Plus-sized influencer starts petition for free and extra seats on airlines
By: Abhinav Singh
A plus-sized social media influencer in the USA has started a campaign for better accommodations in the aeroplanes for passengers that are a touch bigger. Jae’lynn Chaney from Vancouver, Washington has kicked off a petition on Change.org titled “Demand for the FAA to Protect Plus-Sized Customers” where she is demanding that air travel should be made comfortable and accessible for everyone, regardless of size.
As of the last update, Chaney’s petition had received over 4,000 signatures as she tagged United States Department of Transportation (USDT), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the concerned authorities.
Chaney stated that she and her partner have had to experience discrimination and uncomfortable glances from the passengers when flying. She said her fiancé was subjected to hateful comments during a flight from Pasco to Denver which takes over two hours.
Chaney added that on another flight she was forced to sit on a seat with immovable armrests that caused her bruises.
“Being forced to occupy only one seat can result in pain and vulnerability to poor treatment from fellow passengers, including hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them. This mistreatment of plus-size passengers is unacceptable, and it highlights the urgent need for better policies,” read her statement.
“Unfortunately, plus-size passengers often experience discomfort and discrimination when flying. The lack of a uniform customer-of-size airline policy is unacceptable and must be addressed.”
Chaney lists the change in policies
In her petition, Chaney also enumerated the policies that could be implemented to ensure the flying experience becomes smoother for individuals.
She urged the FAA to provide accessible additional seats. The influencer said plus-size passengers should be provided with extra seat, or even two or three seats depending on their size.
Moreover, airlines should refund the plus-size passengers who purchase the additional seats which should be a ‘straightforward process’, according to Chaney.
“Airlines must provide additional airport assistance to plus-size travellers if necessary, including wheelchair assistance and priority boarding. Airlines should also create accommodations for larger passengers, such as larger bathrooms, seat belt extenders, and alternative seating arrangements.”
According to a Reuters report, FAA has no size requirement for airlines currently. The average seat width in the economy section is between 17 inches to 30 inches of legroom.
However, most airlines are not very accommodating when it comes to seats for the overweight or even those looking for comfort. Most budget airlines have cramped seating arrangements which makes it a nightmarish experience for even the fittest individuals to sit through a long journey.
Instead of providing the service freely, the airlines charge a significant premium for seats with more legroom.