The Battle Waging in the Friendly Skies: Airlines Policies towards Obese Passengers

February 26, 2010 By:Mary Winston Nicklin

Southwest AirlinesSouthwest Airlines rejecting overweight passengers from flights... Air France instituting a new policy on forcing obese fliers to buy a second seat... The debate continues around a delicate issue. A recent Practical Traveler column in The New York Times shines the spotlight on airlines' policies towards the obese:

Flying in coach is never comfortable, but it’s getting downright awkward for bigger passengers as airlines increasingly single out customers they deem too fat to fly. The issue made headlines in early February when the director Kevin Smith, best known for “Clerks” and “Chasing Amy,” was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland to Burbank, Calif., because the crew determined he was too big. Mr. Smith turned to his Twitter account to vent: “I broke no regulation, offered no ‘safety risk’ (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?). I was wrongly ejected from the flight.”

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