10 September 2018

Travel: 5 Tips for traveling while Fat

So everyone has that dream of traveling to an exotic destination and taking in the sun and festivities of a  new island. Well you have to get there first right? When choosing to travel you may encounter anxiety like me. I can remember the first time I traveled with a spouse and dreaded and damn near died when I had to ask for a seat belt extender. Can you imagine? In the past year I have been on a mission to explore the world more from New Orleans to Aruba to LA and even Mexico I have learned something new with each trip. 

Tip #1: Know Your Airlines Policy For Overweight Passengers

Yes each airlines has a policy in place for Plus Size/Overweight passengers I think it's best to you know where you airlines stands when it comes to accommodating it's Fuller Figure Passenger. Below are a few that I found online:

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines' website states that if you cannot lower both armrests, you will need to buy a ticket for a second seat. Two larger passengers can buy one seat between them if they both need extra space.

American Airlines

American's website states that passengers who need a seat belt extender and whose body extends more than one inch past the armrest will need to buy a ticket for a second seat.

Delta Air Lines

Delta's "litmus test" for larger passengers is their ability to sit in their seat while the armrests are down. If passengers cannot fit into their seats, they will be reseated if possible, but they may be asked to pay for a second seat.

Hawaiian Airlines

Passengers who cannot lower both armrests or whose torso extends into another passenger's seating space must purchase a ticket for a second seat. If no additional seats are available, you may not be able to fly. Hawaiian Airlines suggests purchasing a second seat in advance.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest has decided to fully enforce its long-standing policy on Customers of Size. As of this writing, Southwest customers who are unable to lower both armrests will be reseated if possible. Southwest recommends purchasing an extra seat in advance. This lets Southwest know that the space is needed. After your flight, you can contact Southwest for a refund.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines passengers must be able to lower both armrests and / or sit in their seat without encroaching on other passengers' seating space. Otherwise, they will be asked to purchase a ticket for either a larger seat (Big Front Seat) or a second coach seat. You can buy a second seat in advance if you do not want to risk being put on a later flight or having your reservation refunded.

United Airlines

United requires passengers to be able to lower both armrests, fasten seat belts using only one seat belt extender and avoid encroaching on others' space. If you do not buy an extra seat in advance, you risk being put off your flight if you cannot or will not buy a second seat or a wider seat when you board.

Tip #2: Don't Book Emergency Exit Seats

If you think booking the Emergency Exits seats are a good way to get extra leg room think again. The manual clearly states a weight limit of 250 lbs in most of the brochures I have seen. I had to witness a passenger and a flight attendant go back and forth because a plus size woman had booked the seat and when asked from the attendant to switch, she put a fuss and demanded to know why. I could remember hearing his voice echo through the plane on an early morning red eye flight. "It's your weight ma'am" the flight attendant stated very somber. I can remember the look on the curvy woman's  face who was in her early 40's and well dressed. She quietly grabbed her things and without any further fuss relocated to the rear of the plane.

Tip 3: Purchase a Duffel Bag Instead of Carry On Luggage

The aisle of a plane is very narrow and pushing a luggage along with not trying to hit the seated passenger's with all of your curves can be a task. I have found that a duffel bag is far easier to carry through the aisles without having to bend over and pull a luggage. 

Tip 4: Bye your own extender

I dread asking for extenders when I travel I have experienced all kinds of expressions from airline staff when asking for one. I traveled to Atlanta once and requested an extender while boarding the plane the flight attendant told me I didn't need it and when I told her I did she followed me to my seat and requested that I show her that the standard one couldn't fit. I  have found several extenders that  could be purchased online and bought with you through TSA when attempting to avoid the anxiety of having to ask an airline staff for one.

Tip 5: TSA Pre Check Is your best friend!

If you don't like to stand up in long lines like me when traveling. I truly recommend  that you run and not walk to sign up for TSA precheck. You don't have to take off certain items and get priority screening through the screening process. I know for me it was an amazing investment and my both knees and feet thank me whenever I fly. 



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