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).
This was horrible to watch on my EasyJet flight from Malaga to Gatwick, #easyjet #gatwick #horrible
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
Totally agree. If it was so important to him he could have paid $50. Zero sympathy.
Same principle when there is an empty first class seat. You want it, you pay for it.
But fat people can spill over into two seats,right?
I wouldn’t be quite so harsh here. Unlike your weight, you literally have no control over your height, and if you’re not traveling frequently, you might not expect the very constrained legroom on a LCC.
A good friend of mine is 210 cm / 7 ft tall and when we flew together, we usually bought exit row seats. There were some flights on ATRs, however, when that wasn’t really an option, and it was always appreciated when the gate staff proactively tried to help, sometimes even assigning blocked off seats.
On a long-haul SFO-CDG, AF crew came a few hours after takeoff to offer a premium economy seat. Again, not expected, but very much appreciated.
It’s height discrimination. Why should people with a superior stature have to pay more to fly comfortably? Airline execs must all be little shrimps otherwise they would be more accomodating.
It’s height discrimination. Why should people with a superior stature get more comfortable seats without paying for them, while shorter people have to pay?
But the real problem here is the lack of space for all flyers.
To someone who’s 5’6″, a seat with 29″of pitch is like a seat with 36″ of pitch is to someone who is 6’6″. They should pay the same amount, the short person doesn’t need the room
I remember flying Lufthansa nonstop on tourist from Munich to San Francisco on an A340-600. About 10 1/2 hours and there was a male passenger about 8 rows ahead of me who was 6’10”. The flight attendants permitted him to spend hours sitting in one of their jump seats in the back, next to the galley, out of mercy.
He was flying with his wife and, amazingly, had about a 90 minute layover at SFO before getting on their connecting flight (in tourist) to Seattle. Some people are simply gluttons for punishment.
I’m 6’5″, give me free stuff. No. If you want a seat with legroom, an upgrade, etc. either pay for it or qualify for it with elite status if that is applicable. I’m sorry. He knew the flight time and his height. He could have planned in advance.
Matthew, I have to give you props for your ability to find fresh topics that will divide people and cause rancor. I mean that in a much less snarky way than it may first appear. It really does have to be tough to pull off.
I’m with Sleazyjet on this one.
If the lanky pax wanted extra leg room he should have dealt with that at the time of booking/check in.
Presumably he’s always had long legs and not just had a sudden growth spurt between booking and boarding…………
There seems to be a growing trend of ‘self believing entitlement’ amongst air passengers.
If you want upgrades……….pay for them. Simples.
But why should he have to pay more to have the same comfort as someone who never had a growth spurt? Maybe there should be adjustable seats. Everyone gets 1″ past their knees. So a short guy gets the seat in front slid back so he has the same space as the 6’10” guy. Now that’s fair
I feel like if it’s available, then give it to him. He has a legitimate reason to make the request.
I have an Easy solution (see what I did there), EU can mandate 34″ minimum pitch for every seat, problem solved a d we can all fly comfortably.
Then the tickets prices increase accordingly.
Even if your small in stature and want more leg room you would still have to pay for the seat… when you purchase your tickets pay for the seats you want and then there would be no complaints…I’m sorry I’m a frequent flyer and I pay for the seat I want and it is not always about leg room…
Far be it for Jocelyn to pay for the poor chaps upgrade if she was so appalled. Yet she expects the airline to do it for free.
Among airline miles program members, there is a saying about people who complain about not getting a first class upgrade: WFBF (want first, buy first). Same philosophy as people who won’t pay a fee ahead of time to select their seat and then become indignant when someone refuses to trade seats with them (“so sorry you and your party are separated, I selected and paid for this seat. No, I won’t trade my aisle seat for your middle seat in the rear of the plane”). Book the seat you want and don’t complain about not getting a freebie.
My bitter short self wants to be smug. Finally tall people can suffer! But the reality of my bitter short self is now finding that airline seats are shrinking. Or finally, maybe, am I getting taller? Hey we all have to pay for a bit more for comfort.
I’m 6’8″ and routinely have to purchase main cabin extra, bulkhead, exit row, and even FC tickets for not only my own “comfort”, but of those around me. Any passengers in front of me would not physically be able to recline, as my femur bone won’t allow the seat to do so unless I spread my legs into other passengers space OR the aisles. I feel for this guy, but also BUY UP. What kinda irks me is that very small/short people are often in the bulkhead seats next to me. Maybe the airline should have 4 seats/1 row set aside for tall/obese/handicapped people to purchase. If they aren’t sold within a set amount of time (2 days before flight?) Then they open up for all passengers to buy. Not sure how all of this would work, but it’s definitely frustrating be forced to buy a more expensive seat all the time.
It’s always the frequent flyer smaller guys rushing to the exit isle and “saving seats” for their companions.
It’s easy to get caught out on a new route or airline for tall folk. And sometimes exit row seats are taken.
What the previous poster says is correct… One time a lady in front of me kept slamming her seat to the reclined position over and over, which was impossible due to my legs…I tried to explain nicely but she was determined to get that extra 6 degrees of recline by any means. The attendant eventually came over and told her to stop. She really felt like I was doing this to her intentionally. Smaller seats, crazy delays, it’s all good until it’s your time to suffer.
Airlines really should have a minimum of 34″ to 36″ seats based on how long the flight is. This 29″-31″ business is the cause of much mental anguish and therefore in-flight fights.
As for this fellow, he obviously did not need the space since he did not purchase more space. The guy complaining is a nosy body. Tall people already get all the advantages in society. Tall men get all the girls and tall candidates get, on average, an extra $1,000 per inch of height in excess of the average. Tall candidates are also the ones to get promoted to managerial or senior roles because they are viewed as more capable because of their height. Frankly, tall people get enough advantages in society. Short people are the ones who need some perks. Nothing is made to their size so they pay to alter all their clothes to fit. They also earn less and don’t get promoted as often or don’t get promoted to higher level positions.
I am also tall and have been since I was 15. As I have gotten older, airlines have shrunk the seat pitch in an attempt to get more money from us tall folks. It is definitely noticed. At $50 for a more comfortable upgrade, it is not too much but that should be compared with how much extra pitch is actually sold. I actually would prefer that the airlines started installing seats with lower cost and less pitch in some rows and greater pitch and higher cost in other rows. The question of whether people would go for a seat with 28 inch pitch for $50 less or a standard 30 inch pitch seat or a $50 more 32 inch pitch seat would be answered very quickly by the statistics of which seats sold the fastest.
I’m 6’5″ and sitting in coach sucks and it is getting worse all the time. 29″ of pitch is not enough for an average human – should be at least 32″ IMHO. But it is not standardized or regulated in any meaningful way, and so a large part of the reason I have become well versed in the miles “hobby” is to avoid situations like this after one very long flight to Australia in the last row of coach. Never again!
Of course, the guy in this story looks older and might not know how to use a computer to upgrade and some one else booked his ticket for him – I would have a little more compassion in the moment if he is truly cramped. It hurts to have your knees pressing into the seat in front of you or the armrests digging into your thighs when you are a taller or larger person.
This is a bunch of horse shit- there was seating available that he could have used – no one else was using it. If fat, obese lard buckets get a pass when their girth spills over into another passengers seat, then this man should get a pass because the airlines have reduced the space between seats in order to cram more bodies onto the plane. Charging $50 for an upgrade to a bulkhead seat is just wrong.
I’m 6’5″, it’s not my fault I’m too tall for regular seats. Why should I basically be taxed to have the same comfort as someone more average height?