Scenario: I (6'4" average build 21 year old female with a 40 inch inseam) am flying from San Francisco to London via a stopover in Washington DC. SF - DC is a 4 hour plane flight, and DC - London is 8 hours or so. I am flying United Airlines which advertises "more leg room".
So I board the plane in SF. I hate airplanes, mostly because of the leg room issue (or lack thereof). My dad, who is 6'4" (but his legs aren't as long as mine) is flying with me, and he has mercifully booked aisle seats for us both. Not like it helps a lot in coach class, but whatever.
So I sit down. Ow. My knees dig uncomfortably into the seat in front of me, but no matter, it's only for four hours and as long as the lady in front of me doesn't put her seat back down, I should be fine. Or maybe I can put my feet in the aisle, as I often do.
A little bit into the flight, the lady in front of me tries to put her seat back. She goes "WTF" because the seat won't move. I go "ow" every time she tries to push the seat back down. Push. WTF. Ow. Over and over. She can't understand why the seat won't go back!
Soooo... she calls the attendent to complain. The attendent says to me, "Miss, she has a right to put her seat back." What? I am not arguing with that. I agree.
Attendant: "She has a right to put her seat back, and you need to let her do it."
Me: "I know she has a right to put her seat back, but as you can see, my legs--"
A: "She has a RIGHT to PUT her SEAT BACK"
Me: "Look at my legs, they don't--"
A: "SHE HAS A RIGHT TO PUT HER SEAT BACK AND YOU CANNOT DENY HER THAT RIGHT"
Me: "But there's no room! Look at my legs!"
A: "You are NOT the tallest person on this plane! In fact, I'm taller than you and I can deal with this--"
Me: "How tall are you?"
A: "6'1", and I don't have a problem--"
Me: "Uh huh, yeah, I'm 6'4" and very likely the tallest person on this plane, and definitely the tallest woman, and I need extra leg room--"
A: "Well you HAVE to LET her put her SEAT back!"
Me: "Where do I put my legs??"
A: "I don't know! But she has a RIGHT to PUT HER SEAT BACK"
Me: "I KNOW! WHERE DO I PUT MY LEGS??"
A: "I don't know, Miss, but she has a right"
Me: "I KNOW. Can I put my feet in the aisle?"
A: "No, the drink carts go through there--"
Me: "Yes, but after the drink carts go through--"
A: "No, because people are injured if they put their legs in the aisle with the drink carts"
Me: "I'M BEING INJURED NOW. MY LEGS DON'T FIT. WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM?"
A: *calls for backup*
So another attendant comes up. And the same spiel happens. And then THEY call for ANOTHER attendant to deal with how "difficult" I'm being. At this point, I'm crying.
Me: "Can I switch seats with someone in the bulkhead or emergency rows? They tend to have more leg room--"
Attendants: "NO! No one wants to sit here! This is a fully booked flight, and if you're not going to comply and be reasonable we're going to turn this plane around!"
Me: "WTF! THERE IS NO WHERE TO PUT MY LEGS AND YOU'RE TELLING ME I CAN'T PUT THEM WHERE THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO GO OR IN THE AISLE AND I CAN'T SWITCH? I CAN'T HELP BEING TALL!"
Attendents: "Well, you should have thought of that! You should have flown first class!"
Right. If I had the money, don't you think I WOULD? Why would anyone WANT to fly coach if they could afford first class??
They leave me alone for a bit while they go discuss how horrible I'm being. Then finally the female attendent comes back and starts telling me how "she understands where I'm coming from".
NO SHE DOES NOT. She was like 5'6" at BEST. Nobody understands where I'm coming from except other 6 foot plus women you retard!
At this point my dad is yelling at them too, and they're threatening to turn the plane around and arrest me.
Finally, my dad switches seats with me, and it turns out the person in front of him doesn't want to put his seat back. (This whole time, btw, the lady in front of me is complaining about her bad back and how she needs to put her seat back down.) So I sit there and my dad (whose legs are considerably shorter than mine, even though he's as tall) sits behind evil bitch woman. And the attendents are completely rude to me for the rest of the flight.
So I'd like to know... how the FUCK was I being disruptive for BEING TALL? That's discrimination-- telling me I can't put my legs where my legs have to go! What the hell am I supposed to do? "Ride first class", okay, you want to pay for it????
So that's my story. I hope that you guys are as appalled as I am, and maybe you can give me some suggestions on what to do. Write a letter to United complaining about the worst customer service I have ever dealt with? This is seriously height-ist. Giving me a hard time for no reason other than something I cannot change.
Anyway, I hate flying. And at least the plane ride to London had an inch more space so I could live. But I STILL (three weeks later) have dented bruises on my knees!
And no, I am not making this shit up. I wish I were.