American Airlines effectively taunted a passenger who complained about being wedged between two obese passengers in economy class. There’s so much going on here and many issues to discuss.
American Airlines Unbelievably Taunts Passenger Who Had The Audacity To Complain About Being Wedged Between Two Obese Passengers Who Encroached On Her Personal Space
Sydney Watson is an Australian-American conservative political commentator. While I had not heard of her before her encounter on American Airlines, she has over 300,000 followers on Twitter and an even more popular YouTube channel.
Watson boarded an American Airlines flight enroute to a speaking engagement. Whoever had booked her had failed to assign her a seat and so she wound up with a middle seat. A brother and sister, both morbidly obese according to Watson, boarded the flight and took the aisle and window seat in her row. She asked if one of them would like to exchange seats so the two could sit next to each other and both declined.
She began sharing about her drama on Twitter:
I am currently – literally – WEDGED between two OBESE people on my flight.
This is absolutely NOT acceptable or okay. If fat people want to be fat, fine. But it is something else entirely when I’m stuck between you, with your arm rolls on my body, for 3 hours. pic.twitter.com/9uIqcpJO8I
— Dr. Sydney Watson (@SydneyLWatson) October 10, 2022
She then asserted that if someone needs a seatbelt extender, they should be required to buy a second seat:
If you need a seat belt extender, you are TOO FAT TO BE ON A PLANE.
Buy two seats or don’t fly.
— Dr. Sydney Watson (@SydneyLWatson) October 10, 2022
Let’s stop for a moment. Whatever your view on the obesity epidemic in the USA, treating others with kindness and respect should be foundational. Fat people are people with feelings too and while many are simply undisciplined, I call a number of people friends who have struggled with their weight for years despite dieting and exercise. Sometimes, there is more going on than simply laziness and we would all be wise to keep that in mind.
The AA Twist
Now we get to the twist in our story. Watson complained to American Airlines on Twitter and AA responded…by taunting her.
Our passengers come in all different sizes and shapes. We’re sorry you were uncomfortable on your flight.
— americanair (@AmericanAir) October 11, 2022
Sure, I can see how “sorry” you are AA…
And of course, the irony is that while passengers may come in all shapes and sizes, economy class seats on American Airlines do not and they are all tight.
I think Watson’s reply is appropriate after American rudely dismissed her complaint:
.@AmericanAir I just experienced getting sweat on, touched without my consent, smacked in the face and subjected to hours of no personal space.
And your response is essentially “too bad”? Is that what I’m getting here?
— Dr. Sydney Watson (@SydneyLWatson) October 11, 2022
It’s one thing to be obese…it’s quite another when you (whether muscular or fat or with long hair or simply manspreading) spill over into the seat next to you. It is not okay. It is not okay that Watson could not put her tray table down. Nor is it okay that she was rubbed in the sweat of these rotund siblings.
You might be tempted to quip that she should have bought up to first class or at least extra-legroom economy class to escape these two. But that’s the wrong way to look at it. A person should be entitled to enjoy their seat without someone else, let alone two people, spilling into it.
The passengers of size should have been forced to purchase a third seat, full stop.
Dear American Airlines, Check Your Own POS Policy!
And you want to know something? That’s literally the policy on American Airlines!
Why did this flight’s crew or ticket-takers not enforce your own policy regarding large passengers? A customer should never be put in the position of having to complain about this. @AmericanAir should be proactive — certainly not dismissive as evidenced by your response. pic.twitter.com/qxczXeaTYY
— 🇺🇸 Kelley G 🇺🇸 (@ChooChooLife) October 11, 2022
For the slim minority of people for which this is a medical issue beyond their immediate control, health insurance should cover the cost of an extra seat. But for so many, it’s simply unfair that your poor lifestyle choices should so negatively impact the passengers around you on an airplane.
Dieting takes discipline. Exercise takes discipline. Amazingly, it works. Offended? Go bark up a tree. Why did so many Americans die with COVID-19? Because they were obese. We’ve gone from a nation that accepts people for who they are to a nation that celebrates obesity. What a flawed era of human history we find ourselves in. Please, do watch this:
And shake your head at this insanity:
.@LASchools shared this “Food Neutrality” video on @lausdHRDE Insta. They tell our kids that we’ve lied to them & no one food is better for them than another food (oppressive food hierarchy). @lausdHRDE is actively working to undermine parents & hurt kids. @LAUSDSup do u know? pic.twitter.com/eWVy0jyP9Y
— LA Parent Union ❄️😢 (@UTLAUncensored) September 12, 2022
American Airlines owes Watson a real apology and some compensation. It also should, with dignity and respect, ensure that passengers do not spill over into the personal space of their neighbors. After all, that is its written policy…
To me, the story is more AA’s response than the incident itself. Tolerance is a beautiful thing and a necessary foundation of the pluralistic society in which we now live. But praising obesity, in a sense, by offering a mocking response to a legitimate complaint demonstrates so well what is so wrong with society.
What are your thoughts on this particular incident on American Airlines and the general issue of how, in an increasingly obese nation, we deal with passengers who do not fit into their seats?