No More Sympathy

July 27, 2008

in Portly Stories

OK, no more sympathy for fat people. I was on a Southwest Airlines flight from Providence to Phoenix at the end of May, and a fat woman boarded and could not find a seat, so she chose to sit in the middle seat next to me on the bulkhead (no pun intended). I chose my bulkhead seat on the aisle because I am disabled, walk with a cane, and have to get to the plane via wheelchair. This woman SAT on me through the whole flight. She was HURTING me. It was incredibly hard to get up and get to the bathroom. I should have pitched a fit and got her put off the plane, but stupid me, I was trying to be a good sport about it. Never again! I do not even want to hear anything about tiny airline seats. I am disabled and can not do exercise, and if I can keep my butt small enough to fit in my own seat, the rest of you can too. And I especially do not want to hear anything about obesity as a disability. Do NOT even go there. I am not a tiny flower either, but I fit in MY seat. My warning to the rest of you is this; check out the other people who are coming on the plane and grab the thinner people and ask them to be your row mates.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

noodlepopjin July 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm

I have never had the dubious privelege of having to sit next to a passenger "of size" (knock on wood), but the offenders in these stories must be enormous. Excuse the TMI, but I am 5'10" and 44-36-45 and I can fit just fine in my economy seat. I have enough room to put my purse beside me, anyway. I know I am not touching other passengers because I am very big on personal space, mine or otherwise.

That being said, I am obviously not skinny myself, but I firmly believe that some people should be required to buy an extra seat. Period. I don't think it should go by weight, though, because people carry weight differently. I think it should go by measurements.


C.B. July 30, 2008 at 11:26 am

I am lucky that I have never had to sit next to someone this large. But if it ever happened I would complain and yell and embarass that fat person until I was moved or they were moved.

And you are right, being fat is NOT a disability!


Kyle April 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

Good Point C.B


781 February 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm

That's just ridiculous–yelling, complaining, and embarrassing the other person!!!— How abt if it were…YOU…??? Try having some damn EMPATHY and put yourselves in THEIR "shoes", so to speak!!!
Also, what dang "good" does it "do" to yell, complain, and embarrass someone else?!!?


BWM December 3, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I have to say that while it is rude to assume that all fat people are simply angry turds who eat too much, it is equally rude to IGNORE the fact that you are possibly harming a disabled man who walks with a cane!

That is just unforgivable. As an overweight (but certainly not so much so that it would be an issue for anyone, I fit just fine into an airline seat) person, behavior like that makes a bad name for everyone – all people, not just the 'fatties.'


marcia April 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

WOW C.B. – rant much?


Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Im Fat! for me it is a personal choice I try to diet I ate a taco salad today. but screw that I like to eat and watch T.V. My exercise consists of getting up to go to the bathroom or to the kitchen I have a fridge next to the couch so I don't have to get up as much. When I travel I look to sit in the middle of the 2 people that eyeball me the most and try to make sure they are as miserable as I look. Jerks come in all sizes and I am there leader


781 February 12, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Amen!!!! Speak it "loud and proud!!!" Aye, aye!!!!


MJ April 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Look, I agree that if you pay for a seat, you should be able to use the full seat, but hating fat people isn't really your answer. Many fat people aren't large because of laziness or lack of self control, but because their bodies simply prefer to carry more weight. Just because you maintain a "normal" weight doesn't mean it's reasonable for everyone.

And no, I'm not fat.


Sara April 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I'm not skinny by any means, but I can fit into a regular seat. My husband is a bit bigger. We always make sure the other person in our row has enough space. But if we were bigger, I would definitely pay to upgrade to make myself comfortable. I think that if you are really big, and you overflow onto other people, you should spend the extra money, and pay for the first class.


Mimi April 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Why on earth did Southwest Airlines not require this passenger to purchase 2 seats? Their rule – why are they afraid to enforce it?


Grace April 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm

If you're unhappy with your seat, move. Just like you don't care about the "fat" person next to you, they probably don't care about the "disabled" person next to them. There are bigger issues than "fat" people on a plane (i.e. people who smell, sick people, people who talk to you the entire flight). Get over it!


alyxzandra April 2, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I am fat because I gained 100 pounds during my pregnancy due to a disease that went out of control. I was under the care of a specialist during my pregnancy because of it.

