In-flight Issues Did you experience any problems during an Continental Airlines flight?

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  #1  
Old Jun 6, 2008, 3:05 PM
doma135 doma135 is offline
 
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Default Seated next to an obese person

At the end of April, I flew from Amsterdam to Newark on Continental. I am gold elite and fly about three times a month mostly domestic. I entered the plane and found an obese man sitting on the isle seat and my seat was against the window. Once seated, I found the man was so large, the center arm rest could not be folded down. His body over flowed into my seat. A flight attendant passed with a seat belt extension for the large passinger but ignored me as I tried to get her attention. It took a long while but I flagged down a flight attendant and she hurriedly told me she would find me another seat once everyone was seated. I never heard back and the cabin door was shut. I stood up and a flight attendant whisked bye talking as she was walking. She said the plane was full and thee was no other seat for me. She never looked at me and just kept going. Durng the flight, the attendants ignoredme and even skipped my drinks twice. The second time, the big guy stopped the flight attendant and told her I needed a drink. When handed my meal, the attendant said "you ar welcome". as if she wanted a confrontation. I had eight hours and twenty minutes of torture seated next to this guy. He took up 20 to 25% of my seat. He was actually sweating on me at one point. The kicker was five hours into the flight when his wife came back to visit him from business class. He gave his seat to her.

I called customer care on my way home. I had three questions. 1. What is the polcy when seated next to an obese person? 2. Could I speak to a person in charge of the flight attendants to lodge a complaint. 3. What are my options should this hapen in the future. All I was told was that it is public transportation and that if a person can fits the seat belt extension, he can have the seat. I got no answer about lodging a complaint against the flight attendants. I was told there are no options if this happens in the future.

I find this very hard to believe. I called back and asked again. The customer care person looked up my complaint and said there was nothing else to talk about. He said it was public transportation.

Can anyone help me here? This seems so unreasonable. There must be a common sense answer to this probelm.

Don
  #2  
Old Jun 6, 2008, 6:30 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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As far as I am aware, and I know this because my uncle is obese, is that they have to buy two seats. And since you stated that the attendent used an extension belt, we can assume the center seat was empty, which means he paid his fare(s) so there is nothing more that can be done. Looks like you were simply the "lucky" one to get the seat next to him. The only thing they could have done, which is what the flight attendent tried to do, is find you a different seat. Other than that, you just had to bear it. If you are a gold member, you can call onepass to lodge a complaint, though I think you'll hit a wall there too.
  #3  
Old Jun 6, 2008, 6:53 PM
doma135 doma135 is offline
 
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There was no center seat. The person was right next to me. If there was a center seat I would not be complaining. This guy was actually sitty on me!
  #4  
Old Jun 6, 2008, 6:54 PM
doma135 doma135 is offline
 
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sitting....sorry
  #5  
Old Jun 6, 2008, 11:31 PM
Rivkamal Rivkamal is offline
 
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I had that happen once and I was left with my entire left side soaked in his sweat-he was so big the flight attendant could not see me to give me any service-they had to pass it to me from the row in front. I was in clothes soiled by his sweat for 6 hours before I got home...by then I was ready to burn the clothes.
  #6  
Old Jun 7, 2008, 1:10 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Bob View Post
that they have to buy two seats.
That is only true for a few carriers - not all. But sometimes obese people who should buy the extra seat won't - "I can fit into one!!!" and the like. And if the flight was full, then the only way to sell him a seat would be to bump someone else.
  #7  
Old Jun 7, 2008, 5:20 PM
doma135 doma135 is offline
 
