A plus-size travel influencer is demanding airlines change their ‘discriminatory’ policies that force frequent fliers to pay ‘twice for the same experience’ – admitting such a change can make fares more expensive for everyone .
Jae-lynn Chaney, who made headlines in April after launching the Change.org Petition “Ask the FAA to protect tall customers,” dubbed being discriminated against in flight due to height.
“People with smaller bodies have to pay a fare to get to their destination,” said Chaney, who has to purchase an extra seat during the flight. CNN Travel.
“We have to pay two tariffs, even if we get the same experience. On the contrary, our experiments are a little more difficult.
While Chaney held firm in her demands, in April she admitted that if the demands of her petition were met, ticket prices for all patrons would likely increase due to demand.
“It is difficult to provide a single answer to the question of who will pay for the policies mentioned in the petition,” she told Fox News after her petition gained traction.
“However, what is clear is that the mistreatment and discrimination of tall travelers is unacceptable and must be addressed.”
She added: “Implementing policies to accommodate plus-size passengers may have associated costs, but these costs must be weighed against the benefits of creating a more welcoming and inclusive travel experience.”
In his petition, Chaney urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require all airlines to create a comprehensive customer size policy that “prioritizes the comfort and well-being of all passengers.”
Chaney, along with other plus-size travelers and travel experts, are calling on US airlines to standardize their policies.
Canadian air passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs told CNN he views the practice of charging taller passengers for two seats as a human rights issue.
“Being a tall person is not a choice, as many people mistakenly believe,” Lukacs said.
“There is, unfortunately, a lot of negative attention and prejudice against tall people.”
Lukacs noted, “It’s not like someone gets up in the morning and decides they’re going to be a great person. So through that human rights lens, I see no justification for charging these people double the price.
He went on to say that airlines do not offer discounts for short passengers or children.
Besides the financial burden of buying two seats, Chaney says she faces many other challenges as a plus-size traveler, especially when dealing with unfriendly passengers or flight attendants.
“The stereotypes surrounding plus-size travelers and the hostility towards us when we travel by plane is honestly horrifying,” Chaney said, noting that she receives similar hostility when sharing her experiences online.
Another travel expert and plus-size content creator, Kristy Leanne, who recently went viral after posting a video about the problems she and other plus-size people face on planes, also received a downpour. negative comments for sharing their experiences.
“I was sharing my experience with the airlines and showing other plus-size travelers what to expect, so I didn’t expect so many people to think the points I raised were everyone’s complaints. kinds,” Leanne told CNN.
“I thought I would get a negative comment or two like I always do with videos talking about being plus size, but not to the extent that I did.”
A major concern for many plus-size travelers is shrinking seat sizes. Over the past two decades, the average width of an airplane seat has fallen from 18.5 inches to 17 inches, even though 38% of the world’s population is overweight or obese, according to the World Federation of Health. obesity.
According to Lukacs, smaller seat sizes should affect all travelers, not just those who are plus-sized.
“It’s concerning because being crammed into a very small seat could, in addition to your comfort, also affect your health, in terms of the risk of deep vein thrombosis,” he said.
“I don’t know what the science is about it today, but I could see it’s a problem. And also, we’re not cattle.
Lukacs added: “We expect when we board a plane to be treated with a reasonable level of respect.”
While Chaney and others are advocating for the FAA to make a change, outside of the United States, including Australia and Canada, there are laws preventing passengers from being charged different amounts based on their size. for domestic flights.