Jae’lynn Chaney believes she is entitled to a larger airline seat and more legroom due to her large size, even if taxpayers have to pay for it. Apparently, she is serious.
Claim: Taxpayers Should Underwrite More Legroom On Airlines For Passengers Of Size
Chaney has created a change.org petition calling upon the US Federal Aviation Administration to “protect plus-sized customers.” She claims that tight aircraft seating causes her “pain and vulnerability.” The petition already has close to 6,000 signatures.
On a recent Southwest Airlines flight to Denver, Chaney claims she and her fiancé were subject to “discrimination” in that no one would sit next to them (Southwest has open seating). She also claimed to receive “disapproving looks” and “hateful comments” though she did not offer any further details.
She also says on another flight she was seated in a row with immovable armrests which caused her “pain and bruises.” Among the changes she is proposing, she wants airlines to be forced to provide as many as three extra seats for free to passengers of size:
All plus-size passengers should be provided with an extra free seat, or even two or three seats depending on their size, to accommodate their needs and ensure their comfort during the flight.
Who will pay for it? Chaney says the government “may have a role to play” which would mean taxpayers.
I applaud Ms. Chaney for knowing how to stir up the internet. She’s made headlines around the world for her latest stunt. But she’s so wrong here and someone needs to say the obvious:
She is part of the problem. She is part of a society that has gone from condemning fat-shaming (as we all should) to praising morbid obesity (bad).
Yes, of course, some people gain weight for reasons that can in no way be reduced to gluttony, slothfulness, or laziness. Those people deserve our compassion. But so many fat people are fat because they consume too many calories. There, I said it. And you know it.
Don’t believe me? Why then is the obesity problem so much worse in the United States than in other nations?
I’m perfectly willing to stipulate that the additives and other chemicals in our processed foods create addiction. But that does not spare us from taking control of our health and what we put in our bodies. Sometimes, if you have a choice between a cheeseburger or yogurt (with no added sugar) and apple, you skip the cheeseburger.
We discriminate each day. The word is not inherently negative. We discriminate in terms of cars, homes, clothing, food, and friends. Discrimination is discernment.
So when Chaney complains she was discriminated against because no one wanted to sit next to her on a Southwest Airlines flight, I would invite her to view it as an act of mercy rather than one of scorn.
Two years ago I discussed this issue in the context of a passenger of size who was so large that he protruded out into the aisle. I was much more compassionate then…but I’ll tell you what happened over the last two years.
My wife is a nurse and worked though COVID-19 and continues to work at an inner-city hospital in Los Angeles. She compassionately deals with morbidly obese patients, but the health outcomes are frightening. With malice toward none and charity toward all, I admonish us all to take care of the only body we have. The best way we can do so is by eating right, exercising, and sleeping. And let us not embrace the confusion of calling such efforts hateful—
Chaney says she wants larger seats and more seats on airplanes, but what she really wants is respect. She is entitled to dignity and compassion as a fellow human being. But her ideas concerning airlines represent fanciful delusions and encourage the wrong behavior. Let’s all resolve to take the stairs today.
image: Jae’lynn Chaney / Instagram