A very angry Sandy Russell was escorted out by an Air Transat stewardess because he weighed two stones and was told that he was too heavy and fat to fly. Mr. Russell was off to see a dying aunt and was prepared to board the airplane from Gatwick going to Toronto before he was thrown out of the plane by the airplane staff.

After the embarrassing ordeal, he was offered to take another flight but with the condition that he pay for two tickets. Thirty-two-year-old Sandy Russell said that he couldn’t possibly take care of the £928 that the airline was charging him for a flight out of Gatwick. The unfortunate events lead to him not being able to fly out in time. His aunt succumbed to bowel cancer two days before he could get to Canada.

Russell said that he hardly cried, but because of the ordeal, he was broke into tears of humiliation and devastation in the Gatwick airport. The airline did say that Russell was ushered out and off the flight because his girth (52-inches) couldn’t be accommodated by the plane’s seats. The airline required the armrests to be pulled down during take-off. With Russell’s girth, this couldn’t be done.

Russell complained, though, that Air Transat did not tell him about this before he bought the plane ticket. The saddest thing about the whole scenario is that his aunt is now dead, and he was not able to say goodbye.

Tam Fry who speaks in behalf of an obesity forum, pointed out that the airline’s reaction wasn’t valid. Russell should have been given the option of taking the airline’s next flight with spare seats, or he should have been upgraded to get a cabin with wider seats. This is usually implemented in the USA, and Fry doesn’t see any reason why it should be different in Gatwick.

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