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Thoughts on the “glamourizing/normalizing” obesity vs body positivity conversations

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  • goldthistimegoldthistime Posts: 3,185Member Member Posts: 3,185Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    On the topic of extra wide seats, I think that they should be made available on airplanes, but at a premium cost, in the same way that tall people pay for an upgrade for seats with more leg room. And with respect to hospital beds (mentioned up thread), hospitals should be changing to serve their demographics. Not really debatable in my mind.

    That exists now, it's called Business or First Class.

    I don’t travel much so I’m no expert, but the couple of times I looked at Business or First Class the cost was much more than double the cost of a seat in economy/coach. The solution mentioned earlier, to buy two seats would be cheaper (but still not entirely comfortable). To me, turning a three seat row into a two seat row and selling the seats at a premium seems like an easy solution. If someone were to make the argument that the airline would be “normalizing obesity” with that change, I would disagree. If they made that change and then offered it with no premium, maybe. But that seems problematic anyway. How would they determine who gets those seats?

    How much more the seats are depends on how much of a discount you got the economy seats for. I get stuck paying close to full fare a lot (since I travel for business and may buy without much lead time or go at times when they tend to assume its business travelers and not offer much of a discount) and then it's often not that expensive to upgrade. I sometimes do (paying out of my own pocket for the upgrade) if the flight is long enough to make it worthwhile and the cost low enough. In those cases it is nothing like the cost of buying two seats. It also costs extra to get almost any decent seats these days unless you take your chances and a good seat ends up being among the last ones left. They charge more not just for the extra leg room, but any desirable location, varying in cost based on what they think people will pay. First class also avoids the fee for checking if you need to check a bag or two.

    Interesting. Can you give me an example of what "not that expensive to upgrade" means?

    I just looked up a flight from Toronto to Naples Florida, that cost $872 Cdn for economy and $3714 for Business Class roundtrip. Then when I checked your example of short notice, the price for an economy seat went up to $2118, but the Business Class price also went up, to $9112. In both cases, buying two economy seats would be cheaper than Business Class.

    Earlier in the thread @NovusDies said "As a person who has bought 2 airline seats for quite some time I can say there is very little that is accommodating to larger people." I've seen firsthand people buy two seats in economy to accommodate their size.

    Maybe we just aren't savvy in purchasing airline tickets? (No sarcasm intended there).

    I found an interesting article on the topic. I was reminded that in Canada (where I live), obesity is treated as disabled and arrangements are made to accommodate obese people at no extra charge. They need to have their derrieres measured by a physician to qualify however. Air France offers a 25% discount on the second seat. I just skimmed, but it seems that most US airlines require obese passengers to purchase a second seat.

    https://www.smartertravel.com/airline-obesity-policies/
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 470Member Member Posts: 470Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    On the topic of extra wide seats, I think that they should be made available on airplanes, but at a premium cost, in the same way that tall people pay for an upgrade for seats with more leg room. And with respect to hospital beds (mentioned up thread), hospitals should be changing to serve their demographics. Not really debatable in my mind.

    That exists now, it's called Business or First Class.

    I don’t travel much so I’m no expert, but the couple of times I looked at Business or First Class the cost was much more than double the cost of a seat in economy/coach. The solution mentioned earlier, to buy two seats would be cheaper (but still not entirely comfortable). To me, turning a three seat row into a two seat row and selling the seats at a premium seems like an easy solution. If someone were to make the argument that the airline would be “normalizing obesity” with that change, I would disagree. If they made that change and then offered it with no premium, maybe. But that seems problematic anyway. How would they determine who gets those seats?

    How much more the seats are depends on how much of a discount you got the economy seats for. I get stuck paying close to full fare a lot (since I travel for business and may buy without much lead time or go at times when they tend to assume its business travelers and not offer much of a discount) and then it's often not that expensive to upgrade. I sometimes do (paying out of my own pocket for the upgrade) if the flight is long enough to make it worthwhile and the cost low enough. In those cases it is nothing like the cost of buying two seats. It also costs extra to get almost any decent seats these days unless you take your chances and a good seat ends up being among the last ones left. They charge more not just for the extra leg room, but any desirable location, varying in cost based on what they think people will pay. First class also avoids the fee for checking if you need to check a bag or two.

    Interesting. Can you give me an example of what "not that expensive to upgrade" means?

    I just looked up a flight from Toronto to Naples Florida, that cost $872 Cdn for economy and $3714 for Business Class roundtrip. Then when I checked your example of short notice, the price for an economy seat went up to $2118, but the Business Class price also went up, to $9112. In both cases, buying two economy seats would be cheaper than Business Class.

