Am I too fat to fly?

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#1
Riverside, CA
136 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Have most recently only cruised close to home but would like to cruise from other ports where we would need to fly. I am 5'4" tall and weigh 200 lbs. Will I be asked to buy 2 seats? I don't want to be totally embarrassed as I board, would rather have an idea ahead of time. Are there certain airlines that are better for heavier people? Thanks in advance for any input from those who have experienced similar situation.
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#2
Bermuda
3,456 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by vinsheer
Have most recently only cruised close to home but would like to cruise from other ports where we would need to fly. I am 5'4" tall and weigh 200 lbs. Will I be asked to buy 2 seats? I don't want to be totally embarrassed as I board, would rather have an idea ahead of time. Are there certain airlines that are better for heavier people? Thanks in advance for any input from those who have experienced similar situation.
You'll be fine! I'm heavier than you and I fly a lot - especially long-hauls.
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#3
808 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Pfft. You're probably not even close to having a problem. Don't worry about it.

As a general rule, if you can fit in a seat at the movie theater, you are fine.
#4
Columbus, OH
1,652 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by vinsheer
Have most recently only cruised close to home but would like to cruise from other ports where we would need to fly. I am 5'4" tall and weigh 200 lbs. Will I be asked to buy 2 seats? I don't want to be totally embarrassed as I board, would rather have an idea ahead of time. Are there certain airlines that are better for heavier people? Thanks in advance for any input from those who have experienced similar situation.
I'm 5'3 and 200 pounds (not happy about it, but that is what the scales says...) and I travel frequently for work with no issues. Some seats are more comfortable than others, but I've never spilled into the seat next to me.

You'll be fine!
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#5
Somewhere north of the 49th parallel
1,728 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
You're nowhere near being too heavy to fly. Book that cruise and have a blast! It's a big world out there. Go and explore!
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#6
Riverside, CA
136 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Thank You all...what a relief!! Of course I hope to lose a little, but not counting on it
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#7
Somewhere north of the 49th parallel
1,728 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by vinsheer
I hope to lose a little, but not counting on it
Ahh don't we all.
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#8
306 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I have a sister that is nearing 6ft and over 200lbs. How much she really weighs I don't know. My mother, my older sister, and I have been talking amongst each other on whether or not she will be asked to purchase a second seat. I do not want her to be embarrassed or not be able to go bc she did not factor in having to purchase an extra seat for $400 into her budget. I like the example of if she can fit in a seat in the theater she can fit on a plane. She goes to the movies a lot and never had a problem spilling into the seat next to her. This will be her first plane ride. I am hoping that she will be fine and not need another seat
#10
Columbus, OH
3,871 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
At 5'7 and 271 I was able to fit into a plane seat... not the most comfortable experience but it worked. Same with theater and concert seating. Now at 180 it's a breeze. I couldn't believe how much roomier those seats got!
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#11
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,039 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Actually a typical movie theater seat has considerably more room than a coach seat on a plane. Typical coach seats are 17-17.5" wide, while movie theater seats range from 19-23" wide.

I've suggested this before: Make a 17" wide cardboard "box" with a bottom, sides, and back. If you can fit into it without spilling out over the sides or pushing them out, you'll be fine. (Many who carry their weight in their belly have no problem with a coach seat.) If you can't fit into it without pushing out the sides or spilling over them, do yourself and those around you a favor and buy a second seat.

Don't expect your seat mate to leave the armrest up for you, and do expect them to protest if you spill over into their seat. On some carriers, they can and will deplane you if the flight is full and you can't fit into the seat without encroaching on your neighbors space.

It really comes down to where you carry your weight. You might fit fine while another person of the same height and weight will not be able to sit in the seat with the armrest down.

