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On airplane now, large woman spilling onto me!

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heathpack

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Ok, y'all, I've tried to be tolerant. Right now I am in an aisle seat on a transcontinental flight.

Literally wedged into the middle seat is a young woman of considerable size. She is about 4 inches wider than the seat, cannot just sit down, must force her derrière between the armrests.

Because of her size, the dynamics of her body posture is that her arms do not hang straight down from her shoulders, they protrude out at a 45 degree angle into the "airspace" over my seat. This means either her elbow is two inches from my right eye, or her shoulder and upper arm are resting on mine, depending on whether she has her arm in an "up" versus "down" position. Her left arm and shoulder have been rubbing against me for the entirety of the flight.

Now she is playing a video game on her phone, causing her elbows to jut out even more to the side. I have politely asked her to stop, pointing out that when she plays the game her arm rests on top of mine, which is touching the inside of (but not on top of) the armrest. My request was met with a strange mute blinking silence, somewhat like the response one might expect from, say, a over-large goldfish. She then went right back to playing her game.

To add insult to injury, she has also been farting up a storm.

There, I feel better already, just writing this post. But seriously, how many inches wider than the seat does one need to be to be required to purchase a second seat?!

H
 

spencersmama

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I'm sorry for your pain right now, but I'm sure you'll see the humor in this post after the fact!
 

Ken555

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Ouch. I assume the flight is full, and the flight attendants are unable to move you (or her)?

I am reminded of the circus revolving around Kevin Smith being booted from a Southwest flight... It certainly seems as though some standards are needed in order to guarantee the comfort of all, hopefully done in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
 

pjrose

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Sorry, Heath, really sorry for your misery. I'd send {HUGS} but you probably don't want any claustrophobic physical contact, virtual or otherwise, at the moment. I'm sure you'll let us know if/how you survived the flight.
 

klpca

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I feel for you - there's nothing worse than being uncomfortable on a long flight. And the game playing/blank look were the toppers, I'm sure. My husband calls that behavior, "life without boundaries".

Btw, many on flyertalk file complaints with the airlines about the oversize issue. I know that many do it in anticipation of receiving "compensation" but I would do it just to get them to acknowledge the issue. If enough people complain, maybe they will come up with some type of solution that can accommodate everyone.
 
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heathpack

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I feel for you - there's nothing worse than being uncomfortable on a long flight. And the game playing/blank look were the toppers, I'm sure. My husband calls that behavior, "life without boundaries".

Btw, many on flyertalk file complaints with the airlines about the oversize issue. I know that many do it in anticipation of receiving "compensation" but I would do it just to get them to acknowledge the issue. If enough people complain, maybe they will come up with some type of solution that can accommodate everyone.

I actually think there is justification for a complaint letter, we were in an exit row seat and this lady could not readily get up out of her seat because of the wedging in. Good lord, though, the last thing I would want is some sort of compensation! This was a Delta flight & I've been trying to shake myself free of their FF program for years. Every time I use up my miles, I somehow earn some more and get sucked back in. I really do not like Delta Airlines.

I did eventually learn what the blank goldfish stare was all about- passive-aggressive hostility at being asked to not play the video game. This later evolved into aggressive-aggressive hostility over my bumping her arm (yes, the one in my airspace, it seems her feeling was that because her arms could not retract into the column of space that defined by her seat, that I was not to occupy the areas of my column of space that she needed to intrude upon. Logical, isnt it?). Mr. H, who was across the aisle from me, took one for the team & swapped seats with me, I really needed out of that seat at that point.

I don't know what the solution to this issue is, but agree it is something that should be addressed by the airlines- its only going to become more of a problem as our nation's waistband continues to expand.

H
 

Ken555

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If you're still on the flight... Get your camera and take a picture of the entire row. Nothing better than proof when you send that letter to Delta. :)
 

vacationhopeful

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I would go be a ROYAL PEST (but pleasant) in the flight attendants' space. I would make it a non-issue with them, saying my breasts and upper arms had been elbowed, poked and used as armrests for the last 2+ hours and I needed a break.
 
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dioxide45

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Did she require a seatbelt extender? Someone of the size you describe seems like they would. If that is the case, they should not have been seated in an exit row. You can't be in an exit row if you require a seat belt extender.
 
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dioxide45

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its only going to become more of a problem as our nation's waistband continues to expand...

H

...and as the seats continue to get narrower. The seats are already too narrow for those that are considered average size.
 

dougp26364

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The entitlement attitude shown by some really gets the best of me at times. When a gravitationally challanged person feels they have the right to intrude on another person paid for space, just because they're a big person, it really ticks me off. I guess this flyer feels that because they're big, they simply deserve more space. :rolleyes:

I once witnessed a man I would estimate at 400 lbs thow a fit on a NWA flight because he had a coach seat and they refused to bump him up to first class. He was throwing a temper tantrum and threatening legal action because he couldn't fit in a standard seat so it was NWA's responsiblity to put him in first class. He didn't seem to understand that first class was already full. He was demanding they bump someone back to his rear of the plane coach seat so he could have the seat they paid for or earned with their FF miles.

