flying Alaska Air.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Quiten simply alexa, my viewpoint is that if I pay and have reservations for a seat on a plane that means 100% of the seat..not two thirds of the seat. I may not get the seat I prefer, such as the aisle seat, but I have paid for a seat and expect to have only my body in the seat that I do have. End of converstion as far as I am concerned. And not being as polite or empathetic as you I would have spoken up immediately.

I still remember the young man who had a seat next to me when I got onboard in Amsterdam. I had an aisle seat. His seat was next to me. He was quite a large fellow..like a large football player. When I sat down he looked at me and said something along the lines of "don't worry, I won't take up any of your space". What a love. And he was a joy to have as a plane buddy all the way to SFO. In fact as we flew over CA it turned out he knew my stepson and wife. His consideration will never be forgotten. So even larger people can have empathy and consideration if they care to, and this young man certainly did. IMO the public needs to speak up when there is a "huge" problem, excuse the pun.
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 987
alexa... I cannot get over the fact that the FA was encouraging you to take pillows & blanket to the lavatory and sleep in there... that is so gross and makes my skin crawl! There's nowhere that smells as bad as an airplane lavatory, IMO. I can't imagine anyone even considering that for one second! I think I would have told the FA to lock him/herself in there and I'd take their seat! How mean and belittling is that for them to even suggest it!!!
Paytons_Grandma is offline  
Mar 30th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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It's an uncomfortable situation all the way around.

I've insisted that the armrest remain down, but that doesn't prevent the spill over and the problem of having to climb over someone if they have my coveted aisle seat.

How would people feel if you had to give your dimensions upon buying a ticket?

Could airlines say- if your hips are bigger than this you must buy 2 tickets? and then what happens someone thinks, "oh by June, that's what I'll be" and doesn't get 2 seats? Do they get bumped to a flight that has 2 adjoining seats?'

There has to be a solution, part of that may be that people have to start complaining and documenting their discomfort.
L84SKY is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 04:55 PM
Original Poster
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Posts: 44
Thanks again to everyone for the great posts.
Funny pun - LoveItaly!!

NWest claims they don't owe me any reimbursement since I was sold "transportation" and they got me from point A to point B (thank God) safely, but they did not sell me a seat. A seat wasn't part of the deal. ????

My head is spinning and letters are going out in the mail.

I'm afraid with our super-sizing nation this people taking up 1 1/2 seats is going to be happening a lot more often in the near future.

I'm done with being nice and feeling like a second class citizen standing on a 6 hour red-eye when everyone was asleep.
Admit the wrong, NorthWest.
alexa35 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,342
Go for it, alexa!

If you want to escalate this to stratospheric heights, consider a special website to air your grievances and receive public expressions of support. You will get tons of media attention and (I predict) a swift settlement by Northworst Airlines. Ha-Ha!
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 05:06 PM
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I'm pretty sure the flight attendant was kidding about the bathroom. Even if you wanted to, I'm pretty darn sure that's against the law. No seatbelt, and all
suze is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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What good does it do to boycott Northwest. You can get stuck next to a terribly fat person on any airline! Something really needs to be done about Americans' waistlines. Sheesh.
wliwl is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Sorry, alexa---did not read have time to read all the responses, but here is where you could have asserted your rights...

"The fact that when I got to my row she had the armrest up was a hint to me. When I got in the seat I saw she was so far into my seat as well that she physically could not fit into the seat if the armrest were to go down. So I didn't even ask or attempt it because I didn't want to make her feel bad."

You bought and paid for a ticket and it is in no way your responsibility to care about the feelings of someone depriving you of that which you are entitled to.

I make an effort not to be unkind to anyone, but as soon as I sat in my seat, I would have immediately lowered *my* armrest. This absolutely was not your problem to solve, but rather the airlines.

A suggestion.....send a copy of this thread to the customer service dept.

socialworker is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 07:07 PM
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I think she'll do more than that. I hope she will send a letter to the CEO, by name, at the corporate HQ. He/She should be a little more concerned about image and PR than "customer service".
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 08:35 PM
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To carolrh, you said, "On a domestic flight from Houston to Las Vegas my eighteen year old son was seated next to a woman weighing I would guess about 20 stone (280 lbs) who had preboarded and being too large to put her tray down had used my sons tray to hold two 12" diameter pies whilst she finished off a third that she had brought on board with her. The armrest was up and stayed that way since a good part of the woman was over it. So it was literally impossible for my son to sit and she refused to move her pies.

Eventually a member of staff persuaded her to store her pies in the galley until the plane took off. My son squeezed in for take-off, she got her pies back and he stood for the rest of the flight.

