My friend Andrea M. Rotondo wrote a very eye-opening and informational post for TPG titled “Plus-size flying: Tips for a more comfortable flight from a ‘passenger of size.'” She says the term “passenger of size” is “used for anyone who’s overweight or too large to potentially occupy one seat on an aircraft.”
I am not a passenger of size, so I’ve never had to deal with stares, frowns or nasty/rude comments from other passengers about my weight. But I know it’s a sensitive subject for everyone involved. However, I also think it’s important to address the issues that passengers of size must deal with when flying. For starters, a person of size doesn’t want to have to deal with negativity and judgment, while other flyers don’t want their personal space invaded.
I think airlines are partially to blame in the matter. After all, seats are getting narrower, planes are getting more crowded, and seating arrangements aren’t uniform, even among flights operated by the same airline. In any case, Andrea’s tips below offer great help to passengers of size:
- Always research aircraft and seating charts using the likes of SeatGuru before buying a seat.
- Research seatbelt length, too.
- Bring your own seatbelt extender just in case the airline runs out (though the FAA frowns upon this).
- If you think you’ll need the space, buy two seats together in advance (calling the airline is best). If the plane goes out with an empty seat, the airlines (especially Alaska and Southwest) will reimburse you the cost of the second seat.
More tips for passengers of size
Please read Andrea’s article in full as it’s extremely informative. And if you have your own tips that work for you, please share them below!
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