I've lost half of it and will be traveling next month across the Atlantic. However, most of my weight is in my hips. Not all fat people are fat by choice. Sometimes there are health issues, like mine. Before my pregnancy, I studied martial arts and maintained a size 14. Not skinny, but not massively huge either.

I understand that you did not appreciate having to deal with your discomfort, but the fact that you would ask for her to be put off the plane is a bit much. You could have just explained the situation and asked if someone would swap seats.


kevin April 3, 2009 at 3:12 am

Hey fatty! Taco Salad is not healthy… try a real diet like eating whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables. You just might see your genitals again someday.


jag April 3, 2009 at 7:18 am

So this bitch walks with a cane and needs a wheelchair to board the plane. The fat lady can't fit in her seat but does not seem to smell bad and does not need mobility assistance.It appears the score is bitching cane lady 1 fat lady 2.


Joe Sixpack April 5, 2009 at 4:01 am

Kevin, Your comment should have concluded with "without using a mirror."

Just saying'


Deanna April 6, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Umm…you are disabled, and need a cane, but allowed someone to touch you, lean on you, and squeeze you in to an uncomfortable position, because you wanted to be a good sport? I would have gotten the FA, pointed to my cane, and used my disability to have gotten a different seat, or had that person moved, or something! You need to protect your own rights! At the very least, keep the arm rest in a down position, to ensure your own space. It is not about embarrassing the fat person, or being surly and demanding, its about protecting yourself. You can't allow yourself to be hurt. What if it had made your condition worse? Then the airlines might be facing a lawsuit from you, instead of just an unhappy story. The airlines is at fault here. I guess there just isn't a protocol in place, in order to try to move passengers around to try to get everyone to fit.

As for how people are fat, I once sat next to a guy who had skinny hips and legs, but was huuuge on top. The breadth of his shoulders was about 2 seats wide, and he couldnt use his tray cause his tummy stuck out too far. Needless to say I didn't get any arm rest space on that flight! lol!

Carry on luggage has to fit within a metal rail, to see if it will fit….why not something like that for people? However, if it is shown you need two seats, then you don't have to pay extra. Let the airlines figure out , finally, that the coach seats are way too small.


nicole April 7, 2009 at 6:24 am

BWM… it's understandable why people get so annoyed at fat people. More and more people become overweight in this country and every last one of them has an excuse. And you know why? Because the medical field labeled it as a "disease." Yes, being shiftless, and making bad judgments about your general well being is now a "disease." No, it's not, it's a choice and instead of this country becoming weaker and more accepting of peoples poor choices we need to go back to a time when you're accoutable for what you do. No more excuses. Everyone is built differently if you have to workout hardly and cut certain foods from your diet to stay healthy, so be it. DO IT. It's that simple. 60% of the population is fat and everyone wants to blame a thyroid problem. Get real.


chrisdanger April 9, 2009 at 2:47 am

When it comes to the portly flyer, we all pay. In my book, Theres two classes of this flyer:

A)Fat By Biological/Illness(pregnancy, glandular, ect..)

B)Fat By Choice

Im going to venture a guess there is more of the latter than the previous. That being said, I think SW has instituted an excellent policy when it comes to this issue and it should become a standard of the industry. I also understand they didnt get their you know what together in this case, I agree you have every right to be mad..


jimbob April 17, 2009 at 12:10 pm

the only thing worse then sitting next to a fat person is sitting next to a disabled person. pay more attention to your kids and then they will answer your phone calls and you wont hve to fly to them to suprise (read: stalk) them.


Rob April 25, 2009 at 3:42 pm

My brother visits the US frequently by car. One thing he repeats over and over: you don't need a sign at the border to know when you are in the US. Women (his word, being a young hetero man) instantly get 50 pounds heavier.

Get 2 seats, and don't be ignorant or indignant about it. I slam my arm rest down pretty fast when it is required. Slimy fat skin all over me…ugh. the cause of nightmares.


Laura Cardwell May 27, 2009 at 9:13 pm

I seriously can't wait to go back to the USA and see all the fat people! I'm flying American Airlines from Tokyo to Chicago and secretly hope to sit next to a fat person just so I can experience this joy.

I'm pretty uhhh hefty myself but I fit easily into things like seats no problem!


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