Listening to the radio yesterday DJ fresh was discussing the issue of Fat Tax. Apparently London airline passengers of the heavier nature were up in arms because they the court ruled that passengers could not sue if airline crew for causing distress by obligating obese fliers into paying a ‘fat tax’ when they board.
Essentially what this means is that ‘heavier flyers’ would be charged a ‘levy’ for being over the average size and weight. The basis for the extra charge was not to penalize people for being overweight but to charge them for the extra strain and burden they put onto the flight, its staff and additional room needed to accommodate their additional ‘baggage’.
So my argument, and challenge to the issue at hand is this; if large or overweight people are charged a penalty for taking up extra space, shouldn’t small or skinny people get a discount for taking up less?
If I look at myself, a petite 24 year old (where I was recently mistaken for a 12 year old – embarrassingly that is true) why should I be charged full ‘adult size’ rates when I really only take up a fraction of the space.
The attitude of airline companies could be dubbed as size-ist. Why charge people who are overweight if you are not going to reward those who lighten the load for the flight and its ‘chicken or beef’ serving attendants.
The Daily Mail article when on to say that the court had ruled that “court ruling makes it clear that airlines will never be liable for hurt feelings”. So that means that if you are charged a fat tax you have no leg to stand on if you try to sue the airline for discrimination.
Daniel Barnett, a leading barrister of the Outer Temple Chambers in London said that the Court of Appeal verdict means that airlines will never be liable for embarrassing passengers on flights
‘Anything cabin crew say to passengers when they are on board will be done without fear of the consequences.’ Barnett added.
This was in response to a case where travel moguls Thomas Cook and British Airways won the case against two passengers who sued them over their treatment on two flights.
So next time I get mistaken for a 12 year old will I be able to sue the person in question for undermining me by defamation of character? Probably not.
But maybe what the court is saying is that a large part of the population needs to cut down on the fried food and start taking the stairs.