I travel to the US twice a year. I would absolutely love to be able to afford first class or business seats, but I can’t. I always fly coach. The problem is this: I wear American size 22 pants, not because of my stomach; it’s because of my hips. They’re large and I have huge saddle bags. I always book an aisle seat to make sure only one person will be bothered by my saddle bags. And even though I try to lean to the opposite side as much as I can, part of my thigh still spills into my unlucky seatmate’s seat, making me very embarrassed. I read airlines/flights forums where people who could have easily been my seatmates complain about the passenger of size who should have booked a first class seat and let me tell you: Do I feel guilty! but I just can’t afford it.
So I have a few questions for all of you fellow E-hell readers and Ms E-Hell Dame: what should I do? What’s your opinion on the issue? Do you have similar stories? Have you been the “offender” or the “offended”?
Just for the sake of information: I’m 5″7 and weigh 270 pounds. When I weighed 230 I still had huge saddle bags. 0510-14
I can tell this is going to be a hotly debated post…..everyone keep it civil, please.
When I fly, being a BBW, I always go first class on an aisle seat. That is just the cost of travel for me, imo. In the pre-boarding seating area, I can tell which passengers the other flyers are secretly wishing they are not seated next to (squirming children, wailing babies, and big people) and I prefer to be as accommodating as possible to my fellow travelers so that I am not perpetuating stereotypes and prejudices. In other words, I never presume I am entitled to more seat than I paid for and if any body part of mine has the potential to spill over into someone else’s purchased space, I need to make sure I pay for enough room to contain my body within the zone I “own”. That may mean flying first class or buying two plane seats side by side.
That isn’t the advice you were probably hoping to read but it’s one I firmly believe in. And I don’t think this just applies to fat people but physically fit and athletic men or tall people can also easily usurp more space on a plane than their ticket allows.