Airline seats do not exist in many sizes and shapes as passengers do in most cases. You can find different sizes measured in pitch and width by aircraft model and airline class, although most people still want a little extra legroom.
Fortunately, there are methods to determine whether you’ll fit comfortably into a specific airline’s seat before your next flight. Sadly, according to experts from the American Heart Association, one in three Americans is overweight person, so when flying, it can be a tight fit for most.
Another sad fact is most airlines do little to cater to plus-size travelers, and seats get smaller. In our guide, you can learn more about answering questions on “How Will I know if I fit in an airplane seat?”
By the end, you’ll know more about if you will end up taking someone else’s space or if you can have your seat refunded because the seats are too small to fit your current weight. You’ll also see how to solve the seatbelt-not-fitting problem if you can squeeze yourself into a seat in the front row. (Learn How Many Miles Around The World)
I’m Size 28. Will I Fit In An Airplane Seat?
How to determine if you can fit comfortably on an airplane seat is as follows:
- Check out SeatGuru.com
- Check the dimensions of the airline seats.
- Compare these measurements to your body dimensions.
While knowing you can fit in the seat reduces worry, you could still have other questions about improving your flight’s comfort.
Checking Sizes of Airline Seats
Pitch and width are the dimensions of airline seats, and many of these measurements for aircraft types and operators can be found on this website. Unless you recently flew on any airline, it is an excellent place to start.
You can get more precise measurements for your seat once you have the aircraft type, the class you are traveling in, and your seat number. For information, pitch refers to the distance between a seat’s point and the same point on the seat in front or behind.
The seats for most major airlines’ economy class seats have a 29- to 33-inch pitch. With this, you can obtain a better idea of the legroom you can expect.
This is a simple measurement for the width of the airline seat, and if you can see it isn’t wide enough, chances are you’d need to purchase an extra seat. The average width of U.S. airlines is 17 inches across.
One thing to note is that the cabin crew can maintain armrests in the down position so that it could feel uncomfortable at these times. (Learn How Many Unesco World Heritage Sites Can Be Found In Sri Lanka)
Check Your Body Measurements
The only point left for you to complete is to refer to the sizes provided and your body measurements. This data may already be in your records. You will need to have your measurements measured if not, though.
After completing that, you may quickly determine whether you will fit in the aircraft seat.
What Happens If I Can’t Fit In My Airline Seat?
Unfortunately, you’ll need to buy an extra seat if you can’t fit in one seat. To fit in an airline seat, you must be able to fold both armrests, and you’ll need an extra seat should you not be able to do this.
If you know you won’t fit in the airline seat before booking, you can purchase another; however, some passengers find they need another seat once they board the plane.
Depending on the flight, some seats could be vacant, so they are easily purchased. But, in other cases, passengers have been told to wait for flights with two seats side-by-side that are available.
What Happens if the Airplane Seat Belt Won’t Fit?
You can determine whether an airplane seat belt will fit you by taking your waist measurements and comparing them to the airline’s seat belt length. Depending on the airline, seat belt inches range from 39 to 45 inches, though you can check by going to the airline’s website.
You will need to use a seat belt extender, and you can get one from the flight attendant if the airplane seat belt doesn’t fit. A seat belt extender is made to fasten to a seat belt to extend its length so that a large passenger can buckle up in their seat.
The market offers many seatbelt extenders, and many larger passengers have purchased their own. However, even though it is convenient, the Federal Aviation Administration advises against using these for safety reasons as they can’t guarantee their effectiveness.
Can I Face Weight Limit On US Flights?
U.S. commercial flights have no weight limit, and airlines have more concerned about how their passengers fit their seats rather than how much they weigh. So, if you’re flying north by northwest or Southwest, it is one issue you don’t need to worry about.
Carry-on and checked bags face weight limits, although if a plus-size passenger fits their seat, they can fly. (Read What Is Recognized As The Dividing Line Between North And South Korea)
How To Be Comfortable In Your Airline Seat
Even before you get to boarding, you can think about comfort. So here are a few tips on how to get the most comfort possible.
1. Choose a Convenient Seat
Regardless of the type of traveler, you can request an aisle or window seat when making your flight reservations, as it all comes down to preference. A seat by the aisle might be your preference, or perhaps you’d prefer to keep it by yourself by the window.
You can even choose the first row in your section, giving you plenty of room to move around without having other people’s seats in front of you.
Many people opt for an aisle seat to avoid the obvious inconvenience of having to squeeze past a seatmate whenever they need to use the restroom. Those with better bladder and bowel control prefer a window seat away from the flight attendants and other passengers walking up and down the aisle.
