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obese pax denied boarding

obese pax denied boarding

Old Sep 9, 14, 12:03 pm
  #151  
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Originally Posted by lloydah View Post
When the woman first bought her return tickets she was just about in a condition to fly. It's no fault of any airline that she increased in weight to the extent that she couldn't be "men"handled onto the plane, winched on or otherwise accommodated. Stop blaming the airlines for the woman's health and lack of common sense that would have told any sensible person the path they chose was doomed from the start. Oh, I forgot. We're not allowed to have any responsibility for ourselves are we? No no, just sue when things go wrong as it's bound to be someone else's fault. sob sob.
Everyone keeps forgetting that the airlines were made aware of her weight BEFORE she ticketed the return. In KLM's case, KLM had already flown her to Europe from the USA, so they bear full responsibility for her lack of return...and the concomitant failure of her two seats from functioning properly. The other airlines were within their rights to not sell her a ticket under such circumstances if they can reasonably demonstrate their inability to accommodate her in normal seating, but both DL and LH sold her a ticket anyway--thereby accepting responsibility as per any contract.

The airlines got sued as a result, and they settled. The disgruntled among you might not like it or accept that this was more likely a case where the FAs and pilots involved were being discriminatory toward a fat passenger in a different way than they would be towards any other non-fat passenger, but I suspect that is also due to the fact that the discriminatory thinking towards obese people isn't limited to just the FAs and pilots involved.

You can complain and whine all you like, but the fact is that the airlines settled. I accept that and think it is perfectly appropriate.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:16 pm
  #152  
 
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You can complain and whine all you like, but the fact is that the airlines settled. I accept that and think it is perfectly appropriate.[/QUOTE]

I don't whine and I'm not complaining. I'm giving a perfectly justified opinion which is opposed to yours. I'm happy for you to accept the outcome as it is. But the question you haven't answered is - How do you propose the (any) airline should get someone home who put on a vast amount of weight and couldn't, even without the help of the fire brigade, get onto the plane? Who would be to blame if she died in a fire, stuck in her row of seats? So they sold her a seat for her return. Do we know the details of the travel agent's discussion? Do we know he was truthful? No we don't. All we know is that no efforts they took worked. If you look at the details of treatments available in Budapest you'll see that they are far from 3rd world. If they manage open heart surgery on a regular basis they could have treated her enough to enable her to fly. The onus was on her not the airline. As I said earlier, life isn't and never was fair. Some things are a challenge, she didn't try to overcome this one.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by lloydah View Post
Y Who would be to blame if she died in a fire, stuck in her row of seats?
I don't know but it would have left an awful mess behind.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
We will have to agree to disagree. As the airlines were ALL made aware of the woman's weight in advance, and she purchased 2 seats, and it had already been demonstrated to be possible to fly her outbound on KLM....
When she was 60+ pounds LIGHTER. What part of "she gained a massive amount of weight over the course of a month" are you unable to understand? I'm sure the fact that she was (barely) able to fly over to Hungary on a commercial flight earlier is why the airlines were even willing to try to attempt to load her in the plane at all, instead of flatly denying boarding as soon as they saw her.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by lloydah View Post
How do you propose the (any) airline should get someone home who put on a vast amount of weight and couldn't, even without the help of the fire brigade, get onto the plane?
I don't propose anything. I have no issue whatsoever for any airline to refuse service based on the laws of that nation to a passenger who reasonably cannot be accommodated in the seat class they are trying to purchase. IMO, Delta and Lufthansa's mistake was in accepting the obese woman as a passenger in the first place--thereby taking responsibility for what transpired when they failed to fulfill their end of the contract. Had both airlines refused to ticket the passenger, assuming they are allowed to do so under the laws that apply to them in the EU, neither airline would be responsible for what transpired.

People seem to be making the argument that this woman somehow gained an incredible amount of weight while she was in Europe--that has not been shown to be the case. Regardless, if that were the case, KLM, LH, and DL were capable of indicating their inability to deliver on the service they promised by not ticketing the passenger in the first place--since the all were made aware of her condition after KLM was unable to accommodate her. In KLM's case, apparently, the reason they couldn't accommodate her was because the two seats she had booked were faulty seats that would not accommodate her--so the fault again therein was with KLM and its faulty seats, not the woman who purchased 2 seats.

For people who are morbidly obese, I have no issue with an airliner refusing service in economy or requiring purchase of premium class seating when the purchase of 2 functional economy seats will not accommodate that passenger. Then it is the responsibility of the passenger to find alternative means to get from point A to point B or accept that their condition precludes them using commercial aviation.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:34 pm
  #156  
 
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We have strong business discrimination laws in the EU.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
People seem to be making the argument that this woman somehow gained an incredible amount of weight while she was in Europe--that has not been shown to be the case.
I think it was. The reason for that her refusal to take treatment in Hungary.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
I think it was. The reason for that her refusal to take treatment in Hungary.
The media reports include nothing about her having gained a significant amount of weight while in Europe--she was already morbidly obese before departing from the USA as noted in all reports.

