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Friday, February 10, 2006

You Need Two Seats (Three If You Count Your Big Fat Attitude)

A "Life-loving fat lesbian separatist feminist" has refused to buy a second seat on a Southwest Airlines jet. She apparantly doesn't think she meets the standard for the airline's "person of size" policy. Well honey, get a grip, Brandon Routh is a person of size, you're just fat (by your own admission.)

Read this paragraph from her blog. It's mind boggling how she acts as if the airlines are doing her a disservice by not designing planes around her portliness.
The reasoning behind Southwest’s decision to discriminate against fat people is supposedly "the safety and comfort of our passengers." Let’s be very clear about something: The very first passenger who is uncomfortable on a plane is me. Imagine, if you will. The aisle is a bit too narrow, so my hips brush the armrests of each row as I head to my seat. If there are folks already sitting down, they’re treated to either my belly or my ass in their face as I turn diagonally to pass them. Then there is the contortion of myself as I slide into my row—bend my top backward but my pelvis and legs forward, lean sideways at the same time, hold onto the seat in front, raise the armrests, and scoot. I always choose a window seat if I can, because if I’m on the aisle undoubtedly one or both of the folks on the inside will have to go to the can at some point during the flight, and I will be required to perform the awkward rise-sit rise-sit maneuver several times, blocking the aisle in the process—not to mention being knocked in the elbow by the drinks cart and every single other passenger on their way to the toilet through the entire flight. So, the window seat it is. So now, after requesting the seat belt extender, I’m seated and buckled into a basically immobile position in a space the size of a coffin, for the length of the flight. I can’t recline because the seat back doesn’t support my back properly; the rounded edges dig in uncomfortably. If there’s someone in the middle seat, I can’t reach my carry-on under the seat in front of me, so if I forget to take out my reading material or my headphones or my water bottle or my lip balm before stowing my bag, I’m SOL for the rest of the flight. There’s no way I can lower the tray table; if the middle seat is empty, I can use that tray, but if not I have to juggle my complimentary beverage and snack. Have you ever tried to open a bag of airline pretzels while holding a flimsy plastic cup of Sprite in your other hand, with nowhere to set either one? It’s quite a feat of dexterity, let me tell you.

But you know what? I didn’t choose the plane. The airline did. This situation is caused by the space, not by my body, just like access to public spaces for people with mobility impairments is impeded by curbs and stairs and narrow bathroom doors, not by the wheelchair itself. Of course, the airline is under no obligation to design a plane that suits me, but if they are offering a particular service which I purchase a ticket for, and I am willing to suffer temporary discomfort for the benefit of traveling swiftly to a distant destination, isn’t that my decision, not theirs?
Honey, if they made'em big enough for you to line dance in, they'd never get off the ground. You may not have "chosen" the plane, but you did chose all those second helpings and super sized value meals. Speaking as a passenger who's been crammed up against an extra large, seat-overflowing ass for hours long overly intimate flights more than once, I say suck it up and buy the other ticket.

HT: Neal Boortz

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19 comments:

Big Al 2/10/2006 10:47:00 AM  

Unbelievable! I really think her post must be a joke! Could anyone really be so self-deluded? The part about not being able to lower her tray table or reach her carry-ons only highlights the fact that she is too large for the seat and MUST be taking up space in the aisle and seat next to her. Which would be more cost effective - for Southwest (which is in the business to make money, by the way) to make every plane larger in order to save their customers the discomfort of having "either my belly or my ass in their face" or charge the offending (and I do mean offending) customer for the extra room they take up. Time to take responsibility for yourself. Don't like it - go on a diet.

Simon9 2/10/2006 12:12:00 PM  

I think you hit it on the head with "I think her post must be a joke".

I believe it is. A very tongue-in-cheek satire about whiners (which she refers to herself as at one point) who wish to be catered to no matter what. Anyone who has been uncomfortably squished through even short rides by the grossly obese knows that the squishee is every bit as uncomfortable as the squisher. If taken seriously, most of her points are invalid. But as humor, it works.

