Transport Airlines

Is it time for the FAA to pass a regulation for handling “passengers of size”?

Excerpt from NBC News

Nov 10, 2012 11:32 am

Skift Take

It’s an uncomfortable situation for everyone when a passenger can’t quite fit in their sit, but even more important is the flyer’s rights, which are still largely ignored by airlines with varying flying policies.

— Samantha Shankman

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Bill Abbott  / Flickr.com

"Southwest's 'Customer of Size' policy states that passengers who cannot fit between the 17-inch armrests must purchase a second seat." Bill Abbott / Flickr.com


With the holiday travel season ahead, large passengers need to carefully check airline policies before embarking in order to avoid unwelcome surprises at the gate or on the plane.

There is no overarching federal regulation guiding airlines regarding obese passengers who have difficulty fitting into a single seat, making for a hodgepodge of approaches, says Airfarewatchdog founder and consumer travel advocate George Hobica. That’s troubling, he said, because there is no question obesity is an increasing problem in this country.

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