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Obese passengers to be charged double to fly with Air France



By Ian Sparks

Last updated at 1:39 PM on 20th January 2010



Obese passengers who are unable to squeeze into a single plane seat are to be charged double to fly with Air France.

Overweight flyers will be asked to pay for two seats, or not be allowed on board for 'safety reasons', the airline announced today.


Air France spokeswoman Monique Matze added: 'People who arrive at the check-in desk and are deemed too large to fit into a single seat will be asked to pay for and use a second seat.


article-1244680-07EF5265000005DC-156_468x415.jpg Too fat to fly: Jean-Paul Touze poses on August 12, 1999 in front of an Air France counter at the airport of Roissy, near Paris, after he was made to purchase two seats for a flight to Beijing


'They will be charged 75 per cent of the cost of the second seat, which is the full price excluding tax and surcharges, on top of the full price for the first.

"The decision has been made for safety reasons.

'We have to make sure that the backrest can move freely up and down and that all passengers are securely fastened with a safety belt.'

The average economy class seat on most planes is between 43cm wide and 44cm wide, Ms Matze said.

She added: 'People who cannot fit into a single seat will then be fastened by slotting the belt tip of one seat into the plug of the next, stretching over both seats.


'However the charge will only apply on flights that are full booked. They will get their money back on flights where spaces are available.'

The overweight charges come two years after Air France was ordered to pay £5,000 damages for 'humiliation' to a 27-stone passenger who had his stomach measured at an airport check-in desk. He was told to buy two seats.

Frenchman Jean-Jacques Jauffret, 43, was measured by Air France staff with other passengers looking on as he tried to board a flight from New Dehli to Paris.

Cinema screen-writer Mr Jauffret said at the time: 'The woman came out from behind the check-in desk with a tape measure and measured my waist in front of dozens of other people.

'Then she looked at me and said, 'People as fat as you need to buy two seats'.

'I asked her if there was a chance I could simply have an empty seat beside me, but she said the flight was almost full.

'It was highly embarrassing, and the law has now recognised the humiliation I suffered.'

British Airways has no weight limits for passengers, but advises overweight people to buy a second seat for their own comfort and safety if necessary.

In America, budget carrier Southwest Airlines caused outrage when it announced in 2006 that it would charging overweight people for two seats.

Southwest said it was simply enforcing a long-standing unwritten policy of charging passengers who encroach on the space of those seated around them.

Air France's new charges will apply for people who book their tickets from February 1 for all flights from April 1, the airline said.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1244680/Obese-passengers-charged-double-fly-Air-France.html#ixzz0dAvGvbqv

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