As plane companies like United Airlines begin to charge more for larger customers, many travelers who are considered to be obese have reacted in disgust. Many obese travelers are being forced to pay extra for their airline seats. United Airlines recently made the decision to charge passengers requiring an extra seatbelt extender to purchase an extra seat. Some customers are crying discrimination; others are simply insulted.
Just as there is big and tall clothing stores, there’s a market for airlines that cater to the large. What are the best airlines for larger people? We’ve listed a few good airlines ones who keep large customers in mind and don’t charge them for the space.
Despite the lack of reserved seats that make for cattle car seating sessions, the seats on Southwest are some of the roomiest available with more legroom than most airlines. This promises a comfortable ride no matter what size you are. It’s a good idea to get to the gate at least an hour before boarding time, so you can get a lower boarding number and seat of your choice. Be one of the first 30 to board, and you’ll have the coveted aisle seat, every time. There’s nothing worse than having to clamber over passengers for a bathroom break midflight.
US Air provides nice roomy seats, with enough room to open a snack tray completely. There’s enough elbow room between passengers, so you don’t feel like you are on a crowded elevator. US Air’s staff are very friendly to the big folks, with complete NFAA training. They are respectful and kind about size issues, accommodating you at all times. If space becomes an issue, you can upgrade to first class for fairly affordable rates.
With 4 seats across (rather than the typical 5) on their DC 10s and MD-80s, Midwest Airlines has coach seats as wide as most first class seats. With their major hub in Milwaukee, they fly cross country and offer one of the more comfortable rides in the industry.
Northwest Airlines is gracious about their seat belt extenders, as they’re readily available at no additional charge.
American Airlines is very friendly to big folks; you can ask them to place an empty seat beside you by blocking out the reservation on their computer. If the seat belt extender won’t manage, you may be asked to purchase two seats, but they are as accommodating as possible.
Other Suggestions for a Comfortable Flight
Always get an aisle seat. It’s worth taking a more inconvenient flight than being stuck in the dreaded middle seat or the window seat. There’s nothing like feeling like you are trapped. If you should have to get up, you feel like you are inconveniencing the other passengers. Aisle seats give you more room to work with and allow for free movement.
Store all your baggage in the overhead compartment instead of under your seat. You’ll have more legroom and much more comfortable flight. If you need entertainment, pack a small book. You’ll save space, and keep yourself occupied during your flight.
Avoid cheap airlines. The reason these airlines are so cheap, is by packing in as many bodies as possible. Even small people can feel confined on these flights. For those of us who are large, the experience can be downright suffocating.