In a bold move, a travel influencer has spoken out against the discriminatory treatment that plus-size travellers face when flying. Jaelynn Chaney, who has a large following on social media, is demanding that airlines take action to ensure that all passengers are able to travel comfortably.
Jaelynn Chaney, an advocate for people of all sizes and abilities based in Washington, US, is calling on the Federal Aviation Authority in the United States to ensure that flights are comfortable and accessible for everyone, including those who are larger in size.
Drawing from her personal experience, the traveller and lifestyle creator has revealed that she suffered bruises and pain due to an immovable armrest during a flight. She has also highlighted the discrimination that she and other plus-sized travellers face while travelling.
Jaelynn has taken the matter very seriously and has even started signing petitions signed by more than 4,900 people so far where she spoke about her experience.
“As plus-size travellers, my partner and I have unfortunately experienced discrimination and discomfort while flying.
“During a flight from Pasco to Denver, my fiancé was subjected to hateful comments, disapproving looks, and even refusal to sit next to them, amounting to discrimination. Similarly, on another flight, I was forced to occupy only one seat with immovable armrests that caused me pain and bruises.”
She added that the “mistreatment of plus-size passengers is unacceptable” and highlighted the need for “better policies that protect the dignity and rights of all passengers”.
Jaelynn stated these measures include offering larger seats and bathrooms, providing seat belt extenders, alternative seating arrangements, wheelchair access, and priority boarding if required.
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Additionally, the creator is pushing for airlines to refund passengers for any extra seats they are required to purchase during the booking process due to their size.
“Airlines should offer a refund for plus-size passengers who purchase additional seats independently. This should be a straightforward process that can be accessed online or through customer service.”
Some people have expressed differing opinions on the matter of plus-sized travellers being given extra seats on planes. Some may argue that it is unfair for larger travellers to take up additional space without paying for it, while others may argue that it is a necessary measure to ensure the comfort and safety of all passengers.
In a recent Instagram post, Jaelynn added: “No matter what we do, someone is mad. So we might as well do exactly what we want to do. We only get this one life to live and I’ll be damned if I spend it sad and hating my life and or body.”
“Nobody should have to live like that. I will never encourage someone to spend life hidden away to appease someone on the internet who takes time out of their day to spread hate.”
Despite all that, the influencer’s message has been received positively by some followers and many others in the travel industry. They hope that this will spark a much-needed conversation about how airlines can create a more inclusive and comfortable flying experience for everyone.
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It remains to be seen whether airlines will take heed of the influencer’s message and take concrete action to address the issue of discrimination against plus-size travellers.
However, the influencer’s voice has added to a growing chorus of voices demanding greater equality and inclusivity in the travel industry, and this can only be a positive development.