Legal decision may lead to fat tax for chubby fliers

| 08/02/2012

fat-airline_2107136b (249x250).jpg(Daily Telegraph): A court ruling could pave the way for the introduction of a “fat tax” for obese fliers, a leading barrister has claimed. The judgement, made by the Court of Appeal, could also prevent passengers with a disability from seeking compensation from their airline if they receive unsatisfactory or inconsistent treatment during a flight. The ruling confirms that disabled passengers have no right to dignity once the wheels leave the runway,” said Daniel Barnett, a barrister at Outer Temple Chambers. “It also means that airlines are immune if they choose to embarrass overweight passengers by demanding a fat tax.”

Judges decided that key elements of Britain’s disability and discrimination laws do not apply once passengers have boarded an aircraft. They made the judgement after considering two cases involving wheelchair users who sued their airlines after they were unable to sit next to their carers on board a flight. Both subsequently suffered “embarrassing” incidents.
But both cases were dismissed after the court ruled that the Montreal Convention, a framework of international rules and regulations on air travel, should take precedence over British law.

Barnett,  says the ruling would give airlines “laissez-faire to disregard seat allocation promises” made prior to boarding, and meant that passengers could not sue airlines for “hurt feelings” or emotional distress.

The introduction of a “fat tax” has been mooted by Ryanair in the past, following a survey conducted by the airline which suggested around a third of passengers supported it. A number of carriers already insist that obese customers buy an extra seat if they are unable to comfortably fit into one.

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Category: Health

Comments (82)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have nothing against overweight people but have you ever sat on a 9 hour flight where the person next to you is also occupying some of your seat?  Highly uncomfortable!  I also don't see thinner people trying to sue others though for invasion of personal space or something equally as ridiculous as being offended.  Most of the time being overweight comes down to personal choices one has made about their eating habits, so why on earth do people become so offended when something is said?

    I do agree that in somecases out of common courtesy to others and for safetly reasons, another seat should be purchased.  I don't however think they should have to pay a whole extra ticket fare for this extra seat.  It should come as a discount or some sort of extra charge added to one's currentticket price.

    In the end I just don't see why it's such a big deal especially when it's a life choice that you yourself have made.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My favourite is in Japan where corporations will be taxed more if their employees are unhealthier/have BMIs over a specific limit for men and women. It encourages people to be healthier and look out for themselves more. What would you like to hear, those who are offended? We have a huge population problem and necessary resources are beginning to dwindle. The world would be healthier (environmetally, which is the most important part) if alot of people were to just die. Frankly. Bigger bodies means adjusting to accomadate. More cloth. More space. More food. More water. More land.More fuel. All at a great cost. Tie that in with healthcare costs, and it just begins to look really selfish for those who are obese due to poor diet and exercise (the VAST majority of obese people). If not selfish, it is just suicidal.

    If you don't want to look after yourself for your own sake, do it for your friends and family and the rest of people around you. If you say you don't care regardless, why should others really be concerned what inconveniences you? That being said, I know people with weight problems who legitimately struggle, but they put a great effort in because they want to be able to be around longer for those they love. It's not just aesthetics, and it may not seem like alot to some, but in the larger picture it really adds up

  3. Anonymous says:

    As the pictured gentleman appears only to be half-seated, surely he should receive a 50% discount on his ticket? Just trying to clarify matters.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean he is occupying more than one seat and blocking the aisle.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    If we are going to discriminate, we might as well go all out…

    The "annoying couple on the plane with your annoying/crying child", tax.

    The men/women who become hysterical and cry out  'Jesus, don't take me now' during turbulence", tax.

    The "idiots with no voice control 10 aisles away, and I can  hear every damn word you say", tax.