2. Purchase an Extra Seat
If money is no object, buy an extra seat even if not required. For example, if you can’t sit comfortably in one seat with both armrests, you must purchase an extra seat. Southwest Airlines offers a free extra seat or a refund for a pre-purchased extra seat to larger passengers. Other airlines only refund if there are empty seats on the flight.
3. Board First or Last
Boarding can be chaotic and navigating with people walking by or standing by as they store carry-on luggage is difficult for larger passengers. To avoid this, the board first or last, so the aisles are clear and unobstructed.
4. Use A Seat Belt Extender
Many large passengers prefer a seat belt extender, while many passengers are embarrassed to ask for one. First, needing a seat belt extender isn’t embarrassing. To fly without a seatbelt would be foolish.
Airline staff will discreetly provide a seat belt extender. You can also approach the gate attendant while waiting to board and request a seat belt extender.
What Waist Will Fit Airline Seats?
Well, these are questions without a specific figure answer. Airplane seats are 17-18 inches wide. Different seat designs can also affect width. Consider the American Airlines Boeing 737’s curvy fuselage. This causes a narrower seat.
You then have U.S. Airways’ A330, which uses a tray table design, thus making space feel limited and narrowing your seat.
You need to consider the seat width to ensure your comfort, as some airlines require passengers to comfortably fit in one seat and have a size-based rule for buying a second seat if the larger passenger can’t fit with the armrests down. (Read Safest Countries In Central America)
I’m Size 24. Will I Fit in an Airplane Seat?
Can a size 24 fit in an airplane seat and have a comfortable flight? Plus-size passengers ask this and other size-related questions before a flight. If you have a 46-inch waist and 54–55-inch low hips, you’ll discover that a 17 to the 18-inch seat will leave you with difficulty fitting into a more comfortable seat.
Here are some tips to get your comfort.
- Learn about seat width and choose suitable 24-size seat from suitable websites.
- Fly on less-crowded days where two airline seats will be empty next to each other. Most airlines you will find are busy on Mondays.
- Ask to use a seatbelt extender on your flight.
- Window or aisle seats give you extra room to move or try to reserve bulkhead seats that have even more room.
- A plane seat by the Exit in economy class often has more legroom.
- Stretch your body, rotate your ankles, and flex your toes every two to three hours.
- Overweight passengers can suffer health issues, so give some attention to your body while traveling.
- Note: some airlines use inflatable seat belts, so if you have purchased a seat belt extender, you could find it doesn’t work in particular seats.
What do airlines do with obese passengers?
By requiring the purchase of a second seat, most airlines charge overweight passengers more.
Most airlines follow the policy that if a passenger cannot sit comfortably with both armrests fully lowered, a second seat must be purchased.
Is there a weight limit for airline seats?
In the United States, there is no set weight restriction for passengers on commercial flights, but some airlines, such as when flying Southwest, require customers who cannot fit in one seat to book a second.
What airline has the smallest seats?
At 29 inches, Air Asia has the smallest economy seat pitch. Seat pitch ranged from 31 to 35 inches forty years ago. Then, the width of the seat was roughly 18.5 inches.
Will I need a seat belt extender?
In the U.S., every airplane has at least four seat belt extenders, which airlines are required to offer without charge.
Just tell your seat number to the welcoming cabin crew when you board and request a seatbelt extender.
What size needs a seat belt extender?
Seatbelts in America are 45 inches long. A second seat is necessary if a passenger’s body extends over 1 inch past the armrest’s outermost edge and a seat belt extension is necessary.
Can fat people travel?
As fat people, we frequently have to pay more for more space because transportation options are based on comfort and budget.
Typically, air travel is both the most economical and the most expensive. However, the Southwest Airlines customer of size policy may allow you to receive additional seats for free, depending on your destination.
How wide are the seats in first class?
Seats in first class are 21 inches wide. The width of some seats in the back of the aircraft is 16.8 inches. The seats in first and business class are 20 inches wide. The width of some rear-facing seats on the aircraft is 16.5 inches.
How wide are economy airline seats?
Economy coach seats range in width from about 17 to 18 inches “. The pitch (legroom) ranges between 31 and 34 “. Source broader seats and more legroom are typically found on bigger airplanes like the 767 or 777.
Does American Airlines have seat belt extenders?
After boarding is complete, if you request one, the flight attendant will covertly give you a seat belt extender.
If you have an additional seat next to you empty, you can connect seat belts.
Is United plus-size friendly?
On some of their aircraft, United Airlines can offer plus-sized passengers special seating. The maximum seat width for these larger seats is 20.5 inches, so it might be comfortable to research which United routes are served by these seats to determine where you can sit comfortably.
Is Southwest Plus Size friendly?
Southwest Airlines, the only domestic carrier with a Customer Of Size policy, wins the award for being the plus-size-friendly airline. If you reserve two seats next to one another, you will receive a refund for the extra seat.