100 lb. Club - Freaking out about flying...

View Full Version : Freaking out about flying...

10-14-2007, 07:57 PM
Ok, so I HAVE to get on a plane tomorrow. I have a business conference in Atlanta (I live in NC so it is a short flight at least). Anyway, my problem is not with flying... it's the fear of being absolutely embarassed about my weight... will I have to buy another seat, will I have to get a seat belt extension, will I fit in the seat... ugh... so many things to stress about. Plus the flight is almost entirely co-workers because we're all going to this conference. :o

The last time I flew, I weighed about 45 lbs less than now though I didn't have any problems then I'm afraid of what could happen this time. I have actually considered quitting my job to avoid this trip... how crazy is that? Obviously, I am a rational person and have not quit my job (DH can't afford me ;)) and I will show up at the airport tomorrow and sees what happens... but I just felt I needed to put all this worrying into words and maybe it will help purge some.

Thanks for listening.

10-14-2007, 08:25 PM
Ugh - good luck! I often have trouble because I'm short and my weight is all around my middle but now that I've lost some weight it has gotten much better. My advice would be to discretely ask for the extender as you board and if you don't need it you can put it in the seat pocket. Those little planes can be a real bear! There is a website ( www.seatguru.com (http://www.seatguru.com) - I think) that will give you info on the sizes of the seats, etc. based on the type of plane.

Hang in there,

10-14-2007, 08:32 PM
Gina, I think you'll be fine. I've flown at a higher weight than I am now, and didn't need a seatbelt extension. It was a bit cozier than I would have liked, but at least my daughter was on my one side...which made me vow never to book myself a "middle" seat again.

Hope that helps you relax some -- good luck on your trip!

10-14-2007, 08:42 PM
Oh Gina, I know where you're coming from!! I always dreaded flying and it was one of my big motivators when I started losing weight.

When I weighed what you weigh now, I did NOT have to have a seat belt extender. I fit without it, and was able to put the arm rest down all the way also. (A big NSV for me at the time...)

I had to ask for an extender many times in the past, and the flight attendants are usually very good about being discrete.

Good luck!

10-14-2007, 09:29 PM
Just reading this post gave me cold chills. This was one of my biggest fears at my highest weight. I understand your quitting your job comment; I actually once skipped a free trip to Hawaii out of fear of seating issues.

I hope the flight is very smooth and you don't have any problems. Most flight crews do seem pretty discreet about the extender issue; I'd ask for it when I first got onto the plane so that I wouldn't have to ask once everybody is settled and can see what's going on.

10-15-2007, 09:42 AM
That's what I do, Robin--I ask for one when I get on. And I don't say it sheepishly either--I say it with confidence and not shame.

Believe it or not, even at my current size, I usually don't need it! It does depend on the airline, though.

I 'm flying Northwest in a few weeks . I just checked seatguru.com ( thanks kfs151!) and my seat will be 17 inches across. Luckily my partner and I are sitting on the side with just two seats, and we can put the arm rest up between us! :)

10-15-2007, 11:47 AM
I had a recent business trip and was at 270 5'2 when I flew. The 747 was a snug seat but had plenty of extra seat belt. The DC-10 was roomy.

10-15-2007, 12:10 PM
Thanks everyone for your kind words and encouragement. I am little less freaked out but on my way to the airport now. I'll let you know how it goes.

10-15-2007, 05:51 PM
I feel for you. I flew in May and was the same weight I am now.. about 245. I didn't fit into the seat right. I had never had that problem before. I was in a window seat so I was able to hide the fact that the seat belt wasn't fitting me. I kinda had to sit at a weird angle though because I was squished with having the arm rest down.

10-15-2007, 06:24 PM
Wow I never realized that there were seat size restrictions :S

Then again I've only ever flown about 3 times in my life. Once I was so young I can't remember, the second time I was 12 (about 130) and once when I was 19 (about 200 lbs)

10-15-2007, 08:32 PM
I fly 3-4 times a year, I always ask for an extender as soon as I get on the plane. Sometimes I need it, sometimes I don't. I've been bringing my own blanket lately, and tucking it in so half the time they can't even see whether it buckles or not. muahaha.

You should be fine. On my last flight I gave up my seat & was bumped up to first class!!! What a world of difference!!!! The seats were awesome, they gave me something to drink before we left, they offered me a free snack. It was almost like dealing with an entirely different airline. :lol:

10-15-2007, 09:09 PM
I feel for you, too. I have flown on a few overseas flights. Every year I've gotten bigger and bigger. I know I was over 250 this last time. I didn't need an extension, but I had that belt pulled as big as it would get! I, too was squished with the arm rests down. If I go back next summer, I'm so hoping to not have that problem again! It takes away from the fun of flying.....

10-15-2007, 09:19 PM
Well, you're already on your way or more than likely you're already here in Atlanta but I'd be willing to bet that you didn't have any problem. We're about the same height and when I used to fly I never needed a seatbelt extender until I got over 300 lbs. (and even then I didn't ask for an extender - *gasp* I just pulled a blanket over me so that they didn't know that I didn't have the belt fastened). I can't wait to hear how it went!

10-16-2007, 08:04 AM
On smaller planes I have needed an extension before but just asked discreetly for it. I fly to Orlando in 10 days time and will be happier 50lb lighter, not just for the seatbelt but mainly not having the armrest wedged into my side.

I would not recommend travelling without a belt however just to save a little embarassment.


10-16-2007, 05:14 PM
Well, I am in Atlanta! Whew! Actually, it wasn't too bad. I did NOT need the seat belt extender which surprised me since most of my weight is in my stomach. I had about half of an inch room to spare with the seat belt but fitting into the seat was definitely not comfortable. I managed and am not dreading the return flight so much since it will be with the same airline and type of plane (Delta 757 - for anyone curious).

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences. :hug:

10-16-2007, 05:26 PM
I have been following this thread with interest and hoping things would go well for gina, but I didn't want to chime in until after she flew because I didn't want to freak her out anymore. I fly a lot for business trips and last spring at 5'4" 245 lbs, I was at the very limit of the seatbelt on a lot of those planes. It's very stressful for a heavy person, along with those looks you get as you're walking down the aisle and you know people are thinking "I hope she's not sitting next to me!" I was always getting my seat assignment early and at least trying to make sure I was an aisle or window, not the dreaded middle seat, and always sitting in the back of the plane because those are the seats that fill up last.

I think these is really one of the things that got me motivated to start losing weight. I remember just before I started I got on a plane behind a heavy lady and she asked the stewardess very quietly and with great embarassment for an extender. The stewardess very rudely told her to find her seat and then ask for one if she needed it. I felt so badly for her and also was very scared of being in that position myself one day soon.

I am happy to report that the last time I flew, a couple of weeks ago, I was able to snug that belt up a good ten inches! Gina, I was sweating it out for you, but I'm so glad it all went well! Here's to more comfortable flying for us all!

Miss Lili
10-16-2007, 06:02 PM
Just to add on to the discussion - a few years ago I used to do work that required flying quite a bit. On several occassions, I actually faked a limp all the way to the check in desk, and asked them to book me in a window or aisle seat with an empty middle seat, because I had injured my leg and if at all possible, needed to sit where someone else wasn't bumping up against my leg. That way I didn't have to deal with the embarassment of feeling like I was making someone beside me miserable by being squished up against them. I also have done the "blanket trick" more times than I can count, and actually bought my own seat belt extender in order to not ever have to ask for one again. With God's help, I will soon be a size that will never make me do something so miserably embarrassing again! Glad it went well for you, Gina.