Well, we knew it would eventually happen and now it has. United Airlines announced today that it will charge larger/heavier passengers for two seats rather than one. The criteria is spelled out at their website, but in a nutshell:

  • If you are unable to fit into a single seat in the ticketed cabin OR

  • Are unable to buckle the seatbelt using a single seatbelt extender OR

  • Are unable to put the seat's armrests down when seated

Then you will be denied boarding unless you purchase an extra seat. Great news, huh. For those of you who may fall into this category you may want to consider purchasing a first class seat. They tend to be larger. However, depending on your destination and your departure airport, this may be cost prohibitive.

This is affective for tickets purchased after March 4, 2009 and for travel beginning on or after April 15, 2009.

This makes it even more important for you to shop around not only for the best airfare but also for the airline that is best able to accomodate your individual needs.

American Airlines has stated that while the have the right to require a second ticket they will only do so if it can find no other solution, such as moving the larger passenger to a seat next to an empty seat.

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