    The "guy next to you trying to get his girlfriend  to join the mile high club", tax

    The "disgusting I just smoked half a pack of reds", tax

    The  "blinding baldness", tax

    The "I like to get my exercise by walking back/forth the aisle", tax

    The "I'm half drunk from the airport bar, so pick up my sloth like slack", tax

    The "I am going to cut in line with my friends I just made 3 seconds ago", tax

    The "we need to sit together so find another seat", tax

    The "I plane on stuffing my 100 pound bag in the upper compartment", tax

    And the infamous  "If your not attracted to me, I will spend every waking minute trying to pin an imaginary  smell on you", tax.

    I'm sure there are many, many ,many more ways we can make a profit off ambiguously defined pet peeves….so lets get to work and let our humanitarian lights shine… this is a gold mine….said sarcastically for those who we can a apply a "I haven't a clue", tax.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    I find a few of the comments here pathetically typical of a minority of  narcissistic health nuts. If being heathy is a goal in and of itself, I by all means support that person, but I would never support some vain and shallow attempt to make a buck or for self-promotion at the expense of the humiliation of another with health issues…sick…minded.

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    …and the seats behind that row are empty.If the case that the plane is the air already.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Skinny people should get rebates or be allowed a heavier luggage allowance….just to be fair!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Go on youtube and search FOOD INC. You will see the poison that the FDA approves to feed us.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    1) Isn't it funny how killers, child molesters and other criminal have more rights than fat people?

    2) Fat tax? I would like to remind you, muscle weighs more than fat. Are we going to have a tax for body builders and football player on steroids as well?

    This is so stupd.  If you can't fit in the seat just pay for an additional seat and forget the tax.

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    There is a perfectly logical connection with an extra fee for morbidly obese people (100 lbs over ideal body weight, not "chubby"). They weigh a lot more (and we know that this is it how it works with luggage) and take up far more room sometimes making difficult if not impossible for anyone to sit in the seat next to them.   

     

     

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is coming from a country that supposedly considers itself to be tolerant of all people. It's just more evidence of British hypocrisy.

    • Alan Nivia says:

      You are stupid.  If you read the article and understood it, you would have realised that the reason the UK statutes did not apply was because the jursidiction of the statute was ousted by the international conventions applicable to air travel.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hypocrisy would be someone who made the above comment and currently holds a British Passport!

      • Anonymous says:

        Interesting point 12:47. So is it your contention that nowadays a UK citizen has no right to criticize what the UK does? Should someone be giving last rites to freedom of speech and democracy in the UK?

  12. Anonymous says:

    To all the people who go on about how this is discriminating against obsese people, I think you need to really take a stand back and snap to reality.

    I recently just returned from a trip to the US and I notice that from year to year the amount of very obese people ( I mean 150+ pounds overweight) you see around keeps increasing. You can't tell me that the majority of these people are overweight due to underlying health issues – it is a life style choice. Even more scary, a lot of these people pass their poor eating habits on to their children (who should be able to rely on their parents to make the best choices for them).

    I find it discriminating that the health care cost continues to rise for EVERYONE which is to a certain extend directly linked to people who make poor life style choices over and over again.

    If you are indeed mortaly obese because you have an underlying health issue, bring a letter from the doctor to confirm that that what it is. I bet at least 75% of those doctors out there have told their very obese people that in order to improve their health they need to loose weight!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh so now, someone would have to tell a stranger about their health issues?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a article about fat people flying not the health insurance issue.  Two different matters.

      But if you want to make it about health insurance, what about alcohol and drug addicts? Should we tax them for flying too? or what about people who have sex more than 7 times a week or stink people who eat too much garlic or people who fart while flying? The fart tax perhaps?

      Hell, I'd love to see a "stupid tax"!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I saw a study a few years back that said obese people actually cost soceity less in the long run because they die sooner at younger ages and don't incur long-term medical costs due to old age.    Hmmm…perhaps a solution to ballooning health care costs – offer obese people more free meals at fast food restaurants?

       

       

  13. better than you. s says:

    I, for one, am throughly disgusted with all of your comments, I wouldn’t want to sit next to any of you morons!! That is why I travel First Class.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats because you can't fit in a regular coach seat and you get a full meal in "first class" you big fat fatty you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Guess fat people can't fit in first class. Now who discriminating agains who now?

