Just got back from another wonderful trip to Seattle.  Just love that town. 

 Flew this time (in the past, we’ve taken the train), and I noticed that when I am flying coach, even though I buy an extra seat (if anyone in the check-in process asks me, I just tell them I get one for each cheek), I am feeling the stress of being fat and flying more.  First class isn’t so stressful. 

We booked through American Airlines, but the flight was actually with Alaska Airlines – a carrier I’ve never used before.  So a little extra stress.

I will say Alaska Airlines was very accommodating – getting a seatbelt extender was no problem (sometimes I sit there and worry that I won’t get one before we take off).  I do recommend buying your own seatbelt extender – I lost mine and haven’t replaced it yet; but it is nice to know that you’ve got that taken care of before you get on the plane.  Just one less thing to worry about. 

The biggest problem I have now is getting back out of a seat because there just isn’t much room to get the leverage to get the butt up and out, without using the seat in front of me, and I don’t like to do that – I don’t like it when someone else is pulling on my seat, so I just try not to do it to anyone else.  So getting out quickly is not an exercise in fat grace – I usually loop one leg over the arm of the aisle seat and go from there (with arms flailing appropriately). 

Either the people in front of me were extraordinarily thoughtful, very posture-conscious, or the seats in Alaska Airlines don’t go back very far, because nobody put their seat back to the point where I was sniffing their hair product.  Something I also appreciate. 

I found the aisles to be pretty wide too.  I am usually more conscious of trying to edge my way down the aisle, but with Alaska, I was pretty much able to just walk down the aisle, which was nice.  Also, I didn’t seem to get as much bumpage from the flight attendants going up and down the aisle.

Sitting there, I can tell you I definitely would not have fit in one coach seat.  I checked to see where the seat ended and where my butt ended, and I can confirm that the seat ended before my butt did.  But the seats are set up so that I had to actually check – some airlines, you buy that extra seat, but the armrest doesn’t go up all the way, so it is poking into you for the entire flight.  That truly sucks.

So if you can afford the extra seat or if you’re not super-sized, I’d say Alaska is pretty good as airlines go.



  1. I’ve grown terrified of flying, and I’ve been putting off family and friend visits because of it, so I really appreciate this kind of post. Do you mind if I ask what size you are?

    I’m a size 26 or so on the bottom and a 24 on top, and I slop over both the top and bottom of the arm rest, which I can usually get down but only with discomfort (same story with the seat belt–I usually ask for an extender, unless I’m in a exit row, because using an extender there magically makes you too fat to sit in the exit row, where as the seat seat belt cutting into your gut magically makes you thin enough.)

    I have yet to buy two seats, because I don’t have much money, but as the atmosphere gets more and more rabidly anti-fatty, I feel like I probably should.

    Anyway, thanks for the info.

  2. I have had decent experiences with Alaska as well. I’m a 28-32 (evenly proportioned), 5’10” tall, and use a seatbelt extender. I’ve had good experiences with flight attendants and no problems getting seatbelt extenders. I fly out of Seattle, both to west coast & east coast destinations.

    I now mostly travel Alaska business class (I’m lucky to be able to afford it or upgrade with miles), which I think are some of the most comfortable upper class seats out there (I think around 21″) — still a bit of a squeeze for me, but definitely enough leg room.

  3. Nice to know. I’m flying over the pond this easter, and I’m feeling the jitters. It’s interesting because I’m “only” a 18-20 on bottom (I’m about 250lbs), but I’m still usually actually too fat for the seats. I can put the armrests down, but my fat keeps insisting on occupying the same space it usually does when I sit, so it ends up pushing the armrests up.
    I tend to dress well when I travel in an attempt to make me look too respectable to be messed with, can’t hurt right?

  4. I love Alaska and used to use them a lot! Always accommodating and lovely to work with. I always ask for a seat belt extender as I am boarding the plane where the attendants say hi to everyone. Never had an issue with this, actually, even in Paris (I got the stink-eye, but was given what I asked promptly). Glad this worked out for you! I love hearing fatty travel reviews!

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