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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Overwight Passengers

Back in the day when I used to work for the airlines, I came across this sticky dilemma:

I was working a flight that was very full. After I boarded all the passengers, I had a couple open seats to allow some stand-by passengers on board. I took care of them and gave them their seat assignments. Just as I was getting ready to close the door, one of the passengers came back to the gate. She reported she could not occupy her assigned seat because there was an overweight passenger who needed a 'little extra' room.

Two seconds later my supervisor came to the gate to see what the hold up was. After I explained to her the situation, she proceed to ask me, in front of passengers at the gate, how come I did not charge this overweight passenger for the extra seat?!

I gave her an "Are you effing kidding me?" look.

First of all, I had no idea this was such a policy for my airline. It was never discussed during training and that situation was the first (and last) time it had come up during my employment there.

Second of all, when I saw that passenger, it never did occur to me for one second that she might not fit the airplane seat. Even if I did, I still would have let her on the plane because look at me...

LOOK. AT. ME !!!

I'm a skinny chyck, that weigh a buck 'o five on a really wet day, and you want me to approach this heavyset woman and tell her she has to come outta pocket for that extra seat?!!

Oh hellz to the no. I can hear Monique in the background saying "Skinny Women Are Evil!" I had visions of that passenger and three of her equally big friends chasing me thru the airport terminal.

Long story short - My supervisor proceed to board the plane to tell this woman herself that she was going to have to pay for the extra seat or get off. Few minutes later she came back to the gate, alone, and gave the inconvenienced passenger a seat on the next fight and a travel voucher.

Yea, I thought so, skinny heffa.

Question: Have you ever sat next to an overweight passenger on a bus, train, or plane? Do you think these folks should pay for the extra seat?


Roxann said...

Very good questions. Mmm... Yes I did experience to sit next to an overweight passenger on bus. Clearly, my experience was not that great, BUT I don't think they should be charged for extra seat. It is like we punish them for their weight. Sometimes (I am emphasizing on SOMETIMES), some people can't control their eating habit due to discrimination and such. Should we reinforce that kind of discrimination by charging them for extra seat??? Mmmm.. I don't know about that.

*Tanyetta* said...

I hope that I never ever encounter this type of situation. I feel badly for those types of passengers but, come on now, I freak out when someone hogs the armrest.

Anonymous said...

Good point Roxann on reinforcing that kind of discrimination. They definitely shouldn't be charged. That's embarrassing to them & an insult. Reminds me of the scene from Why Did I Get Married...~Shiv~