The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Normal passengers should not be forced to subsidise passengers of size

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
brian_eggleston
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,691 times Debate No: 19283
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

As I am well over six foot tall, many airlines recognise my need for extra legroom by giving me a free upgrade from coach / economy class to business / first class. Of course, this means that the airlines cannot sell this premium seat to another passenger and this loss of revenue is reflected in higher fares for everybody else, but it's only right and proper that shorter passengers should subsidise my travel.

No, just a moment, I'm sorry – I was confusing tall people with grossly overweight people – if I need extra space I have to pay for it, it's the obese that get more space for free. You see, although some of the more enlightened carriers, such as Southwest Airlines, now charge "customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat" (1), most airlines still discriminate against taller passengers by forcing them to pay for what they give fat passengers free, that is: more room to spread out.

While I understand that it is very difficult for the obese to slim down by eating less and doing more exercise, and it is very easy for tall people like me to chop our legs off, I still feel this is insufficient justification for pandering to the demands of the grossly overweight while squeezing taller people until their pips squeak and that normal passengers should not be forced to subsidise passengers of size.

Thank you.

(1) http://www.southwest.com...
imabench

Con

Ill give this a shot.

I looked into the airline policies regarding fat people getting free upgrades and I found a whole lot of nothing....... airline policies do not explicitly state that fat people are eligible for free upgrades to first class at the expense of everyone else. In fact many many airlines almost routinely force people to buy extra seats if they are even ALLOWED to stay on the airplane in the first place. Southwest, United, and Air France are a few airlines who have kicked fat people off of planes because they were too fat.

But for the sake of the debate, lets look at it this way. The Pro believes that fat people getting free upgrades to first class is unethical to everyone else under any and all circumstances.... I will simply offer evidence of why it is not unethical.

It cannot easily be proven just how many times that fat people have gotten free upgrades from coach to first class. Does that mean it never happens? No..... Im sure it does happen once in a while........ However if it does happen if but there's no actual policy legalizing it, then we can all assume that such instances do not occur on airlines all that often.....

If airlines do not have a policy legalizing it then why does it happen on airlines? the answer is courtesy. If the airlines want to take action that may make someone feel more comfortable on an airplane flight and they reason to do it then why make it illegal? It is simply respect for people who have different conditions then the rest of us and it increases how much they struggle with everyday hassles that the rest of us skinny people can handle, then why should airlines BAN it? Being fat in this case could be argued as people who have a disability, and those people are being banned from receiving special treatment on public transportation.

Letting fat people upgrade from a seat in coach to first class is much like allowing an elderly woman on a bus to have a seat while a normal person has to stand up. But just because the woman is elderly does that mean her receiving special treatment should also be illegal?

You then claim that people are being forced to subsidize fat people getting upgrades to first class for free, but is that really true? an airline ticket is an airline ticket, the only person who is really paying for the upgrade is the person who was sitting in first class, that is IF anyone was sitting in the seat given to the fat person, in that case it is the airline footing the bill and no one else.

But you know what, why not, Ill entertain your idea that people have to pay for fat people to upgrade to first class. Even though its not true lets entertain the idea.

First class ticket cost - original coach class ticket cost = depends on the flight, lets say its from Miami to New York on American Airlines

First class ticket ($571) - original coach ticket ($114) = $457
http://www.onetravel.com...

Average American Airlines airplanes im guessing carries a 100 people, so 457 divided by 100 seats means that the subsidized cost you believe exists per passenger equals

$4.57......

Seems reasonable enough to me, especially since it doesnt happen all that often and when it does it only occurs once.

Consider the alternatives though, if people shouldnt pay for fat people to upgrade to first class (which they dont), and it should be illegal for airlines to show courtesy and caring for some fat people, what else could they do to make their flight more tolerable?

They could expand the size of each seat on each airplane in every airline to make a few fat people enjoy their experience more..... but that would cost billions and billions of dollars to refit each and every plane in the world and that would surely cost people to pay for the airlines to carry out these renovations, and I have a hunch it would cost a lot more then $4.57.....

Allow me to summarize at this point,
Airlines should allow fat people to upgrade to first class because
1) It is just courtesy, much like allowing old ladies to have a seat on the bus, and outlawing it would be immoral
2) It is up to flight attendants to decide if someone should be upgraded, not the airline policy makers
3) It does not affect everybody on the plane, it only affects the one person who is losing the first class seat to the fat person
4) The fat person has a very legitimate excuse for needing the first class seat
5) There may not even BE a person in that first class seat, so allowing the upgrade to occur would only be a cost towards the airline
6) The alleged "cost" of each person (allegedly) being (forced) to "subsidize" fat people's upgrade to first class would be marginal, close to $5 unless its a ridiculously long distance flight
7) The alternative to making fat people enjoy their flight more without letting them upgrade to first class would be to upgrade the size of every seat on every plane in the world, which would cost billions, maybe a couple trillion
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I would like to thank Imabench for accepting this debate and respond to his opening paragraphs which, to summarise, state that some airlines don't force obese passengers to buy an extra seat in coach / economy, or to pay for an upgrade to business / first class, but they do so as a "courtesy".

This is a courtesy that they do not extend to tall passengers, if they did, I wouldn't have an argument.

The cost, whether large or small, of this largess is immaterial because it is, in principal, wrong to expect thinner passengers to subsidize fatter passengers through higher fares. In point of fact, however, with obesity rates soaring in America and Europe the problem is bigger than my opponent supposes.