    Earlier in the thread @NovusDies said "As a person who has bought 2 airline seats for quite some time I can say there is very little that is accommodating to larger people." I've seen firsthand people buy two seats in economy to accommodate their size.

    Maybe we just aren't savvy in purchasing airline tickets? (No sarcasm intended there).

    I found an interesting article on the topic. I was reminded that in Canada (where I live), obesity is treated as disabled and arrangements are made to accommodate obese people at no extra charge. They need to have their derrieres measured by a physician to qualify however. Air France offers a 25% discount on the second seat. I just skimmed, but it seems that most US airlines require obese passengers to purchase a second seat.

    https://www.smartertravel.com/airline-obesity-policies/

    Airlines use a revenue management model in their ticket pricing so the prices are changing all the time dependent on supply and demand. It costs basically the same to fly a plane at capacity vs 50% full but the airline can get more revenue if they can sell an additional seat, even at a heavily discounted price.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 3,339Member Member Posts: 3,339Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    On the topic of extra wide seats, I think that they should be made available on airplanes, but at a premium cost, in the same way that tall people pay for an upgrade for seats with more leg room. And with respect to hospital beds (mentioned up thread), hospitals should be changing to serve their demographics. Not really debatable in my mind.

    That exists now, it's called Business or First Class.

    I don’t travel much so I’m no expert, but the couple of times I looked at Business or First Class the cost was much more than double the cost of a seat in economy/coach. The solution mentioned earlier, to buy two seats would be cheaper (but still not entirely comfortable). To me, turning a three seat row into a two seat row and selling the seats at a premium seems like an easy solution. If someone were to make the argument that the airline would be “normalizing obesity” with that change, I would disagree. If they made that change and then offered it with no premium, maybe. But that seems problematic anyway. How would they determine who gets those seats?

    How much more the seats are depends on how much of a discount you got the economy seats for. I get stuck paying close to full fare a lot (since I travel for business and may buy without much lead time or go at times when they tend to assume its business travelers and not offer much of a discount) and then it's often not that expensive to upgrade. I sometimes do (paying out of my own pocket for the upgrade) if the flight is long enough to make it worthwhile and the cost low enough. In those cases it is nothing like the cost of buying two seats. It also costs extra to get almost any decent seats these days unless you take your chances and a good seat ends up being among the last ones left. They charge more not just for the extra leg room, but any desirable location, varying in cost based on what they think people will pay. First class also avoids the fee for checking if you need to check a bag or two.

    Interesting. Can you give me an example of what "not that expensive to upgrade" means?

    I've been able to get an upgrade between Chicago and NYC for $90, and between Portland (OR) or Houston and Chicago for $150. While not super cheap, way less than a second seat would have been (hypothetically, it wasn't something I was considering).
    Maybe we just aren't savvy in purchasing airline tickets? (No sarcasm intended there).

    If you get a discounted fare (which you usually do it buying in advance and being flexible about times), it will cost significantly more to upgrade. So no, it's more being stuck with extra expensive flights in the first class, and I'm talking domestic, not international.

    But even so it depends -- I've had $550 (so not a terrible price) round trip between Portland and Chicago and got offered a $200 to upgrade option in the past. And you can subtract from that any amounts you would have paid to check a bag or to upgrade to a better non-first class seat.

    Also if you fly a lot/have a credit card that gives miles as a perk, you can use miles toward upgrading.
    edited September 15
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,746Member Member Posts: 19,746Member Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    bpetrosky wrote: »
    On the topic of extra wide seats, I think that they should be made available on airplanes, but at a premium cost, in the same way that tall people pay for an upgrade for seats with more leg room. And with respect to hospital beds (mentioned up thread), hospitals should be changing to serve their demographics. Not really debatable in my mind.

    That exists now, it's called Business or First Class.

    I don’t travel much so I’m no expert, but the couple of times I looked at Business or First Class the cost was much more than double the cost of a seat in economy/coach. The solution mentioned earlier, to buy two seats would be cheaper (but still not entirely comfortable). To me, turning a three seat row into a two seat row and selling the seats at a premium seems like an easy solution. If someone were to make the argument that the airline would be “normalizing obesity” with that change, I would disagree. If they made that change and then offered it with no premium, maybe. But that seems problematic anyway. How would they determine who gets those seats?

    How much more the seats are depends on how much of a discount you got the economy seats for. I get stuck paying close to full fare a lot (since I travel for business and may buy without much lead time or go at times when they tend to assume its business travelers and not offer much of a discount) and then it's often not that expensive to upgrade. I sometimes do (paying out of my own pocket for the upgrade) if the flight is long enough to make it worthwhile and the cost low enough. In those cases it is nothing like the cost of buying two seats. It also costs extra to get almost any decent seats these days unless you take your chances and a good seat ends up being among the last ones left. They charge more not just for the extra leg room, but any desirable location, varying in cost based on what they think people will pay. First class also avoids the fee for checking if you need to check a bag or two.

