What are your airline passenger rights? Many are not aware of their own rights when traveling, and therefore do not know what recourse they are entitled to when they experience airline abuse.
The airline passenger bill of rights is a document that sheds light on your and my right as an airline passenger. Further, there is additional guidance that covers passenger disabilities such as obese airline passengers and ones that require wheelchair assistance.
Here are some tips for obese passengers. I have been contacted several times by overweight passengers and most recently by a few passengers with disabilities.
They had some very reasonable concerns. One asked "what should a fat airline passenger" keep in mind when traveling. To which I responded a couple important things.
First, to ensure you are given a seat assignment well ahead of time. If you call ahead (or upon booking) and inform the airline company that you are an overweight passenger, or a passenger with disabilities (which obesity is), then you should be able to get the seat of your choice.
Second, always ask for a seatbelt extender and that it be placed on your seat. This will ensure you do not have to ask for it when boarding the plane. It will save you the embarrassment if you are embarrassed of your weight.
Airline passenger complaints are on the rise and that is no secret. But are you aware of your rights as a traveler? When you buy an airfare, you are entering into a contract with the carrier. The rules are often indicated in your ticket / itinerary upon booking.
Many passengers are not aware of this. In any case, whether you are aware of your rights or not, if you feel you have been mistreated during your trip, you can sue the airline in small claims court. These courts exist for the sole purpose of resolving petty claims, such as most travel claims that result from airline abuse and mistreatment.
Passenger weight management is a concern for air carriers. They ensure proper weight balance on each flight segment, so sometimes you will have to go with the seat they assign you. They key is to ask early! Know your passenger rights, especially if you are one of the obese passengers.