Next time try explaining your situation to the FA. I think it would have made a difference if she'd known your issues. Since there were so many seats available and you boarded late she probably didn't think it mattered and you would be fine sitting futher up. You boarded late, so what if someone else had already been sitting there? I can imagine you'd either explain your situation to them and ask them to trade or you'd sit elsewhere and deal with it best you could. Try to remember FA's are people too and she probably had a very long hard day and didn't realize it was so important to you. I don't think it warrants an apology or compensation since you didn't pay extra for the seat, it's open seating and you didn't tell her anything regarding your needs.
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I would ask that you consider the many other ways people "encroach" on others that have nothing to do with their size. I have sat next to people who have taken off their shoes & socks and stuck their smelly feet up in front of them. I have had people pick their nose next to me. I had a woman that sprayed very heavy perfume and I have asthma and almost had an asthma attack. I have been seated next to people that pick at their zits and wipe it on the seats. Then there are almost always the loud, obnoxious talkers, the drunks & the ones that silently pass horrific gas throughout the flight. It amazes me how many people can be so gross, rude and insensitive. I would sit next to a person of size any day compared to the many other's actual gross displays in public. I can't even imagine how airlines or flight attendants must feel about those situations and how to handle each and every one. If you got rid of everyone who did something someone else didn't like the planes would be pretty empty and if you police one thing, you had better well start policing all the offenses rather than discriminating only against size. I think SWA has a good policy to treat everyone as a person and not to unfairly judge them/humiliate them. Good job SWA! I commend you and your wonderful flight attendants that have to deal with these issues on a daily basis and still manage to put a smile on their face for their passengers.
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