Try to book an aisle seat so you can use a bit more room there. Some airlines charge an extra $5-25 for aisle seats, in my opinion, it's well worth the slight additional cost for the extra room--even for slender people.
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#12
Chicago, Illinois
2,345 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by ducklite
Try to book an aisle seat so you can use a bit more room there. Some airlines charge an extra $5-25 for aisle seats, in my opinion, it's well worth the slight additional cost for the extra room--even for slender people.
This is excellent advice! Having that extra space makes all the difference in the world. Of course the bad part is dealing with any overhead bin hogs that might have boarded before you!
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Elyce

Chandris Amerikanis - late 1970's; Carnival Festivale, NCL Norway, Carnival Tropicale - 1980's; Carnival Celebration - 1989; HAL Westerdam - 12/2009; HAL Eurodam - 2/2011; HAL Nieuw Amsterdam - 1/2012; HAL Noordam - 2/2013; HAL Noordam - 1/2014; HAL Noordam - 2/2015; HAL Zuiderdam - 2/2016

#13
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,039 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by elycelynne
This is excellent advice! Having that extra space makes all the difference in the world. Of course the bad part is dealing with any overhead bin hogs that might have boarded before you!
What does an overhead bin hog have to do with an aisle seat? Aisle seats have storage room under the seat in front of them just like middle an window seats do. In fact some have more than window seats due to the curve of the body of the plane.
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April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.

My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here

20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#14
Chicago, Illinois
2,345 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by ducklite
What does an overhead bin hog have to do with an aisle seat? Aisle seats have storage room under the seat in front of them just like middle an window seats do. In fact some have more than window seats due to the curve of the body of the plane.
Because aisle seat passengers who don't have some kind of elite status with the airline are usually the last group to board and, due to some prior boarders putting anything and everything in the overhead bins, sometimes have trouble finding enough space for any carry-ons that might be too big to fit under the seat in front of them.
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Elyce

Chandris Amerikanis - late 1970's; Carnival Festivale, NCL Norway, Carnival Tropicale - 1980's; Carnival Celebration - 1989; HAL Westerdam - 12/2009; HAL Eurodam - 2/2011; HAL Nieuw Amsterdam - 1/2012; HAL Noordam - 2/2013; HAL Noordam - 1/2014; HAL Noordam - 2/2015; HAL Zuiderdam - 2/2016

#15
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,039 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by elycelynne
Because aisle seat passengers who don't have some kind of elite status with the airline are usually the last group to board and, due to some prior boarders putting anything and everything in the overhead bins, sometimes have trouble finding enough space for any carry-ons that might be too big to fit under the seat in front of them.
It depends on the carrier. US Airways boards disabled/special needs, then families with kids under five (or if there are a lot of them, families with kids under five who will bought seats for their kids and need to install car seats and families with kids under two), then elites who didn't get upgrades, then those in exit rows or bulkhead seats and US Airways Mastercard holders, then front to back everyone else.

They've gotten really fussy about carry ons as well, both the number and size of them, and really encourage people to check(for free) their roll aboards. A few weeks ago one of the gate agents in Orlando told a women she couldn't get on with her roll aboard, a stuffed full Disney shopping bag, and a pocketbook. I was waiting to hear something about my "extra" bag (I had a briefcase and small roll aboard plus a grocery plastic bag with a couple cheese sticks and protein bar for breakfast) but he must have seen it was food and didn't say a word. (Plus I was on a FC ticket--I love upgrades!)
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Past Cruises...
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October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
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April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.

My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here

20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#16
Little Rock, Arkansas
37,374 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by elycelynne
Because aisle seat passengers who don't have some kind of elite status with the airline are usually the last group to board
Depends on the airline. Most airlines board in some fashion from back to front (or in a modified pyramid). Unless you are towards the front of the plane and don't have elite status, overhead space is not usually a problem - doesn't matter window or aisle.
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Wrona

