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71% Support Special Seats & Fares for “Overweight” Passengers

71% Support Special Seats & Fares for “Overweight” Passengers

A recent survey found that 71% of Americans polled by believe that airplanes should have designatied plus-size zones with larger seats and more leg room. Almost all of those surveyed, 93 percent, said that those seats should cost more.

To read more on this study, go to USA Today.

View Comments (17)


  1. MarkOK

    November 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    More leg room? That makes no sense. An extra couple of inches width wise though- sure.


    November 3, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    There is Premium Economy, Business and First Class already.

  3. davistev

    November 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Is that not called business class?

  4. jburns513

    November 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

    What a great idea. The airlines could call it “First Class” or “Business First” or something like that.

  5. alphaod

    November 4, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Yeah, they call them Economy+, Comfort+, Main Extra seats.

  6. bhrubin

    November 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Seats with extra width and maybe extra legroom. Yes. They’re called a First Class on domestic routes and Premium Economy on international routes.

  7. diver858

    November 5, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Already exists on most US carriers – it is called business, first class…

  8. USAoz

    November 5, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    most airlines already do except some ULCC’s. It’s called premium economy, business class or 1st class or airline simply offers seats with more space at a higher cost.

    What a lot of overweight people want though, is bigger seats but at no extra cost. On aircraft “real estate” is valuable, so the more seats they can jam on an aircraft, the more money they make.

    Often airlines will reduce space in economy to give more space up front.

  9. kb9522

    November 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    If I were to fly with a pet cow, it would have to go in the cargo hold. Just saying.

  10. USAoz

    November 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    am sure a 100% off light weight people would support cheaper fares for themselves, as airlines need less fuel for them

  11. Segments

    November 5, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    More leg room for customers of size … absolutely. Most people’s mis section is round, so if you need the width you also need pitch. Calling it leg room is what most casual flyers call the space between rows.

  12. Segments

    November 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    More leg room for customers of size … absolutely. Most people’s mid section is round, so if you need the width you also need pitch. Calling it leg room is what most casual flyers call the space between rows.

  13. twb3

    November 6, 2017 at 10:12 am

    A waste of time. Since 0% of those surveyed own or manage an airline, it won’t happen.

  14. rifle21

    November 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

    This misses the point entirely. Passenger (aka Human Cargo) fares should be calculated with cube space formulas used in logistics. Y fares pay a certain $/lbs, F fares are a different $/lbs, etc. No checked bag fees, no nothing. Bring whatever you want, just pay by the pound.

  15. jrpallante

    November 7, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Notwithstanding the severe cynicism of most respondents, I think there is a market for a wider seat, similar to what airlines used to offer in economy in the “olden days.” It is no secret that airlines continue to cram more seats into each row; witness UA cramming 10 across in the 777. While my own belly fits fine between the armrests, my shoulders are 20″ wide, which is pretty typical for an adult male human. This means I do not fit comfortably into a standard 17.5″ economy seat. On domestic US flights, the Economy+ seats offer a few more inches of pitch, but I think most pax would prefer a couple more inches of width. For international travel, EVA offers “Elite” seating, which is comparable to domestic first class. This seems to strike a nice balance between economy and the absurdly priced business class seats (though EVA’s economy also seems to be among the widest available at 18.3″). I would be curious to know how well EVA’s Elite seats sell, as opposed to being given away as free upgrades to pax with status, which is the case for most Economy+ seats on domestic flights. For US domestic flights, obviously first class is an option for some people. However, depending on itinerary, the first class seat price can easily be double the economy price, and often more. Furthermore, it includes some perks that some passengers would gladly forego. If airlines replaced a few rows of 3×3 seats with a 2×3 configuration, each seat could be 20% wider, and the incremental price difference should be commensurate, not 100-200% higher. If such seating were available, then many of our rotund brethren would voluntarily choose it; if not, it would be perfectly reasonable to force them to upgrade at the gate, because a reasonable alternative exists. Ask anybody who has to request the seatbelt extender, and I suspect most would rather not be crammed into a tiny seat and intrude onto their neighbor’s space. In fact, the seatbelt extender would be a perfect litmus test; if you need the extender, then you must pay extra and upgrade to “Hefty Class.” (It’s just a working title…Maybe “Ass Class”).

  16. SamirD

    November 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I like rifle21’s idea. I just hope they don’t do what UPS does with fuel surcharges.

  17. John Aldeborgh

    November 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    As a frequent flyer who spends a lot of time in long-haul coach, my biggest fear is having a “large’ person sit down beside me. It makes that 15 hour flight just that much more painful. I also agree with the logic that passengers are in reality just human cargo, so size and weight should be a key part of the pricing equation.

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