June 20, 2009

Hey Yankees, why not take a tip from the airlines?

The Wall Street Journal reports that as seats get smaller, airlines are increasingly trying to force “passengers of size” to buy an extra seat when they fly. They’re reacting to the complaints of frequent travelers, who find the seats they paid for are too often encroached on by overweight passengers.

The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance agrees that the airlines have the right to charge extra. As a spokesperson said, “We’re willing to pay for what we are rightfully using.”

But the confined space of an airplane cabin is not the only place where excess inches can cause problems for people who paid hard-earned dollars for a seat – a seat that is designated and cannot be changed.

Take Yankee Stadium.

We’ve had the Sunday mini-series for close to 15 years and made the move to the new stadium across the street with some trepidation. After all, our seats at the old stadium were perfect, Sec. 612, just off home plate, surrounded by fellow season ticket holders who had become good friends over the years.

Leaving aside the problems of where we were offered seats, we’re now getting used to the new stadium. It is beautiful. We love the wide passageways, the many bathrooms and the elevators. So, even though we’re in the nosebleed section, we wouldn’t mind our seats, were it not for our neighbor.

We occupy the second and third seats from aisle. And the person who has the seat on the aisle is big. Large. Overweight. Or, as The Journal puts it, oversized. He also brings to each game a big plastic bag filled with supplies. Sandwiches. Chips. T-shirts. A sweatshirt. A jacket. Even a blanket.

All of which takes up all the space under and in front of his seat.

My husband keeps thinking they guy won’t be at every game. But he’s a diehard

Yankee fan, sure to outlast us. I think we should ask George for different seats. And the Yankees need to take a tip from the airlines: make the guy buy a double.

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