US plane passenger charges obese man $212 for taking up part of his seat

A US passenger has sparked debate over whether he was right to charge an obese passenger $212 for taking up part of his seat.

Reddit user BigBawluh had been booked on a five hour flight which he said he endured uncomfortably "pressed up against" the other man and wanted to be "compensated".

"So this month I was flying across the country on a long 5 hour flight, which I had booked and seats selected for. I specifically chose an aisle seat in a row of two, so no middle seat — just the aisle and window.

"Well, a very obese man boards and I can tell instantly he is going to have a tough time fitting in any of the seats. I assume maybe he bought two hence why he's even attempting to board. I'm mentally crossing my fingers he's not next to me, but sure enough he ends up pointing to the window seat next to me to let him in."

"He is easily seeping into about 1/3 of my seat. I sit down and am pressed up against him, making me uncomfortable. After a minute, I decided to be upfront and tell him:

"Sir, I'm sorry but this situation is not working for me, you're taking up quite a bit of my seat".

"He wasn't rude, but sort of gave me a shrug as if there's not nothing he can do — although he did sort of tighten his arms in to try and be narrower. It just wasn't enough, though. He still was overhanging over the armrest about 1/4th into my seat even when squeezing his arms in."

The man contacted the flight attendants who told the obese man that he would need to buy another seat on the flight, but that there weren't open seats for him to procure two seats.

BigBawluh decided there was a way to end this and came up with his offer.


"I told the guy, 'Look, I'll put up with this if you give me $US150 ($A212) - that's half the cost of this flight and that would compensate me enough for the circumstances."

"He instantly agrees, pulls out cash and pays me. He even told me he appreciated it."

But his actions have proved divisive, with a furious split emerging in the comments on the original post.

"The problem here was that this large dude stuck you with being uncomfortable on your flight, right? Well, the $150 didn't make you any less squished in your seat, so it really feels like you just blackmailed this guy for being fat," one said.

Others were supportive.

"You had every right to ask the flight attendant for a solution, and between the man and you, a solution was agreed upon. Everyone else can relax, because it wasn't their seat being overtaken on a flight."

However, another said the real problem was with the airlines themselves.

"But until consumers organise and demand that airlines stop cramming more and more people into smaller and smaller spaces, most of us have decided to just grit our teeth and deal with how uncomfortable air travel is."

See also: Passenger sues airline after being seated next to obese man

See also: What it's like to be the fat person on a plane