Updated: Jul 3, 2018
AKA Traveling While Fat. Either title works and either title fits. I'm a plus size woman to my wife and a big ol fat chick to the person sitting next to me on the smedium airplane. I expect that. I really do. It's not going to stop me from flying, but it does make my heart race a little and the beginning of each stroll to my seat a little nauseating. Again not enough to stop flying but enough to research and catalog each airline/flight I've been on not by food (though that counts) but instead by seats, seat belts, and bathrooms.
And I get it. No one wants to be thigh to thigh with me, no one wants to feel every breath another human takes. Heck I don't want to touch you either or be woken up every time you move a leg or arm but it's our life on this 6, 8, or 10 hour flight. I promise you that I'm more upset than you are as I offer you a wet wipe...cause germs.
But here we are. Let's make the most of it.
Now to my plus size folks there are some work arounds and below are a few things I've done.
1. When you get the chance to pick your seat go for a two-seater row and possibly the aisle seat. Spillage on the outside is always preferable. The window is good also, but let me tell you as a frequent window seat picker those long flights pushed up against an immovable wall suck.
2. Speak up and acknowledge that you will be touching. I remember a flight where I sat in the window seat (my preferred choice) and the woman in the middle was plus size as well and slightly bigger than me. I could tell she was flustered as she asked me did I mind if we raised the armrest or if our thighs touched. Of course not sis, we are now officially thigh lovers.
3. Bump up your cost and buy two seats. Don't scream at me, just throwing it out there cause being fat is real and so is that extra room. Southwest in particular will reimburse you for one of your seats after the flight. Check out their "Customer of Size" policy. Other airlines may have similar policies; do your due diligence.
4. Buy/fly business or first class. Again don't scream at me about the cost, just offering options. Those extra 5 inches or so will make that 8 hour flight tolerable. I promise you that.
5. Before you fly, ask the flight attendant for a seat belt extender or bring your own. I haven't gotten to the point of buying a personal one but let me tell you, if you have even a minor belly/ass, most Asian based airlines will require it. Those seats have no love for hips either. None.
6. The bathrooms suck. Bring wet wipes. Use them. I like to fly in skirts because it's easier to pull up and stoop than spread and stoop. And for the love of all things holy and true in this world, wear shoes to the bathroom. I still have flashbacks to the bathroom floor that was covered in an inch of piss on my flight back from Malaysia. Seriously it was a yellow sea. I'm still baffled why some human thought this was the way to go on a 10 hour flight.
7. If you and your traveling partner are both plus size, sit apart. Ain't no love lasting after being squeezed together for 10 hours in those smedium seats. I learned this lesson the hard way. Spread the spread.
8. Last but not least, wear good shoes when traveling. Ones that will allow your feet and ankles to breathe and possibly be easy to slip in and out of if swelling does occur. Ones that won't require you to bend over in that two-inch gap between your seat and the seat in front of you.
Airlines I've enjoyed so far:
1. Delta - International. Just a fantastic experience. I swear they fed us every two hours.
2. Qatar- They are number one for a reason: good seats, great amenities, and food.
3. Southwest - The seats are bigger to me, and I like the boarding process.
Worst so far:
1. Air France - Tiny seats and the food sucked.
2. Air Asia - Tiny seats and this woman wouldn't move out of my seat...lol I know she understood me.
Needed a seat belt extender:
To sum it all up-- eat the food, drink the drink. You paid for your seat just as much as the next person, but be realistic and plan ahead a little.