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Too Fat to Fly??????

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Old 05-13-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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Default Too Fat to Fly??????

I am leaving on vacation in three weeks and keep reading about people getting kicked off the airplane because they are too fat to fly. I am 5'8" 250lbs, will I be able to fit in the seat? I already know my butt is to big for the seat because they are a measley 17" wide!!! I am also worried the seatbelt won't fit.
Because I'm so worried what do I do????? Eat!!!!! Such a vicious cycle.
If anyone has flown recently please comment!

Thanks!

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Old 05-13-2011, 12:31 PM   #2
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Hi

Ive only ever heard that happen on Southwest. I fly to UK and Im a "tad" bigger than you and Im ok =)
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Well, everybody’s body type is SO different when you look at height and weight and you may be just fine. However, if you are really worried about an embarrassing moment at the check in counter, I would suggest calling the airline. Ask them what their height/weight restrictions are. Or even if there are measurement restrictions. If you are within the parameters then don’t be shy by telling them that you are a larger woman who might be better off sitting next to a child who doesn’t need as much room in their seat. I know that calling may be just as embarrassing but it’s better than showing up and dealing with it in front of a bunch of strangers waiting in line behind you.

Just a thought!

And where are you going on vacation? Somewhere nice and relaxing I hope!!
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
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They should have a sign like, "You have to be this tall to ride this ride." Only it should be for the girth of the hip width for airplane seats. Why don’t you call the airline and ask?
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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I know I should keep my mouth shut but to zxckelly - your comment was really rude and uncalled for in this type of forum.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:22 PM   #6
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To those of you who replied with nice and helpful answers, thank you. To those of you who replied with rude comments, why do you even post on this website if you're going to reply with rude comments??? Like my mom always said "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all".
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:25 PM   #7
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I have friends, a married couple when they fly she flies coach and he flies first class because the first class seats are larger. Costs more, too. But it may be the solution. I find it more comfortable to sit in an aisle seat, you aren't quite so squeezed in that way.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:52 PM   #8
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Ugh, please no fat shaming and jerk behavior here! We have the rest of the dang world to give us that!!!

Now, getting back to our regularly scheduled program:
Most airlines these days have a rule that if you can lower both armrests and buckle the seat belt with an extender then you should be allowed to stay in your seat. In fact, even if this cannot be achieved, most airlines will see if they can rearrange seating to make room for your derriere. After that a fat person could be asked to purchase a first class ticket or buy a second seat for the next plane where that would be available.
But that being said, I think you should be fine. The last time I flew I was 5'4" and 260. It was snug, but I got both armrests down and did not need an extender. (This was on a domestic US flight, Orlando to NYC. I do not remember the airline, but it was a big one.) I carry weight pretty evenly all over though (FYI, my measurements are 52, 47, 52), so if your butt really is as big as your user name implies, then you may want to call the airline. Also, perhaps you can find a seat with similarly spaced arms to test it out. You may find your hips sneak under the armrest, while still allowing you to lower it.
Hope it helps! : )
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxckelly View Post
If you know you won't fit in the seat - isn't that really unfair for the person sitting next to you? You should have bought two seats. I sort of doubt that you are "too fat to fly" (others can probably chime in on this), but if I paid full price for the seat next to you and didn't get full use of it I would be angry.
This isn't a jerk comment/flaming...this is rather logical, if a bit abrupt.

OP is worried that she will not fit properly into her seat. If that is indeed the case, and the airline lets it slide, OP can be potentially causing a safety hazard for herself and those around her...and thats before we consider anyone's personal comfort.

If OP is truly too big for the seat (not saying you are...just hypothetically), she will either not be allowed to fly, be given the option to fly first class (at her expense...larger seats)...given the option to purchase another seat (if two side-by-side seats are even available...but keep in mind that airlines will usually shuffle people around to be accommodating, and they deal with this fairly often) or the airline will look the other way and let her squish into the seat. If that happens...it IS unfair to people next to her.

Airplanes are built to maximize capacity in a small space...each passenger is allotted only so much of it. While it looks feasible on paper to whoever is planning these things, most of us are already feeling like we paid way too much for that little space, even if it is a necessary evil to arrive at our destination. If one person is overlapping into someone else's already cramped space, it's going to cause conflict.

I know that I've spent several flights sitting in the middle, completely twisted in my seat because I was the smallest out of the three in the row (this is when I was at my largest weight). Not a fun way to spend several hours.

That said, my husband was also at his largest weight (over 300), 6'0" and broad-shouldered...and they didn't kick him out/make him buy two seats. I think the lack of leg room was worse for him than the actual seating.

OP - don't worry too much. It's probably going to be uncomfortable (welcome to airline travel!), but you'll probably make it worse on yourself mentally since you're self-conscious about it.

