An overweight man recently flying between Ireland and Wales was forced to buy two tickets, as is increasingly the norm — but the two seats purchased were not next to one another.
Welsh man Les Price, 43, weighs nearly twice the limit for people in the range of a two-seat requirement. On the airline, anyone over 20 stone (280 lbs.) is forced to purchase two tickets — and Price weighs 37 stone, or over 500 lbs.
On the first leg of his journey, the overweight traveler had the awkward experience of being assigned a window seat and an aisle seat — so we suppose the second passenger was meant to sit on his lap? We all ought to be careful, or airlines will make that an upcharge.
Price told local media that in addition to the seating static when it came to extra tickets and being assigned seats not next to one another, he had to endure the humiliation of being forced to explain why one person had two tickets to clueless airport staff:
“When I got to the airport I had to explain to all the staff why I had two tickets, they didn’t have a clue… When I finally got on the plane one was an aisle seat and the other was by the window – in a three-seat row… On the way back from Ireland one seat was in row 17 and the other in row 19.”
Price is set to star in the BBC’s Live Longer Wales, which kicks off soon, and he explains that a work accident and being widowed have taken a toll on his health:
“From the age of about 10 I put on around a stone each year it seemed… But I was the same as everyone else, working, playing rugby, training, so I wasn’t inactive. I’d work 70 or 80 hours a week and play rugby on a Saturday. I wasn’t a layabout.”
“Then I had my accident and hurt my back, I was contracted out to the water board at the time from Daniels in Pontypool, and that really knocked me… I lost my mobility, developed sciatica and I didn’t get out of the house for three months. Even if the boys took me out they would pick me up and drop me off – and when I was at the pub they’d go to the bar and get my drinks for me.”
The situation worsened when Price’s wife died of cancer in 2009, and now he is confined to the first floor of his home due to his weight issue.
It was not clear which airline forced Price to buy two tickets as an overweight flyer only to not place him in two side-by-side seats.