A fat-positive writer, known on Twitter as @yrfatfriend, schooled the internet yesterday with a searing thread about what it means to be a “customer of size”. 
The thread has deservedly gotten thousands of retweets and garnered the writer many messages of support (and of course negative feedback, because it’s the bad place, Twitter) and heaps of new followers.
It’s an oft-overlooked travel issue, usually spoken about in the media by people who are not fat and just want to whinge about people encroaching on their personal space. 
In the genuinely insightful thread, she spoke about being “treated like luggage“, discussed by others “with open revulsion“, and being required to pay exorbitant amounts for extra or larger seats, with no guarantee she wouldn’t be kicked off the plane because of her weight. 
According to the Human Rights Commission, in Australia an obese person asked or made to pay more for their flight because of their size may be able to accuse the airline of unlawful disability discrimination. 
Qantas and Virgin Australia don’t have specific policies for “customers of size”, but their American counterparts do, as demonstrated above, often demanding passengers who cannot fit comfortably into a seat with both armrests down buy a second ticket. 
What Qantas and Virgin do offer are “comfort seats” where you can call the airline to purchase the seat next to yours for a little bit less than the price of a standard seat, but it’s both not a requirement, and also something any ol’ person do. They have also said that if possible they try to seat fat passengers next to empty seats. 
An Australian lawyer told Traveller that in order to avoid a possible discrimination suit airlines may soon need to be more accommodating, by potentially adopting a two-for-one price for seats, or installing some larger/modified seats for obese passengers. 
Read the full thread: 

Photo: Chris Jackson / Getty.