American Airlines Passenger Suing Over 14-Hour Flight With Obese Seatmates

Image courtesy of Travelin’ Librarian

No one likes to be scrunched while flying, but as airlines continue to cram as many seats on planes as they can, things can definitely get tight. An Australian man is suing over the close quarters on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, claiming he was forced into uncomfortable positions during the 14-hour flight.

The 67-year-old man tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph that the airline wouldn’t let him switch his seat next to two obese passengers who encroached on his space. Though he was seated by the window, he says he was left “crouching, kneeling, bracing, or standing” for much of the Transpacific flight.

His in-flight moves exacerbated his scoliosis and caused lower and upper back injuries, and bruising to his neck, he claims.

“I don’t hold any malice towards the people in the seats next to me – they’d paid for a ticket too,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “The airline could have put me in a crew seat or moved people around but they did nothing.”

He’s filed his lawsuit in Australia’s Federal Court, and American says it has received the lawsuit and is reviewing the allegations.

He’s not the first person to bring legal action against an airline over a seatmate: Last year, a traveler sued Emirates claiming that his trip was “ruined” after a nine-hour flight he spent next to an obese man. And in 2015, an Australian man sued Etihad Airways, saying he had to contort his body to avoid being in contact with his “grossly overweight” seat mate, resulting in a back injury, BBC reported.

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