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How does Lufthansa treat larger people travelling tranatlantic in coach?

How does Lufthansa treat larger people travelling tranatlantic in coach?

Old Jun 5th, 2006, 04:58 AM
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How does Lufthansa treat larger people travelling tranatlantic in coach?

I'm flying Lufthansa to Munich later this month--an 8 1/2 hour flight--in coach! I am a 46-year-old woman who will be traveling with my elderly Dad and his wife, to a conducted three week cruise/tour in Greece that he has arranged for us, and which means a great deal to him and to me. He knows a great deal about Greece and has always wanted to show it to me and tell me of its history.

I am a aignificantly larger person than either of them are, and have gained weight since I last flew. Now, I'm panicking about whether I'll have trouble fitting in the seats! I'm going to call the travel agent to see what it would cost to move up to business class, but that may not be an option. I looked at "seatguru.com" but that didn't really help much.

Here on Fodors I read about a scenario with some airline where 2 fat people were singled out and made to go on the airplane to prove that they could fit in the seat without encroaching on anyone. One passed the test and the other had to pay for 2 seats! I can't imagine what it would cost to pay for a second seat at the last minute on a transatlantic flight, but mostly I cringe to imagine this scenario in front of hundreds of people waiting to board (especially when one of them would be my athletic dad).

Does anyone have experience with how Lufthansa coach seating is for larger people, have traveled trnsatlantic with them as a larger person, or has observed how they have handled this issue when it has come up?

I hope that those of you who would be inclined to lecture me about how I should not think about travelling until I lose weight will understand that is not helpful to me in the situation of my Dad inviting me on this tour, and will have the consideration to hold your fire. I know you are out there and what you think. What I need is to find out how to make getting to this tour, scheduled for this month, work well, and hope to hear from those who have experience with Lufthansa which would help.

Ellen

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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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It is unlikely that someone on this forum would have that specific info about that particular airline on transatlantic flights. I believe the only place you can get answers to your questions in advance is directly from the airline.

I am fat and have never been singled out by an airline. To minimize imposition to others, I try to always have a window seat. If the space is tight, that means I can press against the wall, rather than intrude on sapce of the passenger in the middle seat.

Keith
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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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It's difficult to give you a specific answer without knowing how large you are?

If you are very large and I don't mean to be insensative, you may consider buying 2 economy seats for yourself. It will be much cheaper than business seat yet you will be more comfortable than just 1 seat for a long flight like this. If you do decide to do it that way, DO NOT DO IT ONLINE!

Call Lufthansa directly, explain the situation and make sure they will block off the seat next to yours. Also ask for a seat assignment for both seats at that time and make sure the arm rest in the row you're sitting could be raised. It is very possible to do that and it may be the way to go for you if you feel that you may be uncomfortable with one seat.

I don't think Lufthansa has any "official" policy on this issue. Southwest Airlines is the only one I know of that does, but if you can't fit into one seat than it will become an issue and as you said, it maybe too late to do anything about it at that time. The flight could be sold out and even if you may be willing to pay extra, it may be impossible to accomodate you.

BTW, Lufthansa economy seats are 17.5" wide with 32" pitch.
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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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You've gotten great advices so far. This is not going to help you for this trip, but next time, consider flying premium economy on British Airways, Virgin Atlantic or SAS. Wider seats with more legroom and better food. Significantly less than the cost of a business class seat or two economy seats.
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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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I would suggest you call the airline, explain the situation, and ask them to block three seats together for your party. As long as your party is seated together, you can fold up the two armrests and get a little extra width, and if you do encroach on members of your own party, they are unlikely to complain. I know airlines do carry seat belt extenders, so they are used to dealing with larger people.
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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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Just a note about premium economy - most (all?) premium economy seats have the tray tables in the armrests, so the arms can't be raised unlike coach seats (except in exit rows.) While the seats are wider, the "effective width" may be restrictive for plus-sized pax.

For the OP, as far as I can tell, all of Lufthansa's long-haul planes (both 747s and Airbuses) have x-4-x seating, with x being either 2 or 3 depending on planes (3-4-3 in the 747s.) So you might ask the airline if they can block or not assign an arbitrary interior seat in one of the 4-seat sections so that your group of 3 has 4 seats. They won't guarantee an empty seat (unless you want to pay for it) but most airlines are sensitive to these matters and try not to inconvenience either the large passenger or the person(s) that would sit next to him/her, family or no.

If you post your flight dates and origin point (where you're flying from - I'm guessing DC or Chicago) I or someone else can look at your particular flights and see how full they are as of now - info you might be able to use if you want to call the airline.
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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 04:26 PM
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There are 3 of you sitting together, if you don't get enough space in your own seat, sure your dad will allow you to open the arm rest! It's not like you'll be sitting next to a stranger!
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Old Jun 5th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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Good luck! I hope the plane isn't too full & there will be an empty seat for you (especially one you won't have to pay for.)
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