His final point, relating to the cost of installing wider seats actually understates the true cost of accommodating the obese - the airlines would be unable to fit as many seats on the planes so that the cost per passenger would increase dramatically - fat or thin.

So, to answer his points in turn:

1) It is just courtesy, much like allowing old ladies to have a seat on the bus, and outlawing it would be immoral

Old ladies are offered seats by fellow passengers. If a passenger on a plane invited an obese to park their huge frames on their seats and squash them up for the duration of a flight, that would be up to them - I'm not suggesting they shouldn't be allowed to be so foolish.

2) It is up to flight attendants to decide if someone should be upgraded, not the airline policy makers

Flight attendants have that discretion, but they also have guidelines. The real problem occurs when planes are fully-loaded.

3) It does not affect everybody on the plane, it only affects the one person who is losing the first class seat to the fat person

It also affects the person sitting next to the fat person on a fully-booked flight. Can you imagine how incredibally uncomfortable and unpleasant it is to be like squashed up against the window by a huge pile of sweating blubber who is taking up half of your meagre seat on a long-haul flight?

4) The fat person has a very legitimate excuse for needing the first class seat

So do tall people, but they don't get upgraded because they don't squash other passengers like the fat do.

5) There may not even BE a person in that first class seat, so allowing the upgrade to occur would only be a cost towards the airline

No problem in this case.

6) The alleged "cost" of each person (allegedly) being (forced) to "subsidize" fat people's upgrade to first class would be marginal, close to $5 unless its a ridiculously long distance flight

This depends on the number of upgrades / free seats given on each flight but, again, the cost is irrelevant: it is a cost that must, ultimately, be borne by less corpulent customers.

7) The alternative to making fat people enjoy their flight more without letting them upgrade to first class would be to upgrade the size of every seat on every plane in the world, which would cost billions, maybe a couple trillion

Agreed - that's not the solution - the solution is to make the obese pay their way and buy two seats on planes or pay for an upgrade.

Thank you.
imabench

Con

Final remarks to pro's counterpoints
1) Giving up your first class seat to someone who arguably needs it more may not be considered "foolish" It is an act of courtesy and forcing fat people to buy another seat would eliminate this much easier solution to the problem

2) Even if a plane is fully loaded or not it is up to the flight attendants to ultimately decide what should be done in this situation. Your policy of forcing all fat people to pay for another seat may only become an issue when they board the plane because you cant determine beforehand whether or not a large person will not fit comfortably in the seat.

The guidelines would not eliminate all cases of people being too fat for their seats. If this problem is seen though flight attendants would be forced to immediately kick the person off the plane, even though before hand the same airlines said he did not have to buy another seat but are currently saying that now he has to only AFTER he boarded the flight. Having the person switch with someone in first class who is willing to sit in coach could solve this problem

On another note if these guidelines were installed and someone was forced to buy two seats but turns out they can fit comfortably into one seat then havent the airlines just committed fraud or extortion to a degree on the fat person?

3) So you agree that it does not affect everyone on the plane like you originally claimed

4) Tall people only fit uncomfortably in one direction, downwards. Fat people though fit uncomfortable both forward, and to both sides so they do suffer from small seats more than tall people do.

You actually bring up a good point because the fat person gets upgraded because it helps them and the people sitting nearby, however you also show how tall people do NOT do this so then why would they have an equal claim to get an upgrade as fat people?

Fat people fit uncomfortably in many directions and can unintentionally irritate other passengers,
Tall people only fit uncomfortably in one direction and does not irritate anybody at all

So then wouldnt fat people still have a greater claim to a free upgrade? If not then what am I missing?

5) There would be a problem because then you are kicking a person off a plane for taking up too much space when there is a perfect place for them to sit for the flight. Kicking a fat person off a plane for taking up too much space when space is available doesnt make sense at all

6) You claim it depends on the number of upgrades on each flight, but I have already argued how this problem is a rare occurrence and usually happens once, if at all. I have also shown how the rest of the flight dont really pay for the fat persons upgrade, and even if that were the case the price they were to pay would be less than a cup of Coffee at Starbucks

7) Rather than make everyone equally comfortable on the plane you are arguing that for those who are not comfortable then they should have to go through the discomfort of paying TWICE as much money to fly on a plane? Does not sound like the correct solution to me.

I will close with this statement. Fat people only occasionally get upgrades to first class on airplanes, and when they do it is because of the courtesy of the flight attendants who identified the problem and solved while keeping everyone happy. Making them pay twice as much for seats they may manage to fit into comfortably before they board the plane or kicking them off the plane when they were already told beforehand they would not have to buy another seat is not the best solution. It is better to allow the flight attendants to address this rare problem rather than have each and every airline create their own policy towards it which might not solve the issue or cause other problems to arise
Debate Round No. 2
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
strange debate...interesting how ima took this one seriously.
Posted by lovelife 5 years ago
lovelife
I love brian's debates xD
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
That was a mistake, Ore Ele, I've changed it to two rounds now - thanks for pointing that out!
Posted by GaryBacon 5 years ago
GaryBacon
Ha! This is funny. But you're absolutely right. I don't see how someone could disagree, unless they themselves are obese and disagree for self-interest.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
The world is ending, Brian just started a 3 round debate!!!
Posted by caveat 5 years ago
caveat
I'd debate this but I'm far too preoccupied with chuckling.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lovelife 5 years ago
lovelife
brian_egglestonimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
brian_egglestonimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: It's close, but I think Brian made the better arguments here.