UPDATED: January 20, 2015. Added information for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines. 

When Samoa Air announced it would begin charging passengers by weight, the airline industry buzzed with reports that overweight passengers should pay more for air travel. While the debate on passenger weight certainly isn’t new, airlines have been challenged to find ways to accommodate heavier travelers while pressured to sell seats and maintain customer safety and comfort.

Airline Policies for Overweight Passengers Traveling this Summer

Safety regulations from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandate that passengers must be able to lower their armrests and sufficiently buckle and fasten their seat belts. However, the average seat width for a domestic economy flight ranges from 17 to 19 inches between the armrests. So what happens when you can’t fit in the seat? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), airlines are not required by law to provide additional seating or an upgrade in the event additional space is required for a passenger.

There is no industry-wide policy, and each airline handles the situation differently. So, while we often get questions about passengers of size, it’s not a straightforward answer. Knowing the airlines’ policies can help you save money and avoid embarrassment while boarding. Here’s what we found by searching airline websites and calling them.

Domestic Airlines

Southwest Airlines:

Passengers who cannot fit into a seat must purchase an extra seat, either online or over the phone, although they offer cheaper rates over the phone for the extra seat. Southwest also advises that a passenger of size may contact them for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel.

Passengers of size who do not purchase an additional seat in advance have the option of purchasing just one seat and then discussing their seating needs with the Customer Service Agent at their departure gate. If it is determined that a second (or third) seat is needed, passengers will be accommodated with a complimentary additional seat(s). However, you may be bumped to another flight if no extra seating is available. Southwest Airlines’ width between armrests measures 17 inches.

Alaska Airlines:

Passengers who cannot fit comfortably in a seat with the armrests down must purchase a second seat. Those customers that choose not to purchase an additional seat cannot be guaranteed boarding. If you purchase the second seat at the time of original purchase, the second seat will be sold at the same rate. At a later date (or at the airport), the lowest ticket price available will be sold. If all legs of the flight have at least one empty seat, the second seat cost may be refunded post-travel. Alaska Airlines seat width is 17 inches.

American Airlines:

American Airlines requires passengers to purchase an additional seat or upgrade if they do not meet one of the following criteria:

  • Unable to fit into a single seat in their ticketed cabin and/or
  • Unable to properly buckle their seatbelt using a single seatbelt extender (available upon request from a flight attendant) and/or
  • Unable to lower both armrests without encroaching upon the adjacent seating space or another passenger.

American Airlines notes passengers to address their seating needs at the time of booking the original reservation. If seats are available in your ticketed cabin, you may be accommodated in the same cabin next to an empty seat. The additional seating must be available without downgrading or unseating another passenger. If time allows, and upon payment of the fare difference, you may be offered a seat in a higher class of service that may provide more space. If additional seating is not available, passengers may purchase a second adjacent seat on a different flight. The fare for the second seat will be the same as the original seat. American Airlines economy seat width ranges from 17 to 18 inches.

United Airlines:

Passengers traveling on United Airlines are required to purchase an additional seat or upgrade if they do not meet one of the following criteria:

  • The passenger must be able to properly attach, buckle and wear the seat belt, with one extension if necessary, whenever the seat belt sign is illuminated or as instructed by a crew member.
  • The passenger must be able to remain seated with the seat armrest(s) down for the entirety of the flight.
  • The passenger must not significantly encroach upon the adjacent seating space.

United will not board a passenger who declines to purchase a ticket for an additional seat or upgrade for each leg of their itinerary when required. The second seat may be purchased for the same fare as the original seat, provided it is purchased at the same time. A passenger who does not purchase an extra seat in advance may be required to do so on the day of departure for the fare level available on the day of departure. The passenger may instead choose to purchase a ticket for United First, United Business or United BusinessFirst, or elect to pay for an upgrade to a premium cabin if there is availability to do so. United Airlines economy seat width ranges from 17 to 18.3 inches.

Delta Airlines:

Delta does not require passengers who need a seat belt extender or are unable to lower the armrest to purchase additional seats. However, you may be asked to move to another location that provides additional space. In the event of a full flight you will be asked to take a later flight with available seating. To avoid this, Delta Airlines recommends that you purchase an additional seat. Economy seat width is 17.2 inches.

JetBlue Airways:

No clear policy is stated online. When calling Jetblue, they advised to either purchase an additional seat at the current price or opt for a seat belt extender. JetBlue seat belts are 45 inches in length and you can request 25 inch extensions on-board the aircraft. Economy seat width ranges from 17.8 to 18.25 inches. Passenger’s who cannot fit, will have to purchase an extra seat at the current fare offered.

Spirit Air:

No policy is published online. When calling Spirit Airlines, they will advise you to either purchase an additional seat at the same cost of the first seat, or to purchase a Big Front Seat which offers additional seat width. Economy seat width is 17.8 inches. Spirit Airlines offers Big Front Seats which is 18.5 inches wide.

Virgin America:

Persons of size are asked to purchase a second seat in advance. No specific rules in place for those who choose not to do so. For pricing, contact a representative at the time of booking. A refund may be requested post travel if the flight was not at capacity or overbooked. Virgin America Economy seat width is 17.7 inches.

While we wish there was a standard industry wide policy, the reality is that each airline handles overweight travelers differently. International carriers are no exception. For example, in Canada, forcing one passenger to buy two seats is illegal on domestic flights, because Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that charging extra to someone who is “functionally disabled by obesity” is discriminatory.

To book an extra seat for yourself you will need to call and speak with a travel advisor who can assist you since each airline’s policy is different. For the most up to date information, please contact us at 1-800-243-2724 or e-mail us at support@cheapair.com.

Was this helpful for you? What do you think about these policies?


  1. Thank you! It’s great to have someone attempt to get the info out of the airlines but there is more than a bit of disconnect when it comes to the real world, in my experience. Have you tried to purchase an additional seat on-line? I have. The system didn’t allow the purchase of two seats with the same passenger name.

    Regardless of the question of whether charges related to size are appropriate, what difference does ‘policy’ make if you can’t implement it?

    • Hi April,

      Thank you for your feedback. The airline policy determines how the airline handles a passenger who requires an extra seat. Since the policy is not standard across all airlines in the industry, our website will not allow a customer the option to enter the same name twice when attempting to purchase an extra seat. Airlines often will require some additional information informing them of the extra seat requested. For customer’s who would like to purchase an extra seat, we strongly recommend calling our travel advisors who can assist with requesting extra seat space.

      • Someone below said they ordered a seat extender from Amazon, however your discussion above stated one must get the extender from the airline. I’d hate to see someone buy from Amazon only to get to airport to find they had wasted their money.

        • I have purchased a seatbelt extender on amazon and used it several times on flights. I think the key is being discreet about it – each time I used it, I have been wearing a light jacket that covers most of the belt, so the FA’s have never even given me a second glance.

          • Thanks for this information. Which airline did you use?> Were you in economy seating? I am obese due to thyroid removal, steroids for asthma and eyesight (steroid shots).

          • I purchased extenders on Amazon as well, I use them every time I fly. I’ve used them on Delta, Frontier, and United. FYI though for those who choose to do this be sure you get the correct extender. Type A works for the majority of carriers but I know that Southwest uses type B, but I got a deal on Amazon so I just ordered both and keep them stored in the internal compartment of my carry-on ready to roll each time. All of these flights I’ve used them on have been post 2012 when they tried to say they don’t work. I am not trying to embarrass myself so I bought my own to keep from having to ask the attendant for one or to buy additional seats when all I need is like 2 inches usually! Geebies these people need to catch up with society, folks may not like it but there aren’t too many people I know in reality that can fit comfortably for 3 hours in a 17 inches wide seat.

    • Southwest actually tells you to put your name with “XS” as the middle name (I’m assuming for “extra seat”, although I stumbled when I first read it because, “wait-extra small?!”

      • Has anyone in this post ever thought about just loosing weight to be the size of a normal responsible person? If you have the ability to purchase an airline ticket, drive yourself to the airport and board a plane, then there is absolutely NO reason you can’t drive yourself to the gym and start loosing weight. It is embarrassing that Americans believe that the world needs to be morphed to accommodate lazy people. Look in the mirror, have some control and grow up.

        • Sure, yeah, I’ve thought about it. Hell, I’ve done that for the last 3 years, 2 hours a day, 4 times a week. I don’t get smaller. My thyroid is kind a jerk like that. Thanks for thinking we’re all lazy, though! It sure helps my self esteem.

          • Thank you Emma! I work out and eat better than most of my skinny friends yet the weight doesn’t fly off me … Thanks thyroid for being a**!

          • I’ve delt with Graves an Hashimoto’s for the past 8 years. I’m not lazy. Having thyroid problems doesn’t make you lazy because you gain weight from it and lose your hair. Some people have health problems that cause weight gain. So before people assume anything, they need to think before making a hateful and ignorant comment.

          • Stay encouraged Emma!! Some ppl are thoughtless and careless with their comments

          • Agreed! I have had a personal trainer I have met with 3 Times a week for two years documented at that, play in leagues for paintball, softball, and volleyball, have done 6 5k events in the last three years and still needed to look into this information! Keep your nose in your business and be a decent human being!!!

          • Oh Judy, you’re so smart. I’m glad you aren’t ignorant. I have lyme disease and can barely move some days, but of course, that makes me a lazy, stupid American who wants airlines and all else to change for me. That is not what this post is about, rather learning how to travel comfortably. I have wide hips, always have even when a size 12 (Marilyn Monroe’s size, btw). I suppose you think you’re smart. Before my late stage lyme disease I worked out with a trainer, worked full-time and led an active lifestyle. Now I barely travel and it is not because of my weight. I hope people don’t judge you the way you judge others because you sounds like a miserably human being. I genuinely feel sorry for you. I can lose weight (and am), but seems like you can’t lose your attitude. For that, again, I feel sorry for you and those around you. You are the epitome of intolerance and i hope your husband, children or loved ones get overweight and you have to look in the mirror with them. YOU grow up, honey.

          • what a un-knowledgeable person you are! Do you know ANYTHING about medical problems that keep you over weight?? Get out and live in the world!!

          • Who appointed you to judge? In my Bible only the good lord can. Shame on you for being ugly!

        • Hard to believe but true…some of us have medical conditions that make it very difficult to simply lose weight. I have no problem sitting in my car, on a standard office chair or on a public bus. Maybe….just maybe airline seats are not designed to accommodate the measurements of most average people. And certainly not for those of us who are above average in every way.


        • So, let me get this straight! You came on a this site just to be a complete idiot. Well since you want to hide behind a computer screen I hope you feel better about yourself. Judy everyone who is over weight is not lazy. Some has medical issue that causes weight gain. Enjoy your sad life and I hope one day you will grow up as well. How about you look in the mirror and although I am pretty sure you hate yourself, you need to realize you are a bully!

        • What gives you the right to judge anyone. Unless your name is God you dont have that right. Discrimination is discrimination no matter what it is for race, age, religion, and yes weight. Yes some may be able to control their size while many more cannot. But who are you to say go to the gym. What is embarrassing is Americans who still think they are perfect and everyone should conform to some cookie cutter image that you have decided is right for everyone else.

        • You have no right to tell people what to do. Last I checked this was a free country. Also, please learn how to spell.

        • Judy-I am 6ft5 and about 340 lbs today. Even at this weight, its not my belly or butt that is the problem. My shoulders are 22 inches wide. I have to get an isle seat every flight and do an east coast lean and get hit by every person walking the isle. I can go on a hunger strike and lose weight to 180 and my shoulders will still be an issue. I am sooooo sorry that I don’t fit in your 5’9 160 lb aircraft world.

          • Same here… I’m 6′ 5″ with 22 inch wide shoulders. It’s uncomfortable for everybody. The only seat that fits is first class.

          • Judy booty you are a very small minded person .
            Have you even considered that some people
            might have a medical condition that causes them
            to be over weight like a thyroid problem.
            Or maybe have been through a trauma that caused
            depression or anxiety that keeps them confined
            to ther home not every one that is overweight is lazy
            some people just can’t lose weight regardless of
            how much they diet and exercise simply because of
            how they are sick or even a eating disorder or born
            that way. Judy you need too keep your childish comments in that hollow space between your ears.
            Some people just can’t help it for one reason or
            another you should be ashamed of yourself!!!!!
            Or you might just find yourself having to pay extra
            for a second seat when you are old gray and fat
            It really sounds like you are ether a child or just a small
            Minded person you are a prime example of what
            Is wrong with the world today this kind of mindset
            Is why we have problems with judge mental bigots

          • I voted for trump and am 300 lbs due to chronic pain and cant exercise. We are not racist, sexist, insensitive self-righteous jerks. “It’s the economy stupid”. to quote someone.

          • I understand people have medical conditions but that does not give an overweight person the right to make a fellow passengers flight miserable. It is unfortunate but if you are that weight, purchase two tickets or drive if you can. For those that have medical issues others should not have to suffer beacause of PERSONAL issues.

            Go Trump!

        • Are you kidding me? look, not only does this comment affects me but also affects many men and women all over the world. I understand what you are trying to say but it’s the way you are saying it that makes this whole comment sound ridiculous. My weight is something I’ve been struggling with since I was 12, or 13 years old. I am now 24 years old. I lost a lot of weight in high school and went down to 165lbs, which was okay for me because I’m 5’9. Since college, I have gain over a hundred pounds which is of course embarrassing and I hate myself for gaining so much weight but it’s not something that can be easily controlled. Unless you have serious weight problems, you have no idea how difficult it is to loose weight and for me, especially, it was even more difficult because I have PCOS. Look it up…weight gain is one of the major symptoms, so trying to get my weight under control is a priority of mine but it’s going to take some time. So do you think that I shouldn’t board the plane, unless I lose 50 or something pounds? do you have any idea how difficult that is going to be? Lets just say, I may not be able to visit my family if so, because visiting my love ones kind of requires flying to see them. So you know what…I know I am overweight but I’m not going to let it control my life. This Friday I’m flying JetBlue airlines to visit my mom and brother, and frankly, I’m a little scared. I didn’t purchased a second seat, but I did buy a seat belt extender on amazon that looks exactly like the seat belt extenders you request on the airlines itself. So I know that is going to fit, plus I order a seat that has extra leg room and is against the window, which might make this whole situation a little bit. So honesty, all I need is to be positive and try to look at the bigger picture than just focus on the small picture, which in this case is my weight. I am visiting my family and right now, that’s all that matters to me.

          • Katherine, I was just wondering how you made out on your flight. Next month my daughter and I will be flying and she is at least 150 overweight. I am stressing out right now because I am not sure she will fit in the seat. I am going to order the seat belt extender. I was going to book us in an exit seating, but when I read the requirements of sitting there it stated you couldn’t use an extender. Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Thank you.

          • Hi Katherine how did you make out on your flight and where did you purchase the seat belt extender that was a good fit.

          • I will be flying for the first time ever to Oakland. How was the seating in JetBlue for your flight home? I’m small at top but bottom heavy with a lot of hips do I need to know how the seats are.

            I want to order a seat belt extender as well so can you email me at waleisahwilson@gmail.com with the link to the one you purchased? Thanks.

        • My husband is a self loading truck driver who works 80/90 hours a week, He is a 6ft 3inch 380 pound man who has never been LAZY a day in his life. People like you are why our country is filled with un rest. to spew out such ugliness about people you do not know. I pray you never find yourself in a situation where you have others JUDGE you only on what they see and not for what is within….

        • “Loosing” is to make something tight become less tight. “Losing” is to misplace or reduce something. Spelling DOES matter

        • That’s pretty harsh. I’m not overweight and think you are rude. Some people actually have medical reasons as certain medications cause weight/water gain. I do agree that some people do need to get up and start loosing versus stuffing their faces and want special treatment.

        • The most dumbest and insensitive comment I have ever read. You need sensitivity training or maybe your genetics will surprise you in a few years with 80 pounds you will never be able to lose. Airlines don’t care about people. They will someday reap their reward for insensitivity too.

        • to judy booty,by your comments you are living up to your name! How dare you!! My husband is over weight he broke his back at no fault of his own defending our country! This a man that ran 5 miles and worked out 2 to 3 hours a day. He feels bad enough, that he can not do what he used to.With doctors help he Will lose the weight for himself. Maybe you need to look in the mirror and see the ugly person you really are! Don’t take out your insecurities on others!!!!!!!

        • What an incredibly insensitive and entitled comment! Shame. It is you who should be embarrassed.

        • Excellent point. Asking obese people to take personal responsibility for their weight is the issue. What right does an obese person have to encroach into the seat space of an adjacent seat/passenger?

          • I blame the airlines. There is simply no room between seats. Nobody is comfortable. Leg room is horrible too. Frankly, the number of overweight people is rising every year. There are many reasons. Who are you to judge others? However, I do understand your right to get the space you pay for. Stand with us against the airlines and stop putting us down. How about that?

        • Judy Booty, perhaps stop misusing language like an uneducated troll. Loosing means to loosen. Losing means to lose. So its LOSE weight. Which you’ve clearly done -cerebrally. Stop being a nasty troll. Or at least demonstrate adequate command of the english language.

        • Not everyone is “lazy” as you call it. Some people have health issues and thus are heavy set. I hope you will NEVER get sick like that because you would not be able to stand yourself, Enjoy your Gym time!