Anonymous 2/10/2006 01:56:00 PM  

Did she actually write that she cares about her blood pressure?

mpb 2/10/2006 03:18:00 PM  

From what I understand, she is serious about the idea that the rest of us should suck it up and deal with it. IF the flight was only an hour it would STILL be miserable for the poor slob next to her. My husband is a large man and has had to buy an extra ticket once when traveling without me. (I suck it up when traveling with him. Traveling overseas has been miserable for me.) Imagine how miserable I was on an AirTran flight from Atlanta - Hartsfield to LAX with him on one side and a large woman who ALSO decided she HAD to pull out and work on a large afghan she was knitting. (I own a needlework shop and only pull out my needlework whan I have the room to work on it. Oh, and I ALWAYS take a small project on board.)

Right now Southwest is one of the only airlines making money. Good for them for having a policy that holds people accountable for being too large or too heavy. If your checked baggage is too heavy, you have to pony up extra money to get it loaded. So why not people?

Anonymous 2/10/2006 04:17:00 PM  

You know what? Lots of people make me uncomfortable in planes. The worst one was on a flight from DC to London -- this really bendy guy decided to demonstrate his flexibility by stretching and contorting himself all over his seat during the flight. I think he was working on seated yoga postures or something. Barefoot. While I was trying to sleep, depending on his position at the time, his slightly clammy bare foot would touch my thigh, or my arm, or, once, even my cheek.

And he was skin and bones.

Other offenders are loud talkers, loud game players, obnoxious personalities who won't leave me alone, people who need to get up and use the bathroom every 15 minutes, people with body odor, and people who purposefully hog our shared space.

I flew at least twice a week for my job for nearly two years, before and after 9/11. I've been inconvenienced countless ways by fellow passengers.

I've had to share tight quarters with very large people, and I can tell you for the most part that those large people were some of the most kind, considerate fellow passengers I ever encountered. They may have taken up slightly more space than others, but I'd rather have a large seatmate who takes up our common armrest than an obnoxious, smelly, drunk arrogant jerk who hits on me for an entire flight.

I'm tired of how acceptable it is to spew venom toward fat people. So many people work out their hostilities on the convenient targets of fat people -- its as if people think that fat absolves a person of their right to be treated with any sense of common decency whatsoever.

The fact is, people come in all shapes and sizes. Southwest's seats are only "comfortable" for a very small portion of our population. You can decry the tendency for Americans to be overweight, but the fact is that Southwest is blaming the customer for their own failure to design seats that will be comfortable for all passengers.

Kevin 2/10/2006 04:28:00 PM  

I'm uncomfortable in airline seats too. I'm too tall for them. Thank god for business and first.

Southwest isn't blaming the woman for her weight problem (though it is ultimately her problem - not the airline's) but rather acknowledging the fact that she cannot safely fit into a standard seat without depriving other passengers of their comfort. I have no sympathy for her on this issue. Buy two seats and shut up lady; no one wants to be crowded up against your supersized ass.

As for designing "seats that will be comfortable for all passengers" - it is impossible to design seats that are comfortable for the morbidly obese without giving them their own special bariatric planes.

republic of m 2/10/2006 04:51:00 PM  

"seats that will be comfortable for all passengers"

I wish they would to, imagine all the room us "regular" size people would have in coach if they designed the seats for fat people - lol

But seriously, is her doctor discriminating against her when he tells her to lose weight? Suck it up and join Jenny Craig.

Anonymous 2/11/2006 12:07:00 AM  

Why do airlines refund lardass' for the extra seat if the plane is not full? If you are going to take up the extra room pay the price. If you have a broken leg and need 2 seats same thing buy 2 seats. Does UPS refund you shipping costs for your extra large freight because the plane it shipped on wasn't full? What is next, are fat people going to start suing gas stations or car manufacturers because their car burns more gas, and costs them extra money, because it has to haul all the extra weight? From reading the profile of this lardass, who is trying to hurt South West by making these claims, she refers to herself as "fat lesbian separatist feminist" Now why would any normal person refer to themself this way. She is Fat, she is a lesbo and has most likely been rejected from society most of her life. Because she has no self esteem and is a worthless lardass piece of white trash she feels it necessary to bring down everything/everyone around her. Misery loves misery. She should really lay off the Big Macs.

