Eight Inches Of Seat

October 1, 2009

in Portly Stories

Recently, I was on a CRJ flight out of DFW. I was among the first to board, but one of the largest men I have ever seen boarded before me. Of course, his seat was next to mine, on the 2 seat side of the plane. By the time I reached my seat, he had already sat down, and put the arm rest up. The reason was clear: he filled both seats, leaving me with 8 inches of seat! There was simply no room for me to sit!

The Flight Attendant informed me that if I wouldn’t take my seat, I would have to get off the plane, and book a new ticket. That’s right, a NEW ticket on a flight the next day, complete with new purchase price! After discussing the issue with the FAs, Pilot, and Gate personnel, a seat finally opened up at the last minute. I can’t believe that I was about to have to purchase a new ticket because someone else couldn’t fit in their seat!!!!

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

saw October 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Only person who should have had to book a new ticket, was the person using your seat…


Demotage October 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm

What Saw said.


Hugh October 2, 2009 at 12:17 am

Ditto. Things like that are ridiculous. If you are too large to fit in a single seat, two seats should be assigned. Now, whether or not you get charged for two is a different story, but expecting someone to sit next to a blob like that is unrealistic and unfair.


ps October 2, 2009 at 2:59 am

unbelieveable. You have a problem because a pig can't fit into his seat. Obviously this pig had to have some connections. Maybe it was Boss Hogg.


Sabrina October 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

I am getting so tired of this. The person who should have paid for a new ticket would be the person leaking over in to the other persons seat. Listen up fat people…go on a diet! Exercise! Move more, eat less! I'm tired of having to accomodate fat people-this makes them think its okay to be fat. Don't misunderstand me as this being a vain issue-its not…its a health issue and its starting to affect a lot more people than just the fat ones. Seriously fat people, look in the mirror….you don't need that extra roll and believe me, you do not look good.


Jaci July 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

It also depends on the proportions of the person. I have a pear shape and no matter how much weight I lose, I am always going to have a larger lower body, which can wreak havoc, with such narrow seats, it could still potentially be a problem.

Not trying to make an excuse, but just saying….


MM July 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

lol nobody's body size is just naturally so big they can't fit into an airline seat


Demotage October 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm

On the other hand, look at the bright side! You could have sat down first and had him sit on top of you.


saw October 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm


You know… in defense of the overweight (of which I am one), you make it seem so simple. It must be nice not to have chronic agonizing back pain which prevents certain exercises, metabolic dysfunctions, damaged knees, and other injuries, mental health problems and other disabilities that contribute to weight issues. It's just SO simple to fix… and believe me – not every overweight person is happy with themselves…

As many problems as overweight people cause, attitudes like yours are just as problematic, narrow minded, and abusive.


Hog Man July 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

Oink Oink, whew that was a lot of work oinking like that so I think I will go hog down a bunch of calories and wallow in front of the T.V.


Joa B March 20, 2017 at 6:33 pm

Ya'll ever think of taking your selfrightous butt to a doctor for a diet. There are tons of
diet centers around… If you eat less you mght lose weight without torturing your obese body


TheBigM October 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I'm no expert but if you can't move much then not eating much should help keep the weight down – this is not a dig just a query


saw October 3, 2009 at 7:23 pm


Not always the case, unfortunately… but lack of movement isn't the only contributor to weight problems.

If you were to honestly discuss the issue with most overweight people, you'd find that they're terribly unhappy with the way they are, and have been fighting the problem for a long time.

It's easy to sit on the outside and make judgements based on your own experience – which might be extremely disparate from the experiences of others.

What you need to do, is understand that obesity is often a problem with no simple solutions. If it were EASY not to be overweight, then there would be very few overweight people – because in all my life I've never met ONE that "wanted" to be overweight.


ps October 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm

In my experiences, when dealing with the rotund, it's usually not a medical issue. I've been squeezed while they proceed to wolf down anything the flight attendant puts their way and on several occasions had my oversized seat mate pull twinkies or other sugar concoctions out of their bag for an in flite snack.


Sabrina October 5, 2009 at 8:38 am


I too have to work really hard to keep my weight down. I eat right and exercise regularly. I am not by any means, skinny or have the perfect body but do make an effort to maintain my health. If I look at water the wrong way, you better believe its going to my butt.