    • Kung Fu Iguana says:

      Problem for you, as no flights out of Cayman have First Class seats.

  14. Truthseeker says:

    Air freight is charged by the pound, and that relates somewhat to the fuel used. I find it unfair that I should pay a huge surcharge for a few pounds of luggage over the limit when the person next to me weighs over a 100 lbs more than me. How about giving everyone a body weight plus luggage allowance, then charging for any excess? 

    • Anonymous says:

      So now you are comparing a human being to your luggage?

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't think the fuel economy for the plane distinguishes between the two. Weight is weight.

    • Anonymous says:

      If fat people are already paying for an extra seat how in the hell can you charge them for extra weight?  That really would be out of order.

      In fact the fat guy or gal should now be allow twice the luggage, if they are paying for a second seat!! HA!

  15. Just Commentin' says:

    Here is my plan – and it is one that is fair to all: the airlines should change their ticketing methods and charge for airfare like they charge for cargo, by the pound.

    How It Works: You state your weight when you buy a ticket, and you pay accordingly. Before you put your bags on the scale, you hop on the scale. If your weight it is more than the weight you stated when your bought the ticket, you get charged an overweight penalty. If it is less, you get a rebate – or an upgrade to first class, or a free Jack Daniels, or two, whatever is fair. (I'll take the Jack, by the way). If you break the scale, they will fine you, refuse to board you and will confiscate your bag of Double Cheese Whoppers and Snickers bars.

    Under my plan, I pay my fair share according to my weight. A pathetic anorexic, celery-eating bag-of-bones gym-rat with no breasts and no butt, but thinks she looks good anyway, will pay a lot less than me; and heavy wide folks who need more space and take up more fuel per air mile – and those who break the scales – will pay more. It would be an incentive for frequent flyers to loose weight. Can anyone argue that this would be unfair? Good. I am done.

    Well..maybe not..one more thing…

    If I were disabled and they refused to seat me next to my care-giver, I would take great pride and pleasure in doodying and/or wetting up their nice seats and smelling up their plane. My philosophy in life is: "You doody on me, I doody on you."

    And another thing…

    Indeed airlines should not be sued over "hurt feelings". Hell, I would own one particular airline if I could have sued everytime a hot stewardess turned down my invitation to make her next "layover" a real party. The same holds true for "emotional distress". Anyone who can overcome the shock of the cost of an airline ticket should be able to shrug off anything else the airline can dish out, so what's there to sue over?

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you in principle but you were too derogatory how you wrote it.

      • Just Commentin' says:

        Gee…derogatory? Moi? Really??  Nah!

        Well…Ok… if you say so. But I am equal-opportunity derogatory, so don't get your nickers in too tight a knot.

        I though I was relatively subdued on this one. I actually cut wayyy back on my original draught. I was trying to roll out the new gentler Just Commentin' and all I get is slapped for it. Oh well.

        Hmmm…??? So…what part did you find derogatory anyway? The part aboutthe Whoppers? Snickers? The part about the flat-posterior anorexics?  The celery? The scale-breaking? Ok. Maybe some apologies are in order. So here goes…

        I am sorry if I offended any Whopper-lovers and Snicker lovers out there by giving the impression that they are scarfed down only by fat people. A lot of semi-fat and wannabe-fat people gorge on 'em too.

        And I am sorry if I offended any celery-lovers out there by giving the impression that celery is eaten only by vain, air-head, anorexic, flat-bottomed, mammary-deficient gym-rats. A lot of guys work out and eat celery so they can maintain their Auschwitz alumni look. They are usually air-heads, too.

        And I am sorry if I offended any airline-scale aficionados out there by giving the impression that the scales are flimsy and that only big wide passengers might break 'em. I think those scales have been known to break by people placing like ton's of bags on 'em at one time. Same essential effect though.

        There. I think I covered it all. Satisfied?

