An Australian passenger is seeking hefty compensation from American Airlines after being ‘squashed between two ‘grossly obese’ fliers on a 14-hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.
Michael Anthony Taylor, 67, is seeking A$100,000 (about US$72,000) for the uncomfortable flight which exacerbated his pre-existing scoliosis, and caused back and neck injuries.
He said he spent most of the flight ‘crouching, kneeling, bracing or standing.’
“I don’t hold any malice towards the people in the seats next to me — they’d paid for a ticket too,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“The airline could have put me in a crew seat or moved people around, but they did nothing,” he said, adding that he asked to be moved on numerous occasions.
Under US federal regulations, passengers are not permitted to sit in crew jump seats.
The flight which took place in December 2015 was fully booked.
“This lawsuit could have been avoided in the first place onboard the flight by Michael being moved to a different seat or re-booked onto a later flight,” said Taylor’s legal rep Thomas Janson.
“Airline insurers will almost certainly force airlines to re-evaluate how and where they seat passengers and whether there needs to be a complete overhaul of the interiors of airline cabins in order to prevent similar claims,” he said.