The size of a plane seat vs. the size of its occupant

My story starts very innocently. 5-hour flight, standard economy class. I take my window seat. I look up to see my fellow traveler taking a seat next to me…

… A gentleman carrying excess “by-products” of a certain condition, which I would call an “art” of perfecting gluttony. A never-ending all-you-can-eat festivity.  The reign of junk food. A grisly outcome of an addiction to eating – obesity.

As for every addiction, either to food, alcohol, drugs or cigarettes, I won’t feel sorry for anyone. You do it to yourself, you deal with consequences. But here’s the problem. I don’t want to be the one having to deal with it! Or, to be more precise, having to deal with massive amounts of excess body fat spilling over my seat during a 5-hour flight!!! Like 1-hour one wouldn’t be painfully enough…

Why am I the bitch when daring to complain about it? True, I could’ve been more polite instead of spilling out  “You’ve got to be kidding me!” upon looking up at the gentleman. I panicked. Okay?! The world kind of froze there for a second and then my senses exploded with alarm.  It’s rather hard to keep self-control intact in this kind of situation, don’t you think?

It all went downhill after that, as you may expect. My complaints didn’t help the situation (by the way, my initial “politically incorrect” remark was followed by more measured ones). In the end, I was not only stuck with a very “spacious” but also a very hostile I-don’t-care-I’m-crushing-you-against-the-window-with-my-fat individual. Let’s top it with a “very sweaty” one to make it an even more “fulfilling” experience.

Here’s my question. Shouldn’t airlines do something about it? They can refuse to board drunk or drugged or whatever-made-you-suspiciously-confused people. Why not providing bigger seats for bigger customers? That would most likely result in higher ticket prices but, hey, if you can’t fit in one seat than you have to pay for 1.5 seats…

Is it even legal for the airline company to stuck somebody into one seat pretending that it all fits but, in fact, adjacent customer ends up using half amount of her/his assigned space? After all, I paid the full price for the full use of my seat…

For the record, it wasn’t the first time I was forced to deal with this kind of “over-sizeable” situation. And I’ve had enough. Meeting or no meeting I have to be on time for – next time, I’m going all the way: “the bitch” or the “copiously gifted” one… I wonder who would win then… Bets?

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