Should overweight people pay more to fly?

Kristine Tarbert

Experts have sparked controversy after claiming it may be suitable to ask overweight passengers to pay more for plane travel.

Low-cost airline Jetcost, conducted a survey with British travellers which revealed that sitting next to a larger person on a plane is one of their biggest annoyances.

Apparently 80 per cent of respondents would be happy to see zonal seating, and Jetcost claims such zones wouldn’t be about ‘negative segregation’ but allow all people to have a more comfortable flight.

80 per cent of travellers would like to see 'zonal seating'. Photo: Getty

Experts have weighed in on these so called ‘fat zones’ with Steve Miller from Sky 1 TV show Fat Families, agreeing that larger customers should pay more for more legroom and wider seats.

"If you’re morbidly obese then it’s only fair that you pay more money - if someone else has been responsible and looked after their health, why should they subsidise someone else who weighs more,” he tells The Sun.

"And if someone has paid for a seat with their hard-earned cash, they don’t want their space invaded by a larger passenger."

Some experts believe larger people should pay more to fly. Photo: Getty

However, weight loss expert Dr Sally Norton believes this isn’t the answer and it should be more about tackling the obesity problem as a whole.

"We should support people to lose weight instead of creating segregation and making people feel ostracised,” she says. “People struggle with their weight for many different reasons, and it can be very upsetting and difficult trying to travel.”

She also warns that creating areas with larger seats could ‘normalise’ obesity, which is just as damaging.

One larger traveller shared their experience online earlier this year, putting into perspective just how difficult it can already be to fly, without being asked to pay extra or being segregated into a different area.

However some say it could normalise obesity. Photo: Getty

A string of Tweets by @yrfatfriend revealed that before even taking off she had to research various airlines ‘customer of size’ policies, and had to purchase a second seat – which shockingly can’t even be guaranteed.

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