Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Ejected from Plane After Fat-Shaming Seat Mates on United Airlines Flight


The actual process of travel is rarely fun. Cramped seats, strained infrastructure and low-profit margins have made the flight process into an experience that’s usually unpleasant.

But do you know what makes it worse? Passengers like the one that oncology nurse Norma Rodgers found herself sitting next to on a United Airlines flight from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Newark, New Jersey.

According to Inside Edition, it was New Year’s Day, and Rodgers and her companion had taken the window and aisle seats. That left only the middle seat open — and the passenger who had to sit there, a blonde woman in late middle age, wasn’t happy about it.

Truth be told, both Rodgers and her companion were on the larger side. Everyone could see it.

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But their seatmate decided to let everyone around her know it. Her rudeness was so egregious that Rodgers started videoing her.

Talking on a cell phone, the woman said, “Oh my goodness, I don’t know how I’m going to do this for the next four hours.” She kept on complaining in a loud voice that carried throughout the cabin.

“I’m stuck,” she said to the person on the phone, “but at least they’ll keep me warm.”

Later, the woman complained, “I can’t breathe. I’m so squished.”

Do you think United Airlines handled this appropriately?

Rodgers once appeared on Dr. Oz’s show and she’s professionally accomplished. The Washington Post noted that she has won honors from the New Jersey State Nurses Association.

Well, Rodgers decided that she’d had enough and said to a flight attendant, “Excuse me, can you find her another seat? Because I will not be verbally abused by this b—- or anybody else.”

The woman protested, “I can’t sit here because they’re both so big, left and right. I can’t even sit here.”

The flight attendant agreed to help the woman find another seat, but as she slid out, the woman said, “I eat salad.” Rodgers verbally fired back.

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Jonathan Fernandez from VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop New York” was on the flight, and as the woman passed, he said, “You’re disgusting.” She replied, “Why don’t you sit in between those two, big pigs?”

Discussing the incident, United spokeswoman Maddie King said, “United flight attendants care about the safety and well-being of all of our customers, which is why they acted quickly to find a different seat for the disruptive customer. When it became clear that this passenger’s behavior was likely to be problematic on this flight, she was provided alternate travel arrangements first thing the next morning.”

What’s your opinion about the whole exchange? Were you satisfied with how Rodgers, Fernandez and United Airlines handled themselves?

Liftable, a brand of The Western Journal, has reached out to Norma Rodgers for comment but has not yet received a response. We will update this article if and when we do.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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