Air France to make heavy set travelers pay more
The so called "fat fee" that made headlines about a year ago is
back in the news today with the announcement that Air France is requesting chubby
travelers to fork over extra cash and pay for two seats when flying.
Air France however claims that unlike past portly policies that
simply made customers carrying a little (or a lot of) extra baggage purchase two
seats, the airline promises that if the plane is not full, they will reimburse the
The Paris based company has offered overweight passengers the
option of buying a doublewide seat at a discount and will now refund for the second
fare in “90 percent of cases.”
While Air France is unsure of how many customers will be effected
by the new rule, which begins in April, they expect that some will be upset.
If a traveler is requested by the company to purchase a second
seat and refuses, Air France reserves the right to not allow them to board the aircraft
at the captain’s discretion.
This is not the first time that Air France has made the news
when it comes to obese passengers. Back in 2007 a 353-pound customer sued the airline
and was ordered to pay damages in the amount of $11, 423.
Other airlines that enforce flabby fliers to pay more include
JetBlue, Southwest and American Airlines.
Do you think this is discrimination in the skies or a fair policy that airlines need to implement to secure safety and lost revenue? We would love to read your thoughts on this hot button travel topic.
Update 3pm: In response to the coverage their new policy has been receiving in the news today Air France released this statement via their website:
"As opposed to the information disclosed in the press this morning, Air France has no intention of making heavier passengers pay for a second seat. However, Air France plans to make one single change to its service starting 1 February, which is to refund heavier passengers the cost of the second seat in economy they have purchased, if the Economy cabin is not fully booked. Since 2005, Air France has
been offering heavier passengers the possibility of purchasing a second
seat to ensure they travel in optimum comfort and safety. This second seat benefits from a 25% discount."
Source: Associated Press