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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 18th Dec 07, 4:36 PM
    • 1,228Posts
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    MSE Jenny
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should Andy complain about the Big Bob on his flight?
    • #1
    • 18th Dec 07, 4:36 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should Andy complain about the Big Bob on his flight? 18th Dec 07 at 4:36 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Should Andy complain about the Big Bob on his flight?

    Average Andy is on a 14 hour flight from London to Miami. He is just settling into his window seat ready for take off, when Big Bob, a very large, tall passenger comes and sits next to him (either he's an extreme body builder or seriously obese – you decide). Big Bob is literally spilling over into Andy’s seat, hogging the arm rest, depriving him of space and making him very squashed and uncomfortable. The flight’s full, so there’s nowhere for Andy to move. Should Andy ask for some money back or grin and bear it?


    Click reply to have your say

    Previous MMDs:

    Should Liam roll with it?
    Is Del a plonker for flogging Wiis on eBay?


    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 18-12-2007 at 5:33 PM.
Page 1
    • MothballsWallet
    • By MothballsWallet 18th Dec 07, 9:54 PM
    • 12,664 Posts
    • 17,207 Thanks
    MothballsWallet
    • #2
    • 18th Dec 07, 9:54 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Dec 07, 9:54 PM
    Personally speaking, I'd grin and bear it until I got home, then write a letter to the airline explaining the situation and asking for a partial refund or some other compensation (but not vouchers as they're usually time-limited).

    It does depend on the airline's policy - if Bob effectively needs 2 seats, then he should have had to pay for 2 seats, but aircraft tend to be designed to pack as many people into Economy as possible to make money for the airline). If Bob technically occupies just 1 seat, then Andy may just have to grin and bear it and not go with that airline again.

    Last time I was on a Korean Air 747-400, I was in the row behind an emergency exit row and I still had plenty of leg room to be comfortable, and I'm nearly 6 feet tall...
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?
    I live in the UK City of Culture 2021
    I had to put mothballs in my wallet - the moths had learned the PINs to my cards...
  • OddjobKIA
    • #3
    • 18th Dec 07, 11:24 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Dec 07, 11:24 PM
    avaerage andy should have gone a few years ago on concord done the flight in 3 hours and big bob wouldnt have physicaly got on the plane.




    grin and bear it its over get on with life
    THE SHABBY SHABBY FOUNDER
  • ddudgeon
    • #4
    • 18th Dec 07, 11:46 PM
    ask the flight attendant
    • #4
    • 18th Dec 07, 11:46 PM
    I think some airlines will make larger passengers buy two seats for fly during less busy flights. It's awkward to ask, but I think it is at least worth bringing it up with the flight attendant at the time. Otherwise, the airline can later say that you didn't attempt to rectify the situation. (Plus, how can you prove the person next to you was oversized?)
    • reehsetin
    • By reehsetin 18th Dec 07, 11:48 PM
    • 4,818 Posts
    • 4,554 Thanks
    reehsetin
    • #5
    • 18th Dec 07, 11:48 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Dec 07, 11:48 PM
    why not just ask a stewardess on the flight if they could move?
    Yes Your Dukeiness
  • so3003
    • #6
    • 19th Dec 07, 4:48 AM
    I'd complain
    • #6
    • 19th Dec 07, 4:48 AM
    I'd complain discreetly, and ask to be moved to another seat. I've thankfully not had quite the same experience as that, though I did fly 8 hours from Washington to Heathrow with a guy who sniffed constantly throughout the flight. That was annoying - and I did get some extra food and drink from the cabin crew in sympathy.
    • photome
    • By photome 19th Dec 07, 6:54 AM
    • 13,595 Posts
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    photome
    • #7
    • 19th Dec 07, 6:54 AM
    • #7
    • 19th Dec 07, 6:54 AM
    Fat people should be weighed and charged accordingly, either for excess weight or for two seats.

    Yes Andy should complain
    • King Drax I
    • By King Drax I 19th Dec 07, 7:07 AM
    • 72 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    King Drax I
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 07, 7:07 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 07, 7:07 AM
    I think some airlines will make larger passengers buy two seats for fly during less busy flights. It's awkward to ask, but I think it is at least worth bringing it up with the flight attendant at the time. Otherwise, the airline can later say that you didn't attempt to rectify the situation. (Plus, how can you prove the person next to you was oversized?)
    Originally posted by ddudgeon
    Definitely. And if a person takes up more than one seat, they should pay for more than one seat. If I wanted two Mars bars, I'd expect to pay for two Mars bars. It should be the same for airline, bus, train, whatever seats.

