Plus Size Holiday Airline Travel: 4 Hacks for Success

Plus size holiday airline travel can become unbearable. In addition to the small seats on the airplane, the holidays add the stress of crowded airports and planes.

Tips for Plus Size Holiday Airline Travel

To maximize your comfort and minimize your stress, consider these four travel hacks:

1. Travel when the plane is least crowded.

Even during the holidays, planes are less crowded over night (i.e. from 9 PM to 6 AM). Flying on the holiday itself will also be significantly less crowded than flying a few days before or after the holiday. For example, two uncrowded flight dates are Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

2. Fly on a size-friendly airline.

Unfortunately, not all airlines are size-friendly. Some have procedures that automatically charge a large passenger for two seats or have been known to ask the passenger to disembark if they won’t pay for the additional seat. Others have histories of flight attendants being openly rude to larger passengers after being asked for a seat belt extender.

In addition to price and flight schedules, be sure to consider whether the airline is size-friendly.

3. Reserve the best seat on the plane.

Not all airline seats are the same. Different types of planes have different seating configurations (such as the amount of leg room) and they have different widths of seats.

Before you make your reservation, check out the type of airplane which is assigned to the plane trip you are considering. It is usually shown on the airline’s website along with arrival and departure times of a particular flight. Then, check the seat dimensions of that particular type of airplane on SeatGuru. Seat dimensions in coach can range from 17 to 20 inches.

Once you pick your flight, SeatGuru is also an excellent way to decide which seat numbers will be the most comfortable. Their airplane seat maps show which rows are 2-across versus which are 3-across and which have more legroom.

4. Bring your own seat belt extender.

The flight attendants use seat belt extenders to demonstrate how to latch and unlatch your seat belt. After the demonstration, they provide the extenders to passengers who need a little more length to latch their seat belt. All passengers must be latched in with a seat belt before the plane takes off. If there are not enough seat belt extenders, one or more large-size passengers run the risk of being asked off the plane.

Consider purchasing your own seat belt extender. Many seat belt extenders can also be used in your automobile.

Don’t let your size keep you from having an enjoyable flight. A little pre-trip planning can result in more comfortable, lower stress plus size holiday airline travel.