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6' 250 lb man refuses to buy 2 seats on Southwest Airlines

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Junior Guru
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 223
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6' 250 lb man refuses to buy 2 seats on Southwest Airlines

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Southwest Airlines is facing yet another lawsuit from a passenger complaining of size discrimination. A California man says he was humiliated when Southwest employees asked him to buy a second seat on a flight because he looked too large for just one. Lionel Bea calls himself a man of "ample proportion" -- saying he's 6-feet tall and weighed 250 pounds when he refused to buy a second seat on a plane.
Read the entire article here -

I have always been a fan on Southwest Airlines with their low fares, but this will most likely seal the deal that I will no longer use them. I am also of an ample proportion according to this mans size, however would be quite offended if they told me I would need to get a second seat. Thats just obsurd, yes, I agree maybe their should be a limit, however is a 6' 250 lb. person really that fat to need 2 seats?

Richard W. Kelly
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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,121
I'm not so sure about "size descrimination" exactly, if he was "asked" or required (article didn't say really), but I think airlines don't have it easy when it comes to this sort of thing. You wouldn't think someone a 6' 250 lb. person would need two seats. I'm 6'1" and ~200lbs. and I wouldn't think another 50lbs. would do me in (though I'd rather not see just for the purposes of testing). Maybe 50lbs. more would, I really don't know.

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Web Hosting Evangelist
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 494
a man of that size should not need two seats. Trust me... i know.

BTW: I hate it when people blame fast food chains for "making" them "fat".

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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 1,888
It's for the safety and comfort of other passengers.

I don't think there is a set weight, but while watching the tv show 'airline' I noted that it seems to come down to whether both armrests can be lowered without any 'spillage'


Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 979
I am 6'1 and 230 lbs and I have absolutely no problem with "spillage". If anything it's my long legs hitting the back of the seat in front of me that is a problem, IMHO. Asking the man to buy two seats is utterly ubsurd as 20 lbs doesn't add that much extra baggage around the sides over someone my size.

Personally I always make sure I sit on an exit row, bulkhead row, or any seat in the first couple rows of coach as they all usually have more leg room (which I need with my longer legs).

Jeremy Johnstone
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 793
I'm 5'9" and at my worst I weighed 240; way, way overweight (ideal weight for me is 170-180). I was flying on business a lot back then and never had any problem with "spillage", being asked to buy a second seat, etc. And I looked big.

Junior Guru Wannabe
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 55
I saw this on TV, they asked him (not sure if it's the same person) to put the arm rest down, and if he can fully put it down it would be Ok for him to have just one ticket. Unfortunately, a lady could not put the arm rest down and they told her she had to buy another ticket (she didn't though, but they did not allow her on the plane).

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Posts: 6,835
<blunt opinion/facts; some may be offended>

I do not mean to insult overweight or obese people, but America has a serious obesity problem. Nearly 2/3 of all Americans are overweight, and I believe it is 1/4 or 1/3 of those are considered obese. Is that not pathetic? And please don't blame fast food chains; all they want to do is make money, they aren't in this secret "conspiracy" to make people fat or fatter.

I am not overweight nor obese, and to be blunt it is unappetizing when I am eating an otherwise pleasant lunch to see this 5'8" 350-pound lady walk in with her family (which consists of an utterly obese husband and chunky children) and order this ENORMOUS amount of food! It is just not right to treat your body that way! Think about what your heart goes through to pump blood through those clogged arteries.

That is not to say it is hard for people to control their tendencies, but it is not impossible. So those of you who are obese or severely overweight, you can go from 300 pounds to 180. I've personally witnessed a family member do it. And she didn't use medication or deadly 800-calorie diets either.

</blunt opinion/facts; some may be offended>

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 3,262
In the next couple of years (1-3 yrs), Obesity will be a diease of it's own.

And I think he should have bought 2 seats, 1 seat at regular price, 1 seat at half price. Why? Well imagine if you were the person sitting next to him. No offense to anyone, but 240lbs is BIG.

MAOMPSMITCUT (rmbr this? lol)
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,067
Get the second seat, or don't fly. Easy as that. The airline have the right to refuse a customer for any or no reason at all. All the airline need to say is "we refuse to fly this person for no reason what so ever" and there's nothing the court can do about it.

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Prince Edward Island
Posts: 964
240 lbs is not large.

I'm 6'1" and down to 210 from 245 -- trust me I wore a 36 in waist -- that is not even close to Too Big!!

at 5 7-9 250 may be huge, but someone who is 6' and 250 is not a really big man.

and yes, fast food was a contributing factor to weighing in at 245

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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 7,033
Originally posted by Rob83
In the next couple of years (1-3 yrs), Obesity will be a diease of it's own.

I think it was medicare or what ever it is called considers it a diease? I heard it on tv some where.

I am back....

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: FT Worth, TX
Posts: 5,098
I weigh 230 pounds and i'm the size of 2 men. Its due to my body frame that makes look bigger than the average person. I'm actually one of a few who has "big bones". If you measure my wrist bone its at least 3 - 4 inches wide.

Kerry Jones

An Awesome Dude
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 13,251
Perhaps they were discriminating against him,OR they just wanted an excuse to extract more $$ from him,i dunno........

Not nice though regardless.........

Thanx 4 the report Hello&Co


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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,970
Big bones...please...I used the same excuse when I was 260 (I'm 6'4). Now I'm at 180. Why should the other people on the airplane be made uncomfortable? You might not think there is spillage but you don't see it or don't want to believe it. I did the same thing when I was overweight. Made excuses for my fatness. When I stopped over eating junk and started exercising everyday I lost the weight and saw the light. It's nice not being out of breath all the time and not worrying if I'm going to be charged for two seats by the airlines.

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