Thai Airways Bans Obese Passengers in Business ClassThai Airways has set a “waistline limit” for passengers flying in the airline’s newest Business class seats. The airline will not allow obese passengers requiring a seatbelt extension to sit in these seats, citing safety concerns. Parents travelling with lap infants are also banned.

The Thai Airways waistline limit affects Business class passengers on the airline’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. These aircraft currently only fly from Bangkok to Auckland and Taipei, but will serve more destinations as the Boeing 787-9 fleet grows. The issue does not affect Thai’s Boeing 787-8s which fly to Australia.

Thai Airways’ Boeing 787-9 Business class is fitted with Zodiac Cirrus seats in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration. Several other airlines, including Cathay Pacific and Air France, also use these seats without issues. The problem for Thai Airways is the design of the seatbelts, which are fitted with airbags. It is not possible to safely use a seatbelt extender at these seats because of the position of the airbag. A waistline limit of 56 inches – the maximum size of a passenger that does not require a seatbelt extender – has therefore been set.

Infants and small children are also not allowed to travel on their parents’ laps in these seats due to safety issues with the seatbelt’s airbag.

Passengers exceeding the waistline limit or travelling with lap infants will need to be re-accommodated in Economy or on a different aircraft.

Some members believe the Thai Airways waistline limit is the result of a serious oversight in seat design.

So for all those that scream if you cant fit in a Y seat pay for J and when you do – the airline says you cant sit there. Where the heck are you suppose to sit your (my) fat arse then? Obviously with another airline. Sounds like the airline screwed up in seat design.

Nonetheless, others are happy to see Thai Airways taking a “safety first” approach.

I will probably get shot down for this but don’t have a problem with it if it is a genuine safety issue

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: THAI sets waistline limit for passengers on 787-9 Dreamliners

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
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