Mr. & Mrs. Jumbo

May 13, 2010

in Portly Stories

Several of these Portly Stories are similar to my experience. In all the years I have been flying this was the most uncomfortable flight. Maybe not hellish to some, but when you are dead tired on a red eye, it feels hellish.

Boarded a red eye from Las Vegas to Atlanta. Located my window seat and the two gentlemen already seated looked up at me. The gentleman on the aisle was quite small framed and the portly gentleman in the middle seat was sadly squished in. The gentleman on the aisle seat stood up to allow me to take my window seat and the portly gentleman in the middle seat asked me if I really wanted in. “Yes please.” I smiled and he also stood up in the aisle. I took my window seat, thanked the gentleman and the portly man returned to the middle seat, which was woefully too small.

About this time a flight attendant took notice of the situation and approached the small framed gentleman with the aisle seat. She said, “Excuse me sir, but there is another seat back here that will be more comfortable. Please follow me.” She was marvelous and swiftly handled the situation deftly and professionally. The small framed gentleman followed her to another seat. Mr. Jumbo quickly lifted the arm in-between his seat and the newly vacated seat and comfortably spilled over on two seats. During cabin check the flight attendant had to provide Mr. Jumbo with a seat belt extender and assist with belting him in.

After we were airborne and the cabin lights dimmed, I had found a comfortable position to try an catch some rest. I closed my eyes and just as I was drifting off I hear, “Hi honey. Is that seat taken.” I opened my eyes staring forward a la a Far Side Cartoon. You guessed it. Mrs. Jumbo wanted to sit with her husband Mr. Jumbo. I ended up smashed up against the starboard side of the cabin and still had Mr. Jumbo against me.

No doubt about it. It was very uncomfortable for Mr. and Mrs. Jumbo and myself. I kept my mouth shut, thanked God people can’t read minds, and the airline took it upon itself to upgrade my return flight to first class.

Lately I have noticed articles about airlines and this problem. I’m sure gate attendants and flight crews are as uninformed and surprised as the passengers in adjacent seats when someone who is portly shows up with their boarding pass and carry-on items. In my case an astute flight attendant addressed the situation before the flight took off, but 45 minutes or so into the flight when Mrs. Jumbo wanted to sit with her husband and the equivalent of 3+ people smashed into 2 little economy seats, there were no more options or space for me and I was squished up against the window.

If someone is so large they need a seat belt extender in order to fasten their seat belt, and the seat arms can not be raised or lowered without manhandling someone’s fleshy girth, they really ought to be buying the seat next to them and perhaps seated behind a bulk head or similar roomy area. To me it’s a matter of safety (think emergency evacuation and the Jumbo passenger is wedged in by the seat arms), that passenger’s comfort as well as the adjacent passenger’s comfort.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Traytable May 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I believe Southwest have such a policy for 'passengers of size'.


jennifer May 13, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I don't understand. If Mrs. Jumbo was apparently sitting somewhere else before she moved to your aisle, why didn't you just ask to take her now unoccupied seat?


MM May 20, 2010 at 12:21 am



DAVE May 14, 2010 at 2:00 am



madachode May 14, 2010 at 4:21 am

If you are over your BMI for your height and age, you should buy 2 seats. Pigs.


Jaci May 18, 2010 at 6:30 am

Most people that would be labelled "overweight" can fit in a seat no problem. It's the obese and morbidly obese that have the problems.

The problem with the BMI is that it doesn't take into consideration the fact that muscles weigh more than fat, so those folks that are more muscular can end up with a higher BMI that they don't necessarily deserve.

That being said, I have a BMI that puts me in the "obese" category, but I can fit in one seat. It really depends on how the weight is distributed in one's body (am in the process of doing some MAJOR weight loss though though healthier eating habits and regular exercise). BMI is NOT the be all and end all measurement that should be used.


Laura May 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Oh dear, don't advertise your fatness when dealing with trolls.

It should be a hip/waist/ass measurement that determines these things, not BMI. I could stand to lose a few pounds myself for sure but I'm smaller than the average passenger in terms of girth and height.


Jaci May 19, 2010 at 1:41 am

Meh, if they want to make comments about my weight, bring 'em on! I know I'm doing what I need to do to have a healthy life. Why should I let some no-name folks on the internet bring me down? I just consider the source and let it roll off my back. 🙂


Laura May 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

This is true, I'm sure half the people who comment on here secretly weigh 300 lbs and are growing steadily.


Bob May 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm

The airlines will take action on grossly obese passengers when pigs fly………wait a minute………ummmm yah.


Karl May 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Why should he take the other fat slobs previous seat? The FA gave him a seat in 1st class.


Jodi May 17, 2010 at 6:32 am

The RETURN flight was upgraded.


Kad May 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I'm pretty sure I'm not responsible for the inability of someone else to fit into 'standard' human dimensions. Humans come in lots of different sizes.

I'm average height, weight, build. My knees need exercise or they hurt, and I have insomnia.

I'm really, really sorry if weight/girth/rolls are your issues, but ultimately airplanes have to be built to a standard, and if you don't fit that standard, it's not my fault.

You aren't being discriminated against because you are fat on purpose.

Safety and security for ALL passengers needs to be considered. Some who are of greater girth have previously posted here about how hard they tried to fit into one seat. How uncomfortable it was.

When one is squished, the only option to avoid the uncomfortable situation is a personal assault – to regain the ability to breathe properly or extend the extremities in a limited space. An option that would result in a couple of National Guard escorts and handcuffs.

I'm really sorry you were made differently, but it's not my problem. Buy two seats.


ps May 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Sounds a little suspicious as when Mrs. Porky plopped in why didnt you take her former seat? But hey, first class back. Not as total loss.


Bob May 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm

It is so sweet to see Kad and Karl joined nut to butt.


Lon May 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

I'm with Jennifer on this one. You could have taken the lady's original seat, or do what I would have done…say "I'm sorry ma'am but there's not enough room in this row for all three of us." Why are passengers so damned passive, then complain on this forum later? Stand up for your rights!


Laura May 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I'd endure that if it meant I got an upgrade or a freebie. Silly people


Jodi May 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

I would not endure it, I would have either explained that there wasn’t enough room or taken her seat. Sorry but first class up grade or not, you’d still have some stranger’s sweaty flab on you. I’d much rather not have that happen. Ewww.


Laura May 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm

The joke's on you when I'm occupying 50% of my giant first class seat on the next leg!


MM May 20, 2010 at 12:25 am

2 cattle class rides without fat against me > 1 greasy ride and 1 first class ride


ps May 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Time out… no defenders of the fattie nation… yet.. this has to be a first.


Laura May 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Who's going to bother when there are 21 comments ridiculing righteous fatsos?


Jaci May 21, 2010 at 8:01 am

Yeah, not even FROM a fattie who can actually fit in one seat and has NEVER needed a seat belt extender!


ps May 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm

If you dont need an extender and can fit into a seat, you're far far away from the volume of the subjects in the posters story. That's not fattie territory.


Mona May 24, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Fat people are disgusting and completely self-centered. Congress should pass a law requiring all fat people to sit in the same section of the airplane so they can overflow into each other.


Jaci May 25, 2010 at 8:34 am

How lovely for you to be spewing stereotypes like that, Mona. Or do you personally know EVERY fat person on the planet?

However, I can lose the weight (and am!)? Your stupidity, which you demonstrated with your comment is something that can NEVER change. Pity.


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: