A plus-sized influencer has demanded the Federal Aviation Authority and airlines give overweight flyers as many free seats as they require to fly comfortably.
Jaelynn Chaney, a travel and lifestyle creator based in Vancouver, wants the Federal Aviation Authority to ‘protect’ plus-sized travelers and make flying in coach ‘comfortable and accessible for everyone.’
She also wants airlines to be forced to refund overweight passengers for any extra seats they’re forced to purchase when booking to accommodate their size.
‘As plus-size travelers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying,’ she wrote in her petition, which has been signed by around 4,300 people as of Saturday afternoon.
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.’
Turning her attention to 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.’
‘As plus-size travelers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying,’ she wrote in her petition
Chaney admits that price tickets would have to rise if she were to get her way, and concedes non-overweight passengers could be faced with higher ticket prices to help cover improvements.
‘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.’
In videos posted to her Instagram, Chaney has widely documented her struggles flying, from showing her and her boyfriend being tightly packed into seats to showing what some passengers have said to her, including asking her if she bought two seats.
Jaelynn Chaney, a travel and lifestyle creator based in Vancouver, is demanding the FAA to ‘protect’ plus-sized travelers and make it more ‘comfortable and accessible for everyone’
‘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.’
However, when Chaney is ‘forced to occupy only one seat’ it can lead her to being in pain and cause chafing, as well as being subjected to ‘poor treatment from fellow passengers.’
‘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 currently uses seatbelt extenders to make flying a more comfortable experience. She hasn’t commented on why she doesn’t fly business or first class – which offers much bigger seats – although those fares are far more expensive than regular coach seats.
She also believes crew members should undergo training on ‘how to accommodate plus-size travelers, including handling sensitive situations and providing appropriate customer service.’
She said her fiancé was ‘subjected to hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them, amounting to discrimination’ on one of his flights, while she was forced to squeeze into a seat without removable armrests that caused bruising
She is now asking for airlines to provide bigger seats or an extra free seat to larger passengers, a wheelchair-accessible bathroom on a new planes, crew and TSA training, and refunds for passengers who purchased two seats
In addition, she believes TSA should also be trained and ‘implement clear guidelines for screening plus size travelers, train agents on how to respectfully interact with plus-size travelers, offer sensitivity training, and provide accessible screening equipment.’
Chaney has also suggested a wheelchair-accessible bathroom be added to all new airplanes.
‘This change will improve accessibility for passengers of all sizes and abilities, allowing them to use the restroom comfortably and without difficulty. This will promote a more inclusive and accommodating travel experience, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to serving all passengers equally,’ she wrote on the petition.
However, Chaney pointed out she did not know who would have to fund the cost of the changes she suggested, but believes the changes are worth it.
‘It is difficult to provide a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of who will pay for the policies mentioned in the petition,’ she told Fox News in a statement.
‘Implementing policies to accommodate plus-size passengers may come with associated costs, but these costs must be weighed against the benefits of creating a more welcoming and inclusive travel experience.’
She admitted she did not know who would bear the cost of the changes, but suggested the Department of Transportation had some liability in provide safe and comfort travel for all
She suggested that airlines stop overselling tickets so that those tickets available could be used to accommodate larger passengers.
She also said the ‘government may have a role to play in funding or incentivizing these policies, as part of its responsibility to promote accessible and equitable transportation for all citizens.’
‘In the end, the question of who will pay for these policies should not be a barrier to taking action,’ she told Fox.
‘By implementing these requirements, airlines will create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all passengers, regardless of their size. It’s time for the airline industry to take a stand and commit to creating a more inclusive and accommodating environment for all passengers. Join us in demanding that the FAA take action to protect plus-size travelers,’ she wrote in her petition.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Chaney for comment.