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Big Man Flying

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by BigGTMike, Jan 6, 2015.

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  1. BigGTMike

    BigGTMike Low-Roller

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    Afternoon, everyone.

    Looking for some advice and tips on flying as a fat man, big dude, customer of size, whatever the preferred terminology is.

    My beloved Airtran Airways with their cheap upgrades to 22" business class seating is unfortunately gone with the merger.

    I don't want this to keep me away from my favorite city in the world, but holy hell the anxiety is fierce. I'm working on the weight, but realistically it will probably be a year or two before I can see myself in one coach seat comfortably, if ever (broad shoulders and waist build). I could probably fit in a 20" seat currently, not these 17" or so I see Southwest has.

    So what do I do? Purchase two seats in advance and put the armrest up? The good thing about always using the airtran upgrade in the past is that I suppose I am immune to the sticker shock that purchasing two seats might induce. $700 round trip seems doable if I book SW at the right time? But is their boarding process bad for this type thing?

    What airlines are best for this sort of thing? Better times to fly than others for possible refunds? Strategy? I fly out of ATL if that matters. Looking for some first hand experiences if possible.

    Thanks folks.
     
  2. Aaron5

    Aaron5 Low-Roller

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    Southwest will give you Preboard and an extra seat for free.
     
  3. themightydude

    themightydude High-Roller

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    Not first hand experience here though I am a bigger guy (6'5", broad shoulders, few to many taco bell burritos in my belly).

    Spirit's big front seats are 18+" seats I do believe. You'll have to pay an extra $40 or however much it is to get them. According to spirit their site says 18.5" and seat guru says 20". So not real sure.

    What about booking first class? If your ok paying $700 or so RT, I just did a quick search and united has first class flights out of ATL (with 1 stop) starting at $644. Those seats should be 20-22" for sure.

    Boarding shouldn't matter unless your doing wheelchair assisted / pre board.

    Or just do what you had indicated and buy 2 coach class tickets and put the armrest up. You shouldn't have any problem doing that at least with the major carriers.
     
  4. BigGTMike

    BigGTMike Low-Roller

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    Wait, so Southwest will always refund the additional seat purchase regardless of the flight overselling etc? And their armrests go up?
     
  5. Aaron5

    Aaron5 Low-Roller

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    Yes. You don't need to purchase the second seat. Just purchase a single and call them and they will give you a voucher for the second seat and Preboard. Armrests go up.
     
  6. BigGTMike

    BigGTMike Low-Roller

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    Well that's cool I guess. And I'll always actually get two seats?
     
  7. TheCooler

    TheCooler Professional Gambler and the Best Football Handica

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    From Southwest's site:

    Customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s) may proactively purchase the needed number of seats prior to travel in order to ensure the additional seat(s) is available. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats; width between the armrests measures 17 inches. The purchase of additional seats serves as a notification to Southwest of a special seating need, and allows us to adequately plan for the number of seats that will be occupied on the aircraft. In turn, this helps to ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight/aircraft for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation. Most importantly, it ensures that all Customers onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating. You may contact us for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel. Customers of size who prefer not to purchase an additional seat in advance have the option of purchasing just one seat and then discussing their seating needs with the Customer Service Agent at their departure gate.
     
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    "Customers of size"?!?!?! That is the PC claptrap of PC claptrap! lol

    Fat person.

    As a "person of zaftig" myself that is just toooooooooooooo funny.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  9. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Ken, you ever used "high-handicapper" in lieu of crappy golfer?
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  10. Ty

    Ty ?

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    Sounds like you would get two seats. Especially if you buy two in advance and then get one refunded. Not sure if you would always get one by asking at the gate.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Guess someone didn't get the tongue-in-cheek of it all.

    As a 13, I'm a semi-crappy golfer!
     
  12. gmille58

    gmille58 Low-Roller

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    I am a big guy and have purchased the extra seat on SW before but didn't try to get it refunded. It was a hassle and I hate that airline. The armrests do go up.
     
  13. Sriracha

    Sriracha Tourist

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    Have you looked into Virgin America flights? When i searched for airfare they had pretty cheap first class seats available, if I remember around 300$. I want to say less, but I'm also down with the flu and it could be a fever hole.
     
  14. MTMONGO

    MTMONGO Low-Roller

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    That's what's nice of having a skinny wife. Armrests go up. Fat Guys rule!
     
  15. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Buying the two seats on SWA or buying 1st class is the only way to go, really.

    Back before I lost a ton of weight (380 to 255) I would just buy first class seats and had no problem. Of course the expense is higher but one first class seat may be cheaper than two in coach.

    I gained some back (255 to 285) when I busted my ankles up and still pay to ride up front because I know I will be comfortable and not encroach on anyone's space. But I am broad shouldered and am 6'1 so even when I thinned out I was still not comfortable in coach.

    I feel your pain, man. The anxiety is real. I used to fret like crazy and would look up the seat widths on seatguru. Best of luck on fighting the good fight, man.
     
  16. BigGTMike

    BigGTMike Low-Roller

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    Lol. So. I currently have $2,800 worth of pending charges on my amex from where the Southwest person on the phone maybe didn't know what they were doing. Should have just booked online I guess. She seemed confident all but the appropriate charge would reverse in a day or so but good lord. Whatever. Vegas bound for the super bowl.
     
  17. BCMike

    BCMike VIP Whale

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    I usually fly with Delta or United in First. If i time it properly, I can get a first class seat for about $500 which isn't too bad considering a coach seat is usually around $300 or so. I get that same anxiety. I remember they swapped out a 70 seat plane for a 50 seat here not long ago which didn't have the first class! I could still fit into coach but not comfortably; I'm just big all around. Anyways, they were able to put me on another airline (think United booked me on an American flight since I'd paid for first and was willing to take the bump). Ended up getting to Vegas about 30 minutes earlier than I would have on my original flight :D .

    Curious how your Southwest experience goes. Let us know please. I purposely avoid them because I've heard their horror stories about bumping 'people of size' lol.
     
  18. TheCooler

    TheCooler Professional Gambler and the Best Football Handica

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    Do you mind sharing how you time it to get first so cheaply? I usually pay $700+ for first.
     
  19. BCMike

    BCMike VIP Whale

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    I actually use Google Flights quite a bit as a search tool. google.com/flights . You can either put in dates or just scroll through and look at the flight prices each day. I don't think Southwest or Allegiant are in the results but everything else is (and those don't have FC anyways I don't believe).

    For example, Austin to LAS January 24 to January 28th is currently priced out at $545 in First. I see quite a few round trips in February actually for $505 out of Austin.

    If i have specific dates I want to be there, I may pay more but it's good for the 'sudden urge' trips where I just want to get away for a weekend.
     
  20. MoneyToBurn

    MoneyToBurn Low-Roller

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    6'2" and 370 lb or so here, for the sake of clarity. I'm actually trying Southwest and the two seat thing for the first time next week, but I normally fly first class. One thing, though, the Delta CRJ900 seats are listed on seatguru as 19.6", and they have a tray on one side in the armrest, and a dummy armrest on the other side so they are interchangeable, and I don't find them really comfortable, so best to check on the seat width before booking.
     
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