Air France KLM has decided to suggest to overweight self-loading cargo that they pay for two seats to accommodate their bulk if it is "deemed too large to fit into just one seat of a 43-44cm width", as the Daily Mail puts it.
The Mail says that obese passengers will be charged 75 per cent of the cost of the second seat, but they'll get that refunded if the flight isn't full.
The paper quotes Air France spokeswoman, Monique Matze, as saying: "People who arrive at the check-in desk and are deemed too large to fit into a single seat will be asked to pay for and use a second seat. They will be charged 75 per cent of the cost of the second seat, which is the full price excluding tax and surcharges, on top of the full price for the first."
This apparently obligatory fat surcharge has been widely reported today, but Air France insisted to Reuters that it is "not planning to force corpulent passengers to pay for a second seat".
Spokesman Jean-Pierre Lefebvre clarified: "It is not an obligation; we suggest to such passengers they buy a second seat for their own comfort and in order to be sure the seats are adapted to their needs. If the plane is not full, they can get a refund." ®