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Plus-size airline passenger demands free seats and bigger bathrooms in online petition to FAA

A plus-size airline passenger has started an online petition demanding change from airlines when it comes to passenger accommodations for people who are larger than others.

In a Change.org petition titled “Demand for the FAA to Protect Plus-Sized Customers,” petition originator Jae’lynn Chaney, a content creator from Vancouver, Washington, has several requests for change when it comes to larger individuals flying safely and comfortably.

“Air travel should be comfortable and accessible for everyone, regardless of size,” Chaney wrote in her petition. 

“As plus-size travelers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying.”

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“During a flight from Pasco to Denver, my fiancé was subjected to hateful comments, disapproving looks and even [a] refusal to sit next to them, amounting to discrimination,” she added.

“Similarly, on another flight, I was forced to occupy only one seat with immovable armrests that caused me pain and bruises,” Chaney also noted in her petition.

Change.org petitioner Jae'lynn Chaney is calling on the FAA to make changes that she said would positively impact plus-size air travelers.

Change.org petitioner Jae’lynn Chaney is calling on the FAA to make changes that she said would positively impact plus-size air travelers. (iStock)

“Being forced to occupy only one seat can result in pain and vulnerability to poor treatment from fellow passengers,” she added.

Chaney said she knows there will be additional costs associated with her demands if they were to be implemented — but she said she feels those costs would be worth it.

“It is difficult to provide a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of who will pay for the policies mentioned in the petition,” she told Fox News Digital in emailed comments.

The petition also asks for free extra seats for plus-size individuals.

“However, what is clear is that the mistreatment and discrimination of plus-size travelers is unacceptable and must be addressed,” she said in part. 

“The airline industry has a responsibility to provide a safe, comfortable and inclusive environment for all passengers, regardless of their size.”

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Offering a potential solution, she said, “Many airlines also oversell a percentage of seats on flights, resulting in available seats that could be used to accommodate passengers who need additional room.”

Chaney added, “Implementing policies to accommodate plus-size passengers may come with associated costs, but these costs must be weighed against the benefits of creating a more welcoming and inclusive travel experience.” (See Chaney speak about her petition in the Instagram video, below.)


 

 
 

 
 
View this post on Instagram
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Jaelynn Chaney (@jaebaeproductions)

She also said, “Additionally, the government may have a role to play in funding or incentivizing these policies, as part of its responsibility to promote accessible and equitable transportation for all citizens.”

She added, “In the end, the question of who will pay for these policies should not be a barrier to taking action.”

Some changes Chaney is demanding in her petition include clear guidelines from the FAA to all airlines about accommodating larger passengers, including “alternative seating arrangements,” seatbelt extenders and larger seats.

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The petition also asks for free extra seats for plus-size individuals.

All plus-size passengers should be provided with an extra free seat, or even two or three seats depending on their size, to accommodate their needs and ensure their comfort during the flight,” Chaney wrote.

Seatbelt extenders, bigger seats and free seats are some of the Chaney's demands for more comfortable and appropriate travel for plus-size individuals.

Seatbelt extenders, bigger seats and free seats are some of the Chaney’s demands for more comfortable and appropriate travel for plus-size individuals. (iStock)

In addition, airlines should “offer a refund for plus-size passengers” who “purchase additional seats independently,” her petition notes.

Other demands include creating airline standards on booking, refunds, check-in, boarding and flight procedures for plus-size people.

The petition also calls for larger-sized bathrooms for plus-size travelers, priority boarding and additional airport assistance. 

Training of airline employees is also on the docket in the petition.

Additional room is usually found in first-class only on an airplane.

Additional room is usually found in first-class only on an airplane. (iStock)

Airlines and government agencies that regulate the airline industry must train all employees on how to accommodate plus-size travelers, including handling sensitive situations and providing appropriate customer service,” Chaney writes.

Chaney also notes in her petition that “discrimination of plus-size travelers during Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screenings is another major issue that must be addressed.”

“Join us in demanding that the FAA take action to protect plus-size travelers.”

She adds, “It’s time for the airline industry to take a stand and commit to creating a more inclusive and accommodating environment for all passengers. Join us in demanding that the FAA take action to protect plus-size travelers.”

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The petition, at publication time of this article, had garnered 3,594 signatures.

"The hostility toward plus-size people is amplified when we are on planes, and even though we are paying customers just like anyone else, we are often treated poorly," said Chaney.

“The hostility toward plus-size people is amplified when we are on planes, and even though we are paying customers just like anyone else, we are often treated poorly,” said Chaney. (iStock)

Noting that she travels “frequently” for business, she said she and other plus-size travelers “have all experienced the ‘look’ we get from other plane passengers who are hoping that we don’t get [seated] next to them.”

She added, “We are made to feel as if we don’t belong on planes and that travel isn’t for us. The hostility toward plus size people is amplified when we are on planes, and even though we are paying customers just like anyone else, we are often treated poorly.”

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She said, “Even if we’ve purchased two seats, we are still subjected to rude comments or stares from other passengers or airline staff.”

Chaney said she wanted to hit 5,000 signatures for her petition — and is hoping for reaction from the FAA or the airlines. 

She tagged her post this way: “#BodyEqualityinTravel.”

She also says in her petition, “Together, we can make a difference and create a better world for everyone.”

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