A fat-shaming passenger was escorted off a United flight after complaining bitterly about having to sit between two passengers of size in economy class.
The flight occurred on January 2, 2019 from Las Vegas (LAS) to Newark (EWR). Norma Rodgers, a nurse in New Jersey, and her companion were traveling together, one in the aisle seat and the other in the window seat. When the middle seat passenger saw the two passengers, she began bitterly complaining.
Oh my goodness, I don’t know how I’m going to do this for the next four hours. This is just impossible cause they’re squishing me. Like, friggin’ just unbelievable…
I can’t sit here because they’re both so big on left and right…
At least they’ll keep me warm.
Rodgers, the window seat passenger who took the video below, pressed her flight attendant call button. When a FA stopped by, she stated:
Excuse me, can you find her another seat? Because I will not be verbally abused by this bitch or anybody else.
I will not be verbally abused by anybody. I’m not tolerating it.
The flight attendant asked the middle seat passenger to step out and head to the rear of the plane. As she walked back, a passenger called out:
You should be ashamed of yourself, madam,’ another passenger says calling her out. What you’re doing is so terrible, you should be ashamed of yourself!
Her response is telling.
I’m not politically correct. Why don’t you try and sit between those two big pigs?
The passenger was eventually removed from the flight, though it is not clear if that was by choice or mandate.
Meanwhile, Rodgers posted about it on Facebook:
I also don’t like how tight seat width has become on many airlines, including all the U.S. carriers. I do have some sympathy for the rude woman…it was a tight fit and it appears the armrests were up. But the way she handled it strikes me a deplorable. To “fat shame” people is degrading and demoralizing, unfit for human dignity. She could not even look either of her seatmates in the eye, instead choosing to throw shade on her phone.
Such behavior brings out the worst in others, like in Rodgers, who called her a “bitch” repeatedly.
If you find yourself in a situation like the disgruntled passenger and feel you cannot possibly get through the flight, I offer you the following hint: get up and discreetly speak to a FA. Don’t bitterly complain and don’t ever take out your aggression on the passengers of size. That doesn’t solve the problem.
This is a sad story on so many levels. But the lesson is simple: treat other passengers the way you want to be treated and if you have a problem with your seatmates, gently approach a FA or member of ground staff. The worst thing to do is stir up anger and emotions by attacking people for something that cannot possibly be remedied during the flight.