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British Airways

Passenger Sues British Airways for Being “Crushed” By An Obese Seatmate

Passenger Sues British Airways for Being “Crushed” By An Obese Seatmate
Jackie Reddy

Stephen Prosser has taken action against British Airways after claiming that he suffered injuries when he was made to sit next to an obese man during the course of a 12-hour flight from Thailand back to London. The legal counsel for the carrier has described Prosser as “exaggerating” his experience.

British Airways (BA) passenger who claims that he was injured after being made to sit next to an obese man on a recent flight from Thailand to London is taking legal action against the carrier, the Daily Mail reports. Stephen Prosser is attempting to sue BA for £10,000 ($12,784) and claims that he has had to endure both injury as well as a loss of earnings after his experience.

Prosser, who is 5’3”, was seated next to a passenger who, by Prosser’s own description, was 6’4” in height and weighed over 300 lbs.

In court testimony, Prosser is quoted as stating that the passenger’s size was such that, “…he had to force his buttocks between the arm rests of the seats. I sat with his knees wedged against the seat in front and the rest of his body was over spilling into my seat by some inches.”

“I was immediately aware that this was going to be problematic for me and I could feel the weight of his pure bulk putting lateral pressure on my upper body. This forced me into a position of unnatural posture,” he added.

As if Prosser’s experience wasn’t bad enough, he stated that, “Due to the size of him when he placed his arm down at times it would rest on my armrest, and he would accidentally turn the volume of my audio up to an extremely loud volume each time.”

While Prosser opted not to raise his irritation with his seatmate, he did, however, speak to cabin crew and request to be moved. He was told by crew that no alternative seats were available as the flight was completely booked.

Timothy Salisbury, BA’s legal counsel, accused Prosser of “exaggerating” while Chris McLindon, who had served as the flight’s customer service manager, testified in a statement that Prosser was not observed to be in discomfort during the course of the journey.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)


  1. Neilarmstrong67

    November 22, 2018 at 6:05 am

    As an airline captain, we should take the following three steps to address such issues.

    1. Try to seat the large passenger in the largest available window seat.

    2. Try to sit a small person next to them, preferably a child. Go out of our way to accommodate any passenger required to sit next to the large flyer.

    3. Ensure that they

    I think that would fix most of these types of issues.

  2. midorosan

    November 22, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    One thing you can be sure of when making a complaint to BA the customer is always wrong, the customer either exaggerates as in this case or the crew deny anything happening in the event that an incident is reported.

  3. copaflyer

    November 24, 2018 at 3:58 am

    Why should a child be seated next to them if everyone is paying the same price? They should buy two seats or business or first class.

  4. htb

    November 25, 2018 at 1:19 am

    “Prosser was not observed to be in discomfort during the course of the journey“
    Can they seriously day that without a smirk in their face of someone being seated next to a 300 pound person in economy? Beware of BA is all I can think of when reading such nonsense.

  5. mvoight

    November 25, 2018 at 1:27 am

    So, you want to sit a child between 2 adults he doesn’t know?

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