Man sues British Airways after 'fat' passenger 'spilled' into his seat

  • 18/11/2018

A man is suing an airline after he claims he injured his back while sitting next to a "fat" passenger.

Welshman Stephen Prosser, 51, claims he suffered soft tissue damage after the 146kg passenger "wedged" himself into the seat next to him. 

The pair were given seats by British Airways (BA) next to each other on the 12-hour flight from Bangkok airport in Thailand to London Heathrow on January 10, 2016.

Mr Prosser, who is about 158cm tall, claims that the obese passenger was "so large" that his body fat "spilled" into his seat.

His lawyers claim Mr Prosser was "forced to adjust his body and sit in an awkward and uncomfortable position" for the whole 12-hour and 40-minute flight.

But British Airways deny the claims - stating Mr Prosser "did not not display any signs of injury" when leaving the flight. 

Father-of-two Mr Prosser told the Daily Mail he was returning home from spending Christmas in Thailand in 2015.

"I'd paid over £1,000 for the flight and usually I fly Thai Airways but because BA had a sale on and were cheaper, I went with them," he said.

"He was a huge bloke, not just overweight but really big boned as well. I felt discomfort as soon as he sat down because I was pinned against the side of the cabin."

Mr Prosser claims he's had problem with posture in the past, and tried to take up the matter with flight attendants.

"I asked whether they could move him or move me, but it was a full flight and they decided not to move me to a crew member's seat because I'd have to keep on getting up to allow them to get to the galley," he said. 

"They said there wasn't anything they could do so I said I wanted to make a formal complaint, which I did with the on-board customer services rep."

He added he "had no choice" but to take his seat and sit in discomfort. He believes the man sitting next to him was also in pain.

Mr Prosser claims he's continued to see a chiropractor up until May this year.

Defence documents to the claim show Mr Prosser was sitting in a window seat on the plane and the "obese" passenger was in the middle seat. 

British Airways said the passenger "did not have fat which was spilling over the arm rest".

Mr Prosser was offered extra pillows and blankets to support his back which he accepted.

He is claiming between AU$$8,500 and AU$17,500 as general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Before the hearing, a spokeswoman for BA said as the case is subject to ongoing proceedings, it would be "inappropriate for us to comment".

7 News / Newshub.