Good News, Bad News or Undetermined News

Good news:

On the personal front, I’m doing well so far in my 52 books self-challenge; though with classes starting up again next week I have a feeling that might quickly become not the case*. In fact I just finished Arch Enemy last night (fantastic read for those wondering; a great conclusion to a trilogy fantasy/science fiction take on Alice in Wonderland)

Also I have been working on some new tribal cue moves that my dance instructor is hoping to incorporate into some of our dancing and we will soon be taking on some group tribal dances with leaders and followers using these cue-ing moves.  Lots of fun and MUCH dance energy required!! Loving it.  I’ve also been practicing belly roll motions and doing some stretching to increase my flexibility and of course to improve my undulations!

On the more global front (or, at least on the not so “me, me, ME!” front):

Dear Abby shows that an influx of responses to a particular letter show that yes, Virginia, Fat People can be loved too. While this does conflate fat being okay with “it’s okay because it is still possible for cis-gendered folks to find a good heterosexual relationship” which has it’s own issues; it was an encouraging bit of counter-light shed on the “You’ll Die Soon, and ALONE, Fatty!” rhetoric.

Fat Lot of Good points to an encouraging announcement from Aussie Air: “Australia’s main domestic airlines won’t force obese people to pay for two seats despite a similar policy being adopted by international air giant Air France-KLM.”

Of course this last does bring us to the “some bad” news:

Not as good (but not nearly so bad as it could have been):

Air France-KLM DOES want to force obese persons to purchase a second ticket at 75% the cost of their first ticket (at least according to the media): “Extra-large flyers will have to pay 75 per cent of the cost of a second seat (the full price excluding tax and surcharges) on top of the full price for the first, spokeswoman Monique Matze said yesterday, saying the decision was made for “safety” reasons.”

How kind of them to waive the tax and surcharge for allowing a person whose arse doesn’t fit (who defines this “fit”?) into a 43 cm seat the force privilege of buying a second seat at nearly full value.  Those folks are so generous!  I mean they could simply stop reducing the size of airline seats but instead their giving spirit has allowed them to only charge such fatties 3/4 the cost of that extra seat.  What absolute angels. /sarcasm.

As others have so astutely pointed out: who decides if you will fit into a seat when you’re at the ticket counter?  Are check-in agents going to be forced to measure the girth of each passenger’s hips with a measuring tape?

Interestingly when you go to the Air France site you can find an easily locatable section for “Persons with high body mass” under their section “preparing your trip” where they do not label this move as a forced measure; instead calling it: “Travel in more comfort and security with Air France, with our option to choose an extra seat with a 25% discount in the Voyageur cabin.” They promote the post-Feb 1, 2010 date as when those choosing this option will be “reimburse[d] the entirety of your 2nd seat fare if there are unoccupied seats in this cabin.”  They even give you the measurements of the aisles and seats (and what that means for waist measurements: “The width of our onboard seats is: 40 to 45 cm (16-17 inches) in the Voyageur and Alizé cabins (which corresponds to a waist measurement of 135 cm or 53 inches)”. [emphasis mine]

To me this reads very much like a voluntary measure that Air France is taking in an attempt to let folks decide at home in a self-service manner, if they would rather pony up an extra 75% and hope that the dice fall in their favor of getting the second seat for free.  They do indicate on this page that anyone unable to “comfortably” (dude, even I can squeeze myself in and smile and I’m death fat) rest in the seat that you may be removed from the flight: “In the interest of safety, if the flight is full and you have not reserved an additional seat, you may not be allowed to board if your build does not permit you to sit comfortably in a single seat.” Again though, what is “comfortably”?  Is that being able to use just one belt extender?  Is it having a partner with you so you can raise the armrests and not get quasi-permanent bruises on your hips? Also, why do they tell you what waist measurement their seat corresponds to and not hips?  I don’t know about you but I don’t think many of us can sit on our waists; it is hips which matter. So folks with a larger than 53cm waist but smaller hips will not run into this lack of comfort?  Who knows.

What I do know after looking at Air France’s actual information versus the media-hyped scare: there is a vast difference between the wording in the two.  Me-thinks that the media is wishing that instead all airlines would FORCE fatties to buy a second ticket and push that agenda by insinuating that it is already happening all over the place.  I find that to be very interesting, and very telling.

Words.  They mean things.

*If I can just make it through this year of 2 classes, 2 jobs and too many hobbies I will come out into 2011 with my Masters degree in Library and Information Science.  And it will totally be worth it.  At least; that’s the mantra I keep chanting in my head as my student loans continue growing and my days become increasingly dedicated to non-relaxation or fun!

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5 thoughts on “Good News, Bad News or Undetermined News

  1. The waist measure thing boggles my mind. After all, I know women with smaller waists than mine who would have more difficulty fitting into airline seats than I do. Why? Because I have very narrow hips, DUH!

    Also loving the Newspeak about giving us fatties the ‘option’ to buy an extra seat at nearly full price in order to guarantee that we’ll be allowed to fly. Yeah, like that extra seat is really going to help us, too. Most airlines with the two seat policy don’t even make sure the two seats are together. I can’t put most of my body into one seat and then send my left hip to sit on its own five rows away. Who would read to it when it’s bored?

    Best of luck with the 52 books challenge. I’m hoping there’s enough of a break in the hideous storms we’ve been having here in the Bay Area to walk the block and a half down to the grocery store to get the whipping cream and eggs I need for my next recipe. If there isn’t, that means I have to find something to make that only uses stuff I already have on hand. It’s still January. I don’t want to punk out on my 52 new recipes challenge already.

    If the weather doesn’t let up, though, maybe I can twist Mr. Twistie’s arm into picking me up a couple of things on his way home from work tonight. Then I can bake in the morning. Heh heh.

    • Newspeak *snort* Ahhh memories of high school with that phrase! And you don’t have detachable hip-bones? You can’t just dis-joint your limbs and pack them into the aisle seat a few rows down? For shame; I thought all of us came equipped with such standard body-fare? 😉 Good luck with the baking too!

  2. Pingback: Airlines: They just don’t make sense « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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