        • Are you serious? You do know there are people in this world who suffer from certain conditions that causes them to put on extra pounds… You do know that certain medications cam also cause a person to gain weight and some people was born genetically with thicker thighs n maybe a bigger booty.. Just because a person is overweight doesnt mean they are lazy or any of that other mean hatred BS that you said. Shame on you for making such an ignorant comment. Some people have curves and others are a bit leaner. Either way you are no one to judge the next human.. Tisk tisk

        • What an ignorant jerk. Otherwise, you’d know that NOTHING is that simple. There is much truth in what you say, but by the time a person is SO massively obese, there are far stronger issues in operation than the desire to keep eating self -destructive food. Believe it or not, no one WANTS to live as severely out-of-step with the others in her environment. Unfortunately (for them) some obese, or otherwise atypical persons need or want to fly commercially, and deserve to be accommodated in a descrete, considerate manner. If accommodation isn’t possible every effort must be made to offer the atypical would-be flyer an appropriate placement on the NEXT possible flight, with THEM as the priority. At any rate, NO SHAMING !!!!

        • Some people have health issues and have to take medications that both cause weight gain and slow their metabolism making it almost impossible to lose weight. You should not judge…obviously, you are lucky enough to not have experienced the nightmare of obesity…

        • The solution to losing weight can’t always be solved by going to a gym. Not everyone has the same reason for being overweight so why don’t you take your own advice by growing up and not criticizing people for what you think the solution should be.

          I love this resource, not all airlines are created equal and when wanting larger family members and friends to travel places its nice to find a site that gives you an idea of the policies out there.

        • You are Soo ignorant!!!! You and like minded people are the reason why people of all shapes sizes gender religion and race fight for acceptance and tolerance! Pretty sad to see that are still bullies out there no matter what age

        • You are a person who is not informed of problems people have concerning weight. There are people who have thyroid problems among many many other problems that can cause a person to be over weight. Before you open your mouth next time, make yourself informed about why this could be. If you don’t you just make yourself bad and just plain mean to others.

        • That is rude . You know you just might see in a few years some weight gain that you can’t get rid of. Have you heard about karma?in my younger days I was a model and quite beautiful. I sways said I would never get “fat”. I exercised cardio all the time. Fast forward….. I’m 100 pounds overweight. I have no thyroid. The month I had my thyroid removed , I gained 30 pounds. So Judy booty sit down and shut up .

        • Your ridiculous post just shows how ignorant you are in assuming all overweight people are “just lazy ” there are medical reasons for some and other reasons for many . I know you MUST have an overweight family member I hope you would not post this to them !!! you should be ashamed of yourself . Just stupid !!!

        • Some people have medical issues that do not allow them to lose weight. Its not just a lazy thing.

        • I am disabled.. I have someone drive me to the airport and help me board and I require help when I arrive as well. I take massive amounts of steroids and I’m diabetic with a hereditary heart defect … so you miserable mean person … I can’t do a darn thing about my weight. I think you should spend more time thinking “there but for the grace of God go I”. There is no need to be vicious.

        • I don’t think you should be quick to judge others, unless you know them. I know there are some people out there like you said but, I also know of people that have health issues. Here are a few heart disease, thyroid, fatty liver, lung disease.

        • Your comments are rude and completely ignorant. Overweight does not equate to lazy. I am 175 lbs, 5 foot 4 and wear a size 7/8. By standards I am considered overweight but I have great blood pressure, not diabetic, and am in good health. You grow up and learn tolerance…and compassion. You don’t know everyone’s story.

        • My son was rail thin, but he had to go on anti-psychotic meds and he ballooned in weight so that he is close to 300 lbs. It is not just “control” Judy Booty jerkface.

        • Shame on you, you have no idea the situation each individual faces you are nobody to judge the people of size. Equality to all is what the airlines are trying to propose and your ignorance and prejudice on the matter is very disrespectful and unnecessary. If you want to encourage people then do so, but trying to shame them for being heavier that is just spiteful you foolish person.

        • Judy Booty, I hope you are never in a position where you have to show tact and consideration for others. You will fail miserably. Since you think you are without flaws, you may want to see someone about that.

        • Im big, not fat. I have been this size since I was 19. I weigh about 20 lbs more than i did then and Im 63. My shoulders are 23″ wide my hips are 15″. My thighs are 27″ long. I can barely fit in the main cabin seats. The people next to me have to deal with my shoulders. I think the airlines should take into account that people are different and not cram them into the same seats. A kid or person that is under 5′ tall should have smaller seats. 5′ to 6′ should have a range and above 6′ another. If you want this size seat you have to fit those parameters unless there is overflow. I do not care about the free drinks in ‘comfort’. I dont even like to sit beside someone who gets hammered on the free drinks. It seams that if they took 6″ out of 6 rows they could put 6″ in 6 rows and charge everyone the same.

        • I struggled with my weight for years then lost a considerable amount of weight over a two year period. I am 5 ft 7 inches and the only clothes I could fit into were size 10-12 from the children’s section. When I was over weight everyone wanted me to lose weight after I lost the weight all I heard was you need to gain weight. What I learned is that it didn’t matter what I did everyone would have negative comments to make! Ten years ago I was severely injured at work( I worked in on the mental Heath inpatient ward) a patient attacked me and it took 4 security guards to remove the patient off of me. My upper spinal cord was damaged beyond repair. After being out of work I went back for 7 years which caused chronic damage. I could no longer work and became severely depressed. Physically I could not do much physically. Lifting something as small as a gallon of milk is no longer possible as 5 out of 10 times I will drop it and bending down or getting on my knees to clean it up causes excruciating pain. Due to depression and lack of being able to do a lot of types of physical activity I have gained weight. I now weigh 230 lbs and wear a size 18 or 20 pants. The one true passion I have left is traveling and meeting new people. Sightseeing and exploring this beautiful world we all live in. I have aluways had wide shoulders and large breasts. I have learned ignore people like you! You do it know anyone’s story and I believe even if you did you would have no empathy anyway. I feel sorry for people like you who choose to be judgmental.

        • No what’s embarrassing is you can’t even spell. Instead of wasting time with your negative comments you should try broadening your vocabulary. “Loosing weight”….wow.

        • Everyone on here besides Judy Booty can spell. This idiot had the most negative comments but can’t even spell right….”Loosing weight”….uneducated fool

        • If you are claiming all over weight people are lazy you are wrong. Also if you are going to insult people be sure to use proper grammar. People should lose weight not loose weight. It is ignorant people like you who raise bully’s, a bigger problem in America than fat people purchasing airline tickets.

        • You have some nerve posting a comment without giving any thought to why a person may be plus size!
          What about people who are ill and take one or more of the many medications that cause weight gain even when your caloric intake is low? What about those people that are too ill to exercise on top of that?
          What about disabled people who have very limited ability to move around? You are a heartless person that obviously hasn’t once given a thought about others. Despite my anger, I do not wish any of these circumstances on you. Have some compassion…you might be a happier person if you did!

        • Judy, please don’t make generalized statements that include all people in a lump sum manner. I am a 72 yo woman who is overweight and I have multiple medical issues that leave me disabled and in great pain. I am able to drive- tho long distances are a killer. I can walk from a disabled space to the door of Walmart to get into a cart. Due to arthritis and neuropathy, I cannot exercise without great pain even on appropriate pain killers. While I agree with a majority of what you said (I was a nurse for 37 years and understand the medical implications of not exercising), still there are always an exception to the rule, so try not to be judgemental– you don’t always know the whole story with strangers. I’m just glad I don’t have to fly any more than I do for emergencies.

        • Judy, people have issues not all cut and dry as you make it. May want to think before you speak, obviously heartless.

          • Hi all, Moderator here again. I have to remind people again that we can’t post any comments with profanity. It’s worth mentioning because we’ve seen otherwise very insightful posts go unread by those on this thread for one word that makes it unpublishable. Please do not use any profanity in your responses.

        • Many people have weight problems due to health reasons. Low thyroid cause me to put a quick 50 pounds on in a matter of months. Also, some people take medication such as anti depressants, steroids or insulin which can cause weight gain. Why don’t you keep your thoughts to yourself instead of smacking your lips about something you know nothing about.

        • Wow, Judy, what tremendous judgement you are in of others. Like others have replied, it is not always natural for some people to be, what you call, a “normal” weight. I am a musical theater performer and have strength, grace and flexibility that you would not believe if you didn’t see me actually demonstrate it on stage. My roommates are skinny and eat the worst foods and so much of it. When we eat together they have seconds and still pick at the food I don’t finish! So many “normal-weight” people have high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, but my bloodwork results are amazing. A few times in my life I let the pressure to be thin get to me and practically starved myself as was evident when I started losing hair and my bloodwork showed I had anemia. Even then, my body would not Drop below a size 10. So explain that! I know it is difficult not to be in judgement in this culture that despises fat people. There is an assumption that every single person can just skip off to a gym and be thin, but some people have medical conditions that don’t allow for this. Then there are others who eat well and exercise and are healthy but not thin. And still there are others who are fat and just don’t do anything about it. Whatever the reason, judgement is a strain on all of us – those being judged and those doing the judging. But try doing what I do, dancing in heavy costumes under hot lights eight shows a week and add extra hours of rehearsal on top of that, then tell me I should be doing more. But people may look at me (and other heavy people) and may only ever be able to see an over indulgent fat slob, and that is not only cruel but a shame.

        • what an a*s. I go to the gym 3 times a week. I have been eating whole clean green food for the last 3 1/2 years and have only lost 60 lbs. about 150 to go. I am having surgery in Dec but most of us don’t
          choose to be this way or want to stay this way. Control has nothing to do with it and neither does being
          immature. You views however, do show a great amount of immaturity.

        • Judy, Wow! You’re so insufferable. Let’s hope no health issues creep up in your life outside of your control. Take care and brighten up a bit.

        • Perhaps you could look at the latest research on obesity. Dieting, ‘control’, exercise, ‘laziness – all have no real long term effect on obesity and overweight. Airlines may set the policies they need to, It sounds like overweight passengers just want to clearly know the policies beforehand, and avoid being embarrassed at the airport. Is that so much to ask? I guess it is too much of judgmental, cruel people such as you.

        • How dare you to tell someone to grow up and drive themselves to the gym because they have a weight problem its not as easy for everyone so you grow up and and stop thinking one way and have some sympathy and compassion for those who are trying

        • Come on Judy, you’re better than this. First off, you are categorizing everyone that cannot fit into a seat as an overweight person. I, for example, fit fine in the seat itself, but have very wide shoulders so unless I hold my arms tightly inward, I spill over into someone else’s seat. By the way Judy, the Army built me this way so that folks like you could run their mouth.

        • You are rude and very uneducated!! People all vary in size and shape, it’s ok that some people are bigger. Some people are just big people and it doesn’t matter how much they go to a gym, it’s their body type and in their DNA, you do understand heredity??!! right?? People should not be embarrassed by their weight when boarding an airplane. there should be large seats to accommodate them!! You need to grow up yourself and understand God created us all different!!

        • Typical judgemental, ignorant person…not everyone who is overweight is lazy. Illness, medication,etc. How do you like being called names?

        • Judy, What a sad life you must have that you would come on here and tell complete strangers to simply just lose weight! Who do you think you are? Not all heavy people are lazy. Some have medical conditions. Its sad to think that some people cant or wont fly to see family because of the stares and laughs from horrible people like yourself! Grow up.

        • Wow Judy, not very smart comment. I can sit here and call you names and trash you the way you did with your very disrespectful comment, but then I would be doing the same thing you did. All I will say is I hope and pray you change your ways of living life and caring for others because its a sad way of living when all you do is bash, trash, and bully others all the while not knowing exactly what each person is going through. I’m a bigger guy, I lost my wife and 2 kids due to a drunk driver. I went in hiding for 2 years, eating garbage and drinking everyday, giving up on life, gaining a ton of weight. I am doing something about it now, but I pray for you. I will not pre-judge you as to why you made that comment, only hope you sincerely do not live your life like that. God Bless You Judy,

        • Gosh Judy, thanks for the advice. I wish I could offer you a solution to your attitude of superiority. Why did you waste your time reading the article if you obviously don’t care a wit about other people’s situations?

        • How dare you? Have you ever thought about driving yourself to a psychiatrist’s office to address your repulsive angry behavior? Your comment is disgusting- you’re the one who needs to grow up!

        • So… because I’m strong enough to flip your little euro-car, I’m lazy? Maybe the real problem is puny little snobs that are too mentally lazy to have a modicum of common sense and self-control. HIT THE GYM and shut your mouth!

        • Yeah, I got cancer and laid in bed for 2 years due to extreme illness. Really was lazy of me. Seriously?

        • I’m going to refrain saying what is truly on my mind when I read comments like yours. Being larger is NOT just about people being lazy. There are numerous medical conditions that keep people from losing weight. Please educate yourself before making general assumptions about people. It’s just not that cut and dried. I don’t know anything about you but your comment comes off a bit rude and intolerable. It is irresponsible for you to make comments such as that.

        • Wow, now why didn’t we think of that? Glad you were here to point that out. It’s shame your advice wasn’t given to God when some of us were made with physical disabilities which cause our bodies not to respond to foods properly, like those of us with thyroid malfunctions. And by the way, have YOU ever thought about going to college to get an education and learn how to spell? It’s embarrassing that Americans like you can’t spell simple words such as “losing” which you wrongly spelled as “loosing.” Furthermore, if you were educated you would know that not everyone who is overweight is overeating their food. I’d rather be classified as “lazy” than uneducated and stupid like you. Your comments are ignorant.

        • Well I mean what’s worse? A fat person trying to travel, or a skinny person taking the time to fat shame who can’t spell “losing”. If you have enough time to troll sites, maybe you have enough time to enroll in an online college? Have some control and grow up.

        • Judy Booty, wow. No one on here was saying that policies should be changed to accommodate lazy people. These are PEOPLE we are talking about. Lazy or not, who cares- they still deserve to understand what to expect when engaging in facets of society that normal-sized people take for granted. Your ignorance is showing.

        • Judy Booty so perfect and has no idea or no ability to put herself into the shoes of others, doesn’t understand medical issues, doesn’t care about the person, just about her messed up perception of the person. Judy Booty with no flaws, no vices, nothing she does that is not entirely perfect. She never drank or ate or did a single thing in excess. She doesn’t pray and is not a Christian. Or is she? Are Christians full of hate? Well, I am off to the gym, Judy. Not too lazy to drive so this trip should be all it takes to get my horribleness into a standard seat, should take just a few minutes, nevermind the bolts and screws holding my body together, because, you know, there is just no excuse for not taking a jog on the regular. While I am at it, Judy Booty, I will see if I can scrub my skin clean, if I can wash away my race and gender, because I don’t want to be seen as lazy. I don’t want to be a less-than-human object of your disgust.

        • Judy,
          When you learn how to spell “losing”… that’s when I might consider taking advice from you.

        • What is someone like you doing even reading this article?!! YOU need to look in the mirror, have some control and grow up! I hope you have a morbidly obese person next to you on your next flight. You deserve worse for such a rude and ignorant comment. So easy to criticize and make fun online. DO IT TO OUR FACES!! i dare you! Do it!

        • Until you have walked in there shoes JUDY BOOTY don’t just assume that loosing weight is so easy for them. You JUDY BOOTY are not a very educated person. I agree with Canada’s ruling on the matter..

          • Oh and PS JUDY BOOTY I SPELLED LOSING AS YOU DID (loosing)msg you would understand my drift.

        • JUDY BOOTY,

          Let me start by saying that I’m not the one in the situation of been overweight, but a love one is. I would love to travel with him but we can’t! Not because we can’t afford a second seat but because he doesn’t want to deal with people like you!!! People who are not kind, who judge others without knowing their struggle. Been overweight is not something you can change easily when there are medical confition.

          This was not the place for you to make those remark as you can see now. Next time you find yourself in a similar situation, please think for a second and choose your word carefully!

        • I know being the inconsiderate “booty” that you obviously are, you are not going to care that I respond to your comment, especially since you made it well over a year ago, but my research brought me across your words. Just because someone is overweight does not mean they are lazy, many factors affect weight, not just activity levels or eating habits, so why don’t you take your own advice because you need to look in the mirror grow up and accept that people thankfully were not created to please someone like you and you need to get over yourself and since so much time has passed since you posted your opinion, may this reply find you a few pounds heavier. Have a nice day!

        • With a name like that you sound like a how first in for most, second you don’t have to bash overweight people in some cases it’s hard to get the weight off because of some of the we have that makes it very difficult to loose weight it can’t just come off so easily like myself so know what you talk about before you judge

        • Judy….it’s “losing”, not “loosing”. No one is accommodating overweight people. Do you even know that the extra seat they are forced to buy can be resold to fill the plane, without a refund to the original customer? If they can sell the seat and put someone in it, a second seat did not need to be purchased by the “overweight” person. Do you also know that there are a myriad of diseases and medications that cause weight gain? That someone who has rheumatoid arthritis can gain a lot of weight because they CAN’T walk, or run or exercise? Of course you don’t know any of this. You’re a judgemental nitwit who most likely depends on her looks instead of her brain. Anyone who calls themselves “Judy Booty” can’t be too swift.

