The amount of space for economy-class passengers in the US has steadily declined over the decades since deregulation in the 1970s.
The amount of space for economy-class passengers in the US has steadily declined over the decades since deregulation in the 1970s.

'My flight of misery'

By Daily Mail Time of article published Jul 31, 2015

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London - A passenger is suing an airline which sat him next to an overweight traveller in economy class on a long-haul flight.

James Bassos claims he suffered a back injury as he twisted to avoid being squashed by the “very large” passenger who encroached into his space on the Etihad Airways flight from Sydney to Dubai. The man coughed and spat throughout, papers filed with a Queensland court allege.

Mr Bassos, who is understood to be seeking more than £100 000 in compensation, said that after five hours of discomfort he complained but his request to be given another seat was refused by cabin crew.

He was later allowed to sit in a crew seat briefly but had to return to his allocated seat an hour and a half before landing in October 2010. Mr Bassos, 38, who is from Queensland but works in the United Arab Emirates, claims he should not have been required to sit in a seat partly occupied by another person.

Etihad’s bid to have the case dismissed on the grounds that it is not unusual to be seated next to obese or coughing passengers was refused by a judge, who ordered Mr Bassos to have a medical examination.

Daily Mail

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