Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too wide for the seat?

Stuff reports an article from The Age on what it calls an airline "fat tax", which of course is nothing of the sort. MSM clearly unable to tell the difference between a tax (a government imposed charge that isn't optional) and a fee, but I digress.

United Airlines, which in my experience meets all expectations of North American airlines for being abysmal (yet the US domestic market remains closed to foreign owned competitiors), announced that passengers that cannot fit into its seats will be asked to buy a second adjacent seat or a business class seat.

In effect, if you're too wide for your seat you need to buy another.

This is great news for those of us who suffered on flights where your neighbour extended over the armrest or even over the seat.

However, as Cactus Kate points out, business class may not make you immune from the impact of the grotesquely obese. Air NZ long haul, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and a couple of others have business class that puts a serious barrier between passengers, but many don't.

What intrigues me is how this will be policed by the airline - will there be a seat at check in for passengers to be placed in for the airline to test if you fit?

By contrast, the socialists in Canada ban airlines charging for an extra seat.

I'm flying BMI in business class tomorrow to the Middle East, I should have an empty seat beside me (because of frequent flyer status and the flight isn't full), and for that I will be glad.

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