You worked overtime shifts for the past 3 months to be able to afford this vacation. You struggled to get time off and you are now ready to relax and enjoy yourself on the trip. The time has come to take your seat on the plane and low and behold, you can’t even have a seat to yourself because the person next you is overweight and therefore over the armrest. Not only is this affecting your ability to enjoy a comfortable flight but economically this may affect your ability to afford to fly in the future.
The objective of this research paper is to debate whether or not obese people should have to pay more for airline tickets. A study concluded that the 10 pounds Americans gained on average during the 1990s required an additional 350 million gallons of fuel a year (Adler). Obese passengers not only affect the comfort of others on the plane, it is a known fact that the heavier the vehicle the more fuel it burns. This means that as fuel usage goes up, so will the cost of plane tickets.
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Since there is no way to immediately tell if a potential passenger will cost extra fuel via internet purchase, airlines will simply Just harge more from each customer to compensate for the rising cost of fuel. Obesity is rising in America, that’s no secret – but are people aware of the rising economic costs of those extra pounds? According to a new study from the Campaign to End Obesity, spending due to obesity is actually twice the amount previously estimated – and exceeds the costs of even smoking. Those medical costs affect everyone, not Just those who are obese.
Higher health insurance premiums lead everyone to cover those extra medical costs. The U. S. spends an excess of $190 billion a year, the study found. Dybuncio). The air is not the only place in which the obese are affecting the economy. Cars burn nearly a billion gallons of gasoline more a year than they did in 1960, due to heavier passengers and in the skies; fuel costs have risen to carry heavier customers. Not to mention the skyrocketing costs of missed work days from people taking off because of poor health. The impact of obesity is everywhere (Dybuncio).
Maybe if the airlines charged overweight, it could be a stepping stone toward sending a message to the youth and society in general that obesity has monetary consequences s well as health repercussions but my main issue with the situation is this, If you use more of the product (more space, more than one seat, more fuel, etc… ) you should have to pay more. It’s only fair. The difficult thing to do would be to come up with a system to decide who would have to pay that extra fee without being insensitive to those given the fee.
One idea is to have an airplane seat readily available for people to sit in and see if they need the extra space. Just taking ones weight is not sufficient because everyone carries the pounds differently. One possible way is to Just ask the customer online before the ticket is purchased. That way the customer can already have the accommodations In place DeTore tney ny ana don’t nave to deal wltn embarrassment of being told in public that they are too big for Just one seat. Any solution is sure to be awkward and uncomfortable to some.
Kenlie Tiggeman is a 30 year old political strategist and weight loss blogger who, along with her mother was told that she was too fat to fly. Tiggeman said the incident happened in Dallas over Easter. She and her mother were told by a gate gent they each had to purchase two seats (Slatterly). The problem was that this was a return flight, and they hadn’t been stopped before. The gate agent said it was policy. Tiggeman, who once weighed 393 lbs said that she was asked embarrassing questions such as “How much I weighed, what size clothes I wear.
I gave answers in front of a gate full of people, some of whom were snickering (Slatterly). ” This kind of treatment of people is unacceptable and turned out to be a black eye to Southwest Airlines, which allowed the woman and her mother on a later flight, apologized, efunded their tickets and gave them free vouchers. The Airline then issued a public apology to Ms. Tiggeman. A spokesperson for the company had this to say about this particular policy: “If a passenger cannot fit in a seat with the armrests down, a second seat must be purchased.
If the flight is not full, that added charge will be refunded. ” The airlines are not the only institutions that have rustled some feathers as far as the overweight are concerned. Bill Wisth, who weighs 3501bs and stands at a towering 6ft6in, went to the Thiensville, Wisconsin restaurant for their all-you-can-eat ish fry. However, he said that after 12 pieces, Chucks Place cut him off. The restaurant staff said they were running out of fish, but sent Mr. Wisth on his way with eight more pieces. He told Todays TMJ 4: We asked for more fish and they refused to give us any more fish. (Stebner) But he was not to be swayed. Mr. Wisth has decided to picket the restaurant every Sunday, condemning them for “false advertising. ” At this time, I’d like to apologize if the tone of this assignment has come off as bitter towards the obese. It is easy to Just complain about the problem rather than to nderstand the other side to it as well. I imagine that boarding a crowded airplane for on overweight person must be an incredibly awkward and tense experience since no one wants to be someone’s airline horror story.
The sad story making the rounds at present is that of Arthur Berkowitz, who thought he’d hit the coveted empty- middle-seat Jackpot on a cross-country flight from Anchorage, Alaska to Philadelphia back in July, only to lose out at the final moment when a last-minute addition boarded the plane and sat down beside him. Berkowitz’s new seatmate was very fat, and Berkowitz responded by refusing to buckle his seat belt, in violation of FAA regulations, and spending the seven-hour flight standing in the aisle and galley area of the plane(Leslie).
Berkowitz claims to be coming out with his tale of woe now because US Airways failed to give him a refund. Oh, and also because of safety. I doubt parts of his story for a few reasons. For one, I give a big side-eye to the notion that the airline would uniformly come down on the side of the fat dude if his size were indeed an impediment to the satisfaction of FAA safety regulations. Every major irline has a clause in their contract of carriage which you tacitly accept when you purchase your ticket specifying that should an individual prove too big for one seat, said individual must purchase a second seat.
It’s a bit of legal ass-coverage that many airlines rarely employ, but its there for Just such an occasion as this. The bottom line Is tnls; tne world Is Decomlng a more expensive Tor everyone. we are at tne polnt where as a society we expect to pay more for things we need to live such as food, gas, transportation, everything. The only things that are getting cheaper are fast food tems and that may part of the problem though Mark Bittman disagrees. THE “fact” that Junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes.
I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli … ” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home. ” This is wrong(Bittman). He may be correct in that going to a store and buying groceries using coupons or 2 or one deals will save you money in the long run but for people who work, have children, and other obligations, fast food is significantly more feasible.
The backlash to this is heavier Americans. And heavier Americans cause more drag in vehicles such as airplanes therefore using more gas and money. Combine that with the sheer annoyance many feel by being pinned in a seat due to an obese seat mate after already going through the hell that TSA puts everyone through and you have a legitimate reason to charge more to those you use more of the product which in this case is airplane space.