Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > United Mileage Plus (Pre-Merger)
Reload this Page >

Should United charge overweight passengers for second seat?

Should United charge overweight passengers for second seat?

 
Old May 13, 05, 6:33 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 2,159
Should United charge overweight passengers for second seat?

I am watching the Daily Buzz show and they are discussing the show "Airline" and discussing if passengers should pay for two seats if they are overweight. It seems that on one of the shows they ask a passenger that is overweight to first see if they are too big for a seat and then ask him to purchase a second seat.

Does United do this? Should they do this?

On a flight two years ago on Jetblue I had to be seated next to a overweight passenger. Although I was sympathetic with the passenger I had a hard time because the whole flight I was learning out on the aisle. This was flight from SEA to JFK.
iwebslinger is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 6:55 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Greater DC
Programs: UA plus
Posts: 12,940
This has been discussed in great detail in Travelbuzz, it is not a UA specific issue and likely doesn't belong in this forum.
GoingAway is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 7:24 am
  #3  
LAX
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA
Programs: OZ Diamond
Posts: 5,862
Originally Posted by GoingAway
This has been discussed in great detail in Travelbuzz, it is not a UA specific issue and likely doesn't belong in this forum.
How is this not UA specific when the OP specifically asked whether UA should charge overweight passengers for an additional seat? Anyways, back to original topic. Not sure if UA currently does, and if it doesn't, I think it should if the overweight passengers occupy (or even only partially occupy) an additional seat AND there is no empty seat available. Quite frankly, if there are empty seats available at the time of departure, they will remain empty throughout the flight anyway. However, if the flight is full (more common these days), then the overweight passenger should pay for a second seat for his/her sake as well as his/her seat mate's sake. It wouldn't be fair for that poor seat mate to get a partially occupied when he/she has already paid for his/her seat. Just my opinion.

LAX
LAX is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 8:50 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
Programs: BA EC Gold
Posts: 9,236
Originally Posted by LAX
How is this not UA specific when the OP specifically asked whether UA should charge overweight passengers for an additional seat?
This is not UA-specific, since any kind of debate - moral, financial or otherwise - could and should just as easily be applied to every other airline.

I cannot think of any circumstances surrounding this issue which apply to UA but do not just as equally apply to any and every other commercial airline out there.

This issue really isn't UA-specific.

FWIW, there was quite a long thread in the DL forum about this a few weeks back. Some people believed that all overweight passengers should pay for their seats, others believed that all passengers requiring extra space - disabled, extraordinarily tall or broad - should be financially responsible.

IIRC, there were lots of different levels of sensitivities displayed.

Last edited by ajax; May 13, 05 at 9:25 am
ajax is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 8:58 am
  #5  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 9,317
Definitely TravelBuzz. Wrong forum.
izzik is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 9:08 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: DEN and a barrier island near RSW
Programs: 1K (I know, my screen name is outdated), Marriott Plat, *Wood Plat, Five Star, Amex Plat
Posts: 1,360
Originally Posted by iwebslinger
I am watching the Daily Buzz show and they are discussing the show "Airline" and discussing if passengers should pay for two seats if they are overweight. It seems that on one of the shows they ask a passenger that is overweight to first see if they are too big for a seat and then ask him to purchase a second seat.

Does United do this? Should they do this?

Absolutely they should do this! When you pay your fare you are purchasing transportation from point A to point B within the the confines of a given space (31" - 35" of pitch and 17" - 18" of width for Y). UA charges more for people who want to sit in F and domestic F's main benefit is greater space (it certainly isn't the food) so why shouldn't they charge more for passengers who occupy 1 1/2 seats?
DENPremEx is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 9:53 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: FB Plat; AS 75K; UA Gold MM; AA Exec Plat; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Amb; Hilton Gold; National EE
Posts: 5,697
Originally Posted by izzik
Definitely TravelBuzz. Wrong forum.
I disagree. Keep it here. Maybe UA should not charge because it needs to distinguish itself from Southwest.
Buster CT1K is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 10:14 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: OSL/IAH/ZRH (time, not preference)
Programs: UA1K, LH GM, AA EXP
Posts: 38,021
The whole issue just opens an uncontrollable dimension of complexity, especially
for a large carrier like UA.
Who would decide what overweight is? The check-in with test chairs in 2 or
possibly all the classes? To use a scale and impose a weight limit - even though
weight is only remotely linked to space allocation?
The fact is that at the stage when all involved notice that the pax will not
fit into the seat, it already is quite late to charge them. Worse, the plane might
be full and nothing can be done whatsoever.
I too favour the two seat allocation and charge over the current laisser faire
approach (such as a FA on LX asking me to lift the armrest so that the pax
going to be in the seat next to me would fit into the seat) but I do not see
how it could be implemented.

