Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Plus Sized Traveler Would Appreciate Some Consideration

Dear Tazi:

I am a very large woman, weighing in on the other side of 400 pounds. I do not have a glandular problem; I am heavy because I like to eat sweet and fattening foods and hate to exercise. I recognize the consequences of my choices, from paying extra to find clothes that fit me to the possibility of dying several years before my prescribed time. Truthfully, I would rather enjoy life on my terms and die younger than live miserably to a ripe old age. The one issue I have with my weight is flying in an airplane, which I do frequently because I enjoy travel.

Because I am large and airline seats are not, I readily accept the fact that I must purchase two seats on the place, in order to accommodate my girth. When I purchase my airline tickets I occasionally luck out and get a special on first-class tickets, so I am able to purchase two assigned seats that are adjacent to each other. Occasionally, I fly discount airlines that do not offer assigned seating but do offer too-good-to-pass-up pricing. On the day of such flights, I make an effort to board early so I am assured of getting two seats together. After all, two separate seats would defeat the purpose of my buying an extra ticket.

My problem is that I am not always able to board first on flights with unassigned seats, and I must ask the Flight Attendant to assist me in my search for a duel seat. The flight attendants are always quite accommodating; it is the other passengers who are not; more than once I have received dirty looks and told flat-out “no” when someone sitting next to an empty seat is asked if they will move to allow me to have two seats together. Often times the person will look at me in disgust and say something like “I paid for my seat, why should I give it up?” insinuating that I have not paid for the extra seat. On a few occasions, people have come right out and accused me of looking for more space without paying for it. Ironically, these are usually the people who have way too much carry-on luggage of another sort.

I am generally able to get a seat without the fuss turning into a whole media affair, but I am afraid that one of these days it will turn into the circus maximus. Can you recommend a way I might avoid this issue of seating altogether, short of always flying first class?


Dear Chubbsey:

That’s what my Mommie calls me, and why she put me on a diet, only I think she spells it with only one “b”; I will have to ask. You are so lucky to be human and not having anyone controlling your food source. I also appreciate your candor; it sounds like you have a healthy sense of self and understand the consequences of your decisions.

I appreciate that you understand your need to purchase two airline seats to “accommodate your girth”, and I am certain that those who sit next to you on those flights appreciate it, too. Nobody enjoys having their personal space invaded, especially by somebody they do not know. The people who give you a problem about changing seats are the ones with the attitude problem.

The next time you fly, try to speak to the Boarding Attendant before the plane is ready to board. Explain your situation as you have explained it to me. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts (mmmmm….doughnut!) that you will be allowed to board early, along with others who require special boarding accommodations.

So long as you do not mind boarding with the elderly, the infirm, and people with young children and large strollers, your issue should be solved. If you are still concerned about the blockheads who would give you dirty looks or attitude over taking two seats, conspicuously display both of your boarding passes for easy viewing. Only a complete ignoramus would dare to make a rude comment, and complete ignoramuses deserve the same respect I give my litter-box!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

No comments:

Post a Comment