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Would You Ask This Guy to Buy An Extra Seat?

Would You Ask This Guy to Buy An Extra Seat?
Jackie Reddy

Even for those with decidedly normal physiques, the plane cabin is a small space. Spare a thought, however, for Eddie Hall and Brian ‘The Beast’ Shaw, two champion strongmen who found themselves seated – or rather uncomfortably crammed – next to each other on a recent flight from London to Scotland.

The tight confines of a plane cabin can be tough to negotiate for those with normal physiques, let alone for the exceptionally musclebound. So when a couple of former World’s Strongest Man champions were seated next to each other on a recent Scotland-bound journey from London, things became even tighter, as reports.

Eddie Hall, who took the title for 2017, found himself sitting immediately next to Brian ‘The Beast’ Shaw, who was crowned World’s Strongest Man in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. A photo posted by Hall on Instagram shows the two men crammed into their seats on the flight operated by an unnamed budget carrier.

Image: Instagram/ shawstrength

Commenting on his post, he wrote, “The check-in ladies sat me and @shawstrength right next to each other on the plane from London to Scotland and no-one on the plane would want to swap seats. Would you swap seats with one of us? I wouldn’t either.”

He also posted another picture of Shaw sitting next to another passenger. Despite the new seatmate, the conditions were similarly cramped. Offering a tongue-in-cheek remark, he said, “I seem to fit perfectly in this seat,” adding, “Thankfully this young lady next to me was a good sport… and was in for a fun picture.”

Instagram/ shawstrength

[Image Source: Youtube/ Venag Fit]

View Comments (30)


  1. ProudPatriot


    April 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I know this is a controversial topic. But, there’s a practical solution. If you don’t fit into the seat without violating the personal space of a fellow passenger, it’s time to enforce the “must purchase two seats” alternative. I know exactly how it feels when the passenger next to you is so large that he takes up a third of your seat. In my experience, if I didn’t want the person touching me and violating my personal space the entire 4+ hour flight, I was forced to sit at a very uncomfortable angle.

  2. kkua

    April 21, 2019 at 7:23 am

    With all their prize winnings, you’d think they’d be able to afford purchasing a second seat or a bigger seat if a premium cabin exists.

  3. mvoight

    April 22, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Agree with proud patriot. If you want a bigger car, you pay for it. More food, you pay for it.
    These people should have purchased 2 seats each.

  4. NickM

    April 23, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    There really is no downside to this. larger passengers will balk at paying double, and of course there’s no discount for tiny folks, but where do you draw the line? When elbows are touching? shoulders? what if they lean against the bulkhead the whole flight? what if they lean on you the whole flight?

    This could open up a market for flights with fewer seats but more space. I’m not a large person, but when I think about 2×2 A32x/73x flights? yes please. 33% fewer seats, 33% higher price, still yes please, especially 3hour+ flights.
    all you need to do is swap out some of the 3x3s on larger planes and 2x2s on smaller planes with 2×2 and 1×1 seats, and charge 33-50% more, beats paying double. But until then, agree, pay for 2 seats, 1 business seat, a sparsely populated super early/late flight, or find other ways to get there.

  5. nntman

    April 24, 2019 at 4:27 am

    …Or airline can leave empty seat next to someone who doesn’t fit in one seat. Either they have weight/size policies that REQUIRE purchase of 2 seats or they make other arrangements so as not to force someone to sit in two-thirds of an already small space.

  6. Thomas Eriksen

    April 24, 2019 at 4:28 am

    Absolutely he should buy an extra ticket and if he dont he should be turned away from the flight if he didn’t.

  7. flyshooter

    April 24, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Clearly we need a passenger sizing box just like we have for carry on luggage. Fit in the box, buy one seat. Don’t fit in the box, buy two. Simple.

  8. offerendum

    April 24, 2019 at 4:39 am

    I agree with ProudPatriot. If someone flies with a partner it may be acceptable to sit near to each other. But I wouldn’t accept it with a passenger I don’t know. If you don’t fit completely in your seat without using other passengers space you must buy a second seat.

    As we are in Europe and on a budget airline no premium cabin with larger seats was available for sue.

  9. cloclobel

    April 24, 2019 at 4:55 am

    wow… at check in as well as when boarding plane, airline makes a decision on ur carry on luggage… so why not on pax weight, as well?