But when it comes to weight, its a simple math equation-if you don't burn more than what you put in, you're going to gain weight. You mentioned to try and understand over weight people. But how can we do that if society is doing everything in their power to enable these people and make it easier for them to be fat. This is not right. This was my whole point with the seat situation. Why should people who take care of themselves be punished?


Jaci July 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm


The last time that I was in the weight loss zone, I was a self-righteous bitch, just like you are being on this board. However, I got over that this time around.

Most overweight people are not happy with themselves and it's a really nasty downward spiral. It's only when the person is READY to make that change will it be successful. Fortunately for me, I was ready at the end of February, and I've been successful so far. I learned from the last time I went through this, that the last thing to do is to pass judgment and be a sanctimonious, preachy bitch to people. Without the motivation, nothing works.


Demotage October 5, 2009 at 6:44 pm

I'm a big guy – I"m quite a bit overweight – and yes, I hate being that way. I try. I try to watch my diet, and I exercise. I"m making some progress, but it is very hard. And I'll bet that you have some characteristics or habits too that annoy other people – maybe they are hard to stop doing. My weight is not caused by a medical condition (although one could argue I got this way because of one) – but I"m not looking for excuses. But you also have to understand that it is not a simple issue of will power. Even if one takes on their weight problem seriously, it can take years to deal with it, it's difficult, and has very little reward in the short run. It also shows mis-understanding of certain aspects of biology. Everyone has a weight set-point. If you get overweight, your set point eventually gets reset at a higher value. When you diet, and get below your weight set-point, it kicks in a starvation reflex. Of course you are not really going to starve if you are 100 pounds overweight, but tell that to the reflex. Reason does not stop the craving that occurs for food. For some people, it can even reach the level of a panic attack. Losing weight is not simply a matter of dropping pounds – which can takes months. It is also a matter of re-setting your set-point – that takes much longer. The result of this is that you can work for months and lose a few pounds, but if you screw up for just a week or two, you can gain it all back. It can be very discouraging. This is the reason that people tend to yo-yo in their weight. So have a little sympathy.

Fortunately for my row mates, I carry my weight in the front – I've heard all the 'having a boy' jokes, thank you. But I don't require an extender, I don't have to have the arm rest up. I don't spread sideways into my row mates space. In fact, unless they encroach on mine, I'll happily and easily go the whole flight without touching you once with any part of my body.

But someone else being overweight is not an excuse to be a rude asshole. Especially if that person is not bothering you. I recently got on a flight. When I got to my row, a man was standing in the aisle, his wife was sitting in the middle. I had the window. When I arrived, and told them I had the window, the man said "look honey – we get to sit next to the world's largest man!"

I sat in my seat without a word (and did not encroach on her space). But I wish I'd had the presence of mind to reply "Your wife is lucky! She gets to sit between the world's largest man, and the worlds biggest asshole!"


MJ October 6, 2009 at 5:47 am

Sabrina, you're wrong that weight loss is a simple equation. Despite what we've been taught, our conception of a calorie isn't is specific as we think. Additionally, human weight is a bell curve – some people are naturally very small, others very large, and most are somewhere in between. We all have a set weight range in which our bodies are most comfortable and that doesn't necessarily line up with "normal" weight based on the BMI. Additionally, recent studies have shown that when we attempt to lose weight below where our bodies want to be, our metabolisms generally slow down to compensate. Try reading anything by Linda Bacon.

And no, this isn't to say that all fat people are at a weight that is natural for their bodies. Many of us (in Western/developed countries) eat not because we're hungry, but rather because food is abundant and tastes good. I believe in listening to your body and eating what it needs and wants. This isn't simple or easy, and may not lead to weight loss for all people who are "overweight" but it does allow your body to figure out where it wants to be.

Weight isn't a moral issue and being a judgmental bitch about it doesn't make you superior.


ps October 7, 2009 at 3:11 am

While weight loss is not a simple equation and there are other factors, when you see an obese person munching on junk food and drinking liquid candy, I mean soda, that is a lifestyle choice. Those who tend to do things in moderation should not have to suffer for others who don't do things in moderation. It is a moral issue as those who are obese by choice (as in diet and sedentary lifestyle) incur large medical bills for obesity related illnesses that those who at least try to take care of themselves pay for directly and indirectly. As someone who has experienced the pleasure of sitting next to someone who is obese by choice (judging by the arsenal of food that came out of a backpack) several times, make them buy 2 seats or pay for half of mine, as I am giving up space I paid for.