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Default obese

I would have gladly left the plane and taked a later flight. The jerk at Continental said I would have to pay for the change fee if I chose this. I would have happily paid not to be tortured for over eight hours
  #8  
Old Mar 24, 2009, 8:07 PM
IND2009 IND2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Bob View Post
As far as I am aware, and I know this because my uncle is obese, is that they have to buy two seats. And since you stated that the attendent used an extension belt, we can assume the center seat was empty, which means he paid his fare(s) so there is nothing more that can be done. Looks like you were simply the "lucky" one to get the seat next to him. The only thing they could have done, which is what the flight attendent tried to do, is find you a different seat. Other than that, you just had to bear it. If you are a gold member, you can call onepass to lodge a complaint, though I think you'll hit a wall there too.
Carriers have their own policy dealing with obese pax, it should of been addressed at the tkt counter if he chked any baggage, if not the gate should of been notified if it was missed.
  #9  
Old Mar 24, 2009, 9:01 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I feel that if the arm rest is unable to be put down, then the passenger should purchase another seat. Southwest operates this policy, and although I am a big bloke, I think it is a fair solution. If the flight is not full, the passenger can reclaim the cost of the extra seat. The problem of course, is deciding what constitutes obese... I think the arm rest test is the best. People come in all shapes and sizes, but some consideration for the comfort for others is called for, (even though the size of the seats and room allowed is rather small). Continental should have reseated if possible (even if this meant an upgrade), or asked his wife to sit next to him!! However, the most you can expect is a few miles for your discomfort. In future, I would ask if it was possible to disembark and travel on a later flight.

I would also pursue this complaint in writing to Continental, but you have to be clear what you are asking for. Continental have transported you in accordance with the contract. Your complaint about the attitude of the FA's is a separate issue. I would write and state that your flight was adversely affected by the passenger and that you feel that Continental should have responded better. Beyond that, I think there is little more you could do.
  #10  
Old Mar 24, 2009, 10:07 PM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Living in Dallas, it was all over the news when Southwest was starting (trying) to enforce the fat people having to buy two seats.........being america we all know what happened.....the fat people started sueing saying it was discrimination and that they had a disability.
Like so many I have been stuck by the fat person on a flight, at the movies and other places I pay for my seat and only want to share it with my boyfriend, not a fatty who can't control their weight.
  #11  
Old Mar 24, 2009, 10:30 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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That's a pretty judgemental attitude you got there leatherboy, especially for a gay man!!
  #12  
Old Mar 24, 2009, 10:36 PM
IND2009 IND2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatherboy2006 View Post
Living in Dallas, it was all over the news when Southwest was starting (trying) to enforce the fat people having to buy two seats.........being america we all know what happened.....the fat people started sueing saying it was discrimination and that they had a disability.
Like so many I have been stuck by the fat person on a flight, at the movies and other places I pay for my seat and only want to share it with my boyfriend, not a fatty who can't control their weight.
and you have every right to feel that way, our policy is if the flight in NOT full we can reseat, If the flight is FULL we can deny boarding.
  #13  
Old Mar 25, 2009, 2:38 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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IND2009 - what was your reason for resurrecting a nearly year old thread?
  #14  
Old Mar 25, 2009, 2:41 AM
IND2009 IND2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
IND2009 - what was your reason for resurrecting a nearly year old thread?
I didn't notice the date on the thread, until you just mentioned it, why? problem?
  #15  
Old Mar 25, 2009, 2:50 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IND2009 View Post
I didn't notice the date on the thread, until you just mentioned it, why? problem?


Anyone?
  #16  
Old Mar 25, 2009, 3:59 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
That's a pretty judgemental attitude you got there leatherboy, especially for a gay man!!
So just because I am gay I have to roll over and accept everyone......if that was true I would be able to walk down the street holding my BF's hand without either of us having to be ready to punch our way out of it.
Besides being fat is something that can usually be controlled by control of food intake and exercise....shows like "Biggest Loser" have shown that big people can learn to lose weight and be healthy.
  #17  
Old Mar 25, 2009, 7:52 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Well that all depends on where you live.. I can walk down the street and hold my bf's hand without having to fight my way out of it, but doesn't the fact that you can't make my point? If people spent a bit less time judging everyone else and just accepted humanity in it's many variations, gay, straight, fat, thin, black, white etc.. the world would be a better place. People who are the victims of any kind of pointless judgement should stick together and try to make the world a bit easier for everyone. That is not the same as saying that a fat person should be allowed to encroach onto the space of the person sitting next to them. It simply means that we should adopt rules and policies which recognise the problem (such as Southwest) and address it. It doesn't have to be done in a hostile or judgemental way to be effective.
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