        • Has anyone told you you are an asshole judy? I was a normal size until I had to have 6 surgies due to illness and had to take steriods for over a year. Some people are looked at as lazy everyday for being over weight bit dont have a choice. I personally have worked out (the most i can) and eat healthy (now that i dont need a feeding tube) and still im 200 lbs because i can’t loose weight taking steriods. So before judging ask yourself, am i that person? Do i

        • While your statement is generally accurate, the way that you said it came across as extremely rude. I’m sorry that you’re offended when you see a fat person like myself, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that strangers aren’t aware of.

          10 years ago I retired as a US military officer. I was in perfect physical shape, 5’9″, 120lbs, working out everyday and looking great. One day I noticed that despite maintaining the same diet I’ve always eaten, I was gaining obscene amounts of weight. (approx 2lbs a week/100lbs a year) in 21/2 years my weight jumped from 120 to 390, and I went from a size 6 to a 4x. My doctors all fed me the same line… diet, exercise, limit caloric intake and things would stabilize. (It didn’t) In 2016 I beat the odds and survived a “widowmaker” heart attack, and as part of followup care I met a new doctor. He listened to my story. He ran tests. He ordered an MRI of my brain, and after it all he confirmed that a rare pituitary tumor was the root of my weight gain, and that I was suffering from Cushing’s Disease. To fix it, doctors put a huge probe up my nose, chipped a hole in my skull behind my nasal passage and *carefully* removed the tumor at the base of my brain. (Google Transsphenoidal surgery for more information) FWIW, more exercise wasn’t an option. By the time a doctor finally made an accurate diagnosis I had gained 275lbs. The weight added an enormous strain to my body, while my body dissolved my muscles to produce more fat. My legs disintegrated to half their original circumference, and I could only walk 20-30 yards at a time, I suffered from constant fatigue, uncontrollable tremors, high blood pressure, astronomically high cholesterol, etc.

          Through this all I’ve come to learn who my friends were, and who the judgemental jerks in my life were. I’ll NEVER forget some of the fat comments and “just eat less” or “just exercise more” comments from people like you. 1 year post op I’ve lost 80 lbs, all without changing my diet. I can fix being fat, but being insensitive and rude to others is a much bigger challenge to beat.

        • Judy you are a idiot. You assume that every overweight person is just fat AND lazy. I weigh 275+ lbs and have served previously in the USMC and State Law Enforcement. For you to make a statement like that is just ignorant.

        • WOW!!! You are amazing and so stupid to think all fat people are lazy and irresponsible! Who needs to grow up? You must be highly uneducated and lead a life in a very warped perfect world. You are pathetic and I’m ashamed to think you are an American of course that is an assumption. If so you are the one who needs to grow up and treat all people with dignity and respect across the board! Each person has a different story and obviously you’re too shallow to see that!

        • Have you ever thought about how miserable of a soul you are to comment like that for attention grow up.I am a 350 pound construction worker 60+ hours a week climbing stairs ladders and scaffolds, I’m far from lazy point being just because you are overweight doesn’t always mean your lazy, I also had a kidney transplant 7 years ago so steroids don’t help either could probably of went on disability over transplant but work instead so don’t always assume!!

        • Did you know that plus size models are now welcomed on the Runway in most fashion shows and in Sports Illustrated. And that the medical community now acknowledges that for some people their weight is not actually about how much they eat or excersie. Maybe you should read a little more instead of hanging out at the gym.

        • Wow Judy! Thanks so much for thinking of all of us poor lazy people. I’ll make sure to tell my chemo drugs and steroids to stop making me gain weight. Also, go back to school. It’s “losing” not “loosing”.

        • You’re obviously really stupid to generalize all overweight people are lazy. Easy to sit there and just to say go to the gym and lose weight but it’s not that easy for some people. So stfu! Nothing is black and white in this world. If you think that you’re an idiot.

        • Judy Booty… WOW, did you recently take a sensitivity training course?! Do you HONESTLY & TRULY BELIEVE that someone who’s obese (as defined by AMA) doesn’t want to change??? Often there are SERIOUS, POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING medical conditions that prohibit “driving to gym”. I must say you alone and not the obese DISGUST ME! I’ll gladly share 1/2 my seat rather than have someone so ugly and hateful sit next to me on a plane!

        • Its “LOSING” not “LOOSING”. Perhaps you should go and learn how to spell before coming on here and insulting people. All you are doing is showing how truly ignorant you are….

        • When you’re through condescending to others, YOU might “Look in the mirror, grow up”… and learn to spell “losing”.

        • rude people who have no idea of medical complications causing weight issues should consider a labotomy. and take etiquite classes.


        • Hey Judy Booty.. Have you ever given any thought that some folks are big due to medical reasons ? Have you ever thought maybe YOU shouldn’t open your mouth unless i know the facts first ? Oh btw.. its “losing” not loosing moron.. Why don’t you go back to school and learn how to spell..

        • Obviously a perfect person posted this. While we’re at it maybe we should get rid of evrerybody who doesn’t fit your standards. And keep on making assumptions about people you know absolutely nothing about.

        • Wow. Have you ever considered that there may be health reasons involved? Not all heavy people are lazy. Learn to be wiser and kinder by firstly not stereotyping and secondly, how about a little kindness. I don’t believe you are the original Judge Judy!! SHAME on YOU!

        • Really. Maybe people like you should never reproduce or be aloud to breathe. The fact that you have the audacity to be like “lose weight before you board a plane”. How about instead of judging someone by their physical appearance you just not speak. I’m guessing you were brought up without the, “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” lecture. People like you make me want to gain weight and walk around naked just so you can feel uncomfortable with all my fatness.

        • Your comments are ignorant and insensitive. Not everyone who struggles with weight is lazy. I pray the Lord convicts your heart regarding these snide comments.

        • How insensitive are you!!! Heaven help you if you are injured so severely that you can’t drive yourself to the gym, or end up with a medical condition or a crappy doctor that prescribed you a medication that only allows you to gain weight, and not be able to loose it, what a hateful worthless person you are!!!

        • I can’t believe anybody is even answering you! Nobody has to justify themselves to you! You have no idea what goes on in people’s lives and what they are going through so maybe you should keep your comments and stupidity to yourself

        • and did you ever think about changing your name from something as stupid as Judy booty? Maybe you could shut your judgmental, condescending mouth?

        • Miss Judy

          Why so nasty? Why so angry? Why so full of hatred because of the size of someone. The forum was asking how to be accommodated. Be it buying another seat or using a seat belt extender. If you don’t need those things why are you on here? Clearly you believe you are Christ and have no faults. Lol. Girl you have issues!

        • To Judy -It’s funny you tell someone to grow up when you sound like a 5th grader , people are here to receive information not listen to your sudo attempt at trolling find another format to use as your sounding board until that soap box gets kicked out from under you

        • Nice trolling
          You’re input is useless and malicious. Grow up. Some people actually have medical conditions and I hope when you need accommodations later in life you are treated with the same respect you give to these people.

        • I cant believe someone whould be this rude. Its likd telling an unatative person “Hey you’ve got a job do somdthing with yourself. Cosmetic surgey is available for all. You are just ugly because you want to.” Gotta be a Trump supporter.

        • You are an ignorant cow with little or a lack of understanding as to why some people look the way they do. Think before you post.

        • There is absolutely no reason you can’t drive yourself to the library, peruse a dictionary, and raise yourself above the miasma of American illiteracy.

        • Hey Judgemental Judy. If you are going to judge people so harshly, learn how to spell. “Loosing” weight? Really? If I was as judgemental as you, I might say, get a college education. I mean that would be what a “normal, responsible person” would do, right?

        • Wow, what a jerk you are, Judy. It is my fervent prayer that YOU have a severe accident that renders you handicapped and unable to do exercises so that you gain significant weight and are unable to be the “size of a normal responsible person.”

        • I was twiggy until I hit 47 when I began gaining weight without a change in behavior. In fact, like you I was snarky about heavy people. Unbearable, in fact. And then, my body changed. In one year I was a different person and learned my thyroid had gone wonk. Yes you take pills. Yes I exercise 2 hours every single day without exception. Yes I have no processed foods, sweets, chips in my home. And yet. So I began reading. Do you know that once you lose weight your body is flooded with hormones causing you to feel famished? Did you know that your metabolism slows down by some 500 calories daily when you lose weight! Did you know that if you and I have identical bodies but I lost weight to get there that I will be hungrier than you and burn fewer calories even if we do the same exercise?? That is not opinion. It is fact. Scientists are right now puzzling over this and trying to figure out why. Added to this is that different ethnicities are more prone to weight gain, genetically. Maybe you will gain weight and get the insight and compassion I finally got. It was a rough lesson to learn.

        • Some people have serious health conditions or actual medical reasons that makes it much harder than just driving yourself to the gym in order to loose weight. Have a little compassion.

        • Some people can’t lose weight due to medical conditions. You’re ignorant and arrogant to think every fat person hasn’t tried to lose weight.

        • You are a bigoted ass. If you think it’s as simple as “lose some weight”…I have a medical condition that caused me to be fat. Don’t you think I would do just about anything to Not be fat? Because wow, getting judged by assholes like you is what I live for. What every overweight person lives for. You have an easy answer for me? How about discussing your brilliant theory with my endochronologist. God, who knows? Maybe your “Eat less move more” theory will revolutionize the world!
          *muttering..some village is missing its idiot*

        • You might want to learn how to spell properly before you start picking on other people . You should be extremely embarrassed and mortified by your tactless remark

        • Judy Booty, Some people have medical challenges that don’t allow them to be smaller. I was small most of my life, athletic and modeled for years. I’m considered obese now due to thyroid and Hashimoto’s disease, for life. Life does life. Who the F made you needs to show you how karma can be a real B. Classless thoughtless and careless statement. Although some people believe the world needs to be morphed to accomodate people, most do not. You need to look in the mirror and be grateful you don’t have these diseases that cause people like you to judge and us to face. God help you.

        • How about learning to spell before you criticize people for being obese. It’s losing not loosing, so please seek an education

        • As an OBESE DISABLED VETERAN, who used to crush 5,000 calories a day for my 16 years of Honorably Discharged military service (last 3 years in Army hospital being reassembled-38 injuries total) let me say how “profanely disappointed” I am with your comments. You know they’re making the seats smaller for greater profit yet you vomit your “one size fits all” cure & it makes me want to rethink the illegality of Domestic Abuse. They say milk is good for your bones and teeth. You know what else is great for your bones and teeth? Learning to keep your mouth shut.

        • Well I hope after 3 years since you wrote this utter pile of rubbish you have looked into the mirror to see what a vile human you are.

        • O.M.G.! the person complaining about people size and telling them to go to the gym has the last name of Booty? ? Bah! Ha! Ha!

        • Judy Booty everybody who is obese is not lazy or irresponsible. Furthermore if losing weight was as simple as you so callously put it I’m almost certain people would do that rather than be subjected to judgmental people like yourself. There is nothing wrong with asking for an accommodation when necessary. The real problem is that there should be seats of varied sizes on the plane in the first place. The world is made up of people of different sizes

        • You’re an absolutely horrible person and you have no business even posting on here, get your head out of your ignorant ass and recognize that not everybody is lazy, that there are so many people out there that have actual health problems that they cannot control no matter what they do that cause extreme weight gain hair loss and a plethora of other side effects that cannot be controlled. You are ignorant and should be ashamed of yourself for putting such a ridiculous post out there. You should be removed immediately for such a stupid statement.

        • Judy Booty, I am a former marathon runner who had to have her thryoid removed. Since that, I have continued to run and still gain weight. Your response is typical of someone who believes that weight is completely related to unhealthy lifestyle. I am also a tour director, so, I fly a great deal. Most people carry extra weight on them and airlines are continuing to shrink seats.
          While you may feel that everyone is overweight is lazy, this is simply not true.
          So, what is your predetermined ‘ideal size” for an “average human”? For the record the average American woman is a size 18.

        • Hilarious @judybooty. Have you ever thought about educating yourself and going back to 6th grade so you can learn the correct usage and proper spelling of various words? While you’re there, pick up some common sense.

    • I always buy two seats.
      When booking just reserve as two adults, put your name on the one reservation and on the other put Extra as your first name and Seat as your last name.
      It’s often worth calling the airlines though, because a lot of times there are policies that can save you money. For example, you might not have to pay taxes or certain fees for the 2nd seat.
      Unfortunately, the seat sizes are what they are and most people do fit in them. If a person would infringe on another passenger’s space then it’s only right to buy the extra seat.

      • I just bought two tickets on Southwest because I am a person of size. I am 305lb and hope there is so much of a fuss. They said I could get a refund after the return. Hope that is good.

        • I’ve flown Southwest after purchasing a second seat. It was so much easier and less embarrassing to fly, as you are pre-boarded. And when I called customer service for the refund on the 2nd seat, they were very friendly and I was promptly refunded.

          • I flew 1st time last year at age 41. I am a big guy 395lbs. I worried for 2 months all the way until I got on the southwest flight from Atlanta to vegas. no reason to have obsessed about it at all. a seat belt extender worked fine and I flew for 4 hours nonstop. im not saying it wasn’t a tight fit but the armrest came down and everything was fine.

        • SW is the best. I have always been accommodated. They give you a reserved sign for the seat next to you, and if any one asks, just say this seat is reserved.

    • After reading several posts here, I can see a lot of trash talk and bashing. Well I can assure you weight loss is no easy road but from a person who has done it first hand, it can be done if followed properly.
      I have been on the Atkins diet for 8 months and have lost 72 pounds so far. Granted I have remained on the induction part since day one but I wanted to lose the weight fast. And I have. I have another 30 pounds to lost to attain my goal weight. It is easy, hell no. But does it work, hell yes. Anyone can accomplish a goal if you put your mind to it.

      • Oh, ok Steve lol…..thanks for the advice. I’m sure no one thought of that. .I think we all know that anything can be achieved if we work hard enough…so maybe the overweight person just lost 100 lbs and still has a way to go. Stop judging others, concentrate on yourself and try not to insult half the population because you think you’re better than them

      • I was given a medical enduced, hysterectomy and have forced menopause . I have gained 22 pounds, exercise daily and eat healthy and still gained weight. It’s tough. Keep up the good work

    • When making reservations on line, at least for Southwest you’ll order your second seat and designate it with the letters “xs” instead of your middle initial if you use one.

    • I’m an extra petite size and have sat next to heavy weighted folks who’ve spilled out onto my space many times. When I have had to complain about the situation some attendants treated me like I was impolite, troublesome and rude. Yet the article clearly states the airline’s policies. Flight attendants need to be better educated with their company’s regulations and their own diplomatic skills. Being squeezed and squshed makes one feel breathless and creates panic attacks in many people on long flights. Next time maybe I’ll purchase two seats and fill in the xs box as an extra small just in case and wear an inflatable fat suit.

      • I am a person of size and I agree with you. I would not want to infringe into your space. It would be uncomfortable for both I would think. I hope the flight attendants will be counseled as well, you have your rights as well.

  2. Hi,
    All well and good if you are obese person to buy an extra seat, but what about someone who is just large?

    My son and I traveled on an American Airlines flight to St. Croix, he is 6ft 5in and is not at all fat. He was wedged into the seat and had bruses when he left the plane. A flight attendent who was dead heading to another airport was much larger in the butt, and said many people have the same problem. Air travel is not enjoyable any more.

    • Ann, I am a “passenger of size” and often fly Southwest. Their policy accommodates both big and tall passengers. He can simply ask for his additional seat at the gate, no extra charge. If he chooses to pre-board (which is allowed to any passenger requiring the additional seat), he should have no trouble getting one of their 6 front row seats (which sacrifice a tray table for an unbelievable amount of legroom). I am 5’10” and the last time I took a front row seat on Southwest, I put my legs straight out in front of me an my feet just reached the wall.

  3. The truth is that most airlines are simply dodging the issue because it is easy to–it is socially acceptable to publicly shame overweight people and therefore the airlines can get away with having weak policies that treat large passengers unfairly.

    The issue isn’t whether or not a person who takes up more space should buy an extra seat. That’s a given. Whether you are tall, wide, or just smelly, you should pay for what you use.

    The issue is that large passengers basically have to gamble with expensive airline tickets with no guarantee of what they are going to get. A gamble that ‘average’ sized passengers are not expected to take.

    Airline seats are not the same size. Passengers can go through acrobatics to figure out what size seats their particular flight will have, but of course equipment problems or weather delays may mean that the actual aircraft they end up flying on is different than what they planned for. There needs to be some standardization in seat sizes so that passengers know what they are getting when they purchase one seat. There should be a sample seat available at the airport prior to boarding, just like there is a sample suitcase size available for passengers to verify compliance prior to boarding.

    Second, airlines allow flight crews to use their discretion. The crew member themselves can decide they don’t want a large passenger on their flight, or they can easily bow to the complaints of another passenger, who oftentimes just wants more room for themselves. The large passenger then pays the cost of a choice that other people made. The bottom line is that if a passenger can meet the criteria (arm rests down, no more than one seatbelt extender) then there is no room for discretionary decisions on the aircraft. This is no different than decisions about children on a flight. If they are of a certain age or weight they must have a seat. It’s not up to the flight attendant to decide if they are safe sitting on a parents’ lap.

