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Sat 24 Sep 2016 11:10 AM

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Italian lawyer said to sue Emirates over obese passenger

Giorgio Destro is reportedly claiming over $3,000 in compensation after 'suffering' nine-hour flight sat next to obese man

Italian lawyer said to sue Emirates over obese passenger
(Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images - foor illustrative purposes only)

An Italian lawyer is reportedly suing Dubai-based airline Emirates after having to "suffer" a nine-hour flight being sat next to an obese man.

Giorgio Destro, a lawyer from Padua in northern Italy, is demanding $3,079 in compensation which includes the cost of the flight from Cape Town to Dubai and $2,200 in damages, the UK's Telegraph reported, citing Italian media.

It said Destro asked if he could change seats a few hours into the flight because the overweight passenger next to him was taking up some of his seat space.

Emirates reportedly told him the plane was fully booked and did not offer compensation or an apology.

"For nine hours, I had to stand in the aisle, sit on seats reserved for the cabin crew when they were free, and in the final phase of flight resign myself to suffer the 'spillover' of the passenger at my side," he was quoted as saying.

The case brought by Destro, a "gold member" flyer, is scheduled for October 20 in Padua. Emirates was quoted as saying it could not comment on an ongoing legal case.


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WHJ 3 years ago

So what did he want them to do? Kick the obese passenger off the plane? The plane was fully booked and the crew could do nothing. Why should they offer an apology! It's good enough they let him use the seats designated for the cabin crew.
This kind of conduct probably caused the obese passenger to suffer emotional distress. This constitutes grounds for a counter lawsuit.

LSO 3 years ago

If you can't fit into a seat, then you should have to buy two tickets. It's not fair for other passengers, who can fit into their own seats, to sacrifice space and comfort that they paid for.

If the obese passenger suffered 'emotional distress', then they should start ordering salads - no sympathy from me.

AN Other 3 years ago

WHJ - an apology, and some measure of restitution, is the least that Emirates should have offered. The gentleman paid for his seat, and did not receive what he was contractually entitled to.

As for your reference to a counter lawsuit for emotional distress... I assume you're not a lawyer...

Robin Van Son 3 years ago

WHJ, have you ever sat next to an overweight person, if not you need to experience this, then I'm sure you will be a tad more sympathetic

Marcelo 3 years ago

what the airline should do in this case is give the business class seat to the man who wasn't fit in the normal economic seat and end of the story.
Airline need to check the size of the passenger and offer to them what is suitable for them.
Otherwise it will be unfair for all.

Mark Z 3 years ago

Wouldn't it be a good idea for airlines to have few seats adapted for Extra Duty Heavy passengers?

SA1 3 years ago

It's the airline which is selling tickets and allocating them. And if they had sold you rotten tomatoes you mean to say a person should bear it ?

Hope you would apply that logic in your life only.

Simon 3 years ago

@MarkZ...you couldn't do that Mark because that would be counter mount to FAT Shaming. Herding all the obese together in one part of the plane would the worlds SJW's (Social Justice Warriors) out in full force deploring Emirates Airlines attitude towards a 'body conscious' hate policy.

Basically obese people should have to pay excess ticket prices like excess luggage charges and the excess paid to the unfortunate customer who has to sit next to them!...or...as you say Mark...bigger seats for a higher ticket price cos' they take up more room.

Fentoni 3 years ago

There once was a lawyer from Italy,
who's fellow traveler imposed his proximity,
'Being crushed by a fat man was not in my flight-plan'
He's a lawyer. This tale ends predictably.

Telcoguy 3 years ago

@WHJ, OK I know you are shocked that a westerner had dared to complain about Emirates, but lets try to keep some rationality. A counter suit would involve Emirates and the Italian lawyer. It is obvious to almost everybody that Emirates as an airline did not suffer any emotional distress. So no, that would be a different, totally unrelated, piece of litigation.

Now that one would be a funny one, "Your Honor, the passenger sitting next to me complained when my body invaded his seat making me feel uncomfortable", I must say that it is original like most of your posts.

You are (rhetorically) welcome.