Large Size Model Demands Wider Aircraft Aisles After Struggling To Make It Through United Business Class

Last month a plus-sized influencer started a viral petition demanding free extra seats from airlines when passengers don’t fit into a standard seat. She also demanded larger bathrooms on board.

In the fall a Brazilian large-sized model complained about Qatar Airways refusing her transportation in coach because she didn’t fit into the seat. Usually the complaint is that seats aren’t large enough, that people who don’t fit in them have to buy bigger seats in order to fly. For many years Southwest Airlines let passengers buy the extra seat but refunded it if the flight isn’t full. Most airlines let you buy an extra seat for yourself if you wish.

However “Big Curvy Olivia” points to a different issue entirely: she says it is discrimination that aircraft aisles are so narrow, and posts video of herself struggling to get through a United Airlines Polaris business class cabin.

Most facilities are built with the median consumer in mind, or at least the 80% consumer. In certain kinds of construction federal laws dictate accommodation for those who need it, and that’s incorporated into building codes. For widebody aircraft there does need to be a larger (accessible) lavatory. The government has considered whether to extend these rules to smaller planes, especially as they increasingly fly longer distances.

However there’s not been consideration of whether to mandate wider aisles. That would require removing not just a row of seats but fewer seats in each row, substantially reducing the number of seats per aircraft. It would have a significant financial effect both on airlines and passengers.

In this case I suspect that (1) the woman was displaying her challenges in the most dramatic way possible, for her TikTok, and (2) she did manage to make it down the aisle, without assistance(by turning sideways), so this hardly makes the case I think for her being denied transportation. It’s just a bit more awkward getting to her seat.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If you widen the aisle, you’ll also need to narrow seats in order to maintain configuration. I’m guessing next up is “it’s discrimination the seats are narrower.” I don’t know if there’s a medical condition that means she needs to be that large but… as most people don’t have such a medical condition, this might (should) be on her to work to make it easier for her to fit there

  2. She’s a FAT one alright.

    She’ll need a chainsaw to get rid of all that excess blubber.

  3. She’s headed to economy cabin. No video of her trying to fit in a seat? Biz would be a challenge. Econ is mission impossible? Anyone else got WALL-E flashbacks?

  4. One day there’s going to be an incident (perhaps like the Superjet runway fire in Russia) where one of these self absorbed beasts is going to kill people because they couldn’t fit through the window exit or they blocked a whole aisle. Living or dying is a matter of seconds in an onboard fire. But as long as everyone behaves and doesn’t shame this woman, that’s really all that matters in today’s world.

  5. I will say, I just flew Polaris TATL recently with a lap infant, and walking up and down the aisle to rock her to sleep had to be done sideways, since I couldn’t really fit straight-on. And I’m 150lbs.

  6. It’s time that ALL airlines started charging a base fee plus an excess poundage fee. Let them drive or stay home.

  7. I can’t imagine what I’d do if she were marching her way towards the seat next to me.

  8. Looking at her TikTok, it is clear that her morbid obesity comes from gluttonous overeating, rather than any sort of glandular or thyroid disorder. Because her obscenely large hind quarters come from bad behavior rather than any sort of underlying medical condition, there can be no valid legal claim of discrimination.

    She can eat as much as she wants, and she can get as fat as she wants, and I have no issues with that unless and until it directly impacts me. More than once, while seated in a first class aisle seat, I have had one of these morbidly obese people literally smack me with their fat while trying to get down the aisle. And as Mr. Stone said above, this person could easily block an aisle or window exit in an emergency, and I suspect that she would irreparably damage an emergency slide if one were deployed.

    Airlines prohibit people from flying when they pose a danger to themselves or others. Sounds like Fatty Fatterson here should be on the “thanks, but no thanks” list.

  9. Not too much of a struggle going sideways. She could even take off her backpack and hold it to the side to make it through even more easily!

  10. Maybe she should eat less and unwiden herself. Or charter a flight. Or only book side-by-side seats in row 1. Not everything can accommodate everyone, particularly when that person self-selects to be an outlier.

  11. I have a drinking problem. It’s discrimination that I pay for my own drinks on a plane…

  12. I would think this would be a real safety issue for other passengers. If the aircraft needed to evacuate and people were stuck behind this person, it could cost them their lives. I know there would be other people on board who are less mobile (wheelchair users etc.) but in many cases they could be helped out by other passengers if necessary – but this wouldn’t be possible in this case.

  13. Stick her in the cargo hold…no twisting and turning down there and she can eat all of the snacks she’s got loaded down in the backpack

  14. She’s not “large-size”. She’s a grotesque slob asking to die from being morbidly obese. Getting that disgustingly fat for social media is incredibly selfish. Kick her fat ass of the plane and ban her from the airline. She’s a danger to herself and anyone unlucky to sit behind her hippo self in the event of an emergency evac.

