posted by Holly Sweat in Travel

Small seats, bigger waistlines

May 30, 2012

Indisputably, Americans are getting fatter.  A recent NPR article states that one third of Americans are overweight, while another third are obese.  Even though waistlines in this country are expanding every year, domestic airlines have no plans to provide wider seats.

In fact, according to a CNN article, “Seat rows aboard Southwest Boeing 737-700s are moving closer together.”  While Southwest does not plan to make their seats any narrower, travelers will soon have to adapt to the new, closer seats.  The end result will inevitably be more profit for the airlines, followed by more angry passengers.  Is the tradeoff worth it?

Many airlines have suggested that larger travelers should have to pay for a second seat. Also, in the future travelers may expect to pay for additional legroom and more personal space.  A comfortable flight experience is becoming more and more costly.

As a frequent traveler, I am very familiar with the frustration of having the person next to me bulge into my seat.  Anyone who has paid for a seat deserves just that – an entire seat.  No one should have to share his/her seat.  With that said, I agree that anyone who cannot comfortably fit in an average seat should have to pay an additional fee for a wider seat.  However, I do believe it is the airlines’ responsibility to provide more options for the ever-growing amount of overweight passengers. 

Would you pay for additional legroom while traveling?

Who do you think should be responsible for the added cost of an overweight passenger? The airline or the traveler?




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