Don't Fly American

How important is airline safety to you?

On a recent American Airlines flight I was seated in the emergency exit row. A passenger who was very obese took the middle seat. His body was so big it bent the seat dividers outward and pinned me to the exit panel itself. The flight attendant brought the passenger a seat belt extender and gave me a funny look as I was truly smooshed against the panel. The flight had been delayed by 2 hrs so the boarding process was being sped up by the crew. The flight attendant came and ask if we were willing and able to assist during an emergency. Everyone gave a verbal yes.....except me. I shook my head no with pleading eyes looking to the flight attendant to see that the large passenger would be an obstruction to the entrance of the emergency escape route. I had thoughts of how will I be able to open the exit in an emergency . The flight attendant looked me straight in the eyes and moved on. 20 minutes into the flight I made excuses and went to the back of the aircraft. I asked the crew member why he did not act when I shook my head no. Another flight crew said sir there are 200 passengers on this plane we can't catch everything. The crew member that skirted his responsibility said it was my obligation to point out safety concerns. I let him know he was not there to serve cokes and pretzels but for the safety of the passengers. I was basically verbally attacked by the crew on this flight.

I was contacted by someone at corporate named Amber she did not seem to get the point of safety inflight. She offered me points for my trouble and said "dealing with large people can be touchy"

When you find yourself stuck in a smoke filled cabin with an over 400 pound person stuck like a cork in the emergency exit ......remember at least the flight attendant didn't hurt his feelings.....that would be a nice calming thought to have as you drift off to eternity.

Richard Bowman is a frequent flyer for business. He has ranked as high as executive platinum in the American Airlines Advantage program. He has in the past been one of the loudest supporters of the airlines. Richard Bowman now refuses to fly American until they reform their safety rules and institute a strict no seat belt extender in the exit row so passengers have a safe and tangle free egress from the aircraft in case of an emergency.