After a photo emerged yesterday of an overweight man on an American Airlines flight, flooding the aisle with flab, Federal aviation authorities investigated the image.
Apparently before being airborne, flight attendants gave the man two extra seats, which is in line with safety rules, according to the NY Post. This was accomplished by offering another passenger a ticket for a later flight, so the overweight man could have a whole row to himself. Giving him one seat belt extender (two is not allowed), and putting the arm rests up, the man was accommodated for and no FAA rules were violated.
There was no word on if he had to pay for the extra seat, and the paper points out that all airlines have different rules in dealing with the matter. "JetBlue leaves to its crews how to deal with fat passengers; Delta says it deals with them on a case-by-case basis. American has said it has no hard-and-fast fat-flier rules." As far as safety issues, one airline source says that children and elderly passengers can slow down an emergency evacuations just as much as an obese passenger.