An airline has hit back after Sydney Watson, an Australian woman complained about having to sit between two overweight passengers on a three-hour flight.
Dr. Sydney Watson, who claims to be an American-Australian political commentator, took to Twitter last month in an unruly campaign arguing, “If you need a seat belt extender, you are TOO FAT TO BE ON A PLANE”.
Her offensive comments came after she sat between obese siblings on the short-haul American Airlines flight she said someone else had paid for.
Watson’s initial post included two photos of her attempting to show being “wedged” between the two people.
“I am currently – literally – WEDGED between two OBESE people on my flight,” she wrote. “This is absolutely NOT acceptable or okay. If fat people want to be fat, fine. But it is something else entirely when I’m stuck between you, with your arm rolls on my body, for 3 hours.”
Her tweet was quick to attract viral attention from both sides of the fence, with many saying her plea was entirely uncalled for, while others felt she was justified in her strong stance.
In response to feedback, she later clarified she had asked one of the siblings if they would like to sit together but was told “no”.
“I don’t care if this is mean. My entire body is currently being touched against my wishes. I can’t even put the arm rests down on either side because there’s no f—ing room. I’m sick of acting like fatness to this extent is normal. Let me assure you, it is not,” she wrote.
The conservative commentator with more than 300,000 Twitter followers went further to argue obese people should “buy two seats or don’t fly”.
Watson said she was “so upset” by the situation and claimed the flight attendant was “giving me the ‘this is f—ed’ pity expression”.
American Airlines later clapped back at Watson, telling her the company didn’t discriminate against any body type.
It went further to explain how its system worked after being probed about why seats were typically sized for “medium” build travelers.
“Our passengers come in all different sizes and shapes. We’re sorry you were uncomfortable on your flight,” the Twitter account for the airline replied.
“We offer a variety of seat sizes and styles, so our customers can select what works best for them,” the airline said.
It included a link to the different seats it offered, including up-market alternatives to basic economy including business and first class.