Friday, February 19, 2010

Width and Heigtht

So I'm sure by now you've heard all the hubbub about director Kevin Smith being asked to leave an airplane for being "too fat."  It's in interesting case, but William Saletan of asks a great question to come out of this:  Should fat people on airplanes be treated like tall people?  Both groups have issues on planes, mainly because the "one size fits all" policy doesn't work when you're cramming as many people as possible on a single aircraft in order to make the most money.  I'm the right side of the bell curve when it comes to height, at about 6' 4," and plane and bus rides are a pain in the knees.  I almost always sit in the aisle seat, or otherwise spend most of the flight adjusting my legs into different positions so they're not digging into people's backs.  And I can't imagine being bigger and having to cram onto those 18 inch wide seats. 

One of the commentors from the Slate article had an excellent point:  There should really be two rows of seats, one which offers larger seats, and one which offers more legroom.  People over a certain height/weight could request them, and if they are not requested than anyone could get them.  Having just traveled from Milwaukee to Mexico and back on 6 different aircraft I can safely say that this would be much appreciated, because every flight was filled with people, including those that were "big and tall."  I understand the desire to make the most money per flight, but Airlines have got to realize that we're paying good money to fly the friendly skies, and deserve a decent level of comfort in return.

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