After touchdown it took two crew members to lever her out of the seat so she could leave. My son was so astounded by the situation he never complained. He couldn't believe it."


What airline did this happen on? I find it hard to believe that this really happened as you are telling it. The FAs put the pies up in the overhead for this woman, then took them back down after the plane reached cruising altitude, while asking your son to get out of HIS seat and stand for the rest of the flight so the woman could put her food on HIS tray? I cannot see this happening, really.

leelane911 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 08:37 PM
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carol, I meant to say "FAs put the pies in the galley," not overhead.
leelane911 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 03:51 AM
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Pur a row of extra size seats in coach, charge a certain premium for them, $50 or a $100, for example, and make them available to customers ahead of time. Require anyone who cannot fit into the seat with the armrests down to purchase one. State the policy in writing. Obviously there will be people who are not obese who will want one and be willing to pay, which would be fine. If they are all occupied, and someone who requires one needs one, there should be a policy that an average size person occupying one should be moved to a regular seat and given a refund for the premium.
Asking people's weight has little purpose other than to embarass them, as it only roughly corresponds to size, even for people of the same height. Case in point, I weigh about the same as a friend of my sisters. We are about the same height, although I think she's about half an inch taller than I am. I'm usually a size 8. She's usually a size 18-20. The difference? She sits at home and eats junk food and rarely goes out. I walk a couple of miles a day, and spend my days lifting heavy wedding gowns. Muscle mass weighs more than fat does. By the way, our height-weight ratio would suggest a person who is heavy, but not as large as this woman is. Now, she would fit into a seat with the armrests down, and I certainly do.
persimmondeb is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 09:18 AM
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Flying these days is rarely pleasant so I just grin and bear it. What about special sections for people with children (especially those who don't pay any attention to their children on the flights), people who smell (too much perfume or not enough bathing), etc., etc., etc.
MP07950 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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While I agree with MP07950 that flying is rarely pleasant these days, I don't think that we should grin and bear paying for a seat but not getting to use it.

I once sat next to a person with the world's worst case of BO on a cross-country flight. Never have I been so grateful for sinus problems! Still, he didn't deprive me of my seat whereas alexa 35 was being deprived of the seat she had paid for. I think this should come down to the "armrest rule." If you can't sit in the seat with the armrest down, you need to purchase two tickets.
321go is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 11:10 AM
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Just returned from a 10 day trip to Florida/Caribbean cruise. We flew Skybus CMH-FLL. They have open seating. My 5'9" normal weight daughter took the window seat, me in the middle (size 12). A very large and drunken obese woman, at least a size 24/26 plopped herself into the aisle seat and shoved up the arm rest. The FA did require the arm rest down for the take off and I requested she keep it down for the flight, as it was obvious I was going to get squashed like a bug. I appreciated the FA's help. Then this woman proceeded to order 3 more drinks. I was terrified she was going to throw up on me. She smelled like a still and slurred her words. At one point, she fell asleep with her head on my shoulder and cursed at me when I righted her to protect myself from being smothered. Luckily, the flight was not longer than 2 1/2 hours. Alexa, go for it and report back to us when you settle with them.
aliska is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 11:11 AM
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Someone in an earlier post asked how do they prove if you need two seats? I remember watching an episode of Airline on A&E which features Southwest. They had two people who were oversized and they actually had them board the plane before everyone else to see if they could sit in the seats. It was embarassing for the ticket agent and passengers but one passenger fit and one did not. That person was asked to buy a second seat. She was not happy. But I'm sure that the rest of the passengers were. Maybe they should have a section of seats at the ticket counter like they do the baggage bins...if you can't fit in this seat, be prepared to buy a second ticket.
seashell is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 11:30 AM
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So Alexa is hurt after the flight - neck and back. Why not to hire an attorney and sue the airline? I am serious, if this was a car accident, it would be a law suit to cover medical expenses. No need to take the case to court, it can be settled.

Somebody asked about seat belts, I heard of seat belt extenders on flights, never saw one, but know they exist.
FainaAgain is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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They need a seat at check-in just like they suitcase measuring device. if your hips don't fit or if you weigh over 300 lbs they charge you for an extra seat. If the flight is full, passenger would have to wait on a later flight. This same problem happens at a lot of sporting events as well.
spirobulldog is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I think the suggestion of including a copy of this thread is a good one, Alexa.
This can be fairly simply worked out by having the airlines state very explicitly before booking that those who do not fit in their seat will have to buy a second seat so there is no surprise to these people. Those who choose to ignore this should be spotted by visual inspection by agents upon checkin. They can then be "tested" for fit in a chair and managed appropriately. This clearly didn't happen in Alexa's case and there doesn't appear to be uniform policy about this.
ncounty is offline  

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