Plus-sized traveller demands better flight perks, including free seats
A woman has launched a petition urging aviation authorities to meet a list of demands in a bid to tackle common challenges faced by plus-sized travelers, from seat design to fat-shaming.
Jae’lynn Chaney, from Vancouver Washington, launched the appeal to protect obese customers from common inconveniences during air travel.
The 26-year-old, who labels herself a plus-size traveler and fashion lifestyle creator on Instagram, believes airlines bear the responsibility of ensuring all passengers are comfortable.
As such, she has issued a petition asking the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to consider several demands including an extra free seat and seat extenders for those who require it.
On her Instagram account, followed by more than 94k people, Jae’lynn has previously called out a lack of policies issued by airlines to accommodate plus-sized passengers.
“As plus-size travelers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying,” the content creator wrote in her petition.
She went on to explain that bigger passengers are often subjected to “disapproving looks” from other flyers, as well as hateful comments.
Jae’lynn and her partner have experienced this mistreatment first-hand, she claims, even when they go to extra lengths such as purchasing an additional seat for extra room.
“On [one] flight, I was forced to occupy only one seat with an immovable armrest that caused me pain and bruises,” she explained in her petition.
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Another section of the document reads: “The FAA must require all airlines to implement a clear customer-of-size policy that prioritizes the comfort and well-being of all passengers.
“This policy should include clear guidelines on accommodating larger passengers, such as providing large seats, seat belt extenders, and alternative seating arrangements.
“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.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet issued any guidelines for seat size requirements, but current seats in an economy are 17 inches wide and offer around 30 inches of legroom when a seat is pitched back.
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A post shared by Jaelynn Chaney (@jaebaeproductions)
The width of most aircraft bathrooms average around 24 inches, with reports suggesting some airlines have started shrinking the cubicles in an effort to squeeze more passengers into a flight.
Jae’lynn concluded her request with the following statement: “The transportation security administration (TSA) should implement clear guidelines for screening plus-size travelers, train agents on how to respectfully interact with plus-size travelers, offer sensitivity training, and provide accessible screening equipment.”
So far the petition has amassed 3,951 signatures, which is 1,049 short of Jae’lynn’s 5,000 goal, set to be reached next Saturday.
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