AAP

'Obese should buy two plane seats'

A SURVEY has revealed 70 per cent of Aussies think obese or largely overweight people should have to purchase two economy class seat tickets when travelling by plane.

In May 2010, travel.com.au surveyed 800 Australian travellers as part of its annual Travel Survey. One of the questions was: ‘Do you think that obese or largely overweight people should have to purchase two economy class seat tickets when travelling by plane?’.

The results demonstrated a growing interest and concern from Aussie travellers, travel.com.au General Manager – Brand Lisa Ferrari said.

“In 2008 we posed the same question to Australians, and back then it seemed the nation was grossly torn with 53% feeling that people should have to purchase two seats.

"But two years later, the scales have well and truly been tipped."

The fluctuating issue of obese and overweight passengers has been ongoing since 2008 when a Canadian Court ruled that overweight people could have two seats for the price of one.

It appeared back on the menu recently when an American ‘overweight’ man was not allowed to fly because he was “too fat”.

"travel.com.au has received an increase in customer calls, noting one incident where a customer has phoned the company’s Travel Experts to ensure they weren’t seated next to an overweight passenger," Ferrari said.

“Premium Economy is the ultimate solution for those wanting or needing the extra room, one that won’t break the bank, or the ego, as much as purchasing two seats might.”

Ferrari’s recommendation for overweight passengers is: “If you are an overweight passenger, the best thing is to notify your travel agent, they will be able to advise you on your best options, which can save you money and some embarrassment at the check-in too.”

The research also revealed:

  • 50per cent of 25-35 year olds believe overweight people should have to purchase two economy class seat tickets when travelling by plane.
  • Victoria was the most tolerant state, with only 25% of people agreeing that two tickets were necessary for the overweight.



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