Sunday, February 17, 2008

Charging Overweight Passengers

Southwest Airlines has apparently begun more strict enforcement of its policy of charging overweight passengers who can’t fit into a standard seat for a second seat. Sounds great to us, but all the civil libertarians are coming out and claiming discrimination against the obese. So why, when hotels ban smoking (Sheraton and Four Points recently joined that club), is it seen as a wonderful thing, yet when Southwest institutes its new policy, it’s deemed discriminatory? We’ve not been big fans of Southwest, but this is great, and other airlines should do the same. (The situation in Canada is different, and the government’s transportation agency has banned the practice of charging overweight passengers more.) Air travel is miserable enough already, and yet you can bet that no airline is going to put in a few wider economy seats reserved for the overweight (which they could charge more for anyway).