Atari October 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I have to agree with P.S. in this situation.

Sure, some people are overweight because of a medical condition.

Most, thought– well, they just eat too much and exercise too little.

Might as well not make fun of people who lost their hearing because they jammed nails in their ears because it might offend people who were born deaf.

It is, as P.S. said, a lifestyle choice, to eat crapulously, and there is no reason to moan about the repercussions of that choice.

I was overweight, once. Never a behemoth, but certainly obese. I lost most of the weight in two weeks.

Now I have a little extra weight on me (which wouldn't be too hard to rid myself of if I could sleep at night, but because I don't, I never exercise; I'm always tired!) but nothing like before.

It IS easy to lose weight.

People are supposed to be ACTIVE, ALL DAY, or at least for several hours a day.

Furthermore, you can eat fruit until it comes out of your nose, and you'll have a hard time gaining weight, because it is easy to digest and helps the metabolism.

It's the manufactured, artificial foods that get us. (And meat)

There is rarely an EXCUSE for being fat, and in those few situations that it is, no one blames you.


Jim October 8, 2009 at 6:52 am

To comment on the story….unbelieveable that this person would be asked to purchase a new ticket….he was not the offender.

To all of the other comments about being overweight. You can use all of the psychobabble you want, and make excuses for yourselves. But, the fact of the matter is….being overweight is a matter of self control. Control what you put into your body, and control your life in such a way, that you make time for exercise….even moderate exercise. Eat less, exercise more, and you will lose weight. I cannot believe the people here who say it is hard because losing weight takes time, and they screw up….as if these are excuses. Or, the people that complain about health issues…ever thought, maybe the poor health is a result of being overweight? Americans want a quick and easy fix or pill for every problem….a pill to wake us up… a pill to make us sleep….a pill to make us happy….a pill to calm our nerves….a pill to make us skinny.

Anyway, do you really think being overweight is biological? If so, why aren't their fat people in Ethiopia or other 3rd world countries/


saw October 9, 2009 at 11:37 am


You get dumber and dumber…

"There is rarely an EXCUSE for being fat, and in those few situations that it is, no one blames you."

If it were so easy NOT to be overweight, everyone would be thin. It's great that some people don't have a problem (honestly, I'm very happy for everyone who finds themselves healthy, lean, and living well).

But even the guy who pounds twinkies is suffering from a problem – might be mental – but it's a problem and if you ask him, he'll probably (if he's honest) tell you that every time he pounds down a Twinkie, it comes with an hour of self loathing (maybe more).

It's easy for those who don't have a problem to pontificate about those who do. What's unfortunate, is it's also often (in this subject) impossible for those people to admit they're wrong, even when presented with overwhelming evidence to the effect.

As for why there aren't fat people in Ethiopia or other 3rd world countries, I'm guessing that you haven't been to those places, because there ARE. Forced starvation, on the other hand, WILL result in being thin – however – I don't believe anyone would consider those "thin" people remotely "healthy". And given a choice, I think they'd choose to be fat!


Jaci July 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Saw, as a recovering food addict, I couldn't agree more.

There are folks out there that instead of turning to drugs or alcohol, turn to food in order to escape. Combine that with the self-loathing, guilt and depression after a binge, they can't bring themselves off the couch in order to burn off the extra calories. It's a vicious cycle that repeats itself over and over again until the person recognizes the issue and does something about it. Unfortunately, that motivation has to come from WITHIN and NOT from external forces. That process can take YEARS with many false starts.

I'm not saying that any of this is an excuse (and I certainly don't buy the "addiction is a disease" theory….addiction is more of a symptom of a bigger problem IMO), but until you walk a mile in someone's overweight shoes, it's best not to be such judgmental…but at the same time, airlines need to enforce the two-seat rule if a passenger is too big for one seat.


Atari October 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I am going to assume that your rebuttal to the comment regarding third world countries is not focused at me, since I said nothing of third world countries.

