Vacation planning can include flying, and this year we’re flying about 6 hours each way. Coach seats tend to be 17″ across. First class can be up to 23″ wide, but I have 68″ hips. Now, I am an apple, so a lot of that 68″ is depth not width. Still, even first class is a tight fit for me. On a 6-hr flight.
The man of the house has other issues. He’s not as fat as I am, but has broader shoulders and is taller, and is very aware that coach rows are 4 or 5 inches closer together than first class.
Solution: We purchased 3 coach round-trip plane tickets for November, seats DEF in a row with moveable armrests. Officially the extra seat is mine, but in practice we’ll share the extra space. Making the actual reservations involved a call to Alaska Airlines, because the website balked at letting me put the same name on 2 seats. I also learned a few things that may be of interest:
- Because I am a person of size buying an extra seat due to my size, about $26 in taxes were waived for the extra seat.
- Because I am a person of size buying an extra seat due to my size, if there is at least one unused seat on my flights, I can get the cost of the extra seat refunded.
For me, this is a good solution. It’s a solution I’d consider if the coach seats were 24″ wide, actually, as long as the armrests go up. 6 hours is LONG time.
- We’ll have more room to move around.
- I’ll have two seats to put bags underneath. (Not all cities have stores that stock clothing in my size, which adds an extra horror to lost luggage. The man of the house wears a readily available size.)
- I can maneuver between the narrow coach rows, so if he needs the aisle to get in/out that’s okay.
- Fewer surprises at the gate. We bought the extra seat already; if they try to split my seats I can bring quite the moral outrage of how we paid extra to have the space required. If it does come to that, the fact that I’m superfat is in my favor. I’ve overheard gate attendents discussing “This person has 2 seats, do they really need them?” before I check in — and then suddenly it’s “No, those 2 seats must stay together….”
This does require the money to buy an extra plane ticket. Not everyone has the money. It requires some research. This might not work as well if I had children to sit with or more serious mobility issues; if we both needed aisle seats, for example.
As always, SeatGuru is very helpful in looking up seat sizes.