    Interesting. Can you give me an example of what "not that expensive to upgrade" means?

    I just looked up a flight from Toronto to Naples Florida, that cost $872 Cdn for economy and $3714 for Business Class roundtrip. Then when I checked your example of short notice, the price for an economy seat went up to $2118, but the Business Class price also went up, to $9112. In both cases, buying two economy seats would be cheaper than Business Class.

    Earlier in the thread @NovusDies said "As a person who has bought 2 airline seats for quite some time I can say there is very little that is accommodating to larger people." I've seen firsthand people buy two seats in economy to accommodate their size.

    Maybe we just aren't savvy in purchasing airline tickets? (No sarcasm intended there).

    I found an interesting article on the topic. I was reminded that in Canada (where I live), obesity is treated as disabled and arrangements are made to accommodate obese people at no extra charge. They need to have their derrieres measured by a physician to qualify however. Air France offers a 25% discount on the second seat. I just skimmed, but it seems that most US airlines require obese passengers to purchase a second seat.

    https://www.smartertravel.com/airline-obesity-policies/

    I like this. The obese person gets help with accommodations, but must take a step which provides the opportunity for medical assistance.

    Do you have a link to the article?
  • TheChristianSimoneTheChristianSimone Posts: 156Member Member Posts: 156Member Member
    This is such a trigger shot topic. Bluntly as a fat person who is actively losing weight to become more of my worthy ideal of success, its a damning reality that yes everyone has worth and should be valued but sadly our society esp if you have any desire to not just be or live average being fat is not going to cut it.

    I missed alot of the reckless behavior as I was far too fat to partake and now I seek to level up and be someone that is together. All my success in career and beating the odds is great but will not be heard while at my current size.

    There’s layers or different life experiences as well that take race and gender in them as well but knowing this site isn’t overly diverse in some ways I will digress.

    Being healthy and not a burden on society because donuts is life or because it’s a maladaptive coping mechanism should be the focus for everyone. If it was just weight everyone would be ideal range.
  • snuff15eesnuff15ee Posts: 71Member, Premium Member Posts: 71Member, Premium Member
    YouTube - Every Damn Day Fitness. Alan talks about this on lots of his vids.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 470Member Member Posts: 470Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    They've had to reduce capacity on Washington State Ferries to account for the higher average rider weight, for what it's worth.

    That reminds me, when I flew on a very small plane in Costa Rico, they weighed my bags and they asked my weight. I imagine some would find this offensive or shaming. It's not. It's information they need to have. I imagine the ferry and larger airplanes have programs for this, but this was a very small airplane (that landed in an unpaved airfield).

    Flying out of Maui, the last 3 rows of our Airbus A320 which holds about 160 people were empty due to weight and the short runway.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,979Member Member Posts: 2,979Member Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    They've had to reduce capacity on Washington State Ferries to account for the higher average rider weight, for what it's worth.

    That reminds me, when I flew on a very small plane in Costa Rico, they weighed my bags and they asked my weight. I imagine some would find this offensive or shaming. It's not. It's information they need to have. I imagine the ferry and larger airplanes have programs for this, but this was a very small airplane (that landed in an unpaved airfield).

    Flying out of Maui, the last 3 rows of our Airbus A320 which holds about 160 people were empty due to weight and the short runway.

    Yeah I know people who have been moved to different parts of the plane (including upgraded up to first class) due to weight distribution related things. I have zero problem with that, your story above about the last three rows of the Airbus being empty, or asking for customers' weight prior to traveling on a plane. I'd rather that than a plane malfunction and/or not be able to fly due to weight related issues.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,092Member Member Posts: 6,092Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Why can't we have a rational conversation about who is to bear the costs of obesity, society or the obese person, without people who make a case that it be the obese person being attacked for "shaming"?

    7elizamae wrote: »
    Well, we live in the era of outrage, where a different/challenging perspective, opinion, or philosophy is seen by many (frequently those who see themselves in a 'victim' category) as sinister, fearsome, and threatening. In the outrage culture there is very little tolerance for dissent -- the dissenters are therefore classified 'haters' or 'shamers' or phobic.

    Now that I've posted that, I'm sure lots of people on this forum now see me as a horrible hateful bigot.

    When I was diagnosed in 1999, all indications were that this would be a permanent disabling condition. What helped me not see myself as a victim was Carolyn Myss's Why People Don't Heal and How They Can.

    Now, there's a lot of magical thinking in there, but I found the main message of "Don't lead with your wounds" / "You are far more than your medical condition" very empowering.

    Read the same thing after suffering a career ending injury - absolutely life changing.
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