    However it follows from this that you can't pay for 1.25 seats or whatever, so if a person's bulk makes the adjacent seat unuseable and therefore unchargeable, then the 1.25 needs to be rounded up to twice the price.
  • sweetcheeks
    • #9
    • 19th Dec 07, 7:22 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Dec 07, 7:22 AM
    Yes Andy should complain,i have been in the same situation from newcastle airport to orlando - 2 passengers who quite frankly should have paid for 4 they were so obese!!!
    passengers of the larger variety need to have 2 seats for themselves - pay twice for the comfort!!!
    • garyrjb
    • By garyrjb 19th Dec 07, 7:53 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    garyrjb
    I had a situation once where I had a beast of a woman next to me on a flight from Malaga to Heathrow. And she really stank too. She really encroached on my seat, and when I asked her to move sideways a bit, she physically couldn't. I was left with 2 choices
    1) Tell the air stewardess to get her moved
    2) Move myself

    I had a quiet word with the air stewardess, and she sympathised with my plight and got me moved to a spare seat (not business class unfortunately). I thouhgt this was fairer than getting her moved and the humiliation it would have caused her.
    The BA staff said they would tag her name in future and would tell her she would have to in the future either
    a) buy business/first class seats
    b) lose weight
    c) buy 2 economy seats.

    If I was in that situation where they couldn't have moved me, I would have definitely have kicked up a massive fuss and demanded a refund. I would have got someone to take pictures on my camera too so there would be no dispute.
    I see that as my right - I have paid good money for that seat, and want to use it all
    Originally posted by graemecarter
    I had this exact problem coming back from Slovakia. I am 6' 4" and about 17 stone myself but I was between a man mountain and a rather small lady. the only way I could sit in the seat if I leant across the lady,which was totally unacceptable to me what made it worse is that the departure lounge was like a green house and the man was actually wet to the touch! believe me this bloke DID sweat much for a fat lad.

    Any way I complained discreetly to the stewardesses and they let me sit on the crew seats apart from the landing.

    What really did p!$s me off was that when going through the arrivals lounge I realised the man and lady and another passenger were all together (business relationship I presume) and deliberately booked seats apart so as not to be uncomfortable themselves.

    I say Complain but it is embarrasing.
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 19th Dec 07, 7:57 AM
    • 476 Posts
    • 317 Thanks
    tallgirld
    Oh yeah he should definetly complain!!! He should ask for half his fare back
  • bluejosiah
    I agree, yes Andy should ask to be moved and if this can't be done then ask for some money back. After all Andy could've saved up for a year or more to be able to afford it.

    (BTW: Welcome sweetcheeks, I notice this is your first post!!)
    • duchy
    • By duchy 19th Dec 07, 8:15 AM
    • 18,099 Posts
    • 46,018 Thanks
    duchy
    Quite simply you've paid for a whole seat NOT half a seat.
    I've been in that situation (the lady was lovely-just huge) and the flight was full in economy. The airline did discreetly move me when quietly asked to-if they hadn't I would have considered asking them to put me on another flight instead as they hadn't upheld the contract of supplying a whole seat (American carriers are better for agreeing to this than UK carriers). No way was I going to sit in half a seat for a ten hour flight
    I've also asked to be moved on a very short flight-when seated in a window with a very nervous chap in the middle seat. He was literally shaking and was freaking me out.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
  • ttilley
    Frankly, Im rather disturbed about some of the language appearing on this thread. "Beast of a woman", "Fatty", "Fatties", "Man Mountain", "Fat lad" and the classic assumption that 'slim=better'. As pointed out in the initial scenario, Big Bob could be a bodybuilder or perhaps a rugby player but everyone likes to assume that obesity is the only issue. I have a particular interest in this thread being a Big Girl myself. What makes me Big is 30 years of undiagnosed bi-lateral Primary Lymphoedema (look it up). On the rare occasions I do fly, I make it quite clear at the time of booking that I am a larger person and I try to sit with my partner (6'4") so that the only space we might encroach on is our own. Amazingly enough, some airlines make it incredibly difficult to have the choice of being as thoughtful as possible to other passengers. Trust me, people are fully aware of their size and many of them will have done their best to avoid being confronted by insensitive passengers and unhelpful cabin staff.

    In the meantime please be aware that some Big People are not simply gluttons who might sweat and smell bad for your inconvenience. Try substituting some of the cruel words used in these posts for something racial and see how offensive you're being. I expected better from this Forum for some reason.
  • Money_Maker_Shaker
    Well put ttilley.
    Go on, shake your money maker!
  • matimage
    Happened to me on a flight back from Poland. Huge fat man (are we still allowed to call them fat or is it unslim?) sweating profusely squeezed in next to me. My heart sank. In fairness I have the same reaction when a parent with small baby/child sits near me.
    As a side, whats the etiquette when you are sat in the quiet carriage on a train and a child is screaming its head off?
    Sometimes you get what you deserve...

