A man weighing 175 pounds says he was forcibly removed from a flight because he weighed too much.
Illinois dentist Dan Nykaza was preparing for takeoff on an American Airlines Envoy regional flight departing from O'Hare to Salt Lake City when he and another passenger were booted from the aircraft to reduce the weight, reports ABC7 Chicago.
Nykaza said he was buckled in and had been on the plane about 20-30 minutes when he was approached by a flight attendant who told him he needed to get off.
"And I'm like 'Why?" Because there was too much weight on the plane and nobody would take the voucher they were offering. So they chose two people, me being one of them.”
Nykaza says even though the flight wasn’t oversold, he and the other passenger were told they were the last to check in, so they were out.
The platinum status member says he was so angry he walked away and turned down a $200 voucher.
“So I missed the entire weekend. My nephew was there, my daughter, it was sad,” he said. “I was in shock, I didn't sleep that night, I was kinda numb all first day or two.”
Experts say it happens more than you may think.
“Every airplane has maximum take-off weight. They can't take off if they are any heavier than that,” airline expert Brian Sumers told ABC.
This comes amid a long-standing debate over commercial airlines and obese passengers.
Last week, a new Airbus patent proposing bench-like seats for overweight passengers made headlines.
Yet, some say flights must always maintain a safe weight level and that charging passengers by weight is the future of aviation. One airline, Samoa Airline started that policy in 2013 and last year Uzbekistan Airways started weighing passengers before boarding its airplanes for flights.