Budget carrier EasyJet has been attacked for failing to upgrade a very tall man to extra legroom seats when the flight departed with those seats open. But I’m with EasyJet on this one: if a better seat was so important, the man could have paid for it.
Tall Guy Needs An Upgrade? Pay For It Like Everyone Else…
A video on TikTok, now viewed by millions of people, shows a man, who appears to be 6 foot 5 inches tall, standing near door 1L near the front galley. This was on a flight from Malaga, Spain (AGP) to London Gatwick (LGW), a flight of 1,022 miles (about three hours).
EasyJet legroom is pretty bad (29 to 31 inches), but it offers paid upgrades to bulkhead or exit rows which have much better legroom. Prices typically are under $50 for the upgrade.
Getting back to the video, apparently there were two bulkhead seats available and the man making the video asked if the tall man could take one of them (Good Samaritan or busybody?). The crew refused, hence the video complaining about it.
Since the video went viral, EasyJet released the following statement:
“We are sorry if the customer in the video was uncomfortable. We offer all customers a range of seating options including seats with extra legroom which can be purchased prior to travel so the passenger could have selected one of these. In fairness to passengers who have paid for an extra legroom seat our crew wouldn’t routinely offer extra legroom seat upgrades free of charge but they can use discretion which may have been appropriate here.”
I would not have included the last line. Here, EasyJet did no wrong. By giving the man a free upgrade, it makes it less likely that he or other passengers would purchase one next time. This goes against the business model and undermines what others may pay more to enjoy.
Furthermore, the man could have purchased the seat during booking or check-in if he really needed the extra space. This is hardly like saying a passenger of size should just purchase a first class seat for thousands of dollars more.
Finally, we don’t even know if the man was uncomfortable. This is all based upon a video of the guy standing around the galley, but I’m sure you’ve flown with people who just enjoy standing around the galley…some people don’t like to sit down (or even prance down the aisles).
I fail to see what EasyJet did wrong here. Sure, it is tough to be super tall or obese when you fly economy class, but there are remedies beyond flying private that are far more affordable like purchasing extra-legroom seats. If you want the extra space, buy it.
image: The3Halls / TikTok