Thin privilege is not having to to hit the “call attendant” button before the flight even takes off just so you can ask for a seat belt extender only to then be looked over by your seat mates and the attendant himself.
I recently had to fly from Scotland to Minnesota, and me and my husband are both fat.
There are certain airlines we will not fly with *cough*Southwest*cough* because they have policies of humiliating, dehumanizing and overcharging fat passengers. Now, I’m not stupid. I know no one wants to be squished in a 3-seat row with two fat people. I don’t blame them. I wish there was room for all of us. But there isn’t. To make it worse, my husband is 6’5”. He just plain DOESN’T FIT in an airplane. But my family lives in the US and I live in Scotland, so flying is part of our lives, like it or not.
This last time, we flew with Icelandair. They were AWESOME. We flew from Glasgow to Keflavik, then from Keflavik to Minneapolis. The first flight, I was assigned a middle seat, and my husband had the aisle (because he has to in order to fit his legs).
The person who was assigned to the window seat in our row was the last person to board on the plane because that is always my luck. When she told the flight attendant what seat she was assigned to, the attendant looked at us and kindly and quietly told the woman, “I think we have a better seat near the front,” and then told me I could move over to the window seat if I wanted to. We got the row to ourselves, and no one had to be loudly humiliated and all three customers got to be comfortable.
The second flight was much the same, only this time, my husband and I were the ones ushered to “better seats” up in the front, in the “economy comfort” section, where we got the big comfy chairs and two rows back in economy got to have two people to a row instead of 3. So that is 6 happy customers, and no one had to be overcharged or humiliated. And on every flight, the attendants quietly and discreetly delivered seat belt extensions to my husband.
I realize that if the flights had been completely packed full we would have had to just suck it up and be squished. But surely, this way of handling large passengers is a better policy for making all of your customers happy, and I will definitely be flying Icelandair in the future. They treated us like valued customers, not like unwanted baggage.
I hate it but at least understand what’s going on when services that are free to users treat us as commodities, like search engines. Our viewing is being sold to advertisers. We are the product.
But we fucking pay for flying. We are the customers. Why are we not treated like it?
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