    And finally, there must be some standard means of charging for additional seats at the last minute. It is not fair to charge thousands of dollars to a passenger at the last minute when they have not been given an opportunity to avoid the excessive charges. The current protocol amounts to nothing more than sanctioned extortion–a passenger has to decide, right there on the aircraft, if they are willing to fork over a substantial sum of money, or forfeit both their plane ticket and their vacation or business trip. There needs to be a standard in place so that plus sized passengers know how much an additional seat will cost prior to boarding.

    Not that none of this has anything to do with whether or not the average airplane seat size is reasonable nor does it have anything to do with the growing obesity epidemic. This is about basic commerce practices–currently airlines have two sets of rules. Sometimes they abide by the terms and conditions of their transactions, and sometimes they don’t. Nobody knows which will be the case for them until they show up to fly.

  4. Not Telling,

    How one-sided can you be? It’s nobody else’s fault that you are a person “of size”. We all have our allotted space on the plane, and if you take more than your share, you need to pay for more. Encroaching on others’ space is just not an option…we all pay for our tickets and the comfortable seating space that comes with it. Either pay for a 2nd seat or don’t fly. Stop acting like a victim.

    • I think that “Not telling” has an issue with inconsistent policies and standards. That is primary focus of the comment. If you re-read the post you will see that (s)he agreed that you SHOULD pay for what you use. That being said, I agree that no one has the right to be talked down to or treated unfairly because of their size. You were a perfect example of the rudeness and disrespect that an overweight person likely encounters in these situations. It’s not about being a victim, it’s about being treated fairly. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

      • I agree with Not Telling, you lot are acting like victims. The airlines are acting in a very professional and dignified manner whereas overweight passengers are acting like entitled brats. Are you seriously suggesting that airlines should change their entire seating arrangements and lose passengers+profits, rather than you simply choosing to lose some weight and fit in a seat like everyone else? You not hear this all the time from inside your fat-acceptance bubble but this kind of behaviour is pathetic and embarrassing. The airlines aren’t charging extra for black people, they are simply using a fair economic policy. Even if they did increase seat size, it would only be a matter of time until even fatter people couldn’t fit in the bigger seats. This whole topic is nonsense.

        • I will remember to cut off 6″ from my 6’8″ son so he isn’t considered a “person of size” yes…that is right….TALL people fall into that too! At 210lbs there is NOTHING fat on this kid…and I agree with Erika, not everyone needs to diet to fit

          • Whether you’re tall or fat or have huge bones or have a siamese twin attached, the seat sizes are what they are, and if people don’t fit in those seats then they should have to buy extra space, i.e. an extra seat.

            It’s not right to infringe on the space of someone who has paid for a seat. They are entitled to their miserable 17″ of space no matter what.

            Yes, the airlines are 100% money-focused; they are people-movers and nothing more. But, why should the person next to you have to suffer for your size?

            By the way, I am overweight and I always buy two seats. It’s my issue, no one else’s.
            But, because I have bought that empty seat, it is all mine. Almost always the flight attendants will try to seat someone there, or if there are more seats in the row a person might ask to store their carryon under my empty seat, which I usually kindly refuse because I want to put my stuff under there so I can have full free foot room under my seat.
            Btw, I started buying an extra seat because I had several very stressful situations and also because I felt like it was the fair thing to do. The extra expense is a profound bummer, for sure.

        • I don’t know if you realize it or not but not all FAT PEOPLE are lacking self control and just over eat every unhealthy thing they can get their hands on. Before I go on I just want to comment about those who are lie that. Some of them are battling with severe mental and emotional issues . Not all but some. I mean some over eating can be due to a person getting molested as a child, raped, physically & mentally abused, a horrible loss of a child, loss os parent(s) in a tragic way. The list goes on and on. And yeah I know that these things happen to some people and two don’t over eat and become obese, but everyone handles things differently. Some could over eat, some may start abusing drugs and ect. You never know what someone has gone thru or is going thru. Don’t judge!
          Now back to the beginning of my reply! Some overweight people are not over eaters! There are severe medical issues that cause significant Wright gain. So please don’t look at an over weight person and think that they are like that because it’s a choice they made okay. Thanks for listening! God bless!

        • The whole black thing you went over board. But being an overweight person I agree with you, if the airlines changing there seating its only a matter of time before there changing the seatings for even more people. The airlines have to do what’s best for business and can only do so much in comidating us overweight people.

      • If you pay for the space you use, then you take the price of your original seat and multiply it by two if you need two seats, or three times if it’s thee seats. That would be paying your share, rather than paying less and expecting others to subsidize for your ass

        • Someone said that it’s only fair that people pay for the space we use. Well my 45 pound daughter barely uses any space, nor does my 33 pound daughter. Yet I still pay a full fare for them and will have to pay extra for my own ticket because I’m to fat. How is that fair?

          • I agree with that. It really isn’t fair at all. There needs to be better policies in place!

        • What if I only need an extra couple inches and not a whole extra seat? Since you’re saying pay for what you use. If all I’m using is 15% of the adjacent seat that’s all I should pay for according to your logic.

      • That comment just screams you don’t like overweight people in general. I have been on both extremes of the weight spectrum and those that are larger feel so embarassed as it is, and it’s not so simple to just diet. It’s a disorder, just like others that skinny people may have on that plane. Are you going to just hate that a skinny person with depression is in your space too. People are so hateful and judgemental. Being overweight is a DISORDER, not a choice. So, please just be a little more sympathetic to their needs as well and remember they are 99.9% of the time willing to do something to help you not be so uncomfortable. Sheesh…

    • You obviously have no compassion for others. Some people can not help their size. The airlines take advantage if everyone including you when chesting just to check in a suitcase. I could put you in a profile myself and only imagine what kind of person you are. Be nice to others my dear you never know when one of these fat people may save your like. Plus being compassionate to others makes your life happy to unless you like being a mean uncaring person. Good luck with that because it only gets you so far in life.

    • You aren’t very bright, are you? Not Telling SAID people should pay for another seat if they are on it. Try actually reading what people say.

    • FU, I love people like you, who parade as academic, yet whose comments belie your illiteracy and ignorance. Not Telling made some VERY legitimate points, and also admitted that fair is fair and that they should & would buy an extra seat. You, sir are an asshat, It is a shame that in your haste to deal out ignominy, you were blinded and did not read what they wrote.

    • I agree, I travel often and I’m tall thin and young . it costs a lot to travel and the last thing I want is someone in my seat space on a flight . when boarding and getting to my seat the first thing i do is put down the arm rest , its very rude to have people think because they are bigger than me they can take up room in my area . buy 2 seats or upgrade your ticket please , nothing worse then a stranger literally on you during a long flight

    • The safety and comfort of the majority of passengers should be a priorityI see nothing wrong with making a grossly obese person pay for an extra seat. The seats are small to begin with so who wants to be next to someone who squashes you during a flight! Get a double seat or first class seat or go on a diet!

    • Well said FU. I have no issue how large anyone is, but when I purchase a seat I do not want to share it with a perfect stranger. Not sure if it would be more embarrassing for me or the person that wants to share my seat when I complain. Hope I never find out.

  5. If they increased seat size that will reduce the total number of seats on the plane therefore it will increase the price per seat so they make the same profit per flight, thus making everybody pay more money to accommodate fat people. So screw that! I don’t want to pay more to cover the cost for flying fat people.

    It is your problem you are fat. Nobody cares about your excuse for being fat. If you take more than 1 seat you pay for more than 1 seat. It is that simple.

    Entitled morons.

    • And it’s your problem you are unnecessarily rude. Do you feel better now that you’ve taken a cheap, anonymous shot at another person? Having an opinion is no excuse for nasty behavior.

    • Have you taken into consideration that there are also people with muscles, who are too muscular to fit, and are just trying to fly to different areas to lift weights?

      • Tall and muscular people don’t spill over their muscles onto the seat next to them

    • What kind of sense does that make? They decreased seat sizes to fit more in to raise more revenue years ago. Their policies are all about making as much money as they can, e.g. purchasing seats, paying for baggage, etc., etc.

    • I don’t understand why people have to be so rude. Everyone is built different. Some are taller, some more muscular, some wider in the hips and yes some are overweight, but think about this, airlines seats are smaller than most theater seats etc. Really, infringing on your space. Don’t you infringe on your neighbors space on roller coasters? What about the fact that the last time I flew I had to set by a normal size man, who smelt like cigarettes, drank booze the entire flight and was totally obnoxious. Maybe he should pay for an extra seat, or how about the screaming children( by the way, not their fault), I’m a mother as well, who scream etc the entire flight. Should they have to pay for an extra seat?, Just something to think about. Maybe some should review their own personalities and nasty habits that offend other people and not so much focus on size of a person.

  6. I am really skinny and I think it’s unfair that I pay more for my ticket because of all the “normal” sized people needing more room than me. If everyone on the plane were my size they could fit more seats on the plane and cut prices a lot more than they are now. Why are there only 6 seats per row when there could be 10 to 15? I think all the regular sized people as well as the obese people should be checked as baggage. Actually, we could all just sleep during the flight with like 100 rows of “Skinny Beds” (I coined the phrase myself) – maybe 2 beds per row. Not sure how many rows would fit, but we can work in more by redefining normal until more people fit. I once knew a person who was obese because of a hormonal imbalance and who wants to fly with someone who is imbalanced? And I don’t like “normal” people cause they think they’re normal. I’m so glad I’m the way I am and not like those other people!

    • You are out of your mind. Skinny, overweight your attitude sucks. I’m sure someone would rather spend time with a over weight kind person instead of a self indulgent ,selfish and uncaring person like yourself. You must spend a lot of energy on hating that’s why you are so skinny. Plus not eating makes you grumpy and mean. So do everyone a favor eat a sandwich!!

    • Skinny, that was AWESOME! and what makes it even MORE awesome is that people think you are serious. I am happy to share this earth with a fellow nice, sarcastic AND nice person. ::applause::

  7. Maybe if the airlines weren’t trying to cram so many people on each flight this would be less of a problem. I hate flying, not because of my size I am average size person, but because you are treated like cattle. You get x-rayed going thru security, then you’re herded on when it’s boarding time and pushed into 17″ total width seats. Has anyone seen how the human butt spreads on everyone, fat or skinny when you sit down? Your legs are cramped like pretzels(God forbid any emergency) you can barely get out of your seat to go to the bathroom or leave the plane at your destination. No that’s not the way the paying public should be treated, I reserve flying for life or death situations only, that way I’m miserable before I get on and don’t notice the treatment of the airlines. Charging for blankets, overhead bins, extra luggage, soda, snacks, earplugs , you name it, I’m waiting for coin slot on the bathroom door next?????? Has anyone seen the amount of profit the airlines made this past year from gouging everyone, check it out you might be horribly surprised

  8. I’ve flown too many times next to a “too fat to fit” passenger between Hawaii and California. I deeply resent having the “too fat to fit” passenger squishing me and pushing against me for over 4 hours because the armrest couldn’t be lowered by that passenger. It was also impossible to get up to go relieve myself if I was seated next to the window and had to get past the huge bulk of the “too fat to fit” passenger. If you are “too fat to fit” into one airline seat, you should have to buy enough seats prior to boarding so other passengers don’t have to be subjected to discomfort caused them by your obese body. Maybe what the airlines should do is have a special row for the “too fat to fit”. Instead of trying to accommodate the “too fat to fit” passengers into extra seating (if two adjacent seats are available), the airlines should dedicate a couple of rows just for them. It is rare that the “too fat to fit” passenger is able to be seated elsewhere on two adjacent seats because these popular flights from the US West Coast to Hawaii and back are normally full to capacity and booked solid way ahead of their departure dates.

  9. I am a big person, of course I would love to have a huge wide width seat but its not going to happen( oh well ) I do not play a “victim” in any situation so I do not speak for every person that is overweight. I do not think it is fair for anyone to be uncomfortable on an airplane for any amount of time.. I do however believe they should have certain rows or seats designated according to size. This is not about “fat people needing to lose weight” it doesnt have to be.

    • you are right, as others have stated it’s not always about someone needing to lose weight. Some people are just TALL or larger than the average person is all.

  10. I miss Midwest Airlines. Their seats were downright roomy, and unless one was truly obese, seemed to fit many “persons of size.”

    • We hear you. Loud and clear. Unfortunately, a lot of airlines are going toward extra charges for extra amenities in general. Extra “comfort” falls within this category. The good news is that most of the more full service carriers like Delta and United do offer a “comfort” option that is roomier and can accommodate people in a variety of sizes. The bad news is that they will charge you for it.

      • Why is fairness bad news? Bring an overweight bag, you pay for it. Bring an overweight body, you should pay for it. You can pack lighter, or lose weight, and avoid the problem.

        Pay for what you use. Don’t steal it from others.

        The airlines’ spineless timidity is allowing a minority of passengers to oppress the majority of passengers.

        • What I find amazing is so many people talking down to the overweight people on here when all I see them asking for is to be treated fairly. Most have said they’ll pay for a second seat, but still there are people treating them like garbage. This is one of society’s many problems these days. No one gives a crap about anyone anymore. There’s just condescending people.

          • You hit the nail on the head, people suck and don’t ever think of anyone but themselves. Just drive down the street and see how many people pull out w/o looking, walk in front of the car and expect YOU to not hit them!! If I didn’t want the karma, I might just keep on trucking, LOL!

          • I agree, i know many overweight people that due to medical reasons or medication dont have the option to weigh less and they shouldn’t have to suffer when flying for treatments or for a vacation just because airilnes have decided what size to make the seats and over the years keep making thrm smaller and more cramped in all ways, this is america and larger people are most the population so maybe airlines need to accomadate the normal american size otherwise pretty soon nobody will fit in the seats the smaller they make them

    • Larger seats mean less seats on each flight and higher fares to make up for the smaller amount of passengers per flight. If we increase the size of the seatstl to accommodate larger people everyone pays more. No thank you. How about the overweight people take some personal responsibility and lose weight or buy two seats? Don’t punish us all because of a few.

      • A few? The US is the most obese nation on the planet. Do i place blame? Nope. But there are more overweight people than not. Let’s all be human, and polite, and fair to others. Don’t let a person get on the plane and try to settle in his/her seat before we center them out to buy more. Is there no way to have a seat present at the gate area? Are you bigger? Test it out, and if you need another seat… Get it done before boarding. No one needs to be a dick about it, although i do know that dickheads cant help themselves.

        • Wow you are truly intelligent and seems like what you say makes more sense than anything I have read here. There is a test area for the carry on bags and a test seating area on makes best real good idea and you know what, I am 80 yr old female and weigh 185 pounds 5 feet 5 ins tall and I would love to see a test for size seat and although I know I fit ok in a regular seat I know I would be the first one trying out the sample seat just to see “where I fit” and the main thing is we do need to be compassionate and also are there that many grossly overweight passengers on one flight how great a loss is an extra seat for obese rump going to cost that airline I recently was on a SW Airline from Dallas to Houston and attendant announced a peanut allergy on board also they would be serving pretzel snacks only with the drinks Now that is a great consideration and I heard no passengers complaining. Also weather was bad and it was announced that several passengers who had boarded for stand by seats from no show passengers would be asked to go back to wait for next flight seats and the aircraft took on extra fuel as we would be detouring over Louisiana because of weather and arrival time would be a little late. Now I have flown SW Air many times and have missed my flight a couple of times due to health issues and SW has ALWAYS TAKEN GOOD CARE OF ME. iF YOU ARE POLITE AND HONEST IT CAN TAKE YOU A LONG WAY. i KNOW HANDICAP AND\OR OVERWEIGHT CAN BE A BIG PROBLEM. These people are very aware of the inconvenience it causes others, they are embarrassed and have most sensitive feelings and they live with it 24 hours a day for rest of their lives. Please at least try not to be rude and I feel airline will have to do whatever is best for situation but I hope that there won’t be too many such passengers on one flight and somehow a solution will be available so everyone is happy.

  11. If the airlines insist on not dealing directly and firmly with the obese passenger issue, they need to install solid partitions between the seats. I’m sick of having the next passenger’s fat ooze under and over the armrest, and having their thighs, shoulders, and arms project well into my purchased seat area. Strangely, fat flyers all seem to be blissfully unaware that their blubber is constantly rubbing against the person next to them. I didn’t pay to have body contact with the fatty next to me for hours on end. Arm rests aren’t enough. Partitions would keep each passenger’s bulk within the area they paid for.

    • Jim, big, small, tall or short, you are one miserable human being. Good luck with that. Before your next inane comment, try reading the posts that make it clear noneof these big people are asking for anything but a set of standardized, workable policies. 3

      • you are right.. he is a mean person. He also is ignorant to think that these people don’t KNOW that their chub is against their “space”. It’s all they are thinking about the whole time and it’s killing them inside and they can’t WAIT to land. I know this because I am average and even I feel weird when my leg or arm is touching someone because I am in a chair the size of a toddler’s high chair seat. Ignorant ass

    • Jim, you said it harshly, but I was a bit amused & have to quite agree with you. More so amusing is that I’m a fatty. I don’t want my fat to impede on any one any more than having someone slouch over on me to sleep. I’ll keep my fat to myself, keep your body to yourself.

    • Ok and if you have kids? Keep them at home, cause I would DAMN sure rather have a fat person next to me then a screaming kid…or a blathering idiot like yourself.

