Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Refund after 'horror' flight next to obese woman

AN airline has given a woman a full flight refund and promised to overhaul staff training after she was forced to sit next to an overweight passenger who spilled into half of her seat. 

Janet Ogilvie said she was faced with the awkward situation on a Porter Airlines flight from Halifax, Canada to Ottawa on September 5 this year.

Ms Ogilvie said she went to her seat to find an obese woman, who was assigned to a window seat, spilling over into half of her aisle seat, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
She claims the woman's spine was where the middle armrest comes down, and the woman also needed a belt extender to buckle up.

With no other empty seats available, Ms Ogilvie wedged herself into the 25 centimetres that were left of her seat for the one hour and forty-five minute trip.
She said she was essentially sitting on her right hip the entire journey.
"I couldn't put my left shoulder back because she was there... I was pressed up tight against her for the whole flight," Ms Ogilvie said.

Porter Airlines initially refused a refund when she complained about the situation, offering her a $100 credit card voucher instead.

"It was a terribly unpleasant experience, made worse by the fact that Porter is basically saying: 'That's your problem, not ours'.

"I don't think it's my problem that I paid for a seat and Porter gave it away to this other person."
However Ms Oglive continued to protest the situation, eventually winning a full refund of $200.
Porter Airlines Chief Executive Robert Deluce promised her that the airline's crew will be better trained "to proactively assess and immediately attempt to rectify any situation that could lead to what you encountered".

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