United Airlines is dealing with a relatively new passenger issue, and it carries a bit of (American) weight.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), US passengers’ average weight has increased by 15 or more pounds from 1999 to 2020, and the airline industry has been slowly reacting.
As a result of the increased passenger weight, United Airlines has decided to block some seats on Boeing 757s for a period of time, as weight, balance, and fuel requirements are all heavily considered for safe travel.
Passengers’ weight includes not only their body weight but also their clothing and carry-on luggage. As part of United’s plan to balance the weight of its flights, it will block seats on its Boeing 757 fleet between November 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023.
During seat selection, passengers can expect to see an “X” blocking off between three to six seats. On some flights, passengers will also find placards on their seats that read, “Seat inoperative – Do not occupy.” Seat belts will also be rendered ineffective if anyone attempts to violate the rules in place.
Fingers crossed the blocked seat is the middle seat next to you.