    • wow…..so not only do you hate fat people, you also think they are stupid and unaware of the space they take up? Have you not thought that maybe they KNOW but they can’t help it? what do you expect? You think they LIKE spilling over onto some hateful self absorbed waif? You think they LIKE being looked at like they are less than human beings just because they carry extra fat? Why don’t YOU purchase an extra seat so no one has to be near an overbearingly selfish asshole.

  12. All I can say is just wow, I mean, WOW, so much hate for people of size. Never knowing their situation, never knowing what has caused their size. It is truly disgusting how all of you have bashed the people who are over weight who would just like to take a trip for business or pleasure without having to pay thousands of dollars. There are going to be overweight people, just the way it is. Why doesn’t the airlines make spaces in the planes for people of size and just charge a few hundred more, people of size have the right to fly as well as everyone else, as comfortable as everyone else and for the same amount as anyone else, IT IS DISCRIMINATION plain and simple, nothing more, nothing less. And yes, I am a person of size, and the reasons I am are very severe, but does that mean I can’t fly? No, it damn well should not. Screw you fucking haters, one day you will receive yours. fucking bastards all of you!!!!!

    • AGREED!! I am disgusted with the out right “entitled” bashing of people of size. This is DEFINITELY DISCRIMINATION! I have been on both sides of the size issue….I lost 126 lbs and I will tell you first hand I am very sensitive to this issue. Anyone of any size should be treated with dignity and respect!! What is this country coming to?? Soon are people of size going to be reqired to wear certain clothing and be denied basic rights!? Or should we/they have separate bathrooms??? You haters are extremely ignorant!! Get over yourselves…you live in America….everyone is equal and should be treated as such….ugh…sickening….find a hobby other than trying to shame others!!

    • “The airlines’ spineless timidity is allowing a minority of passengers to oppress the majority of passengers.”

      You say this like this isn’t the American way. The outcome of last PotUS election (specifically, the known and promoted political agendas of both lead candidates) should’ve made it more than clear that the average person (morally and ethically) does not give a shit about fairness, about equal contribution, or about personal responsibility. And if that average person can make someone else pay for XYZ, then even better!

      Obese people (in general) do not care that, in this airplane situation, they will encroach on their fellow passengers’ space and comfort on the plane. Space and comfort that was paid for. No, the choices that these obese people have made over the course of their lives by choosing to not control their caloric intake, or by choosing to not exercise (and, NO, I am not talking about the ONE obese person in TEN THOUSAND that actually has some glandular/hormone issue that wasn’t also brought about by either of these two choices mentioned).

      Someone asked for an across-the-board standard on what the plane’s seat’s size is, industry-wide… Read the article: roughly 17-18 inches across. Don’t tell me you are surprised by the seat size. You didn’t fly a month ago and then go to fly today and find out the seats are 10 inches more narrow than they were. You know, generally, how big the seats are, no matter what airline.

      And the rest of you obese people: please don’t insult people who are actually discriminated against by calling this discrimination.
      Discrimination is having something held against you unfairly. Buying two seats when you require them is not unfair.

      I know it’s hard for you to understand how disgusting it is to have an obese, sweating stranger overtake your already too-small seating area on plane. This is because you are that obese sweating stranger.
      Maybe you should stop being so offended by people taking offense to your selfishness. Remember, it is YOU who are initiating this problem by not fitting into an actual physical area that you have chosen (over the course of a lifetime likely) to not fit into. It’s not the airline’s fault. It’s not your fellow passengers’ faults. However, it’s likely that had you ever learned to take ownership of the difficulties that you face in life, rather than trying to make it everyone else’s fault and problem to deal with, you’d probably not be obese to begin with (and again, I’m not referring to the one legit obese person out of ten thousand that didn’t bring their obesity upon themself.)

      Go ahead and call me insensitive. It’s okay. I understand: the truth stings sometimes.
      Game over.
      I’m tired of giving to all of you bitchy-ass whiners.
      Mature and be a man or woman and take control of yourself. Be the man or woman that you are supposed to be. That you want to be.
      You aren’t worthless. Far from it, but people write you off as nothing more than some “fat person”. People do this because they don’t respect you. People don’t respect you because you have chosen to be obese and (back to the airplane situation, IF you are spilling into your neighbor’s seat) rude and inconsiderate. If you WANT to be the obese person that you are, then be that obese person. Be happy, love yourself, enjoy life, but just remember, you WANTED to be this obese person and so chose (and choose) to be this obese person, and guess what: you get to deal with all this bullshit that obese people have to deal with (airplane seats/tickets, clothes that fit, people slagging you for your size, health complications, etc.).

      For health reasons alone, I implore you to really search deep down about what I am telling you.
      You are more than just the obese person you’ve chosen to devolve into.
      You can control the monster.
      Do not choose to stay a victim or a whiner.
      Put your life where you want it, because only you can.
      You are the only one keeping yourself obese.

      • I just read your comments, Game Over. Not everyone can control their weight, Some people DO have medical conditions that cause obesity. Obviously you do not……..you are very fortunate. Please do not judge others by yourself.

      • I chose not to have kids, but I have to listen to all these “selfish” people with their bratty kids screaming and kicking seat backs. I live in the city and take mass transit yet I pay school and road taxes. If someone fat next to you is a hardship, you’ve had an easy, easy life. God forbid something truly bad happened to you. Also, how exactly do you know that person next to you DOESN’T have a glandular problem? You asked them? Go away, cry baby.

      • Wow just wow I came here for information instead I find a bunch of people that are so quick to say how people with weight are such a problem to them lol do you people just troll sites about this issue to use as your own personal soapbox bless your hearts your just so above any other human how dare you have to be as belittled as sharing space with some one different than you ,poor things why not just buy first class you know your just precious enough I just bet you spit gold lol get into someone’s church!

    • If you take up extra seats, in order to be treated equally you should pay for them. That’s not discriminating against larger people, that’s holding them to the same standard as others.

      I have a snapping hip problem and am uncomfortable during flights (because normally my legs need more room). But I don’t infringe upon my neighbors’ space, I deal with the pain until landing. And if I need more space I will find a way to pay for it.

  13. Lot’s of opinions about seat size, passenger size, cost, buying additional seats, and seat belt extenders, etc..

    I am 6’4″ and off and on in my lifetime I am/have been fat.

    I have been flying since the mid 1960’s and have seen air travel go from fun and relatively comfortable to a nightmare of cattle car or sardine can seating.

    The airlines generally could care less about the comfort of their passengers and I have experienced many uncomfortable flights as a fat man and a person who just needed a decent amount of leg room.
    On a flight one night from Norfolk, VA to Chicago, I was mistakenly assigned a middle seat in a 3 seat row. I suggested to the airline customer service rep at the gate that assigning me to an Isle seat would negate the discomfort of all 3 of the passengers in my assigned row. The rep asked why I cared, I would never see the other people again.
    These days, I either fly first class or am delighted with the idea of being able to purchase a second seat to avoid being uncomfortable or causing discomfort for
    other passengers sharing my row

  14. A person of size who boards a plane and clearly is too large for a standard seat (they know they are) is guilty of a selfish act. They KNOW they will cause discomfort to someone on a plane and are happy to gamble that the plane will not be at capacity (so they can be moved to a place on the plane with an extra seat). They are gambling with others discomfort so they can save a few dollars. I will not put up with this, and keep a copy of the respective airline policies and carriage rules on my phone. Just had to use for the first time last week. a 400lb+ man was put in the exit row between a largish man on the aisle and a tall 6’3 man (me at the window). This man overflowed a minimum of 4″ into my vertical space. The flight attendants were going to let this go until I pointed out the safety issues (was not able bodied) and rules of carriage. The crew knew this was not appropriate, but were to embarrassed to take action. So I did and person was accommodated on a later flight. This person should be ashamed of trying to take advantage of others. I don’t care if someone is overweight, but I do care if they infringe on the space I paid for. If you can’t fit in your vertical “man up” and pay for it. I am tired of subsidizing people.

    • really? it’s disrespectful of them? not everyone can afford to buy two tickets. Keep in mind that you do not know WHY they are flying. Maybe their brother passed away or someone they love it ill. I also believe in buying 2 seats but to say they are basically being “cheap” or disrespectful is idiotic.

    • Yes if the airlines and flight attendants would follow through on their seat guidelines and be more stricked then us passengers wouldn’t be in the awkward squished situation to where we have to tell the person next to us to move over and that the arm rest needs to be down . this isn’t about body shaming people its about doing what is right and taking care of your special seating needs ahead of time so you and everyone else can be safe and comfortable during the flight

  15. Here is the funny part. . Even if the airlines did in fact create a section or row for the obese,oversized, fat or what ever clever descriptive word you would like to use, skinny/ normal people would be snatching those seats up. They too want the extra room and comfort wit out paying first class. . So my solution if you hate being uncomfortable… you can buy two seats regardless if your skinny or fat.

    • Mmmmm the solution is: if u have the money go in a private plane! If not deal with fat, skinny people that smells like camel, smokers, cheap perfume, snoring, burps,farts,long talkers and thousands of weird stuff

  16. At 6’4″ and 218lbs I am by no means fat, I do however have broad shoulders that will encroach into your space if you sit seat next to me, should I too be called selfish, be discriminated against, called sweaty, smelly, etc? Face it, everyone has a right to travel and be resonably comfortable at a fair price. A lot of you are quick to trash those who are not just like you but I dont see you buying a second seat because your to cheap to buy a first class seat to ensure nobody sits next to you. You all need to grow up and quit whinning, besides if 65% of Americans are considered obese that makes you the minority. The obese people should demand legislation requiring airlines, buses, and trains to provide larger seating in the name of safety and you minority “smaller” people will just have to pay more for booster seats so you can fit safely.

  17. I’m pretty petite (5’3″) but also a little chubby. I fit just fine in an airline seat. If you’re obese and can’t fit, buying an extra seat seems fair to me. You are, in fact, taking up an extra seat. If there is excess capacity on the plane at the time you board, I think it’s also fair to be refunded the cost of the extra seat, since no one was going to be using it anyway.

    It’s the tall people who I really feel sorry for. I mean, if you’re 6’7″ tall, WTF are you supposed to do? I sat next to a man flying from AMS (Amsterdam) to BOS (Boston) who was assigned a middle seat! I was on the aisle and switched seats with him, though I warned him he’d probably have to get up quite a few times for me to use the bathroom! He was extremely grateful and bought me two glasses of wine. Win!

  18. I am on here looking because I normally fly Alaska which has been just fine. It is not the seat width but the variance in seatbelt length that I am concerned with. On other airlines it can be up to 7 or 8 inches different by plane. If I need more width I would understandably but unhappily buy two tickets. I just wish at the time of booking they would tell you seatbelt length and seat width. I’m not asking for more free space or to take others space just knowledge before getting to the gate and having to be publicly shamed. If the information was clearly provided at booking many ‘people of size’ would be better able to book space appropriately and reduce time wasted at the gate due to this issue. I do know they have seatbelt extenders but I would put on several layers of spanx to avoid that conversation. I have always been able to put side rest down without over hang and buckle the seat belt. Maybe seats should be sold per inch, then everyone gets what they pay for.

  19. The bottom line on this issue is that flying is a privilege, not a right. There is no discrimination against larger passengers. If you don’t fit into the seat–and seat dimensions are readily available–then find another mode of transportation or buy two seats. I pay way too much to travel on an airplane to share my seat with another body. I don’t appreciate having another passenger touching me for hours at a time. However, a little courtesy goes a long way, so let’s just be respectful when uncomfortable situations arise.

    • Flying Realist….. You are incorrect. Flying is not a privilege. It is a contracted fee-for-service. You buy a ticket they provide the transportation. The airline has a duty in their part of the contract to fairly and safely get you from point A to point B. Passengers can expect and have a right to fair, reliable, and safe transport.

  20. Let’s face it, standard coach seats are comfortable for small to medium-sized people. If you are over six feet, or over 200 lbs., you will be cramped, and quite possibly encroach on your neighbors space. If you’re 6’4″, or 250 lbs. or more, you’re screwed, and so is your neighbor(s).

    I think the solution is a section of “economy large” seats, with more width and leg room, at of course a higher price. All travelers should have a size profile; if you’re too big, you must choose one of these more expensive seats. People too large should not be allowed in the smaller standard seats.

    Space is at a premium on airplanes. A person 75″ tall (6’3″) or 2 feet wide should pay more than a person 65″ tall and 18″ wide.

  21. I was 57 kg until I was 30 years old. I had my time with weight gains, but wouldn’t consider it a problem in reality. I have a friend who weighs 133 kg at present, which is quite a bit. He has no choice in the matter. His doctor has told him last month that three medicines which he must take will ensure that he will never lose weight again, and that he probably will continue to gain. That’s a horrible enough sentence without having to worry about the hateful among you adding to it. I am not saying it would be a bad thing to have to buy an extra seat on an airline. But I am saying that those naïve among you who say that it’s because of simple choice of overeating and not exercising that all overweight people are the way they are mean-spirited. It’s true as someone else noted that it’s not so much of a problem of buying a second seat as it is just most of you being mean about it. I’ve noticed in the comments that most overweight people are willing to buy an extra seat. I’m truly disgusted by many of you — really. You’re really good at bringing out the worst instincts of humanity. How are we ever going to really move forward as a society and improve with you guys doing and even thinking this kind of crap? You know it reminds me of some other similar things. Do you remember some of the early religious movements of the 1800’s, for example, the Mormons among others? How they were butchered and herded from place to place by people that claimed to be Christians, especially the clergy in Missouri, as I understand my 18th century US history? I also just read some comments on some Indian scriptures online as PDFs that some “Christians” tore to shreds and one person even said the person that wrote that “deserved to die”! I’m not saying that everyone who hates overweight people is going to go do something drastic, but I am saying, it sure stinks enough like it, with all the hate and discrimination against overweight people. From the comments I’ve read here, they sure as hell are kinder and more civilized people than many of you.

  22. I used to be quite a bit larger. I’m am a disabled woman. And I at one point weighed 500lbs. I am not as obese as I once was but am still struggling daily with my weight. I also used to be a full blown athlete. I have felt cramped but I have also felt not guilty but apologetic. I have quite a few medical problems that now have me on 5 medications and my weight will not lessen while on them. Gastric bypass surgery is in my future however it’s a wait and a process. I fly in 5 days to hawaii with my wife for her bday and our honeymoon. And I paid an arm and a leg by myself for this trip. Because my illness will take my life when it chooses. I am who I am and I will do everything to not infringe on anybody else’s space however I will also not be ashamed of me; I have lost over 275 lbs and and I am proud of it. I did it without skinny diets pills drugs or starving myself; but I am still curvaceous. I don’t judge people by their color religion or size or by how much money they have. I have respect for those who showed respect. I also believe in karma. And what goes around comes around. So to each their own and I’ll send positive energy and prayers that my honeymoon won’t be infringed upon by negativity and sadness and gloom. Because I choose to allow light n goodness to surround my partner and I.

  23. I think the people commenting here are focusing on the wrong factors. It doesn’t matter if you are taking up extra room due to obesity or just the result of being a very tall wide person. If you are taking up extra space and encroaching onto your neighbors seating area, THEN YOU SHOULD buy another seat. Your rights should stop where the next persons begin. We get that you need to travel, but you don’t have the right to make everyone around you uncomfortable. If you cant fit, buy another seat. If you cant buy another seat, fly a red eye so your chances of getting an extra seat for free are better. If you don’t want to take that risk, then DONT FLY! take a train, ride a bus, fly private if you can. You have options, so don’t pretend like encroaching your fatty goodness/ wide shoulder’s over me is your only option. Its just the only option you’re willing to deal with bc its most convenient. This kind of behavior just reflects the average brain-set of a obese person- laziness!

    • Not all obese persons are lazy nor or their mindset that of a lazy person. You started off nice but just had to end up saying something ugly like that of a close minded person would say Size masters, Not Obesity.

  24. Airline travel is very expensive, and now that airlines are back in the black I have a lot less sympathy regarding protecting the profits of carriers.

    My SO is a passenger of size, and I have to tell you it is not easy to travel when you are larger. She has gained a lot of weight over the last 10 years and as she’s gotten heavier, the seats and aisles have gotten smaller. Very recently we had to fly home and this was an issue because she has put on maybe 70 more lbs since we last flew. We’ve been buying a “second seat” for her for some time, no problem with that. The issue was that after preboarding to get her in, the attendant argued that she should be required a THIRD SEAT because she can no longer fit into just two.

    Now, she carries a lot of her weight in her hips, so I am aware that despite being well over 500lbs at this point, some over her weight is going to spill over into a third seat. But this is MY seat, and I don’t care if the armrest doesn’t go down! It’s my SO! Besides, whoever heard of a THIRD SEAT policy anyway???

    Eventually the attendant let it go, but I could feel that “darts” sent our way the whole flight.

  25. The bigger issue here (pun intended) is not that I have a problem purchasing a second seat to fly, but getting a refund of the seat if the flight is not sold out. I am more than willing to purchase a second seat whenever I fly. However, many airlines will not refund the ticket cost if the flight is not sold out. So it becomes a double edged sword. If you don’t purchase a second seat and hope to be assigned next to an empty seat, you run the risk of getting bumped to another flight. If you do purchase a second seat and there are 20 other empty seats on the flight, how is that fair that I had to pay for an empty seat when the other 20 passengers did not? That’s all I’m asking for, give me a refund if there are empty seats I could have been placed next to. That’s it. Nothing more. No empty seats, fine, I paid for a second seat. Finally, for all you Spacist idiots out there. If I purchase a second seat because of my size and you sit in that third seat in the row, you had better not even think about stretching out and encroaching on my extra seat in any way. Remember that Hippos are the actual most deadly animal in Africa.

