Candace Owens Suggests Man to Buy 2 Seats on Plane After ‘Irate’ Experience, Sparks Lively Discussion Online

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
July 27, 2019USshare
Candace Owens Suggests Man to Buy 2 Seats on Plane After ‘Irate’ Experience, Sparks Lively Discussion Online
Candace Owens appears before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on hate crimes and white nationalism, in Washington, on April 9, 2019. (screenshot via CNN)

Candace Owens, an American conservative commentator and political activist, sparked a series of online conversations after posting to Twitter about her experience as a plane passenger. In the tweet, she suggested that a man should have bought two tickets on the plane because he was allegedly taking up more space than his seat could accommodate.

“I weigh 124 lbs. I travel with a suitcase that is 35lbs & paid 30$ to check it in. Flight now delayed bc steward needed to find a person small enough (me) to sit next to the LITERAL 450 lb man who *needs* someone to forfeit 1/3 of their seat for his spillover,” Owens wrote on Twitter on July 26. “I’m IRATE @Delta.”

She continued in a follow up tweet a few minutes later: “The policy across ALL AIRLINES should be that if you cannot fit your body between yout [sic] two armrests, you should be forced to buy 2 seats—just like if you cannot fit 50 lbs in a suitcase, you are FORCED to pay for overweight luggage. Anything else is unacceptably unsafe.”

Delta Airlines does not require passengers who occupy more space than an average plane seat accommodates to purchase an extra seat, but does recommend them to do so for personal comfort.

The two Twitter posts by Owens sparked some debate.

“Don’t fat shame,” one person wrote. The comment was later countered with another comment saying, “Don’t use your fat to abuse your space.”

“I would have done it happily [forfeit seat space]. I guess I would of [sic] wanted to spare him the humiliation. But that’s just me..,” one person wrote in response to Owens’ complaint about having to forfeit her seat space.

“I would have done it too. Maybe a *private* conversation with the airline once we reached our destination…” another commented. “Either way, I NEVER would have spouted off publicly about it. It makes @RealCandaceO look selfish and small.”

But to the two comments, another responded asking whether they have ever sat next to an oversized person and proceeded to recount his personal experience.

“Just cause I grew to be 6’8” 315 pounds doesn’t mean I should have to pay double for clothes, shoes, travel expenses, etc. Especially, since we let people fly with their dogs and wheelchairs. They need bigger seats to accommodate growing America,” one wrote in response to Owens.

But that was countered with: “No but she shouldn’t have to pay full price for 1/2 or 1/3 of a seat either just because she’s smaller either.”

Several people made comments suggesting, perhaps in jest, that Owens asks for a refund that’s a third of the price of her plane seat. One example goes: “Sounds like you should demand a 1/3 of your ticket price refunded back to me.”

Another person joked about how people may take offense that Owens is “fat-shaming” and being “prejudiced against fat people,” to which another responded, “Nothing about being prejudiced but if you’re going to make a lifestyle choice of being that big then you should have to pay for it!! The rest of the public shouldn’t have to!”

About two and a half hours after Owens’s initial tweets, Delta Airlines responded in a reply Tweet, saying: “Hi Candace, our apologies for the frustration this morning. We want all our customers to be comfortable while traveling with us, and regret if that was not the case. Please send me your flight details in a DM so I can learn more.”

And within a few minutes after Delta’s tweet, Owens posted an update that indicated the situation was brought to a “[s]atisfactory conclusion.”

She said that when the plane landed, the pilot of the plane personally walked her off the aircraft and apologized. And Delta Airlines decided to refund the price of the flight fully for both her and her fiancé, George Farmer.

While the situation appears resolved for Owens, others reflected that the man who was seated next to Owens may have felt embarrassed.

“While I agree with you (I am obese myself); I really hope that the man was treated just as kindly,” one person wrote. “I’m sure he was beyond embarrassed already. Maybe he had no other choice but to fly—a death, maybe.”

In response to the above, another appeared to concur, writing, “What @realcandaceo has done here, publicly humiliating an innocent person, is terrible.”

The question remains as to whether a passenger of size or the transport company involved should be responsible for similar such circumstances.

One person observed that “from life experience being obese isn’t always a choice. Some people yes, some no.” They wrote, “Maybe the man felt just as bad … saying that they usually avoid traveling and going to events that require sitting close to other people.”

Another person wrote, “As a fellow tiny person who often has people spilling into her seat, I thank you [Candace Owens] for this. I am not judging overweight people, but when your choices infringe on my rights and my space… you need to make adjustments. NOT ME.”

To the above message, one person responded, saying it should be the airlines that should anticipate such circumstances and “make adjustments.”

“No, the Airlines needs to make ADJUSTMENTS….and yes you are treating the others unfairly, they are just trying to get to their destination……airlines make it uncomfortable for all,” they wrote.

Several comments to Owens’s final update had observed that airlines overall have made seats smaller in recent times, which does not alleviate the situation. One short Twitter chat (as below) noted that perhaps seating is smaller to meet market expectations. However, maybe the better alternative is to charge more and provide more seat space for passengers.

Ultimately, Owens received ample praise for raising her voice on a seemingly trivial issue, with many saying that had it been them, the airline would not have paid attention.

“‘I’m glad you got satisfaction, had it been me nothing would have happened. Remember the little people and fight for it,” one Twitter user commented.

And finally, many also acknowledged that Delta Airlines did the right thing in this circumstance.

“Thanks, @Delta for doing the right thing. I know that Delta can’t be responsible for people obesity but hopefully all airlines can a solution for everyone,” one user wrote.

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