United Airlines to start enforcing controversial weight policy - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

United Airlines to start enforcing controversial weight policy

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SPOKANE, Wash. - United Airlines is going to start enforcing a controversial policy when it comes to flying. The policy could get overweight people bumped off their flight.

Flying can be uncomfortable for anyone, but for larger people it can cost more as well. Thursday, United Airlines joins eight others in enforcing a seating policy requires customers to purchase a second seat when they are unable to use an extended seatbelt, put their armrests down, and if they infringe on another guest's seat.

A passenger says "I actually would agree with it, to be honest with you. I mean, if someone was in my seat, spilling over, I mean, that just makes sense."

Another passenger says "the seats are always too small as far as I'm concerned."

Another passenger says "I actually fell asleep using him as an arm rest, so to the point. But I pretty much dealt with it."

A United spokesperson explains that this will happen "after all other solutions are exhausted, meaning the flight is full and we are unable to re-accommodate our guest next to an empty seat that is not occupied by someone else."

If the flight is full united "will offer the second seat on another flight at the same fare that was originally paid."

A passenger says "obviously I'm sympathetic. But it's not dissimilar from a mother or dad traveling with children. And so I think it's one of those issues around major corporations trying to make a profit in different times. So I agree with it."

A passenger says "I understand need to make money in the situation, but they should accommodate them...make a little bit larger seats."

A registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association says obese and heavier people deal with difficulties every day, not just on small plane seats. And feelings should be considered.

Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blather says "I definitely think this is something that has to be dealt with on a case by case basis. Everybody's welfare should be looked out for. Not only the people who are in their seats already, but also the psyche of the overweight person being escorted of the plane."

The new policy applies to tickets bought on or after March 4 for travel on or after April 15. Last year, United received almost 700 complaints from guests who did not have a comfortable flight because the person next to them infringed over to their neighbor's seat.

United says this policy addresses that.
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