Obese Airline Passengers Get Break In Canada

Passengers who need more than one airline seat because of obesity or a disability won’t have to pay for the additional seat in Canada.

The Canadian Supreme Court has rejected an appeal of the rule by the airlines, so Air Canada and WestJet will have to change their policies.

The obesity provision is certainly the most contentious aspect of the case. 

The National Post doesn’t like that part of the decision:

… if extra-wide passengers get special treatment, why not extra-tall ones? After all, it is not their fault that nature made their legs too long. If airlines can be made to absorb the cost of giving away free seats to obese travellers, why shouldn’t they also be made to increase the amount of legroom between rows  …

The Globe and Mail didn’t either:

It is difficult to see, however, how the obese fit among the severely disabled. It is not making light of the matter to ask why a team of Sumo wrestlers might be deserving of a free upgrade to business class or two economy-class seats, which is what this ruling orders. 

Which drew this comment from a reader:

Speaking as a person with frequent and odorous flatulence, I have often contended that I should be given three rows to myself, so that I am not forced to deal with the embarrassment of having all my blue-faced seat neighbors glaring at me through watered eyes. Thanks, Supreme Court of Canada!

Ps: I’m also afraid of heights. I wonder could they do something to make the planes fly lower?


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