    • duchy
    • By duchy 19th Dec 07, 9:20 AM
    • 18,099 Posts
    • 46,018 Thanks
    duchy
    This topic gets discussed pretty frequently on www.flyertalk.com and apparently the "correct" term is POS (person of size).
    (Although I don't think Average Andy made a good choice of flight the direct flight is less than 10 hours !! )
    Last edited by duchy; 19-12-2007 at 10:08 AM.
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • Hannah2
    • By Hannah2 19th Dec 07, 9:24 AM
    • 249 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    Hannah2
    Frankly, Im rather disturbed about some of the language appearing on this thread. "Beast of a woman", "Fatty", "Fatties", "Man Mountain", "Fat lad" and the classic assumption that 'slim=better'. As pointed out in the initial scenario, Big Bob could be a bodybuilder or perhaps a rugby player but everyone likes to assume that obesity is the only issue. I have a particular interest in this thread being a Big Girl myself. What makes me Big is 30 years of undiagnosed bi-lateral Primary Lymphoedema (look it up). On the rare occasions I do fly, I make it quite clear at the time of booking that I am a larger person and I try to sit with my partner (6'4") so that the only space we might encroach on is our own. Amazingly enough, some airlines make it incredibly difficult to have the choice of being as thoughtful as possible to other passengers. Trust me, people are fully aware of their size and many of them will have done their best to avoid being confronted by insensitive passengers and unhelpful cabin staff.

    In the meantime please be aware that some Big People are not simply gluttons who might sweat and smell bad for your inconvenience. Try substituting some of the cruel words used in these posts for something racial and see how offensive you're being. I expected better from this Forum for some reason.
    Originally posted by ttilley
    Well said ttilley

    I am also a big girl, as you said, but I am also acutely aware of this and dread being in situations where it might affect others. I recently flew to the US and was so worried about this that I actually booked a second seat for my flights. Please note that one seat would actually have been fine although a little tight but I felt more comfortable knowing that I had that extra space.

    However, it was incredibly difficult to sort out (BMI) and I eventually, having been spoken to in an unacceptable manner by call centre staff, had to contact customer services and complain. From then on it was all dealt with very professionally until it came to check in at Manchester.

    When I checked in I gave both booking numbers, both tickets and explained the situation, it was only when i walked away from the check in desk and looked at my paperwork that i noticed that i had only been given one seat. I had to go back and explain again, and again to a supervisor. I was treated like an alien and humiliated.

    That all started again at the gate when i was called to the desk and told that they couldnt have 2 seats on the paperwork for me, that it wasnt allowed. They removed one off the records but said that they had blanked out the seat so that noone else could use it. By doing it this way they caused huge problems once I tried to collect my boarding card in Chicago for my connecting flight as they only had the details of one seat.

    Apart from all that, my tickets were marked as being a tall person hence needing more room. I am infact only 5 foot tall. That caused great amusement for the staff at Chicago.

    Add to that the glares that I got on the transatlantic flights which were both full, when people asked if they could move to the seat next to me as they were in the central seat in the middle section (not nice). I of course had to say no and explain that i had paid for 2 seats.

    I felt like a criminal and acutely embarassed.

    So, please have some consideration that not all "fatties" as people like to say are arrogant and ignorant of other people. We have feelings too and sometimes when trying to do the right thing can be made to feel embarrased and humiliated.
  • Sola
    POS? That's just plain silly. I'm 14 stone something and I refer to myself as 'fat' because that's what I am (although continuing to get slimmer). It's a plain factual description. Just don't call me lardbucket, Arbuckle or any of the other charming names; there's no need to be offensive.

    Yes I've been inconvenienced by other fat people; there's a morbidly obese guy who gets on my train who walks with a stick and takes up 2.5 seats to himself, so no-one can sit beside him. But he always looks very embarrassed about it all, and the last thing I'd want to do is make him feel worse; I'm sure it hasn't slipped his mind that he has a weight problem. I too find screaming kids much more of a problem.
  • sbb1979
    I can completely understand that larger people would find some of the phrases that have been said to be offensive, but a large proportion of the people also said that they would discretely ask the stewardess to help them in the situation.

    If I was sitting on a plane and had half of my seat taken up by a larger person, whether they be a body builder or someone who is obese, I would certainly ask to be either moved myself, or for them to be moved. You pay for a seat, no matter what the reason, if you need two, then you need two. Its not down to us to walk on eggshells about it. The airline and the larger person should have both thought to prevent someone else becoming uncomfortable, and if they haven't done anything about it then it is they who are in the wrong, not the person who is being squashed into the seat. As a courtesy, I would ask discretely if I could be moved, but should there be no other option, then I would expect the airline to find other travel arangements for the larger person.

    Sad as it may be, if I'm being physically squashed out of my seat, then something needs to be done about it. If the person is overweight because of eating too much, then this should be a catalyst to them doing something serious about it. If its for medical reasons, then they should have financial aid to allow them to pay for two seats.
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