Flying when you are a big person

Now, I am going to be very honest with you, by big person I do of course mean bigger or fat person. My husband and I are both on the larger side so be assured that this blog hasn’t been written by someone who has a “theory” or “idea” of what they are talking about.

Just to give you an idea, when we went to Australia and Greece I was a size 20, when we went to America, Dublin and Italy I was a size 24. My husband is larger than me as well and this blog is all about what we do before booking a flight and what to do during the flight. We know what we are talking about :-). Most of these tips are for couples but it can be applied for people travelling on their own as well.

Before You Book The Flight

1. Check out the seat sizes

You can get the seat measurements for any airline and plane by simply going to The Seat Guru where you will be able to find all the seat measurements for every airline on short or long haul flights. Get the measurements and then with a tape measure and some books, you can work out if you will be comfortable or not. Simply place the books upright along the measuring tape so that they are the same as the seats and then try to sit between the books. If they tilt a little bit, you will be fine but if they tilt a lot, it’s a no no. You will not be comfortable.

2. If it’s a long haul flight, get the back seats

If you are flying on a 747, check the seating plan and you will see that at the back of the plane, on either side there will be a few rows of just 2 seats. We always go for those seats because you have so much more room. There will be a gap of about half a foot between your chair arm and the window, the middle arm rest is adjustable so once you are in the air you can lift it up, you can stand behind your seats if you need to get up and one of you will have an aisle seat so more room again. We did this on our trip to Australia with Emirates and to America with Virgin Atlantic and it can be so comfy as the pair of you are technically sat on your own and it does feel like you have more room. One thing we really like about these seats is that we can have a cuddle, my husband can put his arm round my shoulders and I can put my arm around his belly and we don’t have the armrest poking in either of our sides. Plus, the toilets at the back of the plane are usually bigger than the ones at the front so you will be closer to a toilet too.

3. If its a short haul flight, get an isle seat

People who are bigger usually aren’t allowed to get seats at the very front, back or in the row in the middle next to the emergency exit, even though these have more legroom and would make things easier. So your best bet is to get an aisle seat and then you won’t have someone on one side of you. When we went to Kos with EasyJet, we couldn’t pick our seats as it was a package holiday through Thomas Cook but we were sat together, we just had the aisle between us. This was comfortable but just a bit strange not sitting right next to each other.

4. Make sure there isn’t a weight limit

We have heard stories before of people being weighed at the airport and being told that they are too heavy so they have to buy another seat. This has never happened to us but my husband always makes me check before I book flights to see if there is any mention in the terms and conditions. I have never found it in any airlines we have flown with but it is always worth checking.

5. Flight socks

Get the flight socks if you wish but if you have big carves like my husband, they will either feel very constricting or keep rolling down your leg even though we get him the biggest size we can find. We wore them to Australia and America but didn’t on the way back as we had longer stops between flights so we made sure we did a lot of walking when we could.

6. See if there are any stops

Sometimes having stops are a blessing, when we went to Australia, it was 28 hours from Gatwick to Hobart and 33 and a half hours from Hobart to Gatwick. We stopped in the same places on both journeys but we had a few more hours in them. We stopped at Dubai, Singapore and Melbourne so it was a minimum of 8 hour flights. At each stop we had to go through security and had time for a look round duty free so used the time wisely to keep walking.

During The Flight

1. Make sure you do your in-flight exercises

Obviously because we are bigger, it is even more important to do in-flight exercises to not only stop blood clots but to also keep good blood circulation and stop cramping. The ones I do can be done standing up or sitting down, simply put your feet flat on the floor and raise your toes upwards as high as you can without taking your heel off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and then put your toes back now. Now lift your heels from the floor but keep your toes on the ground. If you have a bit of legroom, try lifting your feet off the floor, pointing your toes out in front of you so that you are stretching your feet and calves. Do this as long as it feels comfortable, you don’t need to do it throughout the whole flight, just for 10 minutes every now and then. Stretch your arms out above you and if you are able to, stretch them out to the sides as well. Stand up and make sure you have a little walk to stretch out your arms and legs as well.

2. Flight socks

Get the flight socks if you wish but if you have big carves like my husband, they will either feel very constricting or keep rolling down your leg even though we get him the biggest size we can find. We wore them to Australia and America but didn’t on the way back as we had longer stops between flights so we made sure we did a lot of walking when we could.

3. Don’t be embarrassed about asking for a belt extension

My husband has needed a belt extension for a while now and what he does is speak to one of the flight crew as we board the plane. He just quickly says to them “could I have a belt extender please?” and they bring it along to him once everyone is in their seats or when more or less everyone is on the plane. The plane has them as a standard so if you need one, just ask. We have had it on recently flight with EasyJet coming back from Italy where my husband was on the aisle seat and I was in the middle, we both needed a belt extension and seeing as it wasn’t a full flight, the lady in the window seat was asked if she wouldn’t mind moving to a spare seat so that everyone had more room. This meant that my husband and I had the 3 seats to ourselves, now I thought this was great and nice of the airhostess to think of it but my husband found it quite embarrassing. I don’t think the airhostess as trying to be nasty or show us up, I really do think she was just trying to make everyone comfortable.

4. Stay hydrated

Always drink plenty of water on a flight, its so easy to get dehydrated on a flight but make sure you ask for bottles of water or buy some big bottles in duty free.

5. Take off your shoes

Might sound a little strange but it always makes me feel so much better. I get in my seat and take my shoes off so that I can properly stretch out my feet and toes, it’s just feels a little more comfortable.

I hope this has helped you in some way and given you something to think about before you next travel so that you are more comfortable.

Posted on Categories Tips