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Friday, November 12, 2021




We just got back from a brief vacation to Sanibel Island Fla.  There was great.  Getting there, not so much.

I have a complaint about air travel.  I’m not sure what the airlines should do about this complaint, and I’m pretty sure I will offend some people with my complaint. 

The complaint? “Large” people!

I don’t want to fat shame anyone, Lord knows I could shed a few pounds myself, and some people are just big…not their fault. 


Should “large” people pay more for either larger seats, or even an extra seat?  Does not sound fair, does it?

Well then, should a reasonably sized person get a discount when sitting next to a “large” person?

On the trip to Florida, I was comfortably settled into the middle seat next to Mrs. C who had the window.  All was well until the aisles side seat passenger arrived.  Is the old wrestler King Kong Bundy still alive?  Either he is, or I sat next to his doppelganger.

All six foot five 400 pounds of human flesh sat next to me, or more accurately sat next to me plus at least one third of my seat space.

King Kong Bundy was nice enough, friendly and polite, but he was partially in my seat.  Literally (see kids that is when literally is used correctly) in my seat.

I could not adjust my seat, KKB’s back fat covered the adjustment button.  I could not watch the movie or other TV shows that were available for all the other paying passengers, KKB’s arm enveloped the arm rest controls and the hole to plug in the headphones was somewhere under several pounds of KKB.

To make matters worse I was so scrunched over in my seat that I often accidentally changed Mrs. C’s TV control.  She kept smacking me on the arm in anger!

“I canth herphal id, I am sitton nerst to King Kong Bundy!”

“Wath? I canth unastnd you wif the damn face msk!”

“I saith…neverminth.”

Those friggin face masks make it impossible to carry on a conversation, especially if raising my voice meant possibly insulting a 400-pound man.

By the end of the three-hour flight my ass was asleep from my inability to even move a little.  I had to pee like a racehorse as the man mountain was asleep most of the flight.  I guess I could have nudged him awake, but I’m not sure I could fit back in my seat when I returned. I was cramped, tired and even a little cranky.

Is it fair to have “large” people pay extra for extra-large seats?

Is it fair for “reasonably” sized people to pay the same price for only two-thirds of a seat?

Life isn’t always fair.  Why should people with bad eyesight have to pay extra for glasses so they can see like other people?  Why should people with poor hearing have to pay extra for hearing aids?  Why should “large” people have to pay more to fly than other people?

Because life sometimes sucks, that’s why.

It sucks, but then it also sucks to have to share a seat with a “large” person.  I have nothing against “large” people, I just have an issue with having to pay for some of their seat. 

I paid for a full seat, not two-thirds of a seat.  King Kong Bundy paid for one seat and used one and a third seats!




  1. I used to watch that "Airline" show on A&E. It was kind of like "Parking Wars," but with airport workers. I thought they made some people pay for two seats if they didn't fit into one seat. I don't remember the rules for it, but they told them at the counter before they boarded. Of course the people that made it on the show were not happy about it. Some objected to the cost, and some objected to being singled out and embarrassed. They were not as entertaining as the drunks who were denied boarding.

  2. You can tell I don't fly. Don't the airlines have extra large seats for such situations? I know my doctor's waiting room does. Of course in the Dr office, the seat is chosen not assigned. I can see where sizing up a potential flyer then assigning them extra large seats has all sorts of problems.

  3. That is one of my worst nightmares.

  4. unfair as it may be, I do think overly large people, whether it is their own fault or not, SHOULD pay for the two seats they will be taking up.

  5. Life's just not fair, as you noted. If i were large enough to need two seats, i would hope i'd be sensitive enough to the needs of others to go ahead and pay for two.

  6. Only you, Joe. Funny how you described it. But I was thinking…I think I’d rather sit next to a large person than one who smells. I sat next to a smelly person one time Denver to Sacramento. I was green by the time we landed. It was awful and then I kept smelling the foul smelling traveler on me.

    It is getting to the point I’d rather drive if at all possible than to fly.

  7. When I worked in the hospital we had "special" wheelchairs, beds, etc for those of bigger stature or weight who could not fit in the standard size. We had to turn a pain pt. away because our OR bed at that time could only hold up to 500lbs. Then new ones go up to 1000lbs. So I would think a "special" row of bigger seats for that population would be good on the plane. I hate flying but so far haven't had to sit next to someone who took half my seat. That would be horrible.

  8. So, you were "cranky", in your own words, on that flight -- you're a cranky old man so I would have expected no less from you. That said, I agree wholeheartedly with you. There should be seats to accommodate various sizes of people -- one size does not fit all, any more than the approach to medical care should be predicated on what I call the same which is a cookie cutter approach. Yes, we had narrow to wide, extra-wide wheelchairs in rehab and sources sell them as needed for some when they go home if insurance doesn't pay.

  9. i felt for you dear Joe !

    i completely understand what you trying to say here and i agree that people with special needs must have special space or they should pay for more than just one seat because it is so obvious that with large or extra large size they are not going to fit in one seat like other with normal width and weight and it should be against law to occupy seat for which you did not pay and bothered other person in whole journey .

  10. i just checked the sample stories from your book " i used to be stupid" Joe ,i will try to visit and read them as well