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Tips for flying as a plus size woman

I get anxious at the thought of flying. Not because i'm scared of the airplane, but because i'm scared of being on airplane while fat. I have gained weight this year and i'm now over 270lbs.

The last time I flew the seat was so tight, i barely fit in it.

Anyway I need to fly long distance soon and the thought of the flight has me so anxious cause I don’t think I’ll fit in the seat. Last time I flew was about 2 years ago and I did fit in the seat but in my head I imagined the people hated me.

I tried to get premium economy seats but the flight girl was telling me it won’t be much more width space then normal economy so I’m starting to lose my mind. I can't afford business, flight prices are really skyrocketing and there's no way I could spend that much on a return flight.

I guess I am looking for advice on flying while fat. I know i'll have to ask for a seatbelt extender. Is there a non-embarrassing way of doing that? Do I need to order it before hand?

What airlines have you flown before that have extra wide seats?

Thanks for your help.

Created: over 2 years ago
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over 2 years

Honey, I am 300lbs and I flew for the first time this summer. I was just as nervous as you, the covid restrictions and having to wear a mask on the plane also made me anxious.

Honestly, I did struggle a bit with room, but it was nothing unbearable. I had to ask for a seatbelter extender from the hostess because I barely got my seatbelt to fit. She was very friendly and discreet, which I appreciated.

Don't worry too much ok?

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over 2 years

If you can afford premium, then go for that. Even a few inches helps a lot plus premium means more legroom. You can check the dimensions of the seats on the airline's website. Which airline are you flying with?

If you're flying with Southwest and you're not able to put the armrest down, then they have this thing called their Customer Of Size Policy you can use.

That means you purchase your own seat but then you can get a free middle seat!

Southwest once had a bad reputation after a man was disembarked for being 'too fat to fly' but then have really turned it around with this one.

I think you can either purchase the additional seat in advance, and then get a refund after your flight, or request an additional seat when you arrive at check-in the day of your trip. I would contact them in advance so you don't feel anxious.

That's if you're flying with Southwest of course!

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over 2 years

Not just you! I love traveling, but having to cram into those small plane seats gives me anxiety. It's true about Southwest though. I requested an extra seat at the airport and they gave me one free of charge.

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over 2 years

You're gonna be just fine!

First of all, take a look at - they have detailed measurements of the width of seats for every airline and seating class, so you can find out how much room you'll have before booking.

If you're ever choosing between them, I'd recommend buying a second coach seat over upgrading to first class. Two coach seats is actually a lot more room for a lot less money than one first class seat. I don't know about premium economy, but I'm guessing it's not much more room than a coach seat. Get 2.

If you find yourself needing a seatbelt extender, they are readily available. You can ask any of the flight attendants for them, even as you pass them on the way in. And you are probably the fiftieth person to ask them that day, so really do not worry about it.

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angelikah OP
over 2 years

Thanks you're making me feel a lot better about this.

The flight I'm looking at is LA to London with American and British Airways. I thought I might ask for a seatbelt extender when I get on.. just in case

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over 2 years

I recently got on a fight and realized that the seat belt wouldnt do up once I sat down. I was too ashamed to say anything so I spent the entire flight with a blanket on my lap to cover it up.

After we landed I thought WTF was I thinking! I felt even worse that I let the fear of shame from others make me risk my safety on the airlaine. It was literally so stupid and so unsafe.

So for my return journey, I sucked it up and asked for an extender. The Flight attendant came and gave it to me and I saw a few people give a few looks but I soon forgot about it because it's not worth my safety and comfort for a few people being d-bags. TBH they probably forgot about it soon afterwards too. No one laughed.

The flight attended was so kind too. Ask for the extender. Don't be ashamed.

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over 2 years

Hi everyone, loving all your great tips

For long haul flights, I'd definitely recommend wearing DVT stockings - I mentioned them on our travel tips blog

If you are a regular flyer you could consider buying your own seatbelt extender but you do have to check with your airline if they are accepted.

Like @gorgeouscurves222 says, check out for a comparison or airline seats. and have a great trip @Angelikah 😀

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over 2 years

my biggest piece of advice? don't shame spiral yourself. you don't have anything to be ashamed of booking an extra seat or gettig a seat belt extender. ask for what you need. you got this.

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over 2 years

let us know how your flight goes! you'll be ok!

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about 2 years

I'm going on a long haul flight in exactly a month and the anxiety is already kicking in so I have an age old question for you, aisle or window?

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