Saturday, June 28, 2008
the fat girl's guide to flying
i've been traveling a lot recently and as a woman of XXL proportions, airplane travel always make me a little nervous. fortunately, i have amazing girlfriends who know what the hell i'm talking about when i anxiously mention the dread of having to squeeze my voluptuous keister into an XL seat for three hours. one particular travel-savvy friend sent me the following advice, wrought from her own extensive traveling experiences:
The Fat Girls Guide to Flying
1) Airline seat sizes vary. Airplanes use a few different kinds of aircrafts. When you shop for flights, it will list the type of aircraft each flight uses. Check here to determine the width of the seat on that particular aircraft: www.seatguru.com You want the 18" width; it will be much better vs. the 17" width. Whenever possible I pick my flight times based on this.
2) Get in a loyalty program and fly that airline as much as possible. It is TOTALLY worth it. Get a credit card that gives you miles for that airline. This will let you get better seats (i.e. non middle!), board first, and upgrade to first with your miles.
3) Always aim for a window seat. It allows you to get into the row first (usually), get situated, and lean away from the middle seat. Because of carts and other traffic coming down the aisle, the aisle seat doesn't leave you with anywhere to lean.
4) Seat belt lengths vary. I tend to fly United where the seat belt is always roomy in coach, but strangely, not nearly as roomy in business class/first (even though the seat are.)
Here's how to handle a tight seat belt: immediately recline your seat, slide your ass back, and buckle the seat belt. Then un-recline. In crappier seats you may have to reach back and grab the side of the seat and yank it forward as you depress the button to move the seat back into the upright position. Do the whole recline thing really quickly and no one will notice, they're too busy getting situated themselves. In really small/older planes (i.e. europe), the seat belts are much shorter. Do not go through the drama of asking for an extender. Just bring a jacket with you and put it on your lap. Place the unbuckled seatbelt under the jacket. Put your headphones on and zone out. No one will notice. Flight attendants just want to get the plane off the ground, they are not looking to see if your seat belt is buckled.