We have become an entitlement society. Nothing is our fault and if something goes wrong, someone else must pay.
 

MommaBear

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If people occupy two seats because of their size, they should pay for two seats. I don't think that is discrimination, I think it is logical. Sorry for your experience Heathpack.
 

theo

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Sorry --- but also THANKS...

Ok, y'all, I've tried to be tolerant. Right now I am in an aisle seat on a transcontinental flight.

Literally wedged into the middle seat is a young woman of considerable size. She is about 4 inches wider than the seat, cannot just sit down, must force her derrière between the armrests.

Because of her size, the dynamics of her body posture is that her arms do not hang straight down from her shoulders, they protrude out at a 45 degree angle into the "airspace" over my seat. This means either her elbow is two inches from my right eye, or her shoulder and upper arm are resting on mine, depending on whether she has her arm in an "up" versus "down" position. Her left arm and shoulder have been rubbing against me for the entirety of the flight.

Now she is playing a video game on her phone, causing her elbows to jut out even more to the side. I have politely asked her to stop, pointing out that when she plays the game her arm rests on top of mine, which is touching the inside of (but not on top of) the armrest. My request was met with a strange mute blinking silence, somewhat like the response one might expect from, say, a over-large goldfish. She then went right back to playing her game.

To add insult to injury, she has also been farting up a storm.

There, I feel better already, just writing this post. But seriously, how many inches wider than the seat does one need to be to be required to purchase a second seat?!

H

I am genuinely sorry for your "flight plight", but I am also very grateful for the belly laugh you've provided; I almost wet my pants at your descriptions. If you're not a humor writer, you should be. :hysterical: :hysterical: :hysterical:

Seriously, after wiping away tears of laughter, I wholeheartedly agree with the observations above regarding the sorry state of our "entitled" society. The "oversize" issue entirely aside, the behavior so artfully described is symptomatic of a complete lack of awareness or any consideration for impact on others.
 
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Tia

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I am guessing this problem is most of our fears come true. It's not in your control but you get to suffer because of the large person and the airlines seat size :( .

I recall sitting next to a larger lady recently who leaned into the aisle to avoid coming into my chair space.
 

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it is easy to criticize a large/obese person and say its their lifestyle and diet, but unfortunately sometimes it is not just personal neglect, but it could be something genetic, or a disability that has caused them to gain weight, or even a medical condition like something to do with adrenal glands or Prader-Willi syndrome(in fact 1% of obese people are due to medical causes, not because they are "american slobs"). My guess is the OP doesnt have a personal experience regarding this type of issue, or maybe they would be more understanding and forgiving of the situation. Especially considering he posted this just after Easter/Passover (christian/jewish spirit??) I'm sure she was just as uncomfortable as you, and your comment about her phone .. Should she sit there with her arms crossed for you?

Sure its not an ideal situation, but you can always buy the seat next to you to ensure it doesnt happen again... or fly private.
 
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akp

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How did you do?

I'm curious how the rest of the flight went?

If you're unlucky enough to have this happen again, put this in the hands of the flight attendent. Politely but firmly refuse to take your seat because you do not fit. Remain standing (and remain very very polite!)

The POS (person of size) should be re-seated, or you should be moved to another seat.

I'm a regular over at Flyertalk and have read several threads about this issue, though it has never happened to me. I'll try to find the thread and link it if I can, but the above is my recollection from the thread. There is also some airline legalese about being invoking IDB ("involuntarily denied boarding") but that was debated hotly and I don't remember the conclusion.

I hope you are having a better day today!

Anita

Edited to add: There is no judgment implied about why the person is larger than the seat. It does not matter whether this person is heavy because she over indulges or because her genes are coded that way. The issue is that the OP did not receive the seat he paid for.
 
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ronparise

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There is another post somewhere here on TUG, where the op was complaining about some injustice that she should be compensated for. and the consensus was "stuff happens" It may not be right, but you just have to accept it

I see airplane travel in much the same way. Vacations start and end with a miserable uncomfortable day...with any luck the time in between made it worthwhile

When I compare the size of the people I see on any city street, to the size of the typical airplane seat; its clear that your problem has to be a common problem. When I fly, I assume that it will be a miserable experience, and if its not..thats the surprise...I see airplane travel as no better than than an old greyhound bus. I have come to accept that Im not paying for a seat...Im paying for transport. If they get me to my destination...Im happy.

Be happy its only farts...You know she wont fit into the toilet

My last trip I sat next to a young mother holding a baby on her lap. Why her carry on didnt have to be shoved under the seat or in the overhead bin is a mystery to me.
 

dougp26364

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it is easy to criticize a large/obese person and say its their lifestyle and diet, but unfortunately sometimes it is not just personal neglect, but it could be something genetic, or a disability that has caused them to gain weight, or even a medical condition like something to do with adrenal glands or Prader-Willi syndrome(in fact 1% of obese people are due to medical causes, not because they are "american slobs"). My guess is the OP doesnt have a personal experience regarding this type of issue, or maybe they would be more understanding and forgiving of the situation. Especially considering he posted this just after Easter/Passover (christian/jewish spirit??) I'm sure she was just as uncomfortable as you, and your comment about her phone .. Should she sit there with her arms crossed for you?

