The state-owned Thai airline bans oversized passengers and parents with young children from business class.
Thai Airways says that “oversize” passengers and parents with young children will be banned from its business-class seats.
According to the Bangkok Post, the airline claims the seats will no longer have seatbelts that fit anyone with a waist larger than 56 inches, or 142cm.
Otherwise the belts will interfere with the placement of airbag deployment and could pose a threat to safety during emergencies, he carrier claims.
Larger passengers and families with babies will be forced fly to economy.
State-owned Thai recently acquired Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for commercial flights. These allegedly have seats that can only safely support people of a certain size.
The airline’s Dreamliner aircraft are currently operating only on routes between Bangkok, Auckland and Taipei.
News about the restrictions has been met with outrage from the public. Media reports say that Thai activist Srisuwan Janya has threatened to take the airline to court over the new policies, calling them “discriminatory” and “unconstitutional”.
However, the restrictions are not unique. The Australian carrier Jetstar, for example, says it will start charging parents an additional $30 to $50 for children who sit in their lap during a flight, while Hawaiian Airlines changed its seating policy in October 2016 due to the rising weight of passengers.