      • Anonymous says:

        You have mistaken "derogatory" for "reductio ad absurdem"

  16. SIREEN says:

    wOW!!  Real  I totally agree with this.  This will encourage people to loose weight, and  Stop making the Plane lean to one side in bad weather. Lol

  17. Anonymous says:

    Fat tax is a great idea. Maybe these greedy excuse ridden people will start to take control over their lives and stop making society suffer for their greed. And don’t give me medical problem bs. Politicians should take heed!

  18. Anonymous says:

    About frikin time!

  19. Anonymous1 says:

    I have just realized that there is an opportunity for a good business here. Based on the number of bloggers here in favour of an obese tax and their bashing of people who are considered obese, that a business that specializes in scales, measuring tapes and mirrors would do well because I can just see how you feel so bad about yourself and your own size that you want to discriminate against others without looking at yourselves. As I said before that I am just a normal sized person and I am so confident in myself that I have no need to be discriminating against any one.

    Go ahead and post your thumbs down, you fat slob, and if you doubt that you are fat, just look in the mirror or step on a scale if you have the nerve to. Be careful when you get to the airport and told that you are obesed and you have to pay the fat tax that you so much want, that you don't get a heart attack.

     

  20. Anonymous says:

    First of all obesity is not a disability, in well over 95% of cases it's a lifestyle choice.

    Secondly, carrying someone the size of the person in that photo on a scheduled flight is a health and safety issue. They are not properly seated for take off and landing nor are they capable of exiting the aircraft in an emergency without putting the lives of other passengers at risk.

    There has to be a cut off point beyond which the risks outweigh any other considerations. If a passenger cannot comfortably negotiate the aisle of an aircraft (and I've seem more than few who couldn't) or exit through an overwing escape hatch they shouldn't be on the aircraft.

    A number of carriers already exclude very obese passengers from exit rows, it's only a matter of time before that becomes an outright ban.

    Flying isn't a God-given right, if it was we'd all have wings.

  21. Fat Albert says:

    What if the passenger is only skin and bones? wouldn't that seat be a wasted space, couldn't two other skin and bones person join the other s&b person in that one seat ? why should they not pay a skinny tax?…………….discrimination will never stop untill all is equal and everyone is treated fairly………………..yours truly Fat Albert

    • Ezzerd McFezzerd says:

      Kurt, stop ya squawkin’ and come on over hea fer sum crispy deep-fried chicken fat. Yum yum fer the chicken fat of those awesome Cayman road chickens.

    • Anonymous says:

      By your logic, the skin and bones people sharing a seat should only pay HALF fare. They hardly qualify to have to pay MORE! 

  22. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe that the flight crew and the passenger of a plane would not work together to ensure that a handicapped person can sit (somewhat comfortably) next to their caregiver. What has happened to human kind? How utterly disgusting!

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    Wow!!!How ignorant and unconciderate.Do they not know that a lot of obseity and handicapp is caused thru Glands and other ailments which is NOT easily controlled.or curable.Please do not put all cases as something that can be helped.Very  few if any desires to be obese.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong the vast majority of obesity is caused bybgluttony and laziness…..face facts!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure…..as you order another Popeye's Full Moon 8 piece bucket topped off with a large soda and a slice o' your momma's heavy cake

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      Dick weeps at the tragedy of this post and consoles himself with a Jaffa Cake.  Or two.  Or three. 

    • Anonymous says:

      WRONG–Almost ALL obesity is caused by eating more calories than you burn. FACT. Eat less fat (which is very high in calories, but low in nutrition) and move your body more by walking or whatever you enjoy, and you WILL NOT BE FAT. FACT!!! There are a lot more details to consider, but virtually none of them have to do with glands. That is just a myth to justify being fat.

      The point of the article is, why should MY airfare go up to compensate for the increased fuel cost due to people allowing themselves to get fatter and fatter. Why should MY insurance rates go up to pay for people with disease of affluence–obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many cancers which are all self induced???

      If you choose to be fat, pay your own way.

