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Man removed from plane for his size

April 26, 2013, 9:31 amYahoo! New Zealand

An American man is considering legal action after being removed from a plane – despite there being plenty of room.

Man removed from plane for his size - AU

An American man is considering legal action after being removed from a plane – despite there being plenty of room.

Matthew Harper, who weighs 154kg, had already boarded a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Denver on Sunday when he claims an airline official told him the flight was overbooked and asked him to leave, the New York Daily News reports.

Given there was an empty seat between him and his brother, he was bewildered with this explanation, but stepped off the aircraft.

An airline employee then asked if he was aware of the policy regarding overweight passengers which insists travellers who encroach on another seat buy a second seat in advance.

He says he was allowed to return to his seat half an hour later, but was left “humiliated” and felt he’d been treated “like a criminal”.

"I'm 34 years old, and I've never been humiliated like this in my life. I mean, when I got back on the plane, only thing I could do was put my head down," Harper told TV station KDVR.

The airline has since apologised and offered US$100 as compensation. But according to reports, he turned down the offer and is pursuing legal action.

Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz says the flight left as scheduled.

“We sincerely regret Mr. Harper’s unhappiness over his experience.”

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  1. mg08:47am Monday 29th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    hopefully he is embarrassed enough to go on a diet. Truth always hurt.

  2. Fairsky10:17pm Sunday 28th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Just about about everyone who posted a comment had a valid point for a change. I've seen many instances while travelling, of larger than normal people, encroaching into another paying passengers space. It's not easy to deal with, when the airline can't be bothered to deal with it in the first place. "Big people need to travel as well" As quite a few people stated, we are all paying for a seat and that is YOUR real estate while travelling. The other solution is fly Businnes or First class.

  3. marie09:45pm Sunday 28th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    get a life horrible commenters!!! never have heard such rude comments before. Airlines are a business and need to behave professionally and treat everyone with respect, after all we are paying them a lot of money!

  4. Latch_Singh06:18pm Sunday 28th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Bring in pay by weight !! .. I choose what I put in my mouth and to stay fit via EXERCISE yet I am penalised via higher health premiums .. People should be responsible for the burden they place on society financial or otherwise ..

  5. Foghorn J. Leghorn07:28am Sunday 28th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Aircrafts' fuel is calculated on average passenger being around 75 KG before boarding. So if one is costing double the fuel, and taking up double the space and a likely safety issue should the aircraft have to be evacuated....then accept your weight costs like any other freight! Or get on a boat, train, bus, blimp or car!

  6. Trevor06:50pm Saturday 27th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Stuff him! Oh that's right, he's been stuffing himself for years. Get over it fatso, I can imagine him buying a McDonald's franchise with his payout.

  7. Steve H12:49am Saturday 27th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I bet if he gets a payout , he does not buy a Lotus.....

  8. Martine B09:29pm Friday 26th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Brian: given the size of the "average" person in this country, I find your suggestion quite reasonable, indeed!

  9. Brian B07:41pm Friday 26th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I agree no one should have to sit next to fat people, or blonde long haired people come to think of it any one with long hair, or beards, or using perfume, or has body odour or sniffs. We should also ban tall people because they take too much room. I hate sitting next to very short peolple because their legs stick out so much. Oh and I also don't like to sit next to attractive women because I get nervous and am really scared to bump them. You are a bunch of bigoted wingers suck it up people. Are you suggesting a very small person should get preferential treatment and pay half the fair of an average person.

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  10. Andrew Dodine05:11pm Friday 26th April 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Wow being well over 300lbs does not make him feel humiliated walking down the street. He is enormous and I would not want to have to fly with him when I go to Canada the first leg is 14hrs. LOSE THE WEIGHT. HE SMELLS MONEY! STOP EATING FATSO!