Too Fat To Fly? There’s Got To Be A Better Way

20 May

I know, I’m stepping into the overweight people on airplanes — again.   For those of you who don’t know, I’m a woman of size myself.  But I do fit into an airline seat.  You can see my March 3 post that outlines my views fully here.

So I was watching the “Today Show” earlier this week, and was subjected to another too-fat-to-fly-on-Southwest-Airlines story, featuring a woman named Kenlie Tiggeman.  The video is below.

I applaud Southwest Airlines for having a policy for people of size on their flights.  My problem is that it seems to be implemented on an arbitrary basis, despite having a pretty good Q&A on the policy.  I do understand that one woman’s fat is another man’s average size.

It can be difficult — and uncomfortable — for thousands of Southwest Airlines employees to make that fat-or-not call.  And it gets particularly sticky when a passenger of size has flown one segment without incident, like Tiggeman, then is confronted with the policy.

So here’s my question — we have overhead baggage sizers at check-in counters and gates.  Can’t we have something similar — or even something as simple as a tape measure — to ensure people of size can be checked early in the process?

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5 Responses to “Too Fat To Fly? There’s Got To Be A Better Way”

  1. Bridget May 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    When I took a helicopter to Catalina Island during my honeymoon, every passenger had to be weighed. There was a scale we stepped on to right at the check in counter . . .

    • Aviation Queen May 23, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      I did a similar thing when i went on my Grand Canyon helicopter ride. But weight alone may not be a good indicator, because there are heavy folks — like me — who still fit in a regular airline seat with the armrests down.

  2. quanterium May 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    You don’t even have to design anything special to use as an in-terminal size checker. Just buy a bunch of old 737 seats and stick them near the check-in counter.

    • Aviation Queen May 23, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      I agree, but there may be some space constraints. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to have the seats out open in the public. No need to humiliate people further.


  1. Right Or Wrong? Southwest Sued Over Obese Passenger Policy « Aviation Queen - May 7, 2012

    [...] For ‘Discriminatory Actions’ – caught my eye, since I’ve blogged several times (here and here).  For my newer readers, I am a woman of size – rubenesque, as it were — but [...]

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