  10. mnfilmer

    April 24, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Close the manspread and you’ll be ok

  11. tcoat1305

    April 24, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Of course ProudPatriot is 100% correct about this. This is a huge (pun unintended) problem on SWA and I “get” that it’s an awkward conversation to have with a person of “size” (I am a big guy myself BUT I DO FIT WITHIN THE CONFINES OF MY SEAT) but give me a break. Everybody has rights here.

  12. SilverJack

    April 24, 2019 at 5:42 am

    I’ve been in the same situation when my wife and I were flying with a group of weightlifters. They arrived late and one had to sit between us. Really big guy, friendly, but really really large. I’m six foot 200LBs but this guy was big. He suggested that as soon as we could, my wife and I both recline and that would give us all more room. Sure enough the recine angle meant our shoulders would no longer touch. And since the gentleman was only wide up top, there was no problem afterwards.
    I’ve also been next to overweight people who spill over into my side, but that’s not a reason to be angry at that person. I have been flying for many years and I have watched the airlines squeeze passengers figuratively and physically over the years. First Class on most Delta flights is what regular coach used to be (minus the drinks and food). Forcing everyone to sit in city bus sized seats only makes me angry at the airlines not my fellow passengers. Lets focus on the real issue here not turn on each other (as the airlines want us to do).

  13. Gordon Palmer

    April 24, 2019 at 6:13 am

    It’s only being considerate to fellow passengers to buy another seat or buy a seat in a premium cabin if your physicality suggests it. You’re more comfortable, others are more comfortable, and you’re not presuming/imposing on their kindness/tolerance to having their personal space overwhelmed for no good reason. Be a little thoughtful of others.

  14. luvtotravel1

    April 24, 2019 at 6:24 am

    She could have sat on his lap!!!!!

  15. zitsky

    April 24, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Now they know how the rest of us feel.

  16. Disneymkvii

    April 24, 2019 at 7:07 am

    I wish it always worked out that way, but it doesn’t. I recently sat in the same row as a large person who told me they had purchased two seats, always do. Well, when the plane was full up, i was enjoying the space in between. Until a lady kept walking by… and FA kept looking and talking. Then finally they said the plane was booked full and this lady had to sit in this guys seat that HE HAD PAID FOR. They did not offer him any compensation. Shoot, I wish they had offered some to me because she wasn’t no beanpole herself.

  17. Dealmaker752

    April 24, 2019 at 7:19 am

    This is a constant problem for me and it is getting worse as the airlines install smaller seats to add more passengers, No airline staff wants to focus on this issue when it occurs as they want to fill the plane and depart on time. The gate agents should scrutinize passengers when they have their boarding passes scanned. Flight attendants should be more vigilant when they see that an oversized passenger is taking up the space of a normal size passenger. I find it strange that airlines have a bin by the gates to make sure a piece of carry on is too large, but what about oversized passengers! I have written to airlines about this and they are vague on their replies.

  18. MaldivesFreak


    April 24, 2019 at 7:20 am

    They couldn’t afford to purchase 2 seats each because those banned steroids and growth hormones are just too damn expensive on the black market

  19. shellblues

    April 24, 2019 at 7:26 am

    What is wrong with us, how entitled have we become, that we should (gasp!) want to avoid touching someone sitting next to us on ANY public transit? Come on, people. Engage in the humanity around us! Larger people should not be penalized because
    1) they are larger, 2) airlines keep shrinking seats, 3) people have become irrational about their rights to perceived ownership of space.
    This issue may be a not so subtle form of discrimination against people of size.
    Would I sit next to this person? Absolutely, and I’d embrace every minute of it. A sense of humor and caring attitude toward each other can make any travel experience a better thing.

  20. Loren Pechtel

    April 24, 2019 at 7:45 am

    How can they think it’s appropriate not to buy an extra seat?!

  21. Iam Jetlagged

    April 24, 2019 at 8:24 am

    There are health issues associated with being cramped into confining spaces and flying for a significant amount of time. It is imperative that airlines insure any ‘passenger of size’, is suitably seated, (for their health & those around them), prior to door closure/departure.
    Some airlines also allow ‘passengers of size’ to sit in exit rows with seat belt extenders, as long as they accept & understand the responsibilities associated with assisting in an emergency evacuation. Note: some emergency exit windows are not overly large.
    As with service animals, (& the newer ‘emotional support animals’); passengers of size should also be prohibited by the airline to encroach on others seating and floor space.

  22. drphun

    April 24, 2019 at 8:30 am

    I think it was great that they seated them next to each other. That seems like a perfect alternate to purchasing two seats.