Sure its not an ideal situation, but you can always buy the seat next to you to ensure it doesnt happen again... or fly private.

1% is a pretty low number.

Yes there are some that can't help it but, there are many more who haven't learned that eating 5,000 calories per day is a bad idea.

Regardless of the cause, if you're big, you still do not have the right to another persons space. Regardless of the reason for being large you should be considerate of others. It's obvious the person being talked about in this thread cares not for the discomfort she's causing another person. She's big and that's just to bad for everyone else. Suck it up because she's taking your space.

Who cares why she's big. I only care about the indiference shown to others.

And why should I have to buy two seats or fly private? Shouldn't the person who can't fit into the seat be the one buying the second seat or fly private? After all it's their condition and not mine. Again, entitlement. I'm large so I'm entitled to do nothing. Everyone else must pay for my condition. Sorry, I don't think so.
 
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IngridN

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it is easy to criticize a large/obese person and say its their lifestyle and diet, but unfortunately sometimes it is not just personal neglect, but it could be something genetic, or a disability that has caused them to gain weight, or even a medical condition like something to do with adrenal glands or Prader-Willi syndrome(in fact 1% of obese people are due to medical causes, not because they are "american slobs"). My guess is the OP doesnt have a personal experience regarding this type of issue, or maybe they would be more understanding and forgiving of the situation. Especially considering he posted this just after Easter/Passover (christian/jewish spirit??) I'm sure she was just as uncomfortable as you, and your comment about her phone .. Should she sit there with her arms crossed for you?

Sure its not an ideal situation, but you can always buy the seat next to you to ensure it doesnt happen again... or fly private.
You've got to be kidding...
 

dougp26364

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There is another post somewhere here on TUG, where the op was complaining about some injustice that she should be compensated for. and the consensus was "stuff happens" It may not be right, but you just have to accept it

I see airplane travel in much the same way. Vacations start and end with a miserable uncomfortable day...with any luck the time in between made it worthwhile

When I compare the size of the people I see on any city street, to the size of the typical airplane seat; its clear that your problem has to be a common problem. When I fly, I assume that it will be a miserable experience, and if its not..thats the surprise...I see airplane travel as no better than than an old greyhound bus. I have come to accept that Im not paying for a seat...Im paying for transport. If they get me to my destination...Im happy.

Be happy its only farts...You know she wont fit into the toilet

My last trip I sat next to a young mother holding a baby on her lap. Why her carry on didnt have to be shoved under the seat or in the overhead bin is a mystery to me.

The other thread is about liablity, which is not the case here. In this case, someone has paid for space on a plane but can not enjoy that space because of someone else. Many airlines have rules. Rules can be enforced. This is a different situation all together.
 

theo

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Well said!

<snip> Regardless of the cause, if you're big, you still do not have the right to another persons space. Regardless of the reason for being large you should be considerate of others. It's obvious the person being talked about in this thread cares not for the discomfort she's causing another person. She's big and that's just to bad for everyone else. Suck it up because she's taking your space.

Who cares why she's big. I only care about the indiference shown to others.

Beautifully and succinctly stated.

I would only add my personal opinion that if anyone has to consider buying a "second seat" or "fly private" in such a situation, it should ONLY be the individual who can't fit into just one seat (for whatever reason, medical or otherwise, it matters not one bit) --- NOT any other paying customer who can fit into a single seat and has paid full freight for the indisputable right to occupy their own assigned space --- ALONE!
 
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I sorry to read of your plight! I am sure you are miserable but I could not help but chuckle as I read your post. I have been in your place before and it is NOT a nice flight. Try this, go to the galley and very nicely explain your plight to the stewardess/steward. If there is an empty seat even if it is in an upgraded seat they just might move you. It worked for me. But the key is being polite and tactful. The flight crews are often over worked and stressed because there are a lot of changes going on in their jobs. I have found if you are polite they can be VERY helpful. Good luck.
 

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So far DH and I have been fortunate when flying together. DH not so lucky on biz travel, although not to this extent. Many stories where he tries to be accommodating by oozing out into the aisle only to be whacked by the food cart! I agree with others who have suggested taking it up with the flight attendant. I can't imagine going thru what you have. There's a difference between a very large sized person and such a large sized person that clearly should have purchased 2 seats.

Ingrid
 

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To be fair, while i may not be obese, at almost 6'3 and 210lbs, these airline seats are a tight fit, if i'm not in an exit row, my knees are sore for hours after the flight, if someone reclines, its all over and yes, even though i'm not 'large' the seats widths are tight also

I don't get how the Airlines can get away with the seat dimensions they use on flights...
 

presley

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That should be filmed and sent in to America's Funniest Videos.
 
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