ThatGayConservative 2/11/2006 03:53:00 AM  

I worked in airline reservations for a few years. I never had to book an extra seat for a larger person, but I did book an extra seat for a musician's cello.

Anonymous 2/11/2006 09:35:00 AM  

Allow a Devils Advocate to make one point. I read her blog and was disgusted but in her favor is the fact that Southwest's business model is to sell you a boarding pass. The right to board and find a seat. They dont assign "seats" when you purchase a ticket. You get an invitation to board depending on what letter is on your pass. When they see you are the size of a bathtub they start thinking like every other airline and look to stick you with a seat assignment.

My thinking here is that as long as you are convenient to Southwest which means you and get on and off quickly and take up only one seat then you are their kind of customer. Anything that makes you an inconvenience is a cost to them and they want to pass that cost on to you...the inconvenience. If Southwest sold tickets for an assigned seat I'd have no problem with their policy. The fact that they sell you the right to board leaves me wondering....do they know their demograph???

Anonymous 2/11/2006 04:34:00 PM  

Fat people should be weighed with their luggage at check in. If the total is over the allowed limit, they can either throw some of their donuts out of the suitcase or use the luggage treadmill to burn off a few pounds there and then. If they're too slow, they get whisked off to baggage handling for a bit of rough treatment.

Shawmut 2/12/2006 06:23:00 PM  

To justify her own self-abuse, she elects to impose her attitude on all who come within her range.

Anonymous 2/12/2006 09:26:00 PM  

Both this entry and the comments on this entry are mean-spirited and gross. I forget that there are people like you out there...

Anonymous 2/12/2006 09:38:00 PM  

Most of these comments are obnoxious and I sincerely hope you're never in a position of not fitting into the mainstream and confronted with people like yourselves. As much as I think it'd serve you right, no one deserves to be treated with the meanness and cattiness that you apparently feel all fat people should be treated with.

Anonymous 2/13/2006 08:28:00 AM  

Not all fat people should be treated with meanness and cattiness. Only obnoxious jerks who somehow feel that the fact that they can't keep their mouths shut entitles them to something from the world. If you are too fat to fit into your seat why should I give you half of mine?
This woman suggests that any person with a problem being seated next to her should buy a ticket. Why should I pay for two tickets just to ensure that I can actually have a whole seat to myself?
I hope the post is a joke, I hate to think that there are such selfish, deluded morons out there thinking that I owe them something.

Simon9 2/13/2006 02:28:00 PM  

"I hope the post is a joke, I hate to think that there are such selfish, deluded morons out there thinking that I owe them something."


Oh, I assure you, there are plenty of people who believe they are owed much from the rest of us. And yes, some are deluded, selfish morons.

Anonymous 2/13/2006 03:14:00 PM  

On the plus side, fat people are harder to kidnap.

Anonymous 2/14/2006 01:35:00 PM  

Wow.. I can honestly say I haven't read a blog that self-centered in awhile, an that's sayin somethin. Speaking as a woman who is 6'2" and 270lbs I don't fit those blasted seats either which way. my measurements might get me past the gate guard but bluntly why bother? I've travelled with and without young children, and with and without the weight. Yet common courtesy on MY part requires that I do buy that extra seat, if only cause I'm to blasted cranky to share ;) I most times buy it so I don't have to have someone in -my- space. The fact that these days I need it because of my size (which no I don't eat the krispy kremes, it's a genetic disorder that's progressively getting worse) honestly just makes the airline not look at me like I'm a stingy little witch for wanting 2 seats ;)

Anonymous 2/14/2006 01:38:00 PM  

Wow.. I can honestly say I haven't read a blog that self-centered in awhile, an that's sayin somethin. Speaking as a woman who is 6'2" and 270lbs I don't fit those blasted seats either which way. my measurements might get me past the gate guard but bluntly why bother? I've travelled with and without young children, and with and without the weight. Yet common courtesy on MY part requires that I do buy that extra seat, if only cause I'm to blasted cranky to share ;) I most times buy it so I don't have to have someone in -my- space. The fact that these days I need it because of my size (which no I don't eat the krispy kremes, it's a genetic disorder that's progressively getting worse) honestly just makes the airline not look at me like I'm a stingy little witch for wanting 2 seats ;)

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