  15. My most significant concern is safety, I have seen many “Big” or “Plus Size” passengers on narrow-body aircraft that will not fit through the overwing emergency exits or take a considerable time to pass through the emergency exit. I have also seen some occupying overwing emergency exit seats, at which I pray nothing goes wrong and there is not a need to egress through the emergency exit because many will not make it. Just like there is a push to regulate seating there should also be an equal push to regulate where plus-size passengers sit on an aircraft. We should not have to be uncomfortable in our seats because a plus-size person is encroaching into our seats.

  16. I weigh 150 pounds. Last week on an Iberia plane i was thinking how easy it was to bump into seated passengers as i made my way to the bathroom. People were trying to sleep and not as conscious of when their elbow was sticking out or whatever. My husband, a normal weight guy, says he just bumps into people without feeling bad cuz that’s how flying is these days. I’m just tired of airlines making everything narrower and narrower every year. When will it be too much?

  17. This is an interesting point.

    The only issue with this comment is that some airlines are changing their policies with regards to the size of a customer (specifically their waste over 40″) that may require them to buy 2 seats.

    Yes, I agree that this is an issue, but more so if there was an emergency and people had to evacuate the plane. By increasing the aisle width to address people that are obese, would have a direct impact on the pricing of seats on flights. If you eliminate 30 seats on a plane that seats 200 people now would directly relate to an increase of a minimum for 15% to address the reduction of passengers on that plane. So why should I have to pay for the fact that a higher percent of the US population is obese?

  18. She clearly made it to the back of the plane as this video shows her walking towards the front through business. Guess she needed some additional views….

  19. This obese whale is a MODEL? What exactly does she model? I hope she’s happy showing all of us how disgusting she looks and knowing how sickening her behaviour is. Attention at all costs!! YES!!

  20. Maybe time for another start up LCC? Tubby Air/Excess Air/Fat Airways/ Curvy Airways.

  21. Simply put she needs to lose weight. It is not healthy to be that big. Stop trying to normalize this behavior. It is not the airline manufacturers problem. It is yours.

  22. Some people in society are marginalized because they deserve to be. Fatties are one of those groups.

    Much like being poor being fat is a self imposed moral failure.

  23. @Chad
    You win for the most ignorant, self-absorbed post out of the many here. SAD!

  24. I’m 155 lbs and the aisles are too narrow on United; if there was an emergency, it
    would slow everyone down, getting out the exit doors; bathrooms are way too small, also;
    they need to re configure the entire bus. class section on United aircraft.

  25. “Big curvy Olivia” is a bogus imposter account that reposts clips of an bbw model known as Mary Boberry. They intentionally plaster controversial opinions over the clips to get views. The actually model, Boberry, doesn’t bitch and moan about how the world doesn’t cater to fat people.

    In short, fake news. Do some basic research Gary

  26. @ Chad

    My post was in reference to your attack of poor people. Nice try though.

  27. The funny thing is this “model” probably gets laid more than most girls. There’s always a desperate guy to say nothing of all the guys who fantasize about fat girls. Of course, I’d argue she isn’t fat. She is morbidly obese and will likely die from medical conditions related to her obesity.

  28. There are Cargo ships she can fit on.
    Planet Fitness called….. her membership is up for renewal.
    She gets a Diet Coke with her Chocolate cake
    She uses a pound of butter a day .
    Crisco shorting will help her slide between the isles. but she only gets 3 oz
    The poor people called to say they are discriminated against from sitting in Business class.
    Cremation homes will hate her. It will be a long long long long burn

  29. More than once, I have had someone this large occupying the middle seat in the emergency row on United. I have complained to United that other airlines do not place passengers of size (especially those that require a searbelt extender) in the emergency row only to be told by United that they will not discriminate. Since when does weight come before safety? I have also had a person this large force me to sit sideways the whole flight causing to me a pinched nerve and requiring EMTs to meet us at the gate. Being a 1K 2.5 million miler, I always choose the emergency row over the wing window seat, as I can operate the door, but I have expressed concern about passengers that could be potentially behind people like this. Simply put, United does not care.

    I had thyroid cancer in which I gained some weight. When I returned to flying I told myself if there was not 2 inches on either side of my legs or if I encroached on my fellow passengers seat, I would either buy 2 seats or never fly again. Luckily, I am still a one seat person.
    I am beyond tired of paying for a seat only to be able to sit in half of it.

  30. Next thing is, she’ll claim that her oversized boobs gave her black eyes when the plane hit some turbulence! The person sitting in front of her complains that he can’t recline his seat because the “bulk”head behind him. The whole trip becomes one large news story.

  31. While I will agree that some of the comments are just plain rude, I will also admit to having seen some US airlines (all of them) that have crewmembers approaching this size. Evidently being unable to fit through the overwing exit or share the FA forward jumpseat on a narrow body aircraft does not disqualify one for employment. But then I also miss the days when AirCal and SWA had hostesses/stewardesses wearing hot pants.

  32. It is crucial to address obesity as a public health concern and promote healthy lifestyle choices to combat its negative effects.

  33. You should fact check before posting, this was a scam account using a video of the real person giving travel tips. This “Olivia” account keeps bullying this woman online. Take down this article or lean how to fact check. And everyone shaming, take a deep breath…hug your loved ones and then let people live their life. It’s hard enough out there for everyone, why put each other down?

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