Any plus-sized travelers out there?

Old May 15th, 2016, 06:45 PM
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Any plus-sized travelers out there?

I am going to Europe in a few months and would love my boyfriend to go with me. The problem is, he's a big guy with very wide hips and I'm worried about him fitting in the seat. Our budget will not allow us to buy an extra ticket, so I'd love to hear any and all feedback from other large travelers. Thanks!
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Old May 16th, 2016, 04:45 AM
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You could select a flight with an aircraft that has two, four and two seats. You take the window, pull up the armrest and let him have the aisle and part of your seat. Go to seatguru.com and see which planes have this configuration. Aer Lingus still does.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 05:06 AM
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How wide is wide? As suggested above, look at seatguru to look up seat widths.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 05:09 AM
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Economy plus/comfort or whatever your airline of choice calls it has wider seats. It costs a bit more, but not normally as much as an extra economy seat.

Some airline will do you a deal on an extra sat if a person really is too big for a normal economy. You do not get any extra luggage allowance or anything though. KLM offer 25% off the ticket price for a second seat for an obese person. You have to talk to someone in person though, not book it online. Their website also tells you the width of the seat with the armrests down per class and plane type.

https://www.klm.com/travel/nl_en/pre...rs_of_size.htm
Note that the numbers listed are for the Netherlands - you would need to go to KLM.com and choose your home country for the correct numbers to call.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 06:35 AM
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I agree that the only solution is either to book a plane that has rows with only two seats (these would be the rows near the windows, there are some) and you bear the brunt of his not being able to fit into one seat by giving him part of yours, or you don't go unless you buy some fare class with wide enough seats. There really can't be any other solution.

It does depend how big he is, as if it's only a couple inches wider seat, that isn't going to solve the problem if he is still too big for that. And on some airlines, economy plus does NOT give you any wider seat at all, it is often just more leg room (UNited and KLM). IN fact, on AA it can give you 1 inch more width on some plane models, but on others, the seat width is the same as economy.

So no, economy plus etc does NOT always give you wider seats.

Also, there often won't be that option for smaller plane flights within Europe, so if there is a connecting flight within Europe, you'd have to check that plane, also. Lots of flights just to a major city though.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 06:55 AM
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Seconding what Christina says about economy plus. I often buy those tickets- there is very little difference except just a bit extra leg room that makes me feel less cramped. Does he not fly domestic? Only he would know if he can fit in a standard seat. I don't actually think his width matters to the airline- it's whether or not the normal seat belt can be fastened. I'm not petite and I've been next to people "wider" than me on planes. He won't be comfortable, but if either of you fly much you probably share my view that economy just isn't comfortable.

Sort of an offbeat idea- I do not know where you are located or what your budget is, but maybe you could get a good deal on a transatlantic cruise such as the Cunard line and make that part off your vacation.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 07:26 AM
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The airline need the armrests to go down properly between the seats. If they can't they can choose to deny him passage. There are seatbelt extenders available onboard which can be requested if needed, but the armrest rule still applies.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 07:28 AM
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We love Virgin Atlantic premium economy, wider seats, more leg room, 2-4-2 configuration. Occasionally there are deals.

Also, if you dates are flexible, try a consolidator such as Trailblazers out of the UK, they often have discounted business class seats, as do some charters.

Be aware, not all seats have movable armrests, fewer and fewer, actually.

At my heaviest I was extremely uncomfortable in economy and the seat belt just barely buckled (you can ask for a seat belt extender). My weight was and still is mostly in my hips. It really was an awful (and motivating) experience.

We have done 5 transatlantic crossings, not a weight thing but hatred of overnight flights and love of the liners. Marvelous is right, Cunard does them as well as Celebrity and others. Apart from Cunard, the other lines do transatlantic repositionings usually in the spring and autumn. Several ports are included--Bahamas, Bermuda, Azores, Canaries, etc. Our last transatlantic from Miami called in to ports in Spain, France and Italy before the final port of Rome.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 07:36 AM
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Cathinjoe- good to hear from someone who has enjoyed the crossings! Hatred of overnight flights is exactly right, I've been considering them for exactly that reason. How are food prices/options on board? Which line did you use?
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Old May 16th, 2016, 09:49 AM
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MM,

We've been on transatlantics on Cunard and Celebrity. Prices start very low, maybe $900 to $1,200 per person for an inside cabin. On Celebrity we sail Aquaclass or the lowest priced suite which is what would be termed a junior suite in a hotel (one large room). Aquaclass usually runs about $2,500 per person, but can vary by $300 to $500 pp.

In aquaclass there are all the usual options, main dining room, large buffet, deck grill, cafés, specialty restaurants with surcharges, etc. plus access to Blu which is a smaller dining room with large windows and somewhat healthier menu options than in the main dining room. I think the Celebrity ships also do a really good job with the buffet, lots of food stations, fresh salads, fruit, outdoor seating.

On our Cunard crossing, NYC to Southampton, we got a great deal on a princess suite, at check-in we were upgraded to a queen's suite which was pretty amazing, it was two rooms, huge bath, etc. The food in the queen's grill was excellent, great menus plus essentially anything you wanted as long as it was avaiable in the kitchen. We could never do that on our own budget and in watching Cunard prices, they seem to have risen steeply, particularly for suites and Britannia Club.

We watch consolidators and discounters for pricing deals but usually use an agent out of Sarasota, FL which specializes in cruises.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for the information!
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Old May 16th, 2016, 10:19 AM
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Thank you all for the responses! It seems overnight he's changed his mind about going. Ugh! Anyway, the responses still help as I am also larger. I measured 17 inches in width on one of my seats to see if I could fit into it and it shockingly could, though it will be tight! Anyway, so now I am looking to plan a solo trip to Europe and cannot decide what I want to go or see. I'm open for any and all recommendations! Thanks everyone so much!!!
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Old May 16th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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I've seen some awfully big people seated in economy class, so maybe it would work.

Lately Alitalia has had some bargains on business class in and out of Milan. I've twice recently flown to the US in economy and returned in business class (to be able to lie down and sleep comfortably).

My sister always comes to Europe by ocean liner, because her husband won't fly. It's comfortable, and no jet lag, but it eats up a lot of your vacation time. They're retired, but for someone with a job, the whole vacation could be spent on the ocean.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 01:05 PM
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I suggest you, or for both of you if he changes his mind again, check prices for business class with a consolidator. I've used airtreks.com several times. They sell round-the-world tickets and also business class for one-way and rt tickets. Very affordable, all things relative.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 01:42 PM
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We've done the Transatlantic cruise and loved it. It is a wonderful way to begin or end a long vacation.
Except for Cunard's usual TA, the repostioning cruises, Caribbean and US moving to Europe or med for the winter, are pretty much done for this spring, but will be returning in the fall. I noticed Norwegian Epic, a beautiful 5* ship, will be coming back to US from Barcelona, in October, for $600.00!
Keep in mind though, that unless you are doing Cunard RT, or staying in Europe for the summer or winter, you still have to fly one way.
Anyone interested, vacationstogo.com is a great website for looking for a cruise. There are other good ones, but that one is really easy to use and covers about everything.
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