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The Only Way to Fly

In the Forums rainalee found a piece about AirAsiaX, an airline floating the idea of charging passengers by the pound. Yep. Here it comes.

Although admitting the move would be difficult to implement, [AirAsiaX Manager Darren] Wright said charging larger passengers "could help Aussies lose weight".

Uh... hm. What?

richie79 pointed to a related piece on which features a headless - and torsoless fattie. I've seen these for years - you have too - but this is probably one of the least respectful shots I've ever seen, ever. Ever. As a bonus, you get prime quotes like this:

Ken Yuen suggested a seating class called "Super-size" should be introduced.

"It's just like business class but for large folk," he wrote. "Seats larger, more space, more food even to keep them happy. They can pay more and help keep costs normalised for us skinny folk."

Did you get that? Normalized for skinny people. Normal = skinny; abnormal = fat. Oh, but did you hear that we're the majority in the US? We are normal, and we're the majority. Anyone who claims we're not normal is an ignorant, stupid fool. There are some good retorts in that article (one reader suggests that if we're going to go after fat people, then we might as well go after people with low IQs - in which case, Ken Yuen's going to be paying through the fucking nose for a seat) but on balance it shows a stunning lack of compassion and demonstrates how very competitive we get when it comes to flying, which is no longer a simple act.

All right. So, that happened a few days ago and AirAsiaX later came out and said, "Dude, we were totally kidding!" Instead, AirAsiaX will use a weigh system to determine how much cargo can go onboard. But as rainalee says:

Sooo .... how does this work for height? as in ... if I'm 4'7" and weigh 170lbs (BMI 41 - makes me well into the 'obese' category) I get to take on ... how much luggage? and if I'm 6'5" and weigh 170lbs (by the flawed bmi charts that makes me on the lower side of 'normal') .... I get to take on .... more, or less than the shorter me? Same weight, but one person (the shorter one) is 'obese' and the taller one is 'normal' ... and how is this supposed to target obese people? Or is it just tall obese people?

Short answer: it's a mess with no easy answers.

Laughing | Hear COFRA's Carrie on Oregon Public Radio!

AnnieMcPhee's picture
August 5th, 2008 | Link | "more food even to keep them

"more food even to keep them happy" nom nom. Or we will EAT YOU!

Zero isn't a size, it's a warning sign. - Carson Kressley
The Kevin Pease Beer Fund Foundation - Won't Someone PLEASE think of the psychology students?

Bree's picture
August 5th, 2008 | Link | I seriously doubt that

I seriously doubt that people would lose weight even if this actually did happen. Those that wouldn't would just find alternative methods of travel or seek out a different airliner.

Plane seats should be made larger to accomodate not only fat people, but anyone of any size for a more comfortable ride during the trip. As for this supposed "Supersize Class" with more food, I can safely assume that the last thing a person of any size thinks about while flying is how much they'll be able to feed their face.

Felt_Tip_Pen's picture
August 6th, 2008 | Link | I really would love to start

I really would love to start a size-friendly, comfort-focused airline and see how well it does as everybody else scrimps and squeezes and annoys their customers.

Annoyed/uncomfortable customers = fewer customers (or more customers demanding to pay less for such crappy service) = needing to scrimp more = worse service = more annoyed/uncomfortable customers =.....and on and on.

I think they're screwing themselves and something new and awesome has a real chance of catching on.

JennyLinsky August 5th, 2008 | Link | I am on the high end of

I am on the high end of "normal" weight and I have a very big butt. The seats on planes are JUST big enough for my butt to occupy them.

I am in no danger of spilling over into the seat next to me, but really, folks. If a size 10 woman has to worry that she won't be able to fit into the seat (I'm 5'5), then smething needs to be done I'd fly awesome's airline any time!

richie79's picture
August 6th, 2008 | Link | "this is probably one of the

"this is probably one of the least respectful shots I've ever seen, ever. Ever"

And I was so preoccupied with the close cropping of that shot that I hadn't even noticed the woman is depicted trying to squeeze through a (much too small) turnstile. Because of course it's her fault for being too fat, not whoever installed the turnstile for not making it wide enough to accommodate a full range of body sizes. Yet another fat stereotype - obviously they're getting bored with the stuffing junk food-fatty. What next - chair-breaking? You're right Paul; Reuters have really excelled themselves this time.

"if you think fat people have no self-discipline, consider the fact that they haven’t killed you yet." - Miss Conduct, Boston Globe

Mazzie's picture
August 7th, 2008 | Link | Flying Fat Editorial on NPR

I'm starting to feel like I dreamed a recent editorial on NPR about flying fat.
The narrator described how he and his wife narrowly escaped flying next to a woman of size on an international flight. His wife, apparently much more classy than him, discreetly pulled a flight attendant aside and asked if there was a seat where the woman would be more comfortable, and the attendant moved her to first class. The husband and narrator seemed to go on about how understanding and compassionate he was when it comes to fat people but, after all, he and his wife were normal and shouldn't have to be uncomfortable because of a fat person.
The rage and shame I felt upon hearing the editorial reminded me very much of the time I had gotten off a plane and was on a shuttle to the airport, listening to a guy on a cell phone complain to a friend about the "fat bitch" he had to sit next to the whole way. The only real difference is the narrator for the editorial had a larger audience.

hatch_xanadu August 8th, 2008 | Link | Wow. "more food even to keep

Wow. "more food even to keep them happy". What, the fatties in the SuperSize section are grumbling again? Some crap about human dignity? Just toss a couple of pork chops in there; they'll quiet down. They like pork chops.

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