  26. I am on the smaller side and fit comfortably into airplane seats. I like to fly Southwest because of their good rates and the ability to choose your own seat. However, the choose your own seat has turned into a nightmare…bigger patrons see me and immediately figure since I’m not using all of my seat that they are welcome to it. I literally have taken to ‘puffing out’ and putting my coats and bags in my seat Until take off to make it look like in bigger than I am. Multiple times I have had arguments with ‘seat neighbors’ who refused to lower the armrests and stay on their seat. I paid just as much for the seat, why should I get less room?! Also, what if I want more room, for whatever reason, would Southwest give me a free seat or refund my money?? Doubtful. Frankly, I think there should be a sample seat that customers can sit it so they can see the size and see if they need to purchase more room. It would be like the things they have for baggage so you know if it needs to be checked or not.

  27. I am of normal size and find that fat people seem to seek out a seat next to me so they can spill over inches into my seat. I have a bad back which also affects my legs and after being pressed against by fat people for hours I am sometimes unable to walk off the plane without hobbling in pain which can last a day or 2. Like sickofit, I usually fly Southwest on domestic flights and have taken to trying to make myself look bigger to fat people who basically want to sit with me in the seat for which I paid. It does not always work, but only once have I complained to a flight attendant who immediately moved me because there was room to do so. In that case the obese woman’s rear end looked as wide as a yardstick. There is no way she could have thought she could fit in a single seat so she just counted on using part of someone else’s. I know it sucks to be so overweight and have to pay for 2 seats, but it sucks to be my size and be preyed on by obese airline passengers.

  28. If you fly Southwest, then you should know that they have the best current policy for “passengers of size”. They will refund a second seat even if the flight is sold out. I’ve even been told by a friend who recently flew, that they don’t necessarily need a “POS” (yes, think of the other abbreviation because that is what you are making us out to be) to purchase a second seat. All they want to know is that you will need a second seat and they will block it off in the system. So now you never have to sit by my big tub of lard ever again. (And I won’t have to sit next to a bitter piece of s*** like you the entire flight).

  29. I’m overweight. I like to travel, but I don’t anymore for this very reason. However, sometimes it’s a necessity. I am trying to lose weight, but quite frankly my personal life and my health issues are none of your business. I actually agree that I should pay more, and when I fly, I usually fly first or business for that very reason. However, on domestic flights, that still doesn’t mean much. I used to be thin, and I too hated being sat next to the fat guy. I think a good mid ground would be to have a few rows in coach that had significantly wider seats. They would of course be charged at a premium, thought less than business, and they would only be available for people of size and their parties. That way we can pay for what we use without affecting the rest of the flight either in comfort or cost. I could and would happily by an extra seat, but if I find myself on a flight where the armrests do not lift then I still risk the humiliation of having to get off the flight. I feel the risk of that humiliation is unfair, especially when I would happily pay more. Again, I fly business or first when I do fly, but domestic business sometimes means only an inch extra width and the tray tables still don’t fit. I’ll take responsibility for myself, my size and my desire to lose weight. I’ll even pay more. But what I want are real options for people of my size.

  30. A couple of responses to some of the pro-obesity activists in the comments here:

    (1) Being tall is not the same thing as being obese in terms of your neighbors. A tall person does not encroach into the space of your neighbors.
    (2) There is no medical condition that causes you to defy the laws of physics. Your body can only metabolize into fat that which you can consume.
    (3) You call these policies discrimination; why is it that you feel entitled to an extra seat for free at the expense of a paying passenger?

    Look, it’s your body and I don’t care what you do with it, but when it comes to violating the personal space of others or socializing the costs of your bad habits, that is where the line is drawn.

    You talk about dignity and respect; how about dignity and respect for everyone else?

    • In response to tall people not encroaching on my space I beg to differ. For an entire flight the tall man sitting behind me kept pushing my seat with his knees. This made for a very uncomfortable flight. One flight my skinny husband sat by a skinny man who slept on my husband’s shoulder the entire flight. Encroaching on my husband’s space size didn’t matter!!

  31. I have used the Southwest Airplanes customer of size offer many times since 2004. Currently it is easy to book the extra seat online as they have instructions and examples on their website. They used to refund the cost of the second seat if the flight was not full and if you requested it. Now it appears that they refund it EVERY time, if you ask (can ask via call or email). This is a GREAT deal.

  32. Overweight or skinny, all I ask is keep your legs together, for the love of Pete! I hate sitting next to a man who wants to keep his legs wide open so that his leg always ends up in my space. I am overweight and try to be mindful of not taking up the room meant for others. Almost always I and up with a crick in my neck or a sore shoulder or arm because I try very hard to keep it in my area but these man who sit with your legs spread wide open… I just don’t get it.

  33. I have had to fly when fat, and the booking 2 seats thing is NOT the end all thing. Several times I have bought 2 seats, and said seats ended up being plopped on opposite sides of the plane. So, even though I bought 2 seats because i take up 2 seats, the airline still made both me and other passengers suffer. I’m not the only one this happens to regularly. I’m all for the 2 seats thing until we find something better, but it only works if the seats are together.

  34. They should make people who take up two seats, pay for both seats. Or make all of those people who do take up a lot of room all sit next to eachother in the same rows so they know how much of a bother it is to have someone taking up half of the space you paid for. And so they know what its like to smell someone elses ass sweat and body odor for two hours straight. Anybody agree? Btw i weigh 325 pounds. So im not discriminating. I take up two seats, so i pay for both seats every flight. To make sure somebody else isnt bothered by me flooding into their space.

  35. Let’s start by saying that I am just on the cusp of this issue. I fit in one seat without using a belt extender, but it is a tight, uncomfortable ride in coach. I’m also claustrophobic. If at all possible I fly first/business class. Mostly for my own sanity. However when I do have to fly coach I always make sure to sit next to my husband or children, that way if I happen to (Oh forbid the thought) touch another human being at least it isn’t any of you nasty hate filled people that insult the overweight just to make yourself feel superior. The thought of touching one of you people gives me the heebie-jeebies. Yuck! Trust me I feel the same way about you. And oh yeah, I pay just as much for my 35 pound three-year old’s seat as you did for yours. Life isn’t fair. Get over it. #firstworldproblems

  36. Well as someone who fits just fine in a a seat i know airlines are shrinking the seats even more to fit more people on board so as for normal sized folks soon we wont be fitting to well either. Seats should be bigger for the cost everyone should be comfortable.

  37. If I sit next to someone who is too big I just apologize to the person and the crew and ask to be moved. My health and comfort is more important

  38. I believe this is a discrimination issue. People not in the standard deviation of the airlines seats space allocation are asked to pay more. As a tall person I would love to investigate the possibilities of a class action lawsuit against Delta or any other carrier .

    • I agree! We should look into a class action. As for assalting your personal space: we should charge extra for people who wear heavy colognes , drink all night and smell of liquor, get up and down the entire flight to use the bathroom, walk down the isles with big bags your too cheap to check hitting me in the face and head, crying loud children, ugly people, those who refuse to put their phones on airplane mode when asked, those who want to use both arm rest, etc. grow up you guys!

  39. I’m not a large person however frequently when I fly I’ve had a larger passenger seated next to me, many times spilling over into my seat space. For someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other chronic pain conditions having someone pressing on you during a long flight can trigger a flare-up. Traveling itself is an already uncomfortable endeavor. The space I’m not currently taking up when you sit down next to me, I’ve paid for and have every intention of utilizing as I stretch, readjust, etc multiple times during the flight in an effort to relieve the aches and significant pain. I’m sorry if you need to purchase a second seat, but it is not my fault that you require that space, just as it is not my fault that I need to utilize my seat space. I doubt you’d take kindly to me stretching out and twisting into your space.

  40. The solution seems so simple for almost all people. Take out a number of the 3-seat rows and replace them with 2-seat rows and charge one and a half times the price. The airline gets the same amount of money and everyone is comfortable and safe. A person should not have to pay double for a few inches more of space when 1.5 will do just fine. Also, everyone just be nice. The flights will be much more pleasant.


  42. Well then… Lot of comments here, some very well thought out, others are lets just say “interesting.” Something to be said for tolerance of other peoples thoughts here. I sometimes wonder how an elected official’s mail reads. Might be a little bit like this here. Anyway, I am getting off track.

    It is a known fact the human population is getting heavier. No doubt about that. I would think the airlines would take that into consideration because even at a “normal” weight, the seats are cramped to say the least. I don’t know ANYONE who flies, that doesn’t complain about the seat size. I remember a flight I took to Hawaii some years ago. It was a very crowded flight with no extra seating. I was separated from my family and told I had to be seated in the rear. Know this, I am 5-10 and 215lbs, no lightweight for sure, but I can usually fit into an airline seat without too much discomfort. The flight attendant escorted me to the back of the plane and pointed to a middle seat that was vacant between two super sized Pacific Islander ladies who both looked up at me with scowls on their faces. The attendant flashed a smile at me and quickly ran off. I could only smile at my two seat companions and shrug my head. What else was there to do? They then each put an arm down on the two arm rests situated on either side of my seat and pretended not to notice me. I emptied my pockets of anything that would dig into me, did a few stretching exercises, and proceeded to carefully back into that tiny area of cloth called a seat. I was getting to Hawaii no matter what! I found by placing your elbows towards the center of your torso and crossing your arms, you can almost sit anywhere. I figured I could take 5 hours of this, if I kept reminding myself what the POWs went through in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam war.

    Meal time wasn’t so bad. I just kept my elbows in front and over the tray. One hand gripped the back of the seat in front of me, while I ate with the other. It was slow eating, but I did it. Both my companions had a death grip on the arm rests and ate with only one hand. Those were two very determined ladies. My two very skinny children and bird like wife were somewhere in the front of the plane. They never came back to check on me. I hated them, but still, I saved the cookie that came with my meal for my wife who is always munching on such things and doesn’t gain an ounce. I placed it in the rear seat pocket in front of me since I couldn’t contort myself to put it into one of my pockets.

    Our next event was a break for the restroom. We all decided to “go” at the same time. It went rather orderly and I took advantage of the time to see if my arms, neck, and shoulders would function normal again. Perfect, only 3 more hours to go. I could do this!

    Until… Yes, a young rather unkept teenager a few seats in front of us, decided to take his tennis shoes off. I do believe he hadn’t changed his socks for the last month. All of us at the rear of the plane were overtaken immediately by the sickening odor of rotting toes. It was tremendous, but it actually served to spark some life in the two ladies next to me. Suddenly they were talkative but still maintaining a death grip on the armrests, but at least they were talking! Maybe time would pass quicker now. Thankfully, someone next to the young man advised him to put his shoes back on. I can attest to the fine ventilation aboard these planes. It cleared up pretty fast. I learned my two companions were Hawaii natives returning home from a trip to the mainline. They couldn’t understand I was all hellfire about visiting Hawaii. They told me the islands were boring and I should be very lucky to live on the mainland. Anyway, our flight was about to finally land and we attempted to gather up our belongings. My seatmate to the left was just barely able to reach down and grab her purse. She struggled to get it and I say a cookie that looked like the one I had saved fall out of her purse. I was totally amazed at how fast she could move to retrieve it in such cramped quarters. Very agile she was. Well since we were at the back, we were the last to deplane. I let the ladies go in front of me. Besides I wanted to get that cookie I saved for my wife. I know I put it in there. I searched it three times to make sure. Nothing. It just disappeared it did. Strangest thing. Hmmmm? Naw. I am sure it was her cookie that she saved.

    The point of this story? If all airlines would just put in theater seats in the planes it would make for a much happier world. No one every complains about the seat size when you go to watch a movie!

  43. American airlines does not abide by their policy despite passenger requests. Flight 1872 dca to MCO.

  44. I appreciate the post and I loved reading all the comments. I am an oversized lady big boobs big hips and over 6′ 2″. My boyfriend is a smaller person. If he and I flew together I wonder if I wouldn’t have to buy an extra seat if I got the window and he sat in the middle? I wanted to surprise him with a trip to Vegas and I haven’t flew since I was younger and thinner. I also don’t want to be a bother to other fliers as I feel they have the same right to be as comfortable as I am. I’m in Charlotte NC, what would be the best airline to take? I have never down above regular status, are business seats much bigger? We could never afford first class.

  45. So after reading through the whole thread, I’m not sure my question was answered.

    Has anyone booked 2 seats together on Expedia or the like? I’ve called both United and Expedia. Expedia said I was SOL and I would have to call the airline directly. The only issue with that is I really don’t want to pay over $200 more which is what it’ll be if I book directly through United.


  46. I am done with being nice, I have been sat on 3 times, with the last taking 1/2 of my seat. Be it noted to all – if you are not able to put down the armrest, or even so and encroach on my space, I will alert the flight attendant and invoke their two seat purchase rule. Get out of my seat and stay out!!!!!

  47. What if you have no legs, whether from birth , military, ect. Do you get to pay less? Not that I have seen. Does that person care if you take a little extra space. Probably not. We all need to give a little & be respectful no matter what the circumstances. Don’t cry over a few inches. We all have our issues. God didn’t make any of us perfect.

  48. I am an overweight person and I am planning to fly in about 6 months. I am going to buy 2 tickets in case I do need the extra seat. My question is that what if I lose weight (which I am planning to do) and only need one seat? Can I return the other ticket and be reimbursed?

    • Hi Andrea,

      That’s a tough one. Airline tickets are usually sold as non-refundable. However, some airlines are more lenient with their rules when it comes to your situation. Southwest is one airline that will usually reimburse you if you happen to no longer need that extra seat. Since each airline can handle this situation differently, you may want to check with the airline you’re considering flying with to inquire what they can do or will do for you.

  49. Hi I have recently submitted a complaint to a large uk holiday company due to having to endure an eight hour flight sat next to a very large woman, apart from the fact that my personal space was invaded it left me with neck and back ache well after my two week holiday, the flight was fully booked but have since found out first class seats were available, would be grateful for any advice or information to back up my complaint.

  50. D,
    You should lose some weight and stop bitching. You also need to work on your posture if it is so bad that over the course of an eight hour flight you developed a long-term chiropractic condition.
    You should have had health insurance so you wouldn’t have had to come in here bitching about something that is not OUR problem. Go get it fixed.
    We get a 2nd seat, you can get your own website to deal with your little silly-assed non-problem.
    I’m done, it’s time for dinner and you know I Don’t miss Dinner!
    You skinny ass.

  51. all passengers should be weighed with the bags they bring and pay accordingly. i find it extremely unfair that myself of thin build have to pay 500$ for 50 kilo of bags when jim bob sitting beside me makes up that 50 kilos easily for the same fair ticket

  52. I highly recommend Southwest Airlines. I have utilized their customer of size policy many times With good results. Call the airline directly for help mAking the reservation. To avoid stress, I reserve and pay for a second seat. Southwest will refund the second seat after your flight. Very quickly and cheerfully. Utilize preboarding and make sure to check seatguru.com for the aircraft you are flying. That way you will know in advance which seats have more legroom, which seats to avoid because the armrest don’t retract,.etc. Quietly tell the flight attendant that greets you at the door that you need a seatbelt extender. They usually place it in my hand discreetly right there. I am a tall lady with permanent injuries to my lower back, hip and leg. Needless to add, I am now also obese after fifteen years of being barely able to walk or move around easily. Flying is still not an easy or stress free experience. Southwest gives you a teeny weeny “reserved” sign that everyone overlooks. You have to constantly explain even to the flight attendant that you paidfor two seats and need to keep it. I’ve taken to piling my luggage and coat in the center seat and perch the sign on top. no matter how sweet or soft voiced I am, I still have people roll their eyes at me, insult me loudly and argue with me that they want to sit in that particular seat..I try to travel with a companion who will sit in the aisle seat and defend me. berween this treatment and the thrill of the body cavity searches in the security line, I never fly if you can drive it in ten hours or less. I think the idea of extra size seats with more legroom that youcan reserve and pay extra for is a great idea. People with disabilities can’t sit in the exit row. Also, bulkhead seats as the armrest are fixed and there is not enough leg room to accommodate anyone with a back or knee problem who is tall. Kudos to Southwest. Every airline should have their policy of accommodating passengers of size or special needs.

  53. If I cannot put my armrest down, YOU should be buying an extra seat. I pay for a ticket for space for me, not for you.

    • 1. No way will there be mock up plane seats at the boarding gates, security areas or anywhere else. The same people demanding respect and equal rights will say everyone is looking at them to see if they fit! (More than likely NOT). 2. I’m 5’8″, female, 210 – 220 lbs. and barely fit SW. Yes I am overweight and would never hog up other passengers space. Being considerate is harder for a overweight person on a flight than being “normal” sized. I know. Been flying since I was a kid. 3. Haa- good luck to everyone and thank your lucky stars you made it to talk about. It or

      • Continued:::: Or to have another hamburger (yum). 4. Thank you to all flight crews for hauling us around big or small.

