Janet Street-Porter tells Loose Women that plus-size people shouldn’t get ‘special treatment’ on planes and should pay more for their clothes after travel influencers call on airlines to treat them ‘like humans’

  • Loose Women star Janet Street-Porter, 75, said we’ve ‘normalised’ being bigger
  • She said she didn’t have ‘an awful lot of sympathy’ for plus-suze travellers
  • Co-host Katie Piper, 38, challenged Street-Porter over her comments

Janet Street-Porter has let rip on Loose Women after plus-sized influencers have spoken out about the uncomfortable aspects of flying.

After the influencers wrote about their experiences flying as larger passengers, which are often very difficult, the 75-year-old journalist said the UK has ‘normalised being overweight’.

Kirsty Leanne, a British travel blogger who is a size 26, recently wrote an essay for Tyla in which she opened up about the difficulties of flying at her size.

She said: ‘I can feel everyone’s eyes on me as I anxiously make my way down the aisle. 

 ‘I can see they’re all thinking “I hope they don’t sit next to me” as I walk past gingerly, bag in hand, looking for my seat number.’

She called on airlines to ‘treat us like humans’ when designing planes.

Responding to the calls, Street-Porter said: ‘If you expect airlines to make special provisions for overweight people, I dont have an awful lot of sympathy for you.’

The outspoken presenter added the UK has ‘an eating problem’ – although she understood some people overeat due to mental health issues. 

‘I accept that some people are eating as an addiction, it’s a mental health crisis, and there are medical reasons for people being overweight,’ she said.

Ourspoken journalist Janet Street-Porter, 75, argued plus-size people should not expect ‘special treatment’ when they fly because of their weight

Model Katie Piper, 38, clashed with her co-host and argued that ‘humiliating’ people could cause them to spiral further if they have mental health problems

Kirsty, a travel influencer, recently wrote about her experiences while flying and the pressure she feels as a size 26 woman getting on a plane

However, the 75-year-old added she would never expect ‘special treatment’ for her height on a flight.

She said: ‘As a 15 year old I was 6ft tall when I went on my first package-deal holiday to the Costa Brava and I didn’t expect special treatment because I was crammed up like a stick insect in a tiny seat.’

Street-Porter said she accepted that there were many ‘challenges’ that came with being overweight.

However she added: ‘Expecting airlines to help you for the same price ticket as people who are not overweight is a big ask.’

Fellow Loose Woman Katie Piper said she was going ‘head-to-head’ with her co-star and said the influencer was ‘brilliant’ for warning other plus-size people of the perils of flying.

She said it was ‘completely humiliating’ for many people to travel on planes, whether they had disabilities, were overweight or had any additional needs.

Piper, 38, added: ‘Shaming people and making them feel worse might send someone further down and into a further spiral.’

The model and mother-of-two said she wanted to see airlines fit some larger seats specifically for plus-size passengers, to make their experience more comfortable.

She also argued other places are accommodating for larger people, inclusing ambulances and hospitals. 

Street Porter hit back and argued we have ‘normalised being overweight’. 

She said: ‘As a country we’ve got one of the biggest weight problems in Europe and we’ve somehow normalised it.

‘We’ve banned the word ‘fat’ and we’re using the word ‘large’… It’s almost like we’re skirting around the issue.

Street Porter also took aim at people who wear larger clothes sizes.

When Piper said: ‘Should plus-size people pay more for their clothes because it’s more fabric?’

Street Porter replied: ‘Yes.’

However, the model argued aeroplanes, and society in general, should ‘accommodate who’s in society and provide for them like we would anybody’.

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