I reviewed my own post, Saw, and concluded that I said NOTHING that could be construed as 'dumb'.

You have the traditional thinking of, "If you don't have the same problem, then you cannot relate on any level, and should not be allowed to comment upon it."

That is piteous thinking which allows people to put themselves into a box so that they might continue their poor lifestyle without being castigated.

You think that I don't hate the extra fat on me? That I don't get frustrated when I step on the scale and it is up two or more pounds?

I live HORRIBLY, lacking sleep and exercise, but I do not blame ANYONE but myself.

I said that it is easy to lose weight, not that it is easy to not be fat.

If a person worked hard for ONE MONTH, he could lose almost ALL of his weight, but keeping himself thin, I admit, would be difficult; particularly if he has a very lackadaisical or lazy lifestyle.

I can't even see a point, anymore.

All I was saying is that fat people are fat because of themselves, and not because of anyone else.

I guess.

I really don't know what we're talking about, anymore.


saw October 26, 2009 at 4:09 am

[ Rebuttal to Atari's post deleted, because I just don't care anymore. As someone reminded me, "you can't fix stupid", so why should I bother to attempt fixing "Atari"… besides, you can't get spare parts from a dead, failed, company ]


Babs November 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm

People of such gigantic proportions should have to buy two seats, three sweats, whatever fits them. If one complains then you are told that you are insensitive. Flight attendents should use more common sense. For the most part they are pretty unpleasants souls.


david November 14, 2009 at 6:19 pm

um fyi many times POS do have to pay for 2 seats, but if the flight is full they cannot tell them that they cant fly


Jane November 20, 2009 at 11:51 am

I am a fairly overweight woman, but have always been able to fit in ONE airline seat. I do my best not to inconvenience other people, but being the daughter of a workaholic and a food addict, I learned at a young age that food was a great anesthetic for what ails ya.

I'm not trying to make excuses for my behavior. I have been struggling, especially now that I need to drop the weight for health reasons, and lately, I've been a lot more successful than in the past. The day I take up two seats is the day that I stop flying. I don't like being this big…never did…but there is a lot of pain I'm sifting through (and yes, I'm in treatment), and trying to end an addiction to a necessity of life is a TON (no pun intended) harder than kicking alcohol or drugs. Why? You don't need alcohol or drugs in order to live. Food, however, is another story.

So for those who say that it's simple to lose weight, walk a mile in someone else's shoes before passing judgment. I'm childfree, but I don't complain about children throwing fits on flights unless I see the parent isn't at least making an effort to care for the child. I expect the same consideration.


Lucy November 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm

No way on earth can you go from “obese” to regular size, or even just overweight, in two weeks.
You are hiding behind all your large words when you really have no point-or no valid point anyway.
Yes, most people are fat because of lifestyle choices.
No, most people cannot lose the weight and be average size in a month. This is simply not possible.
Because of this huge flaw in your argument, the rest is suspect as well.


Atari November 30, 2009 at 2:14 am

That is brilliant, Lucy.

You countered my argument by stating something contrary. What an original and unique approach.
I love the way you quoted trusted resources when you refuted my– oh, wait.
No you didn’t.

I rest my case.

I don’t ‘hide’ behind my ‘big words’.

That’s LAUGHABLE! I use the vocabulary that I have worked hard to learn. Pardon me if that makes you feel intimidated or frustrated, and if it doesn’t, then what are you complaining about?

The mere fact that you stated, “You are hiding behind all your large words when you really have no point- or no valid point, anyway,” raises a red flag that says this: Hey, this person is simply affecting a knowledgeable persona, but in reality, she is not proving or disproving anything.

We are both using anecdotal evidence, or no evidence at all, in your case, so there is no reason to get so personal and insulting.

I am not ATTACKING anyone, and I would appreciate it if everyone would stop treating me like a jerk, simply because my opinion on obesity differs.

I disagree with you and Saw. The end. No amount of insulting or arguing is going to change that.

No study or personal experience would be able to prove otherwise, anyway, because everyone is different, but I am willing to bet that for most people, losing weight is as easy as not doing nothing all day. (Which many people do, because of a change in the way the world works.)


saw November 30, 2009 at 6:07 am


Your vocabulary has many words – whoopty-doodle-do. As for your opinions, that's what they are – and on this subject, they're not based on any fact, just you're own head spouting off crap that makes no sense. You can wander through the world shouting at the top of your lungs that the sky is green and the grass is blue, but that's not going to make you right, it's just going to make you look like you belong in a mental hospital.

