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Woman Shares The 6 Things Plus-Size Travelers Hate—'Airlines Should Do A Better Job Accommodating Us'

Photo: TikTok
Jaeylnn plus-size travel blogger TikTok

“The problem with traveling as a plus-size person is that you have so many components to worry about,” says Jaelynn, a plus-sized travel blogger who shares travel tips for bigger people on TikTok.

She believes that travel should be for every body, despite navigating certain challenges of being a plus-size traveler. As she explains in her videos, Jaelynn weighs 600 pounds, uses oxygen, and wears a size 6X– but she travels as much as she’s able to, and provides other plus-size travelers with helpful tips to make their experience more comfortable. 

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Jaelynn shares the challenges of flying at her size and revealed 6 things plus-size travelers hate while flying

From cramped seats to short seatbelts, Jaelynn's videos prove that not only are airlines failing larger people, but they're also creating safety issues. However, Jaelynn doesn't want plus-sized people to feel discouraged. Instead, she's advocating for those who feel reluctant to travel.



1. Booking middle seats on planes

Jaelynn states that she doesn’t like sitting in a middle seat, as she then gets stuck in between two people and is unable to move, spending the entire flight feeling uncomfortable.

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2. Flying standby

Flying standby means that you have the last priority for seating, and are seated in whatever spot is available.

“Flying standby is something I probably wouldn’t recommend for plus-sized people,” Jaelynn says. Passengers on standby are typically given the last available seats on the plane and, as you can imagine, those are rarely the good ones.



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She retells a time when she and her boyfriend flew standby, only to be seated in an exit row. In an exit row, you can’t use a seatbelt extender. They had to ask to switch seats with other passengers, which made them feel “just kind of terrible.”

While it's unfair that plus-size people don't have the same options as others, until things change it would likely be more comfortable to pick a suitable seat in advance of a trip.



3. Flying airlines that aren’t plus-size friendly

Certain airlines have smaller seating, such as American and United. According to Jaelynn, Hawaiian Airlines reserves the right to not board or transport a passenger in need of an extra seat if the flight is full.

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Yet some airlines are plus size friendly, including Southwest Airlines, which offers passengers of size a free second seat, or they’ll reimburse passengers who’ve purchased their own extra seat.

Alaska Airlines is also plus-size friendly. They have a customer-size policyif you book a second seat, they’ll also reimburse the traveler after the fact.



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JetBlue offers a roomier seat, measuring 18.4 inches in width, with a pitch of 32 to 35 inches. Delta Airlines is known for allowing plus-size passengers to move to a row with an empty seat free of charge.

4. Tiny airplane bathrooms

Airplane bathrooms are notoriously small, cramped spaces. Jaelynn addresses the issue of how to navigate being plus-size and using the tiny airplane bathrooms. She shares tips for shorter flights, stating that she monitors her water intake by staying hydrated but not drinking water excessively, and makes sure to use the bathroom in the airport before boarding. 



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For longer flights, Jaelynn says that in the US, it's a requirement for all wide-bodied aircraft to have a wheelchair-accessible bathroom, which usually has about twice the amount of space. She also recommends booking flights with connections in between, so that you can use the bathroom at the airport if needed.

5. Sitting in a seat that doesn’t fit

Jaelynn shares that on average, airline seats are about 16 inches to 18 inches, and if you upgrade to a premium class seat, you can get 20 inches or more but this is expensive and not always accessible for everyone.

No matter your size, we can likely all agree that airlines could make seating a little roomier so, for plus-sized people, the lack of space can be even more frustrating.  

6. Sacrificing comfort by not asking for a seatbelt extender

Jaelyn won’t sacrifice her safety or comfort by feeling too embarrassed to ask for a seatbelt extender.

She also says that she won’t wait to lose weight to take a trip she wants to go on— “Life is too short to wait for anything! Book the trip!”

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.