      • the thing is that the airlines keep shrinking the seats. We have lost 7 inches in the past decade. More and more people are not able to fit into the shrinking seats and what happens to the airline for shrinking seats, they make people pay double? Really? That is the way to solve it. Such a shame

  54. I fly constantly, and there is nothing more upsetting than having to sit next to an overweight person on an airplane. They think nothing of taking up half my seat, spreading their legs so their feet are under the seat in front of me. It’s just rude. You know how big you are, don’t make the rest of us suffer for your size issues. Do everyone a favor and BUY TWO SEATS.

    • either that or have the airlines give us back the 7 inches they have taken in the last decade. It is crazy what they get away with.

  55. Flew United last week. I am 5’9″ tall and weigh an athletic 200 lbs.
    My shoulders are 21″ wide; the seat is 17″-18″ wide.
    Full plane I had an aisle seat. Across the aisle from me was a large man (5’6″; 350 lbs). When another passenger showed up with a boarding pass for his seat he realized he should have been in the middle seat next to me. I moved to the aisle to let him in. When I went to sit down I noticed that he took up about 6″ inches of my seat. Do the math; my shoulders would have been in the aisle by at least 8″ which is an uncomfortable position for a 4.5 hour plane ride. I told a flight attendant the situation and asked for another seat. She informed me the flight was full so I asked to leave the plane. I was treated as though there was something wrong with me and I was being unreasonable. They even called security to meet me when I got off the plane. I was able to get on another flight but the flight crew ignoring the real problem i.e. the other passenger was frustrating.
    After I was off the plane I was informed that there were 2 empty seats available on the plane when I asked to be moved.
    On top of that the other passenger had a big grin on his face when he sat in the seat next to me.

    • I know how you feel Michael, It is because of those types of experiences and that sort of treatment by airlines that I have resolved, now that I am retired, to never ever fly again. Now when I look up and see an airline passenger plane, I think to myself “I’m glad I’m not in that plane.” The bad experience starts as soon as you drive into the airport. Everyone from the Chairman & CEO, down to the baggage handler know that flying is a miserable experience and no one cares. Their one and only care is to make money, and lots of it. The rest of us can go to the dogs as far as they are concerned.

    • Maybe the extra seats you were informed of were purchased extra seats.
      God forbid someone sit next to you and try to be friendly and smile.

  56. I am a very small person (5′ 100 lbs.) and was on a flight where the guy sitting next to me was unable to put the armrest down. Our thighs were touching during the whole flight – which was blessedly short. I didn’t want to embarrass him by complaining so I ordered a beer and waited until the flight was over to complain. I asked to be compensated for the loss of 1/3 of my seat. I was surprised that nothing came of it. Jeez Guys.

  57. Prior to retiring recently, I had to travel a lot. While sitting in my seat during boarding I would watch the other passengers coming down the aisle and when I saw an obese person coming I would think “I hope that person does not sit next to me.” When I saw thin or normal weight persons coming down the aisle I would think “I hope that person sits next to me.” I once had to fit next to a fat lady whose fat spilled under the arm rest and was against my thigh through out the long flight. Other times fat people spilled over into my seat from top to bottom. I might have been more aggravated if I had paid for the ticket but it was my employer who paid for it. I never once complained either to the passengers or to the airlines, I just suffered in silence but I do believe obese people should pay for two seats so they do not make the flight of their fellow passengers even more miserable than it already is. That is what I would do rather than make someone else suffer. Even before I retired I resolved to never ever fly again. I would rather drive across the country than fly.

    • One time on flight , I had to sit by a guy who started a fight with a man sitting behind us .
      I thought for sure I would’ve be in the middle of it . This man was football size person ,
      I never said a word to him or anybody . I’ve sit by over weight people on several flights ,
      and I never said anything to them , WHY YOU ASK because I figure what if I were their
      size , I don’t think I would want something to make fun of me ….
      I Figure That’s Their Business To Be Overweight !!!!! What if you were overweight would you like to be made fun of ?????????? ponder on that !!!!!!!

  58. Hi my name is Eddie
    2016 I’m about to fly to Daytona Beach Florida this is my first flight I’m over weight I don’t know they have wider seat for the plane I don’t know if I buy 2 seats I don’t know seats belt going to fit me please write me back what can I do thank you

    • Hi Eddie, Thanks for the question. It’s really best to reach out to the airline directly with concerns about your specific needs. Southwest has a very generous and straightforward policy for overweight passengers and a lot of our passengers of size swear by them if they offer service in your market. Most airlines do have policies that are worth looking into – best of luck to you.

  59. I had read where Airlines are going to make the seats smaller , less everything . Know if they’ve done that it’s anybody guess . It will get to a point an “average person ” will not be able to fit in the seat
    either . The seat will fit the same of a Child . Every body will end up paying EXTRA $$$$ FOR A SECOND SEAT …….. This way Airlines will make more $$$$$$ ( 2 seats per person ) .

  60. I am a large person & plan to travel to Australia later this year. I have always fit in the seats, but I do encroach some on my neighbor despite making every effort not to do so. I will be flying with Etihad & have not purchased a second seat. I have reserved an aisle seat & my husband will be in the center seat next to me so I’ll only be inconveniencing him. Have any larger passengers flown with Etihad and do you know what their policies are?

    • Hi Sheila, I did a quick search on Etihad’s site because I wasn’t aware of their policies regarding persons of size. Unfortunately, I don’t see anything. I would reach out to them directly and ask just so you go into your experience with eyes wide open and there are no surprises. If they don’t have a prescribed policy its a bit of a crapshoot on how your experience might go. The formality of policies can frustrate consumers, but they also protect you.

  61. I have been checking seats and they have made them 7 inches smaller in the past decade…really? No wonder a lot of people don’t fit.

  62. This is such a touchy subject. (no pun intended). It is my fault that I am overweight and therefore, I will not have people without a weight problem suffer because of me. I would be humiliated buying 2 seats because everybody will know, but that is my own fault. I feel I need to lose some weight before I can fly again. I guess my main comment is if someone that is obese is sitting in next to you and hanging over their arm rests, they need to be told in the nicest possible way but they do need to be told. Don’t shout it out so everyone can here. Keep your voice low, get your point across and I think for the most part, people are going to understand. Just remember to act nice because then most people are going to respond nice. Thanks.

  63. Ok, for all its worth heres my 2 cents …..I travel a lot and to be honest I have never been in or seen a situation due to a persons size, I have seen a lot of (skinny) A*^$^%# ‘s who should have been booted off, I do feel for the large person, BUT, its not fair to the person beside the larger person who feels trapped in a seat not to mention in pain…..larger people know the deal and simply do not care, they expect others to ” just deal with it” …….welllllll , I have a simple and discrete idea, do what some amusement parks do, have a 3 seater set-up either in a back room or behind a curtain to prevent any embarrassment and if ya don’t fit buy another, quite simple. don’t get me wrong, I do feel for the larger person but why should others have to endure hours of being “stuffed” into an already small seat ? nuff said……………………………………..

  64. So after reading all the comments (and I must say some of you come off as ignorant jackasses no matter how hard I try to not to think this way)….. How about we all do this? Some new travel rules….

    1. You can’t bring your screaming, noisy, obnoxious, uncontrollable, and misbehaving children on any flight. If you do, you pay for one extra seat per screaming child, one for each adult in your group, and a gag will be provided free of charge for said pain in the ass children.
    2. If you can’t fully physically fit in a single seat for any reason ( too large, too skinny, too tall, too short, etc.) you must also buy an extra seat regardless of the reason for you not correctly fitting into a single seat and you must take up all but not more than your seat allotment.
    3. If you can’t remember to maintain normal socially acceptable hygiene levels for any reason on any flight, you must also buy an extra seat regardless of what body part is wreaking offensive havoc on our olfactory senses. This goes the same for small children with witless parents who don’t remember to bring clean nappies or can’t be bothered to change them.
    4. If you fail to recognize social niceties, can’t practice decent respectful human behavior, heed social cues, or if you just can’t keep your mouth shut when you can’t say something nice, you get to pay for an extra seat and a gag will be provided free of charge.
    5. If you can’t hold you alcohol and/or act like a boorish, screaming, noisy, obnoxious, uncontrollable, and misbehaving adult, you get to pay for an extra seat and a gag, handcuffs, and leg irons will be provided free of charge.

    There…. Problem solved…on a flight of normally 300 people there will be now lots of room because only about 150 people will be on that flight…….

  65. My story begins with Allegiate. Purchased seats for myself (overweight) and my skinny husband. Flight to AZ, NO PROBLEM although I did need a seat belt extender.

    However, the flight home was a different story. Insensitive flight attendant embarrassed us when my hubby asked him for the seat belt accommodation. It was horrifying.

  66. Hi there, I’m 270 lbs and wondering if I will be allowed to fly with Lufthansa and United Airlines next week to Europe. My company bought me tickets and didn’t ask if I am over 17 inch…
    Another thing is that airlines don’t ensure your comfort when you choose economy class. I was 170 lbs few years ago, and cannot say that seats were very comfortable for 14-hrs-flight….

    • Hi there, the best option for you is to reach out to the airlines and discuss your situation with them. There is no universal standard for service on this issue, but the airlines do try to make every customer comfortable.

    • If you can afford, ask how much an upgrade would be. I am the same size and paid more to be comfortable. Also, if you ask for a seatbelt extender you cannot sit in an exit row so make sure your seat is not in that row. If you can sit in aisle you will be able to get up more often. Have a great flight.

    • I used to weigh 284 pounds when I flew , and honesty I never had an issue on most flights .
      Except for one flight , I couldn’t get the seat belt over my stomach by 4 inches . I asked for
      extender and the people around me , keep watching me . That really upset me and to this
      day , I’ll always remember it . Anyways since then , I’ve lost a lot of weight and continue to
      my goal weight . I cut out a lot of processed foods , stopped drinking soda , I only drink water .
      I stopped eating ( bread , pasta , boxed foods , and so much more ) . The way I eat will now ,
      it’s a life style change , I will never eat the foods I ate . It wasn’t how much food ( because I ate
      average amount ) it’s the Processed foods That’s Toxic and the food industries knows that .
      Anyways I’m down to 180 pounds in 9 months , I’ve 40 pounds more and I’ll be at my goal weight .
      I sleep 8 hours a night , drink water , exercise in the early morning with videos , go to the gym daily and mix the exercise up so , I don’t stall . And eat extremely healthy …..Low Carbs 20% , Protein moderate , high fats …I wished I knew this years ago ……I’m healthy , Happy , I’ve a lot of Energy and Life is Grand !! I’ll be flying on a plane in the near future and I’ll be at my goal weight 🙂

      • At last someone who is willing to change themselves instead of wanting to change the entire world to suit themselves. Success will be yours and may you have many happy ours of flying ahead!

    • I used to weigh 284 pounds when I flew , and honesty I never had an issue on most flights .
      Except for one flight , I couldn’t get the seat belt over my stomach by 4 inches . I asked for
      extender and the people around me , keep watching me . That really upset me and to this
      day , I’ll always remember it . Anyways since then , I’ve lost a lot of weight and continue to
      my goal weight . I cut out a lot of processed foods , stopped drinking soda , I only drink water .
      I stopped eating ( bread , pasta , boxed foods , and so much more ) . The way I eat will now ,
      it’s a life style change , I will never eat the foods I ate . It wasn’t how much food ( because I ate
      average amount ) it’s the Processed foods That’s Toxic and the food industries knows that .
      Anyways I’m down to 180 pounds in 9 months , I’ve 40 pounds more and I’ll be at my goal weight .
      I sleep 8 hours a night , drink water , exercise in the early morning with videos , go to the gym daily and mix the exercise up so , I don’t stall . And eat extremely healthy …..Low Carbs 20% , Protein moderate , high fats …I wished I knew this years ago ……I’m healthy , Happy , I’ve a lot of Energy and Life is Grand !! I’ll be flying on a plane in the near future and I’ll be at my goal weight ?

      • I have the same problem! Carbs are literally toxic for me! Anything processed makes me gain, and not just ounces, literally POUNDS overnight! People have absolutely no idea, neither did I till I was 56 years old! Good luck!!

  67. Important – if you ask for a seatbelt extender you cannot sit in an exit row. They will embarrass you by asking you to move and announcing why. This happened to me on Delta. Either buy your own seat belt extender which is cheap on Amazon or don’t book an exit row. I thought maybe that was just a Delta policy however Ryanair had the same policy (although they were much nicer about it).

  68. Part of the problem is that the seat belt lengths vary from airline and aircraft. The only airline I have ever had a problem with is United which does have the shortest seat belt length in the industry. I found out that the airlines do not necessarily replace the seat belts then they begin to fray, they just cut the frayed part off. Learned from the flight crew when the seat belt for the window seat was about 1.5 inches longer than the aisle seat. So it might not be the person who does not fit, it maybe the seat belt is not the length it is suppose to be.

  69. People,

    Let’s stop the hate and work together to try to convince the airlines to serve ALL of its customers better. The larger traveler, whether because of a large bone structure or excess weight due to medical or behavioral issuess, both needs and deserves appropriate accommodation. But I think it is only fair that the standard sized person be considered in the equation too. I’m pretty standard sized…5’10” and 180 lbs and the space feels cramped to me, especially the bathrooms–so I feel genuinely bad for the larger person who is trying to get from one place to another and when I am seated next to a larger person, I am always polite and as accommodating as I can be.

    Recently, I was on a 3 hours flight, sitting on the aisle. An individual sat next to me whose body extended a full six inches over the armrest and onto me. I was scooted as close as possible to the aisle armrest and it was physically impossible for the two of us to share the flight without being in constant physical contact.

    How can we address both of our needs–and I would argue that my need to have space is as genuine as the need of the plus sized passenger–without all tearing each other’s hair out? Certainly, there must be something we can do to help everyone be comfortable–or at least, not in unintended constant contact with a complete stranger.

    Any creative ideas without throwing the hate darts?

  70. What are standard-size passengers supposed to do when a morbidly obese person comes in at the tail end of boarding, has the middle seat next to you, and immediately raises both armrests (he would not have been able to fit into the seat if even one of them had been lowered)? The plane appeared to be full. I feel the flight attendant should have offered to move me to another seat, even in first class if something was available, or at least DONE OR SAID SOMETHING, but no one said a word and I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it for fear of further embarrassing the man, who was already plenty embarrassed (and perhaps rightly so, as it appears from the supposed airline “policies” that he should have purchased a second seat). If you are going to have policies, please enforce them for the love of God. I was leaning into the aisle as much as possible until the drink cart pinned me in for an interminable 10 minutes. The man literally had to hunch forward the entire 2-hour flight with his left shoulder in front of my body and me pinned to my seat. I assume it was the same for the poor man in the window seat, although I could not see him.

  71. The sad fact is that being fat is now normal. About 75% of Americans are overweight and well over 35% are now obese.
    The airlines have planes with approx. 18 inch seats, built to transport people up to around 200 lbs, when 280 lbs plus is becoming much more common.
    Obesity in all countries follows exactly the same pattern as the rise of an industry now hell bent on providing fast food and food in huge portions. It is predicted that there will be some 65 million more obese adults in the USA by 2030 (Lancet data).
    Whatever the causes, the airlines must be aware that problem will only get worse. We can only hope that, as they update their fleets, they specify larger seats and / or special rows for larger people. This will come at a cost and it would seem fair that this will have to be paid for by larger people.
    The next time you are seated next to an obese person who is using 25% of your seat, please show some sympathy for the fact that by 2030, your obese fellow passengers will suffer an ADDITIONAL 8 million cases of diabetes (a seriously under-rated and horrible disease), 7 million cases of heart disease and stroke and 700,000 additional cases of cancer, not to mention hypertension, the physical incapacity resulting from osteoarthritis, gallstones, and sleep apnoea, in other words a very poor quality of life. (These are far more compelling reasons to lose weight than fitting into an airline seat).
    In addition, their medical insurance will increasingly become a much bigger factor than flight costs, as U.S. medical costs for obese patients are predicted to INCREASE by some $60 billion over the next 14 years..
    As I write this, Giorgio Destro, a lawyer, is suing Emirates airline after having to sit next to an obese passenger during a nine-hour flight. He did look very uncomfortable. I await the outcome of this action but, more importantly if it gets to court, its impact on the airline industry.

  72. I don’t see this as simply a weight problem, it is a distribution problem. When flying in a helicopter everyone is weighed so they can be seated so the weight is even, no bottom heavy on one side or the other.
    When my son used to fly with his cello, he (we) had to purchase an extra seat for his instrument. We didn’t complain because after all, it did take up as much room as a person, although it didn’t weigh very much. So for the same reason, I think children should pay full price, as they use a full seat. Maybe they do already I just don’t have any small children so don’t have to consider that.
    Overweight people complaining about discrimination on planes should just plan ahead, pay for two seats, and be a good seat mate. Life is too short to get in a snippet over things like this. Just be glad if you land safely and fairly on time.

  73. I rarely fly, but will never forget my 5 hour flight underneath the lady next to me. She knew she did not fit in one seat. She knew she would be ON TOP of the person next to her. Every single employee of the airline knew that by looking at her. When she got up to use the restroom I put the arm rest down. She came back and stated “I can’t sit there with the arm rest down”. I was too polite then to say anything, but I’m not too polite now. Sitting on top of me for 5 hours is unacceptable. I’m not discriminating against overweight people. I am sorry she ended up so large for whatever reason, but I should not have suffered because of it. It happened quite a while ago and it still makes me mad. I wish I had gotten up and asked the flight attendant to go look at my “empty” seat. It would have been too cruel to take a picture with my phone to submit with a complaint, but I should have. The airlines need to put a stop to this!