3/02 Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas, 5/03 Voyager of the Seas Western Caribbean, 1/05 Voyager of the Seas Eastern Caribbean, 12/05 Rhapsody of the Seas Western Caribbean, 2/06 Brilliance of the Seas Partial Panama Canal(Live posts or photos), 3/06 Serenade of the Seas Southern Caribbean (Review or photos), 3/06 Monarch of the Seas Mexico, 2/07 Jewel of the Seas Eastern Caribbean (Mustard of the Seas 1) (View photos), 1/08 Maui Trip (View photos), 5/08 Rhapsody of the Seas Alaska (trip report, photos, Compasses/Menus/Other Info, review, review with pictures), 5/09 Serenade of the Seas Alaska (View Photos), 11/09 Radiance of the Seas Mexico (View Photos), Jewel of the Seas WB TA 09/10 (Review, View Photos), 8/11 Peru & Machu Picchu (View Photos), 8/12 Colombia (View Photos), 10/12 Jewel of the Seas Canada/New England (View Photos), 2012 Christmas Markets Salzburg/Munich (View Photos), 4/13 Jewel of the Seas Cozumel (View Photos), 8/13 Ghana (View Photos-Part 1 & Part 2), 11/13 Oasis of the Seas Eastern Caribbean (Review, View Photos), 1/14 Adventure of the Seas Southern Caribbean (View Photos), 9/14 Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean (View Photos), 11/14 Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean (View Photos), 5/15 Jaco Beach, Costa Rica (View Photos), 6/15 AmaSerena Danube River (View Photos), 7/15 Majesty of the Seas Bahamas (View Photos)
#17
Columbus, OH
3,871 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by ducklite
Don't expect your seat mate to leave the armrest up for you, and do expect them to protest if you spill over into their seat.
Which is a good point... if you're traveling with someone else then odds are you are sitting next to them and will be able to raise the arm rest to make it more comfortable.
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HAL Westerdam / Eastern Caribbean /October 31,2015
RCL Adventure of the Seas / Southern Caribbean /January 25, 2015
HAL Veendam / Canada & New England /June 7, 2014
RCL Oasis of the Seas / Western Caribbean / February 4, 2012
Carnival Victory / Southern Caribbean / February 6, 2011
Carnival Destiny / Southern Caribbean / December 12, 2004
#18
Near Orlando but California Dreaming
14,039 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Originally posted by sherilyn70
Which is a good point... if you're traveling with someone else then odds are you are sitting next to them and will be able to raise the arm rest to make it more comfortable.
Agreed, but don't ever count on this. If there is an equipment change, your flight is oversold, or for any number of other reasons your seats can be changed. Unless your travel companion is a child under five with their own paid seat or a disabled person who needs your assistance in-flight, there is never a guarantee that you'll be seated together. Chances are it won't happen, but you know how Murphy works when it comes to travel...
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Past Cruises...
August 2002--Disney Magic Eastern Caribbean
October 2005--RCCL Mariner Western Caribbean
October 2011--Disney Dream Bahamas
June 2012--Windstar Wind Surf Back-To-Back, Rome to Venice to Athens
April 2014--Paul Gauguin to French Polynesia

Three weeks in Europe (two on a ship) with a 20" roll aboard and a tote bag--packing list here.

My all in a 20" wheeled bag for a warm weather cruise packing list here

20" rolling bag packing list for two weeks in a cool/cold climate here.
#19
893 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by sherilyn70
At 5'7 and 271 I was able to fit into a plane seat... not the most comfortable experience but it worked. Same with theater and concert seating. Now at 180 it's a breeze. I couldn't believe how much roomier those seats got!
Brilliantly done Sherilyn, that is some achievement.

I went from 242 to 171, but in the last year am back up to 218............ so am on diet again. Not a happy bunny, but still lighter than I was 3 years ago
#20
775 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I have a not so lovely bruise on my hip from a recent flight. I weigh about the same and I'm 5'7". I wear a 16 and I have wide hips--something that losing weight won't affect much. It was a tight fit for my hips and when trying to get out of the seat to let someone use the restroom I really whacked my side bad