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Plus-Size Influencer Denied Wheelchair Assistance By Airline, Feels ‘Discrimination’


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A recent incident involving plus-size travel influencer Jaelynn Chaney has sparked a heated debate about the treatment of plus-size travelers at airports and the need for better accommodations, including the potential provision of a free second seat.

Jaelynn Chaney claims she experienced discrimination due to her size at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac). In a TikTok video viewed more than 78,000 times, Chaney describes being denied wheelchair assistance, which she believes was because of her size. The video shows her being wheeled to the jet bridge before being forced to walk through the plane.

The Incident at SeaTac Airport

“My ordeal at SeaTac Airport will shock you,” the travel influencer’s video text reads. She explains that when it was time to deplane, the employee assigned to assist her walked away, making derogatory comments about her size and refusing to provide the necessary wheelchair assistance. This left Chaney to walk up a lengthy jet bridge on her own, which she described as one of the longest she had ever encountered.

By the time she reached a wheelchair, Chaney’s condition had severely deteriorated. She recounted that her lips turned white, her oxygen levels plummeted, and she nearly fainted. She emphasized that assuming she could walk based solely on her size was discriminatory, noting that other attendants had assisted their passengers up the jet bridge without issue.

Discrimination and Advocacy

“This is discrimination. Nobody should be treated this way, Chaney stated at the end of her video. She urged others to share their experiences and support The Plus Size Travel Petition, an initiative she started on change.org. The petition advocates for comfortable and accessible travel for everyone, regardless of size, and calls for mandatory sensitivity training for airline employees.

The incident at SeaTac raises critical questions about the accommodations provided for plus-size travelers, including plus-size airport wheelchair assistance, and whether plus-size travelers should receive a free second seat to ensure their comfort and safety during flights.

Chaney’s experience highlights a broader issue within the travel industry regarding the treatment of plus-size individuals. The Plus Size Travel Petition seeks to address these concerns by pushing for better policies and practices that ensure all passengers can travel with dignity and respect.

The discussion around providing a free second seat for plus-size travelers is gaining traction, with proponents arguing that it would enhance comfort, ensure safety, and prevent discrimination. As more stories like Chaney’s come to light, the call for airlines and airports to implement more inclusive policies grows louder.

Jaelynn Chaney’s experience provides us with a scenario for improved accommodations for plus-size travelers. Her advocacy through The Plus Size Travel Petition aims to create a more inclusive travel environment, ensuring everyone can travel comfortably and with dignity, regardless of size. The question of providing a free second seat for plus-size travelers remains a pivotal part of this ongoing conversation, emphasizing the need for systemic changes within the travel industry.

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