Packed Airplane....Looks Cozy
Air Travel for the Oversized Passenger...
At 6’6