Happy Thursday guys! This post is going to be about what it’s like to fly as a plus sized person and some tips I have for anyone worrying about this very same thing. My family never really took vacations when I was growing up so I didn’t even fly on an airplane until I was 21 and I honestly was SO nervous about flying as a *ahem* “curvy” girl. I had no idea what to expect about flying and navigating airports as it is, let alone doing it as an overweight person! As of today, I have taken 3 separate airplane trips – Italy, New York, and El Paso, and now that I’ve been on about 10 different flights, I feel as though I have enough experience under my belt to share my tips for flying as a plus sized person!
- Do research! – After I booked my first flight ever (to Italy nonetheless), I did tons and tons of research. You probably don’t have to do as much research as I did because I tend to go a bit overboard with planning, but I definitely recommend doing even a little bit. Look up your airline and their average seat sizes and seat belt lengths (every airline company has slightly different measurements). Watch YouTube videos, search articles, and look though forums where other people share their experiences. If anything, it should help ease your nerves a bit!
- Wear comfortable non-bulky clothing on your flight – Simply put, the more layers of clothes you have on/how bulky your clothes are will affect how much space you take up in the seat. I usually just do a simple t-shirt and leggings/yoga pants. When that seat belt is an inch or two away from clicking shut, that extra sweatshirt might make all the difference!
- Select a window seat (if possible) – Every time I’ve flown, I have found that I end up with a little more space when I take the window seat, because even though you’re up against the wall of the plane there is usually a little extra space curved out for the window. That way you can lean more into that open space and not all over your seat partner. More comfort and less awkwardness. Win win!
- Don’t freak if you can’t get the seat belt to click closed! – If your seat belt is only an inch or two from closing, don’t stress! You usually only actually need to have the seat belt fastened when you’re taking off and landing since both can get a bit bumpy, but for the most part when you’re up in the air you don’t really need it anyway! On about half of the planes I have been on I was able to click the seat belt closed with no problem at all, and on the other half I wasn’t (usually only on older/smaller planes because the seat belts are not as long). It’s scary and embarrassing for sure, but every time that happened, I just pulled both ends of the belt as close together as I could get them and just folded my arms over my lap/tummy to hide the unfastened buckle (at least while the flight attendant walked down the aisle to check). Obviously, keep in mind though that seat belts are not there to embarrass heavier passengers, they are there to keep them safe, so if you are really worried about not being safe, you can always ask the flight attendant for an extender. I’ve never had to though!
- Don’t worry about the seat width, it will be big enough! – Most airlines have an economy seat width of 17 or 18 inches. I know, it definitely doesn’t sound big enough, but I promise you it will be! I was close to 300 pounds on each flight I’ve been on and have a really big booty and hips, but I fit just fine. Granted, on some planes the fit was a bit more snug, but I still didn’t have a problem. Unless you’re really morbidly obese, you will fit fine. Promise!!
- Fly with a friend – This way you won’t have to worry if you spill over a little into the next seat. At least you’ll be squishing someone that loves you and not some stranger!
- DON’T be nervous! – I can’t stress this one enough. Do your research, and don’t lose sleep over it. You will be completely fine!
And there it is! Those are all of the tips I have for you guys. I hope this helps anyone worrying about plus sized airplane travel!
By the way, is anyone else super excited that tomorrow is Friday?? I know I sure am!