      • Lordy Lardy says:

        Can we just not eat what we want, drive everywhere, do no exercise and blame our glands?

    • Like It Is says:

      Is there a special meaning of the word "glands" that include cake, fries and burgers?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Lets also add a  "bald" tax, I'm so sick of dealing with bald-headed baby faced  losers that get promoted and are perpetually going though a middle age crises.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sick of fat angry women driving around in suv’s like maniacs ! I didnt make you fat, you did…dont blame me. Seriously, you should keep a stash of cupcakes in the suv to curb your craziness Cupcake!

      • Lordy Lardy says:

        Whenever I have visitors on island I specially warn them about the fat women driving SUVs – they are the nastiest drivers on island. They make their cake problem everyone else’s problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        u r funny

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for saying that. I am tired of baldos as well. especially those goobers that shave their heads!

  25. Anonymous says:

    There are some flight attendants that already think they own the skies and already treat and speak to passengers however they want as they know the passengers cannot do anything about it at the time, otherwise they will be arrested.  This just empowers them and the airlines more.  Scarey scenario!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I concur – fat Al should be charged extra. If you want to supersize yourself go ahead, but don't force me to be uncomfortable because I drew the worst seat.  It's so annoying having to deal with that after paying those ridiculous prices for airfare.  Not only do they encrouch on your seat, if they sleep you usually have to deal witht he awful snoring and these elephants bearing down their weight on you.

    Don't hate fat people but for everything we do in life there are consequences; 'fat tax' is just another that I welcome.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Airways will be $$$ in then – look at all the fat frequent flyers!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    You slim guys are all in favour of this it seems, how about a tax for the screaming little child of yours that I have to put up with or lets add a tax for seat kickers, disabled and old slow people.

    And what about the guy that stinks of smoke that I have to endure!

    Some people are large and the airlines need to allocate certain seats as part of the service.

    P.S.

    I am six foot tall, slim and perfect just like you discriminating bunch.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a perfectly logical connection with an extra fee for morbidly obese people (100 lbs over ideal body weight, not "chubby"). They weigh a lot more (and we know that this is it how it works with luggage) and take up far more room sometimes making difficult if not impossible for anyone to sit in the seat next to them.   

    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot the person who jiggles their leg up and down in "your" leg space…  Tax them all!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please allocate them their own seats.  But not all on one side of the plane as it might cause steering problems.

  29. anonymous says:

    If they charged by the pound on Cayman Airways, they could pay off the national debt and have a billion dollar surplus…XXXX

  30. Anonymous says:

    Like it is…..Your so rude. Not everyone chooses to be fat. Some people actually do have a condition or medication they have to take that makes them fat. I hope you don't have kids because you must always be mindful of what you say this too can happen to you or your kids. P.S I am 130lbs because i know your small mind must think I am fat also. I would be elated not to sit next to an ignorant ass like you on a plane.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rubbish!!! Stats will show that must  fat people (nationally and worldwide) are that way because of life choices. Eat anything anytime and refuse to exercise, some even refuse to work.  In Cayman we start producing fat from the kids jump out the womb and allow it to fester like a swore.

    • Anonymous says:

      People are almost NEVER fat unless they eat more calories than they use!! Get active, cut the fat and the sugar and you will be not only thinner, but less likely to get cancer, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. People who are fat raise our health care costs, and raise MY insurance! Of course they should pay more if they refuse to make the sacrifices that others make who work hard to be healthier.

  31. Family Love Michael says:

    This sound fair enough on the fat passenger side.  They sweat, they smell worse, they have poorer food habits and they snore worse.  All these things make a fat person a nightmare to sit next to on a flight.  And that is not mentioning the horror as their flab oozes over into your personal space.

  32. Like It Is says:

    A fat tax is a great idea.  I detest having to sit next to an obese passenger on a flight.  And I make that clear to them in the hope that they move seats.  They should have to pay extra for their own seating area.  As matter cannot be created or destroyed, it is only by choice that people are that fat and the healthy among us should not have to suffer for their gluttony.

