Lonely Planet Writer

Does my butt look big in this seat?

Flickr image courtesy of hoyasmeg

If you're planning on flying Air France-KLM any time soon but you're still carrying a few of those post-festive season pounds - be warned. From 1 April this year (and no, we don't think it's a joke), anyone packing a little too much junk in the trunk will have to buy two seats. (The second seat's a snip at just 75% of a whole ticket price.)

The airlines say it's a safety issue; that they must ensure backrests can move freely up and down and that safety belts can reach across. Fair enough, I guess. But what I want to know is - how are airlines going to judge who should be buying two seats? When you book online, do you have to fill out something like an online dating profile, ticking your stature as 'pleasantly plump'? Do you go to board and have a particularly bitchy steward eye you up and down, tweak at your waistband and holler out 'hey Darlene! We got a two-fer!'?

The average seat on a long-haul flight is 44cm wide. After 22 hours, that's no picnic in anyone's book. Do you think larger passengers should be made to pay? How might this impact the travel industry in an era where so many people might be considered overweight? Would the extra cost stop you travelling or would you just look to another airline?

Flickr image courtesy of hoyasmeg