Dear airline passenger: If your butt doesn’t fit here, you’ll have to buy an extra seat

Southwest Airlines has been in the hot seat lately about its newly enacted policy regarding overweight passengers. If they can’t fit in the seat, they’ll have to buy two tickets. So now, next to the overhead bin example at the entrance to the plane with a sign that asks “Does your carry-on fit in here? If not you’ll have to check it,” they should have a have a typical seat with a sign that asks “Does your butt fit in here? If not you’ll have to buy an extra ticket.” I would not want to be an employee trying to enforce this policy but that doesn’t make it wrong.

Airlines have weight limit guides they have to follow. If my luggage weighs too much, I have to pay extra. Why shouldn’t the passenger who weighs too much have to pay extra?

Furthermore, the airline is a business. If you buy one seat, you get one seat. I’ve never gone into a business and used two things and expected to only pay for one. Why should an airline be any different?

Besides, there are other passengers to consider. The people who sit next to overweight passengers. Why should they pay for a full seat when they’re only getting half a seat? The other half has been taken by the overflow of the overweight passenger next to them.

I have sat uncomfortably next to an overweight passenger before. I spent the entire flight attempting to glue myself to the opposite armrest so as not to become way too familiar with my neighbor’s fat rolls that had weaved their way through the armrest and into my seat. He, on the other hand, seemed to not care that he was invading my territory. How is that fair to me or anyone else that may be put in that situation? I paid for a full seat and only got to use part of it. And I didn’t get a refund. Having him buy an extra seat would have avoided that problem all together.

I know it’s expensive and I sympathize with overweight people. I realize there are people who have medical conditions that cause them to gain weight. Not everyone is overweight because they eat too much. But, as unfortunate as it is, that is not the airline’s fault and not the fault of the other passengers. It’s just business. You pay for what you use.

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