Wider Fliers Call for Wider Seats

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2009 9:24 AM CDT
Wider Fliers Call for Wider Seats
Passengers wait in front of the Southwest Airlines counter at Baltimore-Washington International Airport June 20, 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – So-called “passengers of size” have been irritating fellow airline passengers for decades, but lately the scales have tipped decisively against them, the Wall Street Journal reports. Many airlines now require wider travelers to buy two seats, a solution that pleases the skinny, but miffs advocates for the obese. Why, they ask, can’t airlines install some wider seats, like the seats with more leg room airlines offer to extra-long customers.

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Seatbelt safety issues and arm rests that don’t fully retract make the two-seat solution uncomfortable, and almost no one requires that much space. So advocates have proposed adding a few rows of wider coach seats, and charging a 50% premium on them. “We’re willing to pay for what we’re rightfully using,” says a fat acceptance group spokesman. (Read more obesity stories.)

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