I’d think of it like a medical accommodation that you might make in other contexts.And as with other accommodations, the question would be whether courts would consider it an unreasonable hardship for your organization.

accommodating large people on airline-83accommodating large people on airline-24

That is true even though the issues are not entirely clear-cut.

Certainly there appears to be a growing sense that obesity can be a ‘disability.’ Even if it is not considered a disability under national law, state laws can also be more stringent than national ones; I won’t presume to guess what they are in every state.

Moreover, even if obesity isn’t a disability now, it seems possible it will be classified as one in the future.

If so, then a covered employer would need to make an accommodation.

A standard airplane seat on Southwest and some Delta aircraft are 17.2 inches wide.

Some planes, including Frontier, Air Tran and parts of United and US Airways’ fleets, have seats as large as 18 inches wide.

I’m not sure I can get approval for that from our finance department.

But if she is the strongest candidate for the job, it seems wrong to not choose her based on her body size.

The American Heart Association says that 1 in 6 adults is obese.

Yet the travel industry has not kept pace with our expanding waistlines.

Obesity falls into this category, but documentation from a physician is required. For example, a 2012 court case paved the way for the United Kingdom to follow US policy, while airlines in Australia have rejected proposals to charge for a second seat.