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Passenger Forced to Stand for Seven-Hour Flight

Remember when RyanAir wanted to introduce standing seats on its flights to save money? Well, one US Airways passenger, Arthur Berkowitz, got an advance-preview of what that might be like when he had to stand for a seven-hour flight. But it definitely wasn’t to save money: He paid $800 for his ticket. It was because the 400-pound passenger sitting next to him took up two seats, including the one Berkowitz had paid for, leaving him with no room to sit.

The Daily Mail reported that passenger Arthur Berkowitz boarded a US Airways flight from Alaska to Philadelphia only to find that he could not get past the “morbidly obese” man in the seat next to his. Berkowitz’s seat was reportedly also being used by the obese passenger, who could not fit in his own seat between the armrests (he had to leave them raised) and was spilling over into the next seat.

Berkowitz claimed that flight attendants told him that he would have to stand, as the flight was full, and that despite being unable to use a seat-belt for take off and landing (a clear violation of safety regulations), he was denied his request to use a flight attendant jump seat.

The kicker? After taking Berkowitz’s $800, and letting him stand for seven hours, US Airways only offered him a $200 voucher.

What would you do if someone was involuntarily sharing your seat? What do you think the airline should offer Berkowitz? Please keep your comments in the Thanksgiving spirit (that is, on the nice side)!

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