The idea of an airline “fat tax” for heavy passengers is making the rounds again. This time, United Airlines is taking a decidedly anti-robust stance. The policy, which is a little convoluted, says that if (and only if) there is enough room (har) to seat the larger passenger next to an empty seat, they will. However, if the flight is full, the passenger needing “extra space” will have to pay for said extra space by way of purchasing another ticket. If the flight is full, how can they buy another ticket? Anyway, how do you know if you’re too big?
Well, just see the handy checklist United gives: If you are unable to fit into a single seat in the ticketed cabin; are unable to properly buckle the seatbelt using a single seatbelt extender; and/or are unable to put the seat’s armrests down when seated, you’re gonna need to buy that extra chair. Ryanair is also considering charging per pound per passenger; in their Screw Your Fellow Passenger contest, one contending proposal was a fat tax, while another was allowing passengers to smoke in a converted toilet for a fee. People are debating this topic with fervor. Check out some of the learn’d discourse here.