Philly Passenger Forced to Stand 7 Hours on Flight - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Philly Passenger Forced to Stand 7 Hours on Flight

The 400 pound man next to him apologized saying, "I'm your worst nightmare."

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    Philly Passenger Forced to Stand 7 Hours on Flight
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    A man flying to Philly was forced to stand for seven hours on a US Airways flight. After the 400-pound man sitting next to him got settled in, there wasn't enough room for Arthur Berkowitz 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."

    When Berkowitz wasn't satisfied with the response from the airline, that's when he contacted Christopher Elliott, who went public with the story on his blog.