Racial discrimination, weight discrimination or both?
According to a news report from Paddle Your Kanoo, a former flight attendant for Spirit Airlines was fired for not being able to fit in the crew’s jump seat safety harness.
Blackmon is an African American woman who had completed her flight attendant training program with Spirit Airlines. During her training course, Blackmon was required to show that she could strap herself into a flight attendant jumpseat with a four-point harness.
In her lawsuit, Blackmon says she successfully proved she could buckle into the various jumpseats and harnesses used across Spirit’s Airbus A320 series aircraft and had flown multiple trips across various aircraft without any issues.
But on September 3, 2021, Blackmon was assigned to work on an Airbus A319 jet and discovered that, due to her size, she wasn’t able to buckle up the harness.
While Blackmon doesn’t question Spirit’s right to sack her over her size, she claims a white flight attendant in the same predicament was given several months to fit in the jumpseat.
Recently Spirit Airlines revealed that each seat will gain a half-inch of width. The new seat technology unlocks previously unused space with a design that fits closer to the wall of the aircraft, creating an opportunity to increase seat width.
This innovation also supports the optimization of cabin operations by adding the extra room without removing space from the aisle to ensure fast boarding and deplaning for Guests. Spirit’s middle seats will continue to be an inch wider than aisle and window seats.
But this is not the case for jumpseats.
Image: © Spirit Airlines