Starting today, United Airlines will size up its passengers and decide whether or not they need to pay a fat fee. The obesity seating policy requires passengers that cannot fit into one seat either pay for a second seat or stay behind. Gate and ticket agents will be asked to evaluate passengers and decide if they are "seatmates of size."
But how can an agent decipher before a passenger boards a plane if a passenger cannot fit into a single seat, buckle his or her seat-belt (even with an extender), or put the seat's armrest down? Does this mean taking measurements before boarding? Or waiting until the passenger boards and then asking him or her to step off the aircraft? Oy vey.
The policy applies to tickets purchased on or after March 4, 2009 for travel on or after April 15. United defends its position claiming that it's simply a response to hundreds of customer complaints about larger passengers. Also, the heavy weight added to the plane from obese passengers increases fuel costs.
Do you think the United Airlines policy is fair? Why or why not?