Okay, so the airline doesn’t actually sell standing room only tickets, but they might as well have for one passenger who was forced to stand for most of a seven-hour flight — and who only received a $200 travel voucher for his troubles.
The passenger, who wrote of his troubles to consumer advocate Christopher Elliott, says that on a U.S. Airways flight from Philadelphia to Anchorage, the airline seated him next to a passenger who weighed more than 400 pounds.
“His size required both armrests to be raised up and allowed for his body to cover half of my seat,” the passenger tells Elliott.
He says he notified flight attendants right away, but while they were sympathetic and admitted that the gate agent should have required that the other passenger book a second seat, they could do nothing for him.
Writes the passenger of his situation:
It did not allow me to use my seatbelt during takeoff and landing as well as required me to stand in the aisle and galley area for most of the seven-hour plus flight.
The passenger later reported the incident to both the authorities and the airline, which eventually responded in an e-mail that apologized for his “regrettable” experience. He was offered a $200 voucher for his troubles, which the passenger says is less than 1/4 the price he paid for the ticket.
Even Elliott, who has been known to have some luck with getting airlines to sweeten their offers, was told quite bluntly that U.S. Airways “had made its last, best offer.”
Neither he nor the passenger were able to get the airline to address the safety concerns of having someone standing in the aisles for an entire flight.