Air­line won’t move Moun­tain

Tall pas­sen­ger forced to pay ex­tra to get un­used seat with room for his legs

Herald on Sunday - - THIS WEEK - Natalie Akoorie

AHong Kong Air­lines pas­sen­ger says he is fu­ri­ous and will com­plain to the air­line af­ter he was charged $100 to “up­grade” from one econ­omy seat to an­other with more leg room.

At 1.98m tall [6ft 6in], Richard Moun­tain needs plenty of leg space so when he checked into the flight in Hong Kong yes­ter­day he re­quested ex­tra room.

Moun­tain said he was as­sured he would be seated in a row with ex­tra space but in­stead he was given an or­di­nary aisle seat and his legs were stuck across the aisle.

“They put us at the back of a sec­tion so that I couldn’t put the seat back eas­ily and I couldn’t fit in,” Moun­tain said.

“My legs were in the aisle which is ac­tu­ally an avi­a­tion haz­ard be­cause the aisle was com­pletely blocked.”

Moun­tain, who had been hol­i­day­ing in Thai­land with his girl­friend, said the host­ess tripped over his legs three times be­fore take­off.

“She banged my knee quite hard and I com­plained and asked if I could move.”

In the sec­tion im­me­di­ately be­hind Moun­tain was a front row of four empty seats where there was more leg room be­cause there were no seats im­me­di­ately in front.

“They said ‘We’re not up­grad­ing you for free. You’ve got to pay’.

“I ended up hav­ing to pay $100 to sit in a seat which would oth­er­wise be un­oc­cu­pied.”

The 34-year-old from Dunedin com­plained to no avail so he paid.

“I al­ways get ex­tended leg room for free,” Moun­tain said.

“I’ve been to 35 coun­tries, over 200 flights in my life and I’ve never been asked for money for sit­ting some­where I can fit in.

“But to charge me ex­tra money for be­ing tall. It was an ab­so­lute dis­grace.”

Moun­tain said he would write to the air­line and make a for­mal com­plaint.

“I’d like my $100 back.”

The Her­ald on Sun­day con­tacted Hong Kong Air­lines, but did not get a re­sponse by press time.

I ended up hav­ing to pay $100 to sit in a seat which would oth­er­wise be un­oc­cu­pied. Richard Moun­tain

Richard Moun­tain’s legs were too long for his aisle seat.

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