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Woman who fat shamed overweight passengers on plane awarded compensation

Joe Harker

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman who fat shamed overweight passengers on plane awarded compensation

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@SydneyLWatson

A woman who fat shamed two passengers on her flight has been awarded compensation by the airline after complaining.

Australian political commentator Dr Sydney Watson was hit with a wave of backlash after posting photos of herself claiming she was 'wedged' between two overweight people on a flight.

Taking to social media, she vented her frustration at her flight and later tagged American Airlines into the conversation saying 'we need to talk'.

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In her post, she wrote: "I am currently - literally - WEDGED between two OBESE people on my flight.

"This is absolutely NOT acceptable or okay. If fat people want to be fat, fine. But it is something else entirely when I'm stuck between you, with your arm rolls on my body, for 3 hours."

She later made a series of follow up tweets railing at people she thought were 'TOO FAT TO BE ON A PLANE', insisting they should 'buy two seats or don't fly'.

American Airlines initial response was to tell her on Twitter that 'our passengers come in all different sizes and shapes' while saying they were 'sorry you were uncomfortable on your flight'.

The woman posted her complaints along with pictures of her fellow passengers to Twitter. Credit: Twitter/@SydneyLWatson
The woman posted her complaints along with pictures of her fellow passengers to Twitter. Credit: Twitter/@SydneyLWatson

But that wasn't the end of their exchange, as she later shared the email she received from American Airlines awarding her $150 in trip credit 'as a gesture of goodwill'.

They told her it hadn't been possible to move her to a different seat on her current flight and said they looked forward to her flying with them again soon.

Dr Watson has come in for a significant amount of criticism as she was accused of 'public fat shaming' as someone argued 'it would be racist or phobic if it was about anyone else' and claimed she showed 'no compassion whatsoever'.

People took to social media to tell her people 'deserve to be able to travel without paying extra' and criticised her for shaming them for their size.


The woman shared the airline's response on social media. Credit: Twitter/@SydneyLWatson
The woman shared the airline's response on social media. Credit: Twitter/@SydneyLWatson

Others told her to 'stop being fatphobic' and suggested she take her complaints about the lack of seating space up with the airlines rather than targeting two people who have no power over how big the seats are.

Her comments were described as a 'perfect example of how not to act' as regardless of size everybody has the right to travel and spaces should be made available to everyone.

People especially should have to expect being shamed on social media just because they set out to make a journey and happened to get stuck next to someone who decided to complain online.

Tyla have contacted American Airlines for comment.

Topics: Travel, Australia, News

Joe Harker
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