Man Sues AA After Middle Seat Squeeze

Open Jaw

We’ve all likely had the same thoughts. You get on a plane, take your seat to get out of the aisle and wait to see who will be sitting beside you. Because there’s almost always someone sitting beside you these days.

When you see someone of petite stature approaching, your hopes go up. When you see a passenger of unusual size coming down the aisle, a feeling of dread ensues. These seats aren’t big enough for the two of us!

An Australian traveller lost the lottery and was squeezed between two obese seatmates on a 14-hour American Airlines flight. He’s now suing the carrier, claiming he suffered injuries.

Michael Anthony Taylor, 67, told Sydney's Daily Telegraph he spent most of the trip from SYD to LAX either "crouching, kneeling, bracing or standing." He claims the airline wouldn't let him change seats and the awkward positions worsened his scoliosis and caused back injuries and neck bruising. 

"I don't hold any malice towards the people in the seats next to me — they'd paid for a ticket too," he told the Telegraph. "The airline could have put me in a crew seat or moved people around, but they did nothing." 

Reached for comment, American Airlines spokesperson Ross Feinstein told NBC News, "We just received the lawsuit and we are reviewing the allegations." 

The flight occurred on 28DEC, 2015 on a 777-300ER, which seats 310. All of the seats were occupied. According to U.S. federal regulations, pax are not allowed to sit in seats reserved for crew members. 

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