Travel/Entertainment Tips for the Big Folks?

I’m a big guy. Big. Height, width, and depth. So finding comfortable seats in a plane has been, well, nigh-on impossible. I don’t agree with Southwest’s policy of ‘two seats for chubbos!’, because my take on it is, if I can still cram myself into the damn seat(belt), though it may be as uncomfortable as all hell, then back the hell off. :slight_smile:

(I don’t fly Southwest these days…)

Anyway, after spotting this thread in the pit , and others linked to within it, it occurred to me that fellow Dopers might have some suggestions.

To start it off, I’ve got one that I found on my most recent flight, which incendentally was the most comfortable one I’ve ever had.

Tip: take the emergency exit seat (on the row behind it, rather). For some reason (this according to the gate agent I talked to), nobody seems to want to sit there. I dunno why; the legroom is EXCELLENT (there’s no seat in front of you!), and yeah, you’re crammed in width-wise but you’ve got all that lovely, lovely room in front to stretch out. Fat is pliable. :slight_smile:

So, anyone else got any tips for comfortable, non-invasive and/or obnoxious travel methods for us lard-butts? Specifically, I’m interested in free or mostly-free methods (being a cheapskate), so stuff like ‘buy another ticket, fatty’ isn’t the point. :slight_smile: As always, consideration for your fellow man must be observed by the method.

Any takers?

(ETA: stupid me, I meant this for IMHO; mods, feel free to move!)


On every flight I’ve ever been on, the exit row seats were the most sought after, prized, coveted golden fleece of seats. (Assuming you’re not flying first class). I try to get them when I fly, but they’re usually the first seats to go.

ETA: Not to derail your thread, I just wanted to point out that what the gate agent told you flies against all my experience. It’s like she told you that nobody wants to eat chocolate.

Aw dammit, now you’ve burst my bubble. Seriously, that’s what she said, and my experience on that flight was just that: nobody wanted the seat, so I was able to snag it.

I hope that holds true for future flights. sigh

Perhaps your size has something to do with your screen name.

Seconded. I’m a big guy,6’4" and I always try to get the emergency exit. I rarely do. Next up would be a bulk head seat.

Exit seats are highly prized but I have gotten them a few times. Maybe what she was talking about is you can’t book them and you have to have physical and mental qualifications to sit in one. They have to check in person that you could do the job of pulling the door into the cabin, and then throwing it safely away from that aisle in the event of an accident. You can’t be somebody that too young or otherwise incapable of doing that.

WOW! Oh my god, I never made the connection!


I suppose that could be the reason. I put this to my wife earlier today (after the first response) and she said that was the only thing she could think of, too.

I’m starting to get the feeling I got lucky on that flight. Well, it’s still a good tip, if you can pull it off. :slight_smile:

By ‘bulk head seat’, do you mean the very first row? Because in my experience, those are even LESS comfortable than the average seat. There’s not as much room, and you can’t stick your feet under the seat in front of you to gain a few extra inches of room (assuming that’s not occupied by someone else’s carryon, anyway). select your airline, select your plane type/model. Then read the comments on the seats. They have measurements and everything.


I don’t mean to be rude, but what about the person sitting next to you? It’s extremely uncomfortable to be crammed in next to a person who’s overflowing their seat for hours and hours on a plane.

Wonderful. I had a long answer to this typed out, but the hamsters ate it. Let me sum up:

(1) I don’t overflow my seat in general, and specifically, I take steps to make sure I don’t when someone is sitting next to me. Please note as well I specified ‘consideration for your fellow man’ in my OP.

(2) The whole point of the thread was to see if my fellow dopers had learned tricks to avoid discomfort in too-small seats, bathrooms, whatever. Share experiences. Like the exit row seat thing. Do you have any?

Sorry - I did have a comment on the “bulkhead seat” option - while not good for tall big people, like my dad, it can be a great place for shorter ones if you don’t mind putting your luggage overhead. My tiny-yet-large aunt loves them.

Make sure to check which carriers fly the route you’re interested in. Sun Country, for example, offers upgrades to first class that may end up less than another airline’s coach class–or close to it.*

I’m flying roundtrip from Minneapolis to Anchorage in first class for what amounts to a difference of $100 over coach each way.

  • Many, many variables apply such as: Availability, time-in-advance, weekend/weekday, Saturday night stayover, moon phase, native tongue, and, of course, shoe size.

[sub]I previewed, and I had typed “show size” instead of “shoe size.” Now that might have made some guys happy and others, not so much.[/sub]

I know you are a guy, but I figure that one of my favorite tips would be good …

always carry a packet of adult baby wipes. Wet Ones makes a nice option - individually packaged one full size wipe per packet. No baby stench fragrance!

I don’t know about you, but in the microscopic toilet stalls on planes [or even just for traveling anyway] it can be difficult to squirm around and wipe thoroughly with standard TP, but the wet wipes are fantastic! I have not had a UTI since I started using them even when not traveling. Wet wipes are also great if you have to go and there is no facility to wash your hands, or if you are fatigued a quick face and back of neck wiwpedown can feel fantastic. You can even to a quick armpit wipedown and change into a fresh t shirt with no water available.

For women, panty liners! TMI - but we ooze vaginal secretions occasionally, and a panty change may not be possible, but a quick wipedown with wet ones and a changeout of panty liners can make you feel worlds better.

Not appropriate for MPSIMS, panache45. Don’t do it again.

Insults are not allowed outside the Pit, Sofaspud. If you feel insulted, the best thing to do is to report the post and just not respond. Let the mods handle it.

Can you define “in general”? I ask because I got squashed by a very large woman’s thigh - and not in a good way - on a three-hour coach journey the other day. It was desperately uncomfortable and it was also kinda rank.

I’m sure she thought she wasn’t overflowing “in general” as she could indeed “cram [her]self into the damn seat(belt)”; in fact she was overflowing specifically on me - and she had the aisle seat. I was extremely fucking pissed, and would have moved seat if the damn coach hadn’t been completely full. IMO she should have bought two tickets. I’m sure you wouldn’t subject people to this: however, seat belt stretchage is not necessarily a good indication of containment.

As for bulkhead/emergency seats: these damn things get taken immediately for every flight, at least in Europe and Asia.

Non-emergency bulkheads are pre-bookable, but they get allocated to families before anyone else and you’re likely to get bumped - space for the kids to run around, you see.

If you can’t get one of these, you need to get an emergency exit. To get one, you should turn up hours earlier than your flight: in Europe at least, the ticketing staff aren’t allowed to book emergency exit seats unless they’ve actually eyeballed you and deemed you, in their opinion, fit enough to manhandle the door in the case of an emergency. My wife has absurdly long legs, so makes us turn up 3+ hours before long-haul flights so we can get the emergency exit seats.

Entertainment options: good books are underrated these days. Failing that, some sudoku.

Is your wife the one who knees me in the back? As much as people here love to complain about fat people on planes, tall people are the real menace, IMHO.

Back to the actual OP’s question:

Music. Close your eyes, breath deeply, and pretend you aren’t on a plane. Thousands of miles over the earth. Roaring along at a crazy speed.

Dress to be cool. I am much more comfortable in small spaces if I am cool.

Here’s what I say to myself when I hear people complaining about either fat people, tall people, or even children on planes:

“Self — This person has apparently never had to sit beside a smelly person.”

Stinkers are the real problem. I once spent a cross-country flight standing near the bathroom so that I could smell people’s poop. It smelled better than the guy I was seated next to.

No, she’s very considerate. Which is why she goes for the exit seats, rather than suffer for hours on end, by avoiding stabbing people in the back with her knees.