  74. My wife and I travel frequently and we always purchase 2 seats for her because of her size. Not only does she not want to infringe on another persons seat but she also wants to have comfort and that is impossible with another person beside her. When our kids were young, we could always have one of the kids sit next to her since they only took up about 1/2 of the seat. I have no problem in the purchase of two tickets

    • Hi everyone, I just want to mention to the users who have commented on this post but might not see their comment live – we have a strictly no profanity policy for our blog. We’re really grateful that people have become passionate about this issue and are participating in spirited debate, but we screen for profanity and anything that is bordering on abusive language. This should be a safe space for debate and we have a zero tolerance policy for hate language. Please refrain from using profanity. Thank you! (The Moderator)

  75. I really appreciate the factual information presented in this article. I certainly want to be as comfortable as possible when traveling (and I wish the same for others, as well). This article provides the information for me to do just that. Thank you!

  76. Ya know, I think it says a lot that when airlines years ago had seats that were as wide as a car seat in a vehicle and some were much wider, especially seats in first class. It’s just been the last 20-25 years they’ve made seats smaller and added more rows of seats cramming passengers into a plane like cattle for the slaughter. A passenger car seat ranges from 41-58 inches wide yet airlines are 17-19 inches. I think it’s pretty safe to say unless you have a waistline like Scarlett O’hara, most people that range between a size 14+ for women or men with a 36 inch waist all are feeling a little snug. I’m sorry even at my thinnest as a bodybuilder I was NEVER 19 inches wide. I think the seats in an airline are unjust, and unrealistic. I think they need to go back to being the size of a car seat or at least close to that and the problems of people being different sizes won’t be as much of an issue as they currently are. Especially in a world where people have grown by 2-4 sizes from 60 years ago. I think the airlines are so greedy they just don’t care about the people. They don’t even offer food on most long flights any more. They charge extra for that. So I pay $1,000 for a seat and I can’t even get a $3-5 meal in that price. Really! And lets not forget that while gas prices are down or when they drop the airlines tend to increase their rates or not lower them when fuel goes down. It’s all about greed and has nothing to do with service or making passengers happy. If you look around the cabin, while many people can fit in the seat, they are all snug on some level. So while yes, someone that weights 1700 pounds would be a bit problematic I don’t think someone that is 300 lbs should be forced into humiliation to purchase another seat especially if they can fit into the seat and may only need a seatbelt extension. If you follow the seat size rules and you look from behind the seats only about 10% of passengers fit perfectly with in the seat with room around them. Everyone else crosses out of the seat in some way. That means that 90% of the flyers should be treated the same way as those they are calling obese or overweight.

  77. things i hate when i fly in order of hatred:
    -screaming babies (i cant handle these, can hear them even with noise canceling over ear headphones!)
    -people who bring their cat on the plane (you can do this on SW now & i am highly allergic to cats. given that you cant see all the people on the plane while boarding and they do not warn passengers before hand of the animals on board, it seems careless)
    -fat people encroaching on my space/seat (i put the armrest down and if it doesnt go down easily i usually push a little harder to squeeze it down, i want my space and i paid for it. buy the extra seat if you really are that enormous and figure your own refund out)
    -people who feel the need to have the lights on while on a night flight even when theyre not reading (srsly what do you need to see, go to sleep or read something at least if you have to have it on)
    -people who put their bag in the footwell area for my carryon (if youre going to put your bag in my area, im going to rest my dirty shoes on it and turn it into my foot pillow)

    theres a ton of reasons flying sucks these days, but the article is about obese people buying extra seats, which they should since not everyone likes to make body contact with strangers. i for one, do not like being rubbed up on by the person next to me regardless of their size, it creeps me out. but like i said, flying sucks, flying next to a screaming baby sucks the most though, by far and away. I simply cannot stand hearing the high pitched whine and cry as some parents just let their baby cray and cry. take that thing to the bathroom til it calms down, some people are trying to sleep and/or just dont want to hear such an annoying sound for hours.

  78. This article address only seat width. I can sit between armrests with a belt extender. However, I cannot fit into the airplane restroom. Do airlines have any alternatives for people who can’t squeeze into the tight restrooms? Like I said, I can fit between the seat armrests. Does business class have bigger restrooms?

    • Try rail next time and please give us feedback if you are able to fit into this public convenience. Have you ever considered the strength of the bowl, what is the maximum allowable load it can withstand? Please refer the www for statistics on injuries sustained by collapsing toilet bowls, apparently there are average 40 000 cases in USA every year?

  79. Judy, I’m a lazy sloppy fat person of size! I need to loooooooose some weight. You also need to looooose some weight in your fingers. The problem is that the seats are not big enough. While homo sapiens are getting larger airplane seats are getting smaller. They are uncomfortable for an average sized person. I can take my big body of size to a movie theater and fit into the seats with no problem. (I don’t buy their overpriced greasy popcorn). A lot of homo sapiens weigh 300 pounds. The seats are too small. There are too many people having to buy an extra seat. This should be rare. BTW the really problem I have is the length of my arms and legs and I am only 5’6″ and I will fly to Denver first class instead of buying two seats. I will probably need to buy two economy seats to fly to Australia.

  80. For some people asking for a seat belt extender can be embarrassing. Well, you no long need to ask a flight attendant again for a seat belt extender. Now you can buy your own FAA approved seat belt extender. The one listed below will only fit on Southwest Airlines. I highly recommend this if you are tired of always having to ask for and extender. The one I found even comes with a carrying case.


  81. I have always purchased 2 seats due to
    1. My size
    2. Not wanting to make another passenger uncomfortable
    3. Not wanting to be “that” person that people talk about after the flight.

    When my company flew me to Europe, I asked them to book 2 seats, and they were very accommodating–they called the airline, discussed the issue, and booked me in first class with the airline only charging the price of 2 economy seats (still cheaper).

    It’s not the fault of another passenger that I am bigger than most, so I try not to make it their problem.

  82. So what we are now saying is that the blind MUST be able to see and that extreme weight cases must be able to fly or that ALL shoe stores must carry size 18 stock instead of the average size 9? Surely if you are considered abnormal in any which way the entire world should not be expected to pay a price for our aberration. Is obesity still considered a serious medical condition as all other conditions causing drastic weight increase or has this also changed in the new world order?
    Perhaps we should all learn to except our own limitations; if you cannot see then you are blind, no hearing relates to deafness. Not being able to damage others furniture or fit in an Aircraft seat equates in one being extremely overweight; never mind the reason for the condition. Sorry to all extreme weight cases, rail may be a better alternative.

  83. I just spent 3 1/2 hours on an Alaska Airlines flight (which are always full/no seats to move to) – seated next to a morbidly obese passenger. She was in the middle row – and her legs, arms and elbows (in my chest) extended over into my seat and the seat next to her. My spine hurts from sitting sideways in an effort to avoid her spilling over into my space for several hours. As a high-mileage flyer she was eligible for the free AK Air chocolate bar (which she ate) and she immediately ate the chocolate inside the ‘premium seat’ courtesy box. She also gathered up as many freebie food-packs as possible to consume later. BTW, yes, she required her own personal belt-extender. I am very sorry, but after over 60 years on the planet, it is my observation that the vast majority of obese people (yes, that includes tall people with wide shoulders, and people who “…have battled wieght my whole life….”) are fat because they consistently eat TOO MUCH of the WRONG FOOD. Ultimately we need to perceive obesity as something that’s as bad as public drunkenness and smoking. Obesity is actually worse than smoking (both are suicidal behaviors/conditions) – at least the consequence of smoking is a relatively early death – but obesity is a condition that will result in diabetes (which all the rest of us are expected to pay for via insurance premiums, the escalating cost of medical care), heart conditions, hip and knee replacements, strokes and a plethora of other debilitating medical conditions that – once again – society/all the restof us are expected to pay for – because the obese population decided to spend their lives drinking 32 oz soft drinks (instead of water) and horsing down extreme amounts of sugar and fat laden foods. NEWS FLASH: It is virtually impossible to be obese if you consistently drink water, eat small portions of the right types of food, and exercise your body (by getting off your butt, instead of sitting on it). Sorry, but after sitting next to someone whose eating, obesity and denial is out of control – and being expected to accept it and accommodate it – I’m out of empathy. Lastly, I saw several comments in this thread about “…people are getttng larger ….” and “…lots of people weigh 300 LBS ….. “. That is complete nonsense! People aren’t “getting larger”. They are getting FATTER! If you want to be FAT, then buy your own row of seats, or take a bus. If you weigh 300 lbs, get two seats next to the defibrillator! In the meantime, educate yourself as to slow manner in which you are killing yourself (and expecting the rest of us to pay for it). If you don’t believe me, talk to the EMT’s who have spinal injuries from dealing with emergency calls involving strokes and heart attack patients who are obese. In the meantime, please don’t sit next to me on the plane. You’ll know who I am – I’ll be the one who stared at you in disbelief – and then hit the buzzer to ask the flight attendant for a different seat.

    • So you really think being too tall is the result of eating too much of the wrong food??? I guess 60 years ago they stopped passing out brains and marbles were substituted. BTW, for those shorter people, give us a heads up on exactly what foods you are referring to so we can add to our height. SMH!

  84. Hi. I happen to be one of these people that weighs 300 pounds that some of you are railing against.

    It is very difficult to exercise when you have a bad back and bad knees from things that happened to you while in military service. It is also hard to diet effectively enough to lose weight or keep it off when you cannot exercise. But my weight is not the only problem.

    Airline seats have gotten narrower as backsides have gotten wider, all because the airlines are chasing the almighty dollar. So of course they want me to buy an extra seat. My answer to that is to rarely fly any other airline than Southwest, use a travel blanket that has a sort of pouch to allow me to hold my arms in a folded position and always get a window or aisle.

    And pray I don’t have to sit beside a judgmental person like Eld.

  85. It would be helpful if airlines would standardize the seating. This would include width of seat, legroom and even length of seat belts. Many seat belts need replaced occasionally but some are super long and many super short. U. S. airlines are very poorly run and they take advantage of customers because most do not have an alternative.

  86. Just a comment about the seat belt extenders. For many years I had to ask for one. Sometimes they were bright orange which as you can imagine stood out like a sore thumb. Other times the crew member forgot to get it and I had to ask again. Very embarrassing as people would overhear me and either looked disgusted or with pity. Neither of which was helpful.
    I bought one on ebay and quietly bring it out fit it and bothered no-one. I did write my name on the back so if the crew asked for it at the end of the flight I could show them it was my personal one. I have never been told I couldn’t use my own. Hope that helps someone.

  87. Hi, I am very interested in awareness, solutions, and advocacy for issues related to persons of size, specifically with respect to air travel. I think we need solutions that balance the needs of everyone involved from the persons of size, to their adjacent travellers, to the airline employees. Towards that goal, I’ve created http://www.personofsize.com with short articles I have written about different aspects of the subject. I’ll be adding more over time – and on the site I ask for your feedback. I hope it is helpful to you.

  88. I believe that if you purchase a ticket you should be able to fit in the seat without showing discomfort to the person next to you it’s as simple as that if you mail a package and it’s 3 feet by 3 feet you pay more for postage if you mail a package that is 26 inches by 18 inches you pay much less I believe not counting how much the person weighs or whatever I believe you pay for the space that you use if you use a more space you pay more money I believe it’s as simple as that

  89. United & American are making their B777 , 10 seats across in economy. This equates e to a 16.5 inch seat width. Anyone of size take note !

  90. My husband and I are not obese, but we are tall. We do not fit in Economy seats at all, and can’t afford Business or First Class. We always research the plane, and either buy Premium Economy seats, or, if that isn’t a good option, a third seat “for personal comfort” . That third seat has made all the difference on long flights to places like China, South Africa and Kenya. The airlines don’t really like to do it, and act like it’s a big PITA for them. We were even asked on our flight to China why “ExtrSt Jones” didn’t have a passport. We have also found that when we buy the extra seats on airlines based in the US we have to pay full price, but on British Air and Qatar air, it was less than $500 for an extra seats on all legs of a long trip. But no extra luggage allowance or food (duh).

    • thanks for the input Cathy. The readers really appreciate real-world experiences to help give them a better picture of the landscape you’re dealing with when you’re a person of size.

  91. I am lucky enough for not having any weight/seize problems, but hate to sit next to an extra wide stranger, who will be “in touch” with for the duration of the flight. The airlines are not paying much attention to the problem of seats that are too narrow for extra wide passengers. I have emailed all US airlines many times about doing something about it, but they are not interested. I proposed a (couple of) row (s) with extra wide seats, which would add 50% to the seat width. Most aircraft have the three/three configuration, so instead of three seats on each side of the isle, a couple of rows with 2 seats each side would take care of the problem.

  92. I’m a smaller person 5’4 130 pounds, and its still uncomfortable for even smaller sized people. The real issue is the cram packed seats, with very little arm room/leg room. Everyone should be able to fit on a plane comfortably. Most tickets are around $500-$800 to even the thousands just for one ticket. With tickets that high i would expect everyone to be atleast semi- comfortable.

  93. LOL I laugh at all the fatties here…”I have a medical condition you jerk”….blah blah blah…I’m sure SOME do but don’t use that as a crutch….It’s not hard to exercise but the key is not to eat 30 Big Macs in ONE day…moderation….I’m not small but I fit in the flights easily and I’d rather not fork over a few hundred dollars more because I couldn’t control my “food urges” grow up people….there are consequences for your poor diet choices….live with it…it’s not a liberty movement, but a glutton movement to want the rest of us to be subjected to your fatness….

  94. Not all people that need extra space are obese. My husband is 6’9”, he doesn’t fit in a “normal” seat. We are hard working middle class people that save money for vacation. We can’t afford to buy two seats for him. He can’t lose his height either. We only fly Southwest because of their extremely reasonable policies. Airlines shouldn’t punish someone and double charge them to fly if they can’t fit in the seat. Maybe 1.5 x the amount, but to charge double or charging the highest rate available doesn’t help the average person of above average size enjoy the fruits of their hard-earned labor.

  95. Don’t forget pregnant women . . . they should have to buy an extra seat and use a seat belt extender too! If obese people, disabled people, tall people, sick people, stupid people, screaming children, smelly people, overly-perfumed people, cat people, mean people and pregnant women can’t fly, I guess the airlines will have so many empty seats they’ll have to drop their ticket prices!

    To quote Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

  96. You are making quite an assumption that overweight equals “lazy”,childish with no self control. I have struggled with my weight my entire life and I am anything but lazy. I walk three miles a day and do weight training. I try and eat healthy. It is a daily heart wrenching struggle for me, and unless you have walked in a person’s shoes you have no right to judge them. I have lost a husband and then a fiance to cancer. My daughter has inoperable brain cancer. Do I stress eat sometimes? Yes. Other people’s addictions are not so obvious…the alcoholic, shop aholic, st …etc. Perhaps you should address the money hungry airlines who have extremely small seats not even meant for an average size person. I took a flight to Japan a couple of years ago to visit my son in the Navy. The seat was comfortable. The belt was felt was fine, but I ate nothing for 14 hours because the side meal tray would not come down because of my size. Now I have a new granddaughter and I am too scared to fly and see her because I was so humiliated. Learn a little compassion and see beyond size. Stop making assumptions. Thank you

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  99. So many arrogant comments here I don’t even know where to start. Some people have medical issues and that is why they are over weight. Take a health class and understand that not everyone is overweight because they over eat. If I’m sitting next to a family member who is skinny i shouldn’t be forced to pay extra money for a seat. Southwest just wants money.

  100. I think most important things is seat belt extender from all of them. it give you security for any kind of body size. Plus size man can travel comfortably than plus size women. In the airplane 24 size women follow some extra rules to make their journey more comfortable. Of course you need to choose size friendly Arline like delta or American Airline . Now a days most of the company reduce their seat size only for business purpose.

  101. Sure, some minority of overweight people have a legitimate health issue that makes it difficult for them to lose weight. But, most fat people simply eat too much, and have a sedentary lifestyle. America has an inordinate number of obese people, and it’s not because Americans are genetically more likely to have thyroid problems than any other country’s inhabitants. We’re lazy, we eat far more than we need to, and we lack the will power to prioritize long-term health over the short-term rewards of cramming sugary fatty things into our mouths.

    This is, of course, a generalization that doesn’t apply to everyone, particularly those few who have a legitimate medical issue that makes their weight difficult to control. But, it applies to most of you fatties out there. I don’t think airlines should need to cater to enormous people. You’ve got a choice: do you want to travel comfortably, conveniently, and quickly to anywhere in the world? Or do you want a second piece of chocolate cake for dessert? Choose wisely, friends.

  102. JTM have the capacity to move air cargo globally. In addition, we leverage other logistics services as needed to assist with air shipments.

  103. United Airlines Change Flight is very flexible to make changes without any trouble. You have to pay some fee as demanded by the airline and this fee totally depends on the ticket type and method which you used to purchase the ticket. You must have to make a change request then you are able to make changes in your travel bookings.

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