Chicago, April 16: Here's another reason to shed those extra kilos. United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAUA) will now ensure that every passenger on board has access to his full seat and has a relaxed ride.
The third-largest U.S. carrier will charge for a second seat from the obese travelers when flights are full and other customers grumble about being cramped.
With the new policy in place, passengers of Chicago- based United Airlines will not have to share their seat with the jumbo guests on full planes. Nor will such over-sized passengers spill out of their seat and occupy a fellow passenger's space.
The policy comes in response to the hundreds of complaints the airline receives every year. Such a policy is not unknown in the industry. In fact, United is one of the last large airlines to formally frame a policy for overweight passengers.
Giving details of the new policy, Robin Urbanski, spokeswoman for United said that the obese customers will have to buy a second seat "when they are unable to use an extended seat belt, put their armrests down, and if they infringe on another guest's seat."
The passengers won’t be charged for an extra ticket in case the flights are not full. An extra charge has to be paid when the passenger gets a second seat or for upgrades to a bigger seat in business or first class.
Zervios of the Obesity Action Coalition was not too convinced with the new rule adopted by the subsidiary of UAL Corporation. Giving examples, he said, “What if the person in front of me puts back their seat and encroaches into my space, or if the person next to me has a puffy coat or leaves their light on when I want to take a nap? We need to keep in mind that it’s just a form of transportation from Point A to Point B.”