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United To Charge Heavier Passengers Twice To Fly

Original post made by Sharon, Midtown, on Apr 15, 2009

"If "beefy" or "curvy" describes you, here is a word of warning:
United Airlines will begin aggressively enforcing a new policy that allows it to charge heavier passengers twice to fly.

Southwest Airlines also is known to be aggressive about imposing the double charge".Web Link

I suppose that is fair we pay extra for additional weight in baggage.

You could also make the case for higher health premiums and life insurance rates as obesity is on a par with smoking as a health risk

Comments (6)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 15, 2009 at 7:51 am

I agree. I think this is fair. Likewise for health premiums. Good post.


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Posted by Rush
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2009 at 7:57 am

If the airline has higher costs for bigger or heavier passengers or passengers with heavier luggage, then I have no problem with the airline charging those people more money. However, the airline should say in advance what is the weight limit so that the passengers are not surprised at the airport. Airlines are private businesses and they have a right to try to make a profit.


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Posted by Finally
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2009 at 8:56 am

It's about time they do this. This is not discrimination. It's not fair that the other passengers have to be uncomfortable because no one wants to hurt the feelings of the obese.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2009 at 9:03 am

Having had to sit in a window seat beside a large man for an 8 hour flight on a small plane, I can appreciate how difficult it is for the seat neighbors of these individuals. I was unable to move my arms or legs very much when the arm rest was lifted and I was only able to get out of my seat once when a flight attendant came to give assistance to get the man out of his seat. I don't think these large passengers have any idea of the inconvenience they cause to those beside them.


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Posted by BillyBob
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2009 at 9:13 am

I sat next to an extremely obese person on a short flight from Vegas once, and it was not fun. I'm a bigger person myself, though I still comfortably fit in one seat, and between the two of us, I could barely breath.
I would say one thing to Rush - its not really useful to have a specific weight limit because I think they're really talking about a person's physical size, not actual pounds. A very muscular person might be quite heavy, but still fit in the seat. Another person might not weigh as much, but due to their height might have a shape that's just larger around. They have the same criterea as Southwest, which involves how they actually fit in the seat.
It would be so humiliating if you got all the way to the plane, and couldn't fly, but at the same time, imagine if you got all the way to the plane and couldn't sit down because the person next to you was bleeding over into your seat. Yet another reason to cut the cals, and get moving.
As to the aspect of health insurance premiums, aren't there some companies that actually do this? I remember a few seasons ago on "The Biggest Loser" a contestant was trying to lose weight so he could qualify for his company's health insurance plan.
I'm ok with private companies doing that - in fact I think it IS a good idea. They'd probably get farther by offering a discount for being at a healthy weight than a penalty for being overweight.
Imagine though how this could impact a future universal coverage or socialized medicine scenario - could you be penalized through taxes or fines for being overweight? On the one hand, it would seem to infringe on your personal liberty, on the other hand, so many obese people would overwhelm the system.
I think I'm going to spend a half hour on the elliptical now!


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Why not just charge by the ton-mile, passenger and baggage? Or have a basic seat charge, then width and weight surcharges?


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