Australian sues Airline over Obese Seatmate


An interesting lawsuit happened in Australia last week where a passenger sued Etihad Airways is claiming he suffered back pain sustained after being seated next to an obese seat mate.

James Bassos says during a 14-hour flight from the United Arab Emirates to Sydney, he had to contort his body to avoid contact with the passenger.

An excerpt from BBC NEWS & The Guardian

The 38-year-old designer from Brisbane claimed he had to twist his body to avoid touching the “grossly overweight” passenger, who was encroaching on his seat.

Bassos’s district court claim states the “grossly overweight” passenger was spilling into his seat, coughing frequently and had fluid coming from his mouth.

After five hours of pain and discomfort, he asked to be moved, but was told the flight was full, he said.

He was eventually allowed to sit in a crew seat at the back of the aircraft, but had to return to his original spot for landing.

Etihad Airways tried to strike out the claim however it was refused by Brisbane district court Judge Fleur Kingham as she wasnt convinced Bassos has no chance of winning the case.

James Bassos is seeking $227,000 for medical expenses and lost earnings and superannuation.


As all airlines are shrinking their seats has already made flying unpleasant, do you think airline should force obese passengers to buy extra seat?

On one side all passengers are paying passengers, they do entitle to receive what they expect from the journey. On the other end, it is hard to gauge which passengers are required to buy extra seats as it could be seen as discrimination.

What do you think?

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