AM hosts react to petition for larger people to get free extra seats on planes

  • 19/04/2023

AM hosts have questioned a Canadian woman's calls for larger people to get free extra seats because of their size saying where would it stop.

Canadian travel blogger and body-positive advocate Jae'lynn Chaney believes large people should be allowed a second and third plane seat if needed due to their size. 

"Let's just state facts, plus-size travellers need more space," the Vancouver resident said in a TikTok video.

"As a plus size traveller myself, I know how uncomfortable and unsafe it can be to squeeze into a tiny aeroplane seat. We are not asking for special treatment or luxury accommodations. We simply want enough space to travel comfortably, without being discriminated against because of our size."

Chaney launched a petition, which has been signed by over 6600 people, which is calling for a range of things to improve the comfort for plus-sized travellers, including refunding larger passengers for any extra seats they need to purchase when booking to accommodate their size.

"As plus-size travellers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying," she wrote in her petition.

"During a flight from Pasco to Denver, my fiance was subjected to hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them, amounting to discrimination.

"This mistreatment of plus-size passengers is unacceptable, and it highlights the urgent need for better policies that protect the dignity and rights of all passengers, regardless of size."

She accepts prices will increase for everybody but thinks it's worth it.

AM hosts discussed the issue on the show on Wednesday, with co-host Ryan Bridge saying the issue he has with the idea is the question of "Where do you stop?"

"I'm a relatively tall person and I hate going on planes because the seats aren't that big, but I just have to pay extra for an exit row or go up a class, you just have to pay for that," Bridge said, 

"I can't help how tall I am, if I eat less, I'm not going to get shorter."

Fellow co-host Melissa Chan-Green also raised a point about travelling with young children. 

"If I have a two-year-old on my lap, they say, okay, well, there's not enough room, so you have to purchase an extra seat for that. Are you saying then I should get a free seat for the two-year-old?" 

Newsreader Nicky Styris suggested having a separate section in economy for bigger people at the same price as economy on a first come, first served basis.

"Economy seats are quite small."

Watch the video above.