SW Air Charges Overweight People More!

Jun 20th, 2002, 05:42 AM
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SW Air Charges Overweight People More!

I heard this on the radio yesterday (Wednesday) morning but wasn't sure I believed it until I checked their Web site this morning: Southwest Airlines charges you more for a ticket if you're overweight. Here's a blurb from their site:

"Since 1980, Southwest Airlines has maintained a policy, for purposes of Customer safety and comfort, of requiring a
Customer to purchase a second seat if the Customer needs extra space for a large or fragile item, such as a musical instrument, or if the Customer's girth is larger than one aircraft seat."

They make it sound as if they've been doing this for over 20 years, but the radio announcer I heard said that they're only now starting to enforce it. Unfortunately, this is going to be a judgment call on the part of the ticket agent at check-in--poor ticket agents! I can't imagine how they're going to administer this policy--what if every seat has been booked and there's no extra seat to sell the overweight person?

The topic of overweight airline passengers has been debated repeatedly in this forum, so I thought people might find this interesting. Thoughts, anyone?
Jun 20th, 2002, 06:12 AM
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We thought all day about it yesterday. There is already a large thread about it.
Jun 20th, 2002, 07:45 AM
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To paraphrase David Letterman, within every cloud there's a silver lining. They may have to pay for 2 seats, but hey, that means 2 meals!
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:03 AM
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The fact is if your overweight to the point that can't fit in a airline seat without making the person next to you cognizant of it (not to mention you are taking up part of his/her seat!) then it should be up to the person ordering his/her seat to purchase 2 seats, yeah I know that sounds cold but maybe push for the airlines to offer an overweight isle is next? Then you would see even more people embarrased, It makes for a diffulcult situation one I don't know the answer to. Get prepared because most people are going to say mean things like "lose weight you #[email protected]#$"
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:10 AM
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A Southwest spokesman also said if there are empty seats on the flight, the person will get a full refund on the 2nd ticket they had to purchase... they are the only airline to offer that.
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:13 AM
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Lose weight you #$%!*
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:20 AM
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Why should they get a refund? Is like taking a first class seat when you paid coach!
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:28 AM
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I have been sat upon on more than one occasion by an obese person next to me. It's miserable, especially on a long flight. When I fly, I make sure to do everything in my power to not encroach on someone else's personal space (which we all know is much too scarce on a plane). I expect my obese fellow flyers to do the same. And if that means buying an extra seat, then (pardon the expression) suck it up and do it! Larger seats on SWA are not feasible. People fly SWA for the low fares (come for the fun boarding process and bad coffee, stay for the low fares). SWA would have to raise their fares significantly.

What angry fat people need to do is mobilize and find a few fat billionaires (Larry Flynt, or Miramax's Weinsteins?) willing to invest the money for a start-up airline that would cater to fat people's needs. Remember that airline that the smoker's started about 10 years ago? It could be like that. What DID happen to that smoker's airline anyway?
Jun 20th, 2002, 08:35 AM
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All the passengers have died of lung cancer so the airline went under.
Jun 21st, 2002, 02:25 PM
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Message: Has it ever occored to any of you that some of these 727 and 737 airplanes are 30 years old and we all fit into them when they were new?

Airlines can't make the airplane itself wider; only the manufacturer can.

Jun 21st, 2002, 02:51 PM
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Has it occurred to you that the seats are NOT 30 years old? They are be reconfigured and downsized SEVERAL times to fit more passengers than they did when new 30 years ago. It ain't only the people getting bigger- -it's the seats getting much smaller.
Jun 21st, 2002, 03:10 PM
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Repeat, that's true, and smaller airplanes with smaller personal space (B737-400s, for instance) are being put on long-haul routes, like Continental flying nonstop from California to Newark. These planes were originally designed for one and two hour segments, not 5 or 6. They're cheap to operate and if you can cut out first class and pack 6-abreast seating into planes that were developed for 5-abreast (DC-9s/MD 80s, for example) then your airline makes...money. Americans may be fatter than they used to be (I am, that's for sure) but the space per passenger in many planes is absolutely smaller.

I will bet serious money that it's not fat passengers that ultimately make the airlines face up to seating comfort, but class action suits over deep-vein thrombosis, and maybe even a negligent homicide case or two. We may be a fat country, but we're a litigious bunch, too.
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