    • I See Obese People says:

      Obviously by the tumbs down quite a few fatties online.  Or as some of us commonly refer to them "our American friends".

    • Really Anonymous says:

      You have just pissed off most of Caymans top people.  But then again they have their own airline.

    • Anonymous says:

      An 'ignorance' tax would be a great idea!  You don't sound too healthy!  Hope you move if I ever sit next to you…I would make it clear!

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps they should also charge more for the tall people whose knees knock the seat in front.  Surely they should have thought twice about growing as tall as they did.  Or charge more for the screaming babies, or the kid that kicks the back or your chair or plays their video games without headphones,or the old person that smells.  Please spare us the Travel Nazi sympathizing.  Once you start profiling faults and traits, it is a slippery slope of intolerence. 

    • Anonymous1 says:

      I guess that you also detest having to sit next to a gay, lesbian, a person of colour or a person of a different culture as passenger on a flight? Right, say no to be politically correct.

      Did you know that 75% of Americans are considered obese, and I do not know the stats for the Cayman Islands but it would not be surprising if it was similar to that of the USA as our habits a pretty similar. Yes I consider myself as being over weight at 170 lbs. and 5' 8" in height for which I am trying to lower for my own health reasons but that is nothing for any one to discriminate against me for. Have you realize how many over weight people have gone as far as to commit suicide because of comments like yours?

       

      • Anonymous says:

        You' ve missed the point. 

        If you are black, white or gay that makes no difference to the person sitting next to you.  If you are so fat that you crush the person next to you, or have not washed and smell, or if you play your ipod loudly, then you affect the person next to you. 

        If your choices do not affect others then it's none of their business.  When they do others are entitled to complain:  "Get 2 seats", "Have a wash", "Turn your music down".

        Not really that unreasonable.

         

      • Anonymous says:

        My question to you is, why did you allow yourself to get fat? Why didn't you take measures to slow or stop this? I'm sure no obese person ever just wakes up one morning and find out they were stuffed in a fat person's body overnight.  If you see yourself moving 150lb, 170lbs, 200lbs when do you think it's time to arrest the situation?

      • Anonymous says:

        What on earth are you suggesting? Do you think that gay or racial differences are chosen? Are they unhealthy? Do they cost ALL of us money that WE have to PAY to cover THEIR health problems and fuel to fly them? There is no logic to your comment. People CHOOSE to be obese and unhealthy. FACT!! Take their food away, make them exercise and they WILL get thinner and healthier. FACT!! Being gay has nothing to do with this discussion. Obese committing suicide is an outcome of their low self esteem which is a contributor to their obesity. Don't blame that on anyone else.

         

  33. Anonymous says:

    Really and truly discrimination is getting out of hand.  Why couldn't the people sit next to their carers?  It's like sitting a 5 yr old in a different seat than next to their parents.  And why wouldn't someone exchange seats with them?  There is no common courtesy anymore.

  34. Anonymous says:

    about time!…… obesity should not be tolerated and is a sad reflection on modern culture……

    • Anonymous says:

      So is ignorance!

    • Anonymous says:

      My friend and any one who think like you, please wake up and realize that it is because of our modern culture that have led us to be so obese. Modern culture afford us to consume excess fatty, bioengineered, processed sweet food also the easy access to the TV remote and the affordability of motorized transportation (for which we refuse to walk from one shop door to the next without driving). Not to mention facebook, twitter and all the rest that modern culture and habits affords us. The old ways were much healthier with less doctor trips, also allowed us to meet our neighbors and to be more considerate and caring of others.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did modern culture also force you to blame everyone else for your problems instead of recognising that you have a choice – to stand up and walk to the TV, to walk the 10 mins to Burger King and to not go for the fat boy's burger when you ge there?  Choice my friend is where it is – except when it comes to who you are put next to on a plane of course. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Bull!! I also live in the modern era and am exposed to the same ills, however, unlike you I choose to watch what eat. I also make sure I exercise.