Flying Tips For Plus Size Travelers

Regardless of our sizes, we all have an intrinsic desire to travel or traveling is a professional requirement for some of us. Flying, whether domestically or internationally, should be a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone.

A large number of airline passengers are plus size, and, in this piece, we will provide some tips for plus size travelers that will make their travels on an airplane a great experience.

Flying Tips For Plus Size Travelers

Research Airline Policies on Plus-Size Passengers Before Booking

Airlines have differing policies for plus-size passengers. It is imperative that you are aware of what these policies are to avoid any awkward situation when trying to board your flight.

The majority of Airlines in the United States requires that you book an additional seat if your body cannot comfortably fit into one seat with the armrest down. Some of the Airlines that administers this policy includes; American Airline, Alaska Airline, Hawaiian Airline, Frontier Airline, United Airline, and Spirit Airline.

Delta and South West Airlines are a little more flexible with this policy, even though they encourage booking two seats, it is not mandatory that this is done.

Delta Airlines will seat you next to an empty seat if one is available or you can pay to upgrade to First/Business which have more spacious seats.

South West Airline encourages you to book an extra seat to guarantee your comfort. However, they promise to refund for this extra seat even in the case where the flight is overbooked. You also have the option to speak with a South West representative while at the gate in the airport, which will give you an extra complimentary seat once this is available.

Information about seating for plus-size passengers might not be readily available on airline websites; it is normally found under “extra seating.” We recommend that you call airlines directly to get clarity on their plus-size policy before booking your flight.

Book An Aisle Seat Or Business Class If Possible

You might want to try and book an aisle seat if at all possible, to eliminate the need to force yourself past the person sitting beside when getting up in-flight. This will make the flight more comfortable for both yourself and your neighbor.

If your budget allows, it is always a good idea to purchase a business class ticket since the seats in this class are more spacious and comfortable. This will definitely make your flight more bearable, especially if it is a long haul flight.

Fly On A Newer, Larger Aircraft If Possible

Newer Aircraft like the Airbus 350 or the Boeing 737 tend to have larger seating dimensions than smaller and older airplanes.

To identify these new aircrafts while booking, you will need to look closely at the flight details, which will generally give you the flight number and the type of aircraft. You will get a larger seat by default if you choose to fly on one of these larger airplanes.

Book Priority Boarding

Priority boarding will allow you to board the plane more comfortably, because of the limited number of people boarding at this time.

You will have a little more time to find your seat and settle in without been bombarded by many other people trying to find their seats. This is something that you will appreciate if you are plus-size and need a little bit more time to get around.

Request A Seatbelt Extender

If the seatbelt does not have the length to cover you fully, you can always request a seatbelt extender from one of the Flight Attendants.

Seatbelt extenders provided by airlines have been rigorously tested and meets all required safety standards. You can also purchase a seatbelt extender, but it is not guaranteed to be of the same quality as the one provided by the airplane. However, this one on Amazon seems to be getting raving reviews!

Please bear in mind that the length of seatbelts vary across airlines and you can always call in advance to find out the length of the seatbelts on the airline that you plan to book.


By and large, when traveling as a plus-size person, you will need to be aware of the possible challenges that you might face and put things in place to mitigate them as best possible.

Hopefully, the tips that we mentioned will help you in this regard. Happy Flying!

Can a plus size person fly?

Southwest Airlines is the only domestic carrier that has a policy that allows customers of size to book two seats next to each other. Although there is no set weight limit for US airlines, some require passengers to have a second seat in order to accommodate additional people.

Can I fit on an airplane seat?

Whether you’re a large enough passenger to occupy one seat or not, it’s important to understand that the term “passenger of size” often refers to anyone who is too big to sit in one seat. Some airlines will offer a discount for obese passengers if the plane is full, but many of them charge twice as much as other flyers.

What to do if a fat person sits next to you on a plane?

If you’re in a situation where there’s no room in the next plane, ask a flight attendant if there’s enough room for you. According to United’s policy, all passengers must fit in their seat with the appropriate seat belts and are not allowed to encroach on an adjoining seat.

What is the best airline for plus size?

Delta and JetBlue are my favorites when it comes to plus-size airlines. Southwest is the only domestic carrier that has a “Customer Of Style” policy. To book two tickets, the customer must contact reservations directly. The second seat must be purchased in the same class as the first.

At what size do you need a seat belt extender?

The most common length for a Rigid Extender is around 5”, 7” or 8”. This is because the rotation of the arms and torso is required to secure a seat. Southwest Airlines will accept the first two bags for free if the bags are not bigger than 50 pounds and less than 62 inches. If the bag exceeds 80 inches, the fee will be $75.00.

How wide are plane seats?

On Southwest and some Delta planes, the standard seat width is 17.2 inches. Some planes have seats that are 18 inches wide. Overweight (not obese) people are defined as having a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9. The ranges of risk are used to describe the levels of obesity.

Why do plane seats have to be upright?

The Federal Aviation Administration has a rule that states that if a plane has an emergency, passengers should sit upright. This rule was created to help minimize injuries. If your seat belt doesn’t seem to fit, you can combine it with an additional seat.