Airlines need bigger seats for overweight passengers

February 23, 2010

Recently movie director/actor Kevin Smith was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight because he is overweight and apparently had trouble fitting into his seat or was extending over into his neighbor's seat. This is discrimination, but on the other hand, other passengers' rights would be infringed upon if he hung over into their space.

What the airlines need to do to accommodate larger passengers is to have the airline manufacturers build or convert existing planes with several rows of larger seats. Instead of five seats across, for instance, just have three or four. When passengers make reservations they can be asked without offending them if they will be requiring a larger seat. If the larger seats are not sold several days before flight time, they can then be sold to regular passengers.

Should the airlines charge more for these seats? Absolutely not. Movie theaters accommodate handicapped people as well ballparks, and these people are not charged an extra fee. The airlines might gripe at this idea, saying they will lose money because they will have fewer seats. Well, that's too bad because they are the only industry that has not gone far enough to accommodate larger people who, in my opinion, are handicapped. Refusing these people on airlines or charging them for two seats is discrimination. And that is against the law.

Mark Frank, Baltimore

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