  23. MimiB22

    April 24, 2019 at 9:30 am

    There are health and safety issues cramming large people into too small seats. Of course the airlines are at fault, for constantly downsizing seat space, but since they do, there also needs to be enforcement so that persons of size either purchase a larger seat or buy two. Ideally, this could be explained at the time of purchase, to avoid gate embarrassment, but just as there are sizing forms for carry on bags, there should be something similar for seats. I know this would be awkward, but nothing else seems appropriate. I’m a fairly “normal” sized person, but I’ve been squeezed beyond comfort by very large seat mates. I have come to the point where I absolutely refuse to raise the arm rest to give a large person more room at my own expense and this has lead to a a couple of minor incidents, despite my being polite and discreet. I paid for my seat and I”m not sharing it with someone who wants part of it.

  24. CAlex

    April 24, 2019 at 10:12 am

    The rule of having POS (Persons of Size) purchase a second seat is very logical, makes sense and it’s easy to implement. The problem is perception, in a time when the airlines are shrinking the seats and when passengers are getting taller & larger.

    Airlines will not take any measure until the next accident where POS will not be able to evacuate because they were crammed into a single seat. They try to manage with empty seats if the flights are not full or with re-booking them on other non-full flights, and that works for US domestic airlines.


    April 24, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    The Airline is responsible for the comfort… so size and weight matters

    weight and size policy for tickets and chair allocation seems the only way to go….
    over 120 KG – 2 seats are just necessary – and they should pay for 2 seats and extra body weight too

    upto 60 KG – 60 % ticket price
    60 – 80 KG – 80 % ticket price
    80-100 KG – 100 % ticket price (window chair)
    101 – 120 KG -150 % ticket price (aisle chair)
    121 – 150 KG – 300 % ticket price ((aisle and centre (empty) chair)

    All luggage – Cabin and Check-in should be paid for by weight and size

    it´s that simple

  26. Bobbop

    April 24, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    I had this happen to me on Southwest a few years ago. I’m a pretty big guy myself but there was no way I could sit in my seat. The attendants were extremely gracious, they let me sit on their jump seat while they did service and I half sat on my seat for the landing. Southwest had an gate agent meet the plane and refund my ticket. Incredibly the same huge man was on my return flight occupying a seat and a half but I was smart enough to grab a different seat this time.

  27. skayser

    April 24, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    I get tired of seeing forums ‘defending’ people who are of a certain size. The airlines sell a product which has specific specifications & requirements. In this case we are talking about the space of a seat in a given cabin including the leg room per seat. Thats what it sells.
    If you happen to fit those specifications exactly or are smaller and have extra space, great – you still pay what you pay based on the payment scales but the individual product remains the same.
    If you exceed the specifications then you must comply to the rules that are set out, and if that is to pay for another seat then that is what you have to do. You have to deal with what size you are and don’t make it the responsibility of the person next to you… airlines do not create products in a specific cabin that cater for different people sizes. If you need more space then pay for the required extra seats or a cabin which provides the room you need within the specification of the seat.
    DO NOT expect that you can take the space of the seat next to you and touch him/her- this is rude and selfish.

  28. UKTroll

    April 25, 2019 at 2:14 am

    If you can’t confine yourself to your own seat area, then you should have to buy two seats or travel in a class where you get independent seats. I’m overweight, but that doesn’t entitle me to impose myself on anybody else’s space any more than personal allergies should require others to modify their eating habits (Easyjet).

  29. dliesse

    April 25, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Part of the problem is what disneymkvii pointed out. I’m on the larger side — don’t quite spill over the armrests (except on the planes with 16.5″ seats), do push them up a little bit in some cases, but broad shoulders that I can’t do anything about. I’d be willing to purchase an extra seat, but only after the airlines absolutely guarantee that I get two seats for my money! Passengers worldwide are getting larger, especially so in the US, but the airlines haven’t waked up to this reality.

    Back in the 1960s United had three classes of service — first, standard, and coach. The standard cabin was 3+2 seating (or 2+3, depending on which direction you were looking at them!). I was too young at the time to know if the service was any better than coach (and it was still called coach, not economy — which was a lower fare bucket in the coach cabin on selected flights), but that would certainly be a useful solution now. Although I’m over 6 feet tall I can live with the legroom on most planes; it’s the width that’s a problem that never seems to be addressed (except with “buy a seat in first class” — which is not even close to being worth the premium price anymore).

  30. cschultz8

    April 29, 2019 at 11:00 am

    The first thing I do when sitting down is put down the armrest. At least is keeps my space for me, that is unless a large person oozes under the armrest.

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