Jaelynn Chaney: Plus-size influencer demands free seats on flights as she urges FAA to 'protect' overweight flyers

Jaelynn Chaney: Plus-size influencer demands free seats on flights as she urges FAA to 'protect' overweight flyers
Jaelynn Chaney in her petition said that the airlines should offer a refund for plus-size passengers who purchase additional seats independently (@jaebaeproductions/Instagram)

VANCOUVER, CANADA: A plus-sized travel and lifestyle creator has called upon the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and airlines to provide ample free seating for overweight flyers to enable them to travel comfortably. Jaelynn Chaney from Vancouver urges the FAA to safeguard the interests of plus-sized travelers and ensure that coach flying is accessible and comfortable for all passengers.

Additionally, Chaney is advocating for airlines to be required to reimburse overweight passengers for any additional seats they are compelled to purchase during booking to accommodate their size. "As plus-size travelers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying," she wrote in a petition, which has been signed by more than 4,600 people as of Saturday, April 15. 


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'Airlines should offer a refund for plus-size passengers'

She added, "All plus-size passengers should be provided with an extra free seat, or even two or three seats depending on their size, to accommodate their needs and ensure their comfort during the flight." Talking about reimbursements, Chaney added, "Airlines should offer a refund for plus-size passengers who purchase additional seats independently. This should be a straightforward process that can be accessed online or through customer service." 



Chaney acknowledges that if her demands are met, there may be an increase in ticket prices for all passengers to cover the cost of the additional seating. She recognizes that non-overweight travelers may also have to bear a portion of these expenses. "During a flight from Pasco to Denver, my fiancé was subjected to hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them, amounting to discrimination. Similarly, on another flight, I was forced to occupy only one seat with immovable armrests that caused me pain and bruises."



'This mistreatment of plus-size passengers is unacceptable'

On her Instagram account, Chaney has posted videos that extensively showcase her challenges while flying. These videos range from depicting her and her partner being crammed into seats to capturing the comments of other passengers, such as inquiries about whether she has purchased two seats. "They say it's not fair to the person who has to sit next me if I don't," text overlaid on the video read. "When I tell them I do, they say I'm selfish for taking a seat from another." "This mistreatment of plus-size passengers is unacceptable, and it highlights the urgent need for better policies that protect the dignity and rights of all passengers, regardless of size," she wrote. "Unfortunately, plus-size passengers often experience discomfort and discrimination when flying. The lack of a uniform customer-of-size airline policy is unacceptable and must be addressed." 


Chaney presently uses seatbelt extenders to enhance her comfort during flights. It is not clear why she does not opt to fly in business or first-class, which provide more spacious seats, albeit at a significantly higher cost than coach seats. In addition, Chaney suggests that crew members receive training on how to cater to the needs of plus-size passengers, including handling delicate situations and providing appropriate customer service.


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 Jaelynn Chaney: Plus-size influencer demands free and extra seats on flights