Coming back from Las Vegas was probably the worst part of the trip. Not only was there the downer of having to leave Las Vegas, but it turned out that the direct flight from Vegas to Atlanta happened to be full of a bunch of insufferable fat fucks whom all seemed to be from Cleveland routing through Atlanta. And I’m not just saying such pejoratives because I’m bitter, as the above picture evidences, there really were some severely fat fucks on my flight.
There are tons of stories out there about people complaining about fat people on flights; after all, I’ve personally been bumped from a flight due to an aircraft hitting weight limit while there were still three unoccupied seats, among many others I probably have. But this one was a new one for me, and agitating enough for me to feel inspired to write about it.
On the flight back, my party of three was seated in the very last row of the 737. As is the case with pretty much every Vegas flight, this one was at full capacity, and I watched as fat American after fat American piled into the seats of the aircraft, quietly hoping that my other friends and traveling companions also on the flight would get a lucky draw, and not get an oozer next to any of them. Being in a mini-group, I didn’t have that concern, but it was still fascinating to see just how fat people were and still had the gall to fly, knowing their very existence on an aircraft is the most discouraging thing that all other passengers could possible fathom.
Anyway, so I’m in the last row, row 31, A, B and C. Towards final boarding call, a couple rumbles into the vicinity. A fat mess of a man, and a quite rotund fat woman as well, a literal couple of blobs. Seated in seat D is the above-pictured blob in pink, who already spills over the arm rest, about a third of another human being. The blob couple bicker and complain loudly about which one is going to sit in seat E, and which one gets the window, seat F. And then she-blob whines about how the arm rest doesn’t go up, knowing that it’ll dig into her doughy flesh like cheese cutter. Amazingly blob couple wedges themselves into sitting positions, as well as the blob in pink. I’m surprised one of them wasn’t forced to switch into the ABC aisle, in order to offset the weight imbalance of the aircraft.
But here’s where it gets infuriating. As soon as the flight hits cruising altitude, he-blob pops out of his seat like a wine cork, and beelines for the back of the flight. At first, I think he’s probably got to go ruin one of the bathrooms for the entire flight, and that I’d probably want to go kill myself, since I was seated three feet away from the lavatory’s door. But no, he ends up standing back there, doing nothing but standing around. It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on, and I guess standing up for the duration of a three and a half hour flight beats the discomfort of being crammed between Bastion Booger and Tugboat. But the whole time he’s standing there, hovering over my personal space, he’s constantly creeping over my shoulder and trying to watch my screen, while I’m watching Ocean’s Fast Five. I don’t like to unwillingly share my toys, and I certainly didn’t appreciate the fact that this fat fuck’s efforts to enjoy my movie, crept him too far into my personal space.
To make matters worse, throughout the flight, several other rotund fat fuck Clevelanders got up and out of their seats and joined their fat fuck brethren in the back of the plane. As the space in front of the lavatories grew smaller from all the girth, one, I’m amazed the plane didn’t pop a massive wheelie from the sudden influx of extreme weight at the back of the plane, but two, it resulted with having a lot of fat asses, legs, and pudgy hands, way too close to my head, beyond invading my personal space. To make matters worse, several of them had been drinking, clearly not willing to let the Vegas party go just yet, and they were loud, obnoxious and just to reiterate, really fucking fat.
I’ve flown more than enough in my life to know that FAA regulations state that you really shouldn’t be out of your seats unless you’re going to the lavatories, retrieving personal effects, and I’ll even give you the mothers who sometimes walk carefully down the aisles with a baby. Otherwise, passengers are expected to remain in their seats with safety belts engaged. Not congregating in the back of the plane to drink and be loud and obnoxious. Even if every single person there weighed at a minimum of 300 pounds.
Not that passenger conduct is necessarily the responsibility of the airline, I did expect the flight crew to at some point, instruct them to go back to their seats, or discourage them from congregating and being a nuisance to myself and other passengers. That didn’t happen.
Needless to say, the flight experience as a whole was regrettable. Not wanting to let this go, I promptly filed a complaint with AirTran to document the entire scenario, and what wasn’t really their control, and what I expected the crew to do but didn’t:
In regards to Flight 778 on January 23, 2012, direct flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta. Flight was unpleasant due to passengers too large to fit in their assigned seats. I was seated in 31C, the very last row on the aircraft. Several plus-sized passengers took it upon themselves to complain about seat size, and upon cruising altitude, decided to not sit, and instead stand around in the space in front of the lavatories, the space right behind my seat. They were loud and obnoxious, several were drinking, and they were constantly hovering over me, making it a relatively unpleasant atmosphere. I understand that passenger conduct is not necessarily AirTran’s responsibilities, but I do believe the responsibility of the flight crew is to enforce rules, one of which is that passengers are to remain seated with safety belts on, if they aren’t actively going or returning from the lavatories, or retrieving personal effects. Congregating in the back of the aircraft does not seem to constitute as acceptable behavior, especially when they are hovering over other passengers. The flight’s crew did not enforce this behavior, and for discretionary reasons, I did not attempt to utilize the call button to voice my displeasure during the flight, because frankly, I should not have had to.
I’ll give AirTran some credit for getting back to me fairly promptly in regards to my complaint, and if I ever were interested in flying with AirTran ever again, I have $50 off a flight within the next 365 days.
But the main point really has little to do with AirTran, or even my poor flight experience as a whole. As the airline industry reduces leg room, shrinks seat sizes to cram more people in, add baggage fees to force people to cram more into carry-ons to avoid those, planes are simply shrinking. Conversely, no matter how much the media tries to push healthier eating, all these diets, exercise routines, and hopes that Americans will shrink, there are pockets of the United States like Cleveland, Ohio, where people are still routinely super-heavyweights and are shaped as poor excuses of human beings that can adequately fit into an airline coach seat.
It would be nice if there were an airline that existed solely for the transportation of the morbidly obese. Obviously, the idea is full of holes, but the premise exists for a purpose. Aircrafts with wider seats, even if there are less than if filled with their standard counterparts. To counteract the capacity fluctuation, the cost is simply higher – if a fat fuck wants to not pay so much money, lose some god damn weight, and fly like a normal sized human being. With bigger seats, such a premise could feasibly become abused by the wealthy, regardless of their size, but ultimately the goal is to have fat blobs of human beings on their own aircrafts, so they can ruin the experiences of those with substantially less girth than them.