Take obesity. Please!
Were it within my power to do so, I'd award Samoa Air an automatic first-class upgrade for charging passengers for the combined weight of their bodies and baggage. Now, that's what I call accountability.
Having just shared puddle-jumpers to, and from, Rapid City, SD, I was genuinely bothered by:
- A 600-pound seat mate whose sheer bulk forced me to sit sideways for the two-hour flight (where my left shoulder was repeatedly scraped by the beverage cart)
- A very real fear that the number of grossly obese passengers might prevent the puddle-jumper from jumping the puddles along our route.
I'm not alone in my belief that airlines need to crack down on passengers whose eating habits have made them land-locked wide bodies.
According to a public opinion survey from YouGov, an Internet market research firm, four in 10 Americans say they wouldn't mind being weighed at airports. I'd put the scales right by the security areas ("Ma’am, you'll have to put down the double cheeseburger, fries and supersized Coke before stepping on the scales.").
I also believe airlines should enforce a second seat policy. If you can't squeeze your Big Mac-bloated frame into one seat, then buy a second one.
Last, but not least, why should the comfort (and safety) of slim, fit Americans be compromised by their bulky peers? That very same YouGuv survey I quoted earlier says 60 percent of Americans agree with me.
So, here's hoping other American airlines follow Samoa Air's flight pattern.
If our population won't take the personal responsibility to lead a more healthy lifestyle, maybe our airlines can hit them where it hurts most: that money belt attached to their 52-inch waistlines. Paying for an extra seat has to be cheaper than forking over the serious cash needed for gastric bypass or stomach band surgery.