On top of technical requirements and standards, it might also involve legal
issues - if someone can claim that they are overweight due to medical reasons
and local legislation prohibiting discrimination of handicapped people.

I understand why airlines do not push hard for a procedure in this issue.
weero is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 10:27 am
  #9  
LAX
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA
Programs: OZ Diamond
Posts: 5,862
Originally Posted by ajax
This is not UA-specific, since any kind of debate - moral, financial or otherwise - could and should just as easily be applied to every other airline.

I cannot think of any circumstances surrounding this issue which apply to UA but do not just as equally apply to any and every other commercial airline out there.

This issue really isn't UA-specific.

FWIW, there was quite a long thread in the DL forum about this a few weeks back. Some people believed that all overweight passengers should pay for their seats, others believed that all passengers requiring extra space - disabled, extraordinarily tall or broad - should be financially responsible.

IIRC, there were lots of different levels of sensitivities displayed.
While I don't disagree controversial issues such as this one can affect just about every airline, but each airline has the right to establish its OWN policy/guidelines. Since the OP asked SPECIFICALLY how this issue relates to UA, how is it not appropriate in this forum?? While UA may choose not to charge overweight passengers for occupying additional space, UA competitors might decide to do so to add to their bottom line. Besides, a lot of ongoing discussions in this thread also can affect other airlines, should they all be moved to other forums??

LAX
LAX is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 10:35 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SEA/YVR/BLI
Programs: UA "Lifetime" Gold and Silver Wings, AS MVPG100K, HH Diamond, IC Plat, Marriott Gold, Hertz Gold
Posts: 9,357
Originally Posted by iwebslinger
IDoes United do this? Should they do this?
If they do, they can always call it the United Plus-Sizes Program.
Fredd is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 10:43 am
  #11  
Moderator: Hilton Honors, Practical Travel Safety Issues & San Francisco
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Francisco CA
Programs: UA, Hilton, Starwood, Priceline
Posts: 10,841
interesting reactions...

I've gotten notes that this doesn;t belong in UA and that it does - based on many other threads over the years about this issue on TravelBiuzz and airlie -specific boards, I've seen that these discussions USUALLY decompensate into very polaraized discussions that eventually go overboard..

HOWEVER the OP has raised the question of whether UAL does this or not - which is a legitimate question. AFAIK they do NOT make overweight people buy two seats.

As to whether UAL SHOULD charge more - - if folks want to confine the discussion to this issue and keep it civil I see no reason why it shouldn't stay here...

thanks

Squeakr
MOD UAL
squeakr is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 10:48 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Too many
Programs: Lots
Posts: 5,751
They absolutely should. Especially on Ted.
Axey is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 10:54 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Programs: UA GS
Posts: 2,159
Thank you moderator

Originally Posted by squeakr
I've gotten notes that this doesn;t belong in UA and that it does - based on many other threads over the years about this issue on TravelBiuzz and airlie -specific boards, I've seen that these discussions USUALLY decompensate into very polaraized discussions that eventually go overboard..

HOWEVER the OP has raised the question of whether UAL does this or not - which is a legitimate question. AFAIK they do NOT make overweight people buy two seats.

As to whether UAL SHOULD charge more - - if folks want to confine the discussion to this issue and keep it civil I see no reason why it shouldn't stay here...

thanks

Squeakr
MOD UAL
Thank you moderator. Since I am now strictly flying United and *A I would like to know if this is something that is going to start happening with UA.

American Southwest and Delta at roundtable with Overweight people group in 2002

United was not represented.
iwebslinger is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 11:01 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SEA/YVR/BLI
Programs: UA "Lifetime" Gold and Silver Wings, AS MVPG100K, HH Diamond, IC Plat, Marriott Gold, Hertz Gold
Posts: 9,357
A round table? Enough of the straight lines... this is a weighty topic!
Fredd is offline  
Old May 13, 05, 11:02 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 171
I was once stuck next to a passenger of size for a transcon flight. He definitely could not fit between the armrests. He also did not have his seatbelt on for the whole flight. (I did not realize he did not have his seatbelt on until we were at the gate. He intentionally covered his body with his belongings so that no one could tell he did not have his seat belt on)

I thought about saying something to the FA about the fact that he couldn't fit inbetween the armrests, and I was really uncomfortable. However I also did not want to cause this man any embarassment. What would you guys have done if you were in my situation?
KatanaPilot is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread