When people book airline tickets online and without the assistance of a Travel Agent or Airline personnel, then they have to accept that they may miss pertinent information which might have been relayed by a professional who has more experience than they do, in regards to traveling.
There was a recent news article posted in November 2015, about a Passenger of Size, flying with American Airlines, who was upset about being asked to remove himself from his seat because he was taking up space in the adjoining seat, which prevented that passenger from sitting comfortably.
He was upset and felt violated and wanted compensation from the airlines. Yet American Airlines, as well as every other airline, have their policies on Special Assistance clearly printed and available on their consumer web sites, which provide guidance as well as the procedures in place to procure additional spacing for people of size.
AA Customers that need extra space
For the safety and comfort of all customers, if a customer’s body extends more than 1 inch beyond the outermost edge of the armrest and a seat belt extension is needed, another seat is required. We encourage customers to address all seating needs when booking.
As the man obviously did not read the company policy about clients who require extra space, the entire situation on the plane could have been avoided by having the Agent performing the check in for the guest, explain to the man what his options were, before he boarded to prevent his embarrassment and let him make the financial choice to pay for the seating he required for the flight.