Try not to stress - you're going on vacation! Have fun.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:47 PM   #10
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It's ridiculous that airplane seats are so tiny. They really shoehorn people into those planes, and it's uncomfortable for a lot of people who aren't overweight as well. Google Kevin Smith (of Jay and Silent Bob fame); he got pretty annoyed with Southwest Airlines at being told he was "too fat to fly," and he's not far above average weight. I suspect that athletes like Serena Williams would have some problems, too.

It's not a "fat problem," it's an airline problem, so don't feel ashamed to ask, as ShanIAm suggested, to be seated next to a child if possible. That way, any possible overlap doesn't affect your seat-mate's comfort significantly.

It may not even be a problem for you depending on how your weight is distributed. If you're really unsure, see if you can bump up to first class if the money isn't too much of an issue. You'll be way more comfortable anyway and you won't have to worry about any issues with seat/butt compatibility.

I don't think that it's "fat shaming" to say that airplane seats are too small and that those of us who take up more space may want to consider seating options that accommodate us comfortably. The problem is with the airlines, not with each other, surely.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticFrogs View Post
Airplanes are built to maximize capacity in a small space...each passenger is allotted only so much of it. While it looks feasible on paper to whoever is planning these things, most of us are already feeling like we paid way too much for that little space, even if it is a necessary evil to arrive at our destination. If one person is overlapping into someone else's already cramped space, it's going to cause conflict.
Yet why do people fat-shame and not get so angry over the people who lean their seats back? Frankly, I find it far more irritating when my knees get jammed up or I can't use the tray table because the person in front of me has decided they get to encroach on my space. In the reclining situation, the person has made a conscious choice to invade the area I paid for. Not true for those individuals who happen to not fit into the airplane seats and so I don't find it nearly as frustrating, not to mention actually angering.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:07 PM   #12
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I don't want to start shaking my fist, but I DO think it's inappropriate to say, "You should have bought two seats. I sort of doubt that you are "too fat to fly" ... but if I paid full price for the seat next to you and didn't get full use of it I would be angry."
Someone is coming here with a genuine concern, and clearly feeling insecure about the issue, making her feel more anxious about the situation doesn't help. And this ISN'T just about fat people. It's a hugely convoluted issue that has to do with fuel prices, corporate rules and regulations, business success, profits, personal comfort zones, and the employees of the airlines. In other words, this isn't just about taking up an extra few inches. For the most part this is a multi-faceted issue in the airline industry, not just about how fat people need to be thinner. I've talked to friends of all sizes and NO ONE is comfortable. These sorts of discussions do not need to revolve around how we are going to penalize larger people, but about how we can work together to make everyone as comfortable as possible while still ensuring the success of airline business.
For what it's worth, I really like William Saletan's piece on Slate called "Charge the Large." (I'd link, but I don't have the power yet.)
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferumbras View Post
Yet why do people fat-shame and not get so angry over the people who lean their seats back? Frankly, I find it far more irritating when my knees get jammed up or I can't use the tray table because the person in front of me has decided they get to encroach on my space. In the reclining situation, the person has made a conscious choice to invade the area I paid for. Not true for those individuals who happen to not fit into the airplane seats and so I don't find it nearly as frustrating, not to mention actually angering.
I find it very annoying when people lean the seat back! lol! Seriously, I flew with my baby just a few days ago. He fit fine on my lap, except when the person reclined the seat...then his knees were bent just to fit. When the seat in front of me was in the regular position, I could shift him to the side to stop him from kicking the seat in front, but when it was reclined there just wasn't enough room....and he kicked the back of the seat until the person got the hint. Maybe its because I've battled my weight my whole life, but I would never be bother by the person next to me taking up a bit of my seat. I am however, annoyed by people that sit next to me and stink of smoke, perfume, OR cough and sneeze without proper infection control of their germs!

Oh BTW, my husband is 6'4" and about 310lbs and did not need an extender. He fit into the seat, though he was sitting next to out 3 year old, so whether or not he would have been as comfortable next to an adult, I don't know.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #14
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First of all, even at my biggest, I have never needed an extender or two seats, but I have been very uncomfortable squished into a seat. You probably will just get right on the plane without anyone saying a word.

Do try to get an aisle seat, or even better, an aisle seat in the emergency door row as it always has more room.

I would NEVER ask to sit next to a child! My five sons are young adults now, but we flew frequently with them when they were young. If I had heard that an adlut (regardless of size) had specified that they wanted to sit next to a child, either my husband or I would have immediately changed seats with that son, and kept our eyes on the person for the entire flight as we would be on "Pervert Alert!!!"
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:18 PM   #15
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I was around 240 at my heaviest and two inches shorter than you, so chances are we were built just about the same. I have flown tons of times and always fit into the seat ok and didn't even need a seat belt extender. Honestly, I think you'll be just fine!!

Good luck to you. Enjoy your flight!!
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