As for hiding behind big words, yeah – Lucy's right. Too bad you don't know what most of them mean, and you aren't smart enough to keep your pie-hole shut.

If you want people to stop treating you like a jerk, then stop behaving like an ass.


Hog Man July 1, 2010 at 8:18 am

Oink Oink yea I am fat because someone else made me fat. I am a disgusting fatbody because of a "glandular condition" or perhaps I am simply "big boned". Whatever, it is someone else's fault now please excuse me while I stuff my "piehole" with two or three………pies. (extra lard please).


Atari November 30, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Saw, you have zero shame. You're also proving yourself to be less and less worthy of arguing with.

When I thought that you had a modicum of intellect, I thought that pointing out your glaring flaws would make you think, "You know, he's right. I am being a pretentious, pontificating, dogmatic jerk."

But every time you come at me, you say something as utterly worthless as, "You're wrong. I'm right."

I'm not impressed, and if Lucy is an intelligent person, then she will probably will not be, either.

A person would have to be pretty petty to see that you refuted nothing, nor did you assert anything with any evidence, while you simultaneously accused me of not presenting any evidence, and then still side with you.

At this point, as you can see, I'm not even (no one is) talking about the original argument. Why? Because the way we are responding to one another – in a rude and arrogant manner – is more important than whining about how it is hard to lose weight.

Like you telling me that I do not know what the words I am using mean.

What is that? Is it an insult? Are you saying something that you believe is true? Why would you say that? It's not even relevant to the subject matter at hand, not even within the context of talking about how I use big words.

Pointless. Absolutely inane.

Oh, should I be putting a definition after each of these words? I don't want to confuse you, because, obviously, using words longer than six letters is 'pompous,' and has nothing to do with the fact that the words are apt.

Man, you've taken this to such an epic level of irrelevance. I am astounded, Saw.

Please, send me a response that has no other point than to insult me, and I will know, finally and fully, that you are just some douchebag who likes to 'one up' people, whether you have to use the truth or just fabricated insults.

Next come the yo mamma jokes! Nothing is too absurd or silly for you to use, huh, Saw?


Lucy December 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm


You would like evidence?

Not that I can provide actual pictures or anything, but I can tell you a personal story.

I used to weigh 300 pounds. And I'm 4'11".

So yes, I was fat.

It took three long years of HARD work, but I finally lost most of the extra weight.

I was simply commenting on the fact that you claim losing weight is a quick process. It isn't. It is a struggle every single day, even now, to not go back to the old habits. Yes, sitting on the couch watching television while eating ice cream is a heck of a lot more fun than going to the gym and eating carrot sticks.

I guess my whole point is that you shouldn't put people down or say how easy something is to do when it clearly isn't. It is that kind of attitude that makes people give up on doing something. When people are saying how easy it was for them, it makes the rest of us despair of ever getting there, or it makes us wonder why we aren't able to do it as easily as others.


Demotage December 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

Yo Mama is so fat, it would take her more than two weeks to lose the weight


saw December 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Atari… I gave up making useful arguments with you a long time ago. You see, no matter how many sources I quote, you always respond "nope, I'm Atari, and I'm right", so what's the point???

Only reason I chimed in here is because you attacked Lucy for no good reason.

Oh… and… so you'll be happy…

Yo' Mama is so dumb, she lost her job at the M&M factory 'cause she threw out all the "W"s…


david June 30, 2010 at 11:40 pm

saw ate all the ''w''s…and pies!


xxx March 15, 2013 at 8:12 pm

man a bunch of fatties claiming weight loss is hard…

it is not hard if you have a little thing called self control,

I'm in IT (no exercise there)
back surgery resulting in me being in constant pain (although less than before surgery)
I'm 6'2", went from 180 to 220 as a result of my injury and diet.

by eating right and getting SOME exercise that i am able to do i'm back down to 185

It wasn't hard, took 4-5 months and i have maintained that weight without stepping foot in a gym since.

So again its not hard, just requires you to not be a useless lazy excuse for a human being


Joan March 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm



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