Friday, July 2, 2010

Obesity + Airplane Travel = Trouble!

If you are obese and planning to fly anywhere soon, you need to read this story.  This is absolutely the truth and just happened yesterday, July 1, 2010.

Yesterday our family flew in from Tucson, AZ.  When they put their feet on the ground and smelled the beautiful Portland, OR air, they smiled.  Really, there is nothing like the smell of damp air and things growing.  It would have been a perfect little trip.  But here is the rest of the story.

We're overloaded...YOU get off the plane!!!
Their flight required a layover in Denver...not a long layover but none the less an unloading  and a reloading procedure was required.  When the take off time arrived they reloaded, sat down and had just taken off their shoes and the shoes of their two young daughters when a stewardess announced that there was a mechanical problem and they would need to return to the terminal. Not a big thing because who wants to fly on a broken plane, right?

This is where it gets very interesting.  After a 1 1/2 hour wait, they were re-boarded.  They sat down, strapped in, took the families shoes off.  A stewardess came down the aisle as if to check to see if everyone was okay.   She looked each passenger over carefully and then stopped at the seat of an overweight older lady.  "I am very sorry mam", she said, "but we are over our weight limit and we will need for you to get off the plane."  Stunned silence followed the request.  The lady complied with their request...imagine her embarrassment.  The passengers around her helped with her carry on and the plane left Denver with one empty seat but not over the weight limit.

Now, what does this say about the American public?  If each person on that plane had weighed say 5 lbs. less, the plane could have flown.  If each person had taken a little less in carry-on luggage or stowed luggage, the plane could have flown.  And can you tell me which person should be asked to leave on a plane loaded with only over-weight passengers...say 250 to 300 lbs?  The fact that airlines are so anxious to get paid for extra luggage that they would not limit what their passengers can check so that there is always room for the passengers is nuts.  If they make the commitment to book people on a flight then the human seated on the plane should be the last thing to go.  They were late already...why not off load some luggage and put in on the next flight.  They made the promise when they sold the ticket.  I guess the necessity for something like this is what bothers me.  I am just saying!!!

Anyway, if you are obese you should be aware that this can happen to you even after you are seated on the plane.  I don't think there is anything that you can do.  If there is, we should all know what it is. At the rate we are going, anyone of us could eventually be asked to get off the plane.    This story made me sad!

Just a thought!



  1. Wow. This says so much about society.

  2. Wow - what a story. I don`t think I would have left the plane willingly. I can see myslef being carried - kicking and screaming!


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