Her refusal to take treatment in Hungary is not an issue whatsoever in this case. People are entitled to seek treatment in their home countries, and not doing so isn't actionable!

IMO, most people herein are looking to make excuses for the airlines and their FAs and pilots who acted badly here, exempting the airlines for the fact that (1) the airlines accepted the ticketed contract knowing her weight in ADVANCE, (2) the airlines either didn't try to accommodate the passenger or couldn't accommodate the passenger, either of which didn't fulfill the contract as per the ticket, (3) the FAs and pilots acted discriminatorily in various ways (trying to prevent a missed connection by the LH pilot is laughable as an excuse not to try to accommodate the passenger when numerous connections are missed for reasons of far less significance and import in any week for every airline, and the FAs on DL and KLM were similarly discriminatory in their behavior, I suspect, and (4) the passenger ultimately died as she was not able to return to seek the medical care she wanted and for which she had contracted airline transport to receive.

It's a pretty cut and dry contracts case for the USA and EU. The airlines failed to deliver on their contracts, and they likely had issues of discrimination as part of that failure, and those failures resulted in the woman's death. No wonder they settled.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
People seem to be making the argument that this woman somehow gained an incredible amount of weight while she was in Europe--that has not been shown to be the case.
The massive weight gain was specifically mentioned in some of the news articles two years ago discussing her case. And there's no "somehow" about it - people with worsening renal failure can easily gain large amounts of fluid weight even though there's been no changes in their diet or exercise pattern. It's basic pathophysiology, not magic.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 1:59 pm
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I'm just curious, did she develop type 2 diabetes while she was still in Hungary, or was it a result of her life style after emigrating to US? I mean, I could not possibly imagine that there would be so many morbidly obese people in Hungary. She reads/write/speak (assuming) the native language, right? All the more why didn't she get medical care there???
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Old Sep 9, 14, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by telabadmanwot View Post
We have strong business discrimination laws in the EU.
Another curious question.
So, if the airline decides to refuse selling a ticket to her given her mobility (or lack thereof) is a greater risk to the fellow passengers in emergency, do the airline gets punished/sanctioned for such refusal in EU?

Discussions above relating airline failing to satisfy the contract made me think then what if there was no such contract in the first place, i.e. airline did not sell a ticket, that is also considered discriminatory?? So, the airline will be blamed either way, refuse to sell - discrimination, sold ticket but unable to accommodate - discrimination?
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Old Sep 9, 14, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by artemis View Post
The massive weight gain was specifically mentioned in some of the news articles two years ago discussing her case. And there's no "somehow" about it - people with worsening renal failure can easily gain large amounts of fluid weight even though there's been no changes in their diet or exercise pattern. It's basic pathophysiology, not magic.
Correct, I don't think bhrubin has any idea how quickly this can happen. In any case, I would make the argument that the woman (having gained that much weight) which would mean that she probably had acute on chronic renal failure would be completely unfit to fly to begin with even if she had made it onto the aircraft. For that reason I doubt that airline was properly informed as to her medical condition before even leaving the states, they probably figured it was simple obesity or were informed that her condition was likely to remain stable over the course of her stay. In any case, refusing medical care (which is substantially available) in Budapest was a pretty bloody stupid thing to do, clearly in this case fatally stupid.

Everyone here seems to be so focussed on the woman not being allowed to fly but had I been a fellow passenger on that aircraft I'd be raising concerns with the FAs about OUR safety in evacuating with someone that requires cranes to lift and is totally immobile and is quite literally wider than the door of the aircraft. No doubt they put her in an exit row in coach, she doesn't physically fit between the rows of coach seats. Really the only aircraft that would be equipped to safely move this lady is an air ambulance like previously said.

Hell, she needs a team of doctors and nurses to look after her so hypothetically even if she made it into the air it wouldn't have been safe and totally unreasonable to ask of the airline. If something happened and she started crashing midair, the duty of care would have fallen onto the FAs to intervene which is something they're neither equipped nor trained to do. Is that a fair responsibility to place on KLM or Delta staff? That would be like asking me to perform maintenance on a Boeing and putting people's lives at risk.
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Old Sep 10, 14, 1:02 am
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At the end of the day - the airlines refused to fly her home because in the opinion of the Captain, her presence on board was a safety risk for the woman herself and other passengers.

In the case of an emergency, there was no way this woman and her husband could have got themselves off the plane, and she had difficulty even getting through the aeroplane door.

Getting her off in an emergency would have been at great risk to the cabin crew who would have had to stay and at least try to help her, and she would have blocked the aisles and/ doors for the other passengers. Anyone who requires the assistance of more than one or possibly two people is a danger to themselves and others on a flight.

The husband deserves NO compensation - they should never have travelled with her in such a fragile state of health, and they should have sought appropriate medical aid in Europe before attempting the return journey. People need to take some responsibility for their own actions and decisions
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Old Sep 10, 14, 10:45 am
  #164  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
The "airlines tried and could not" accommodate this woman--you say that as if their attempt to try and their failure is something of a fait accompli. The fact is that the airlines bear responsibility for her death to some degree because they tried and could not deliver on their contract--her payment and their ticketing for her seats/itinerary. The could not deliver--and they therefore bear some responsibility.
Hogwash. This woman didn't die because the airlines didn't take her home, she died because of a pre-existing medical condition for which she failed to seek proper treatment while in Hungary. Treatment was available where she was. She didn't seek it, preferring to risk her own life in order to seek treatment on the other side of the planet.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
The media reports include nothing about her having gained a significant amount of weight while in Europe--she was already morbidly obese before departing from the USA as noted in all reports.

Her refusal to take treatment in Hungary is not an issue whatsoever in this case. People are entitled to seek treatment in their home countries, and not doing so isn't actionable!
Yes, people are entitled to seek treatment wherever they wish, and doing so isn't actionable.

However, when a person chooses to ignore or deny themselves care that is available where they are, they take upon themselves the responsibility for any negative health consequences.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
IMO, most people herein are looking to make excuses for the airlines and their FAs and pilots who acted badly here, exempting the airlines for the fact that (1) the airlines accepted the ticketed contract knowing her weight in ADVANCE, (2) the airlines either didn't try to accommodate the passenger or couldn't accommodate the passenger, either of which didn't fulfill the contract as per the ticket, (3) the FAs and pilots acted discriminatorily in various ways (trying to prevent a missed connection by the LH pilot is laughable as an excuse not to try to accommodate the passenger when numerous connections are missed for reasons of far less significance and import in any week for every airline, and the FAs on DL and KLM were similarly discriminatory in their behavior, I suspect, and (4) the passenger ultimately died as she was not able to return to seek the medical care she wanted and for which she had contracted airline transport to receive.

It's a pretty cut and dry contracts case for the USA and EU. The airlines failed to deliver on their contracts, and they likely had issues of discrimination as part of that failure, and those failures resulted in the woman's death. No wonder they settled.
Whether or not the airlines failed to deliver on their contracts is one issue, and whether or not they discriminated against this woman is a second issue. Neither of those issues had any bearing whatsoever on the woman's death.

Medical treatment was available where she was, so lack of transportation, no matter what the cause - failures, discrimination, or any other factor - did not contribute to her death in any sense.

She died because she had a pre-existing condition and failed to seek out the available treatment where she was. She risked her life by postponing treatment until she could get home, and lost the gamble. None of that is the fault of the airlines.

Failure to deliver and discrimination are completely separate issues. The airlines may well be guilty of one or both of those things, but even if they are, neither of those things makes them the least bit culpable in her death.
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Old Sep 13, 14, 2:19 am
  #165  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Yes, morbid obesity and obesity in general has been considered recently to be covered by the ADA in the USA.
The ADA is irrelevant for air transport of passengers, it only applies to the employees of said airlines.
European law is even more liberal than that of the USA
Europe is very liberal when it comes to the burden of cost, not at all when it comes to liability. Europe has neither punitive damages, nor class action, and an action must have caused the harm immediately. Not flying did not kill her that would be the end of the liability aspect in Europe.

But her breaking a seat and burring another passenger would very much be an actionable item.
..The fact is that the airlines bear responsibility for her death to some degree because they tried and could not deliver on their contract..
She was more than 270lb hence she did not buy the ticket as per contract. At least not for the EU carriers.
Then Lufthansa did the same thing. One is left to wonder why the specific FAs and pilots on DL and LH were so quick to dump the woman from her flight..
Because they hate females, redheads, fat Americans, people who can't speak Dutch or German? What flavour of racism did you see in the fact that the white, heterosexual, non-fat crews of both European and American carriers could not fit her in her row?
The fact is the airlines likely KNEW at worst that their staffs made some bad choices, some of which might have been illegal, and KNEW at best that it would look bad for them and they might be considered even MORE liable had it gone to trial. So they settled.
That is a stretch beyond all reason. They probably haggled the husband down to 1500$ in vouchers plus $5000 for his legal council which all was much cheaper than tying up their lawyers for 2 days in court.
Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
..Her refusal to take treatment in Hungary is not an issue whatsoever in this case. People are entitled to seek treatment in their home countries, and not doing so isn't actionable!...
That is why the husband is not in jail.

Not seeking treatment may have had however very real consequences in the actual physical world.
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