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Passenger Forced To Stand 400-Pound Guy On US Flight

11/26/2011 07:54 AM ET

Passenger Forced To Stand - Passenger Forced To StandA 400-pound passenger flying to Philly was forced another passenger to stand for seven hours on a US Airways flight. It all went down after the overweight person got settled in, but there was no room for Arthur Berkowitz, who was unable to get back into his seat.

It didn’t help that getting from Anchorage, Alaska to Philadelphia is one of the longest non-stop flights.

Berkowitz, 57, told the Daily Mail that the obese man felt terrible about the circumstances.

“He was a real gentleman,” Berkowitz said. “The first thing he said to me was, ‘I want to apologize. I’m your worst nightmare.’”

At first, Berkowitz thought he had a little elbow room for the long flight. He was sitting next to the last empty seat. Just before takeoff, the 400-pound man came on board and the attendants directed him to that last seat.

Berkowitz said the flight attendants were “sympathetic” when they realized he’d have to stand, but there was nothing they could do.

The incident happened last July. A gate agent did admit to Berkowitz that the airline should have made the obese man buy two seats. Berkowitz says he wrote to US Airways, asking for a refund and explaining that he was concerned about the safety issues since he had no way to buckle up during takeoff or landing.

US Airways emailed him an apology for his “regrettable” experience, according to consumer advocate Christopher Elliot, and offered him a $200 voucher.

“The $200 is inappropriate,” Berkowitz said. “I paid in excess of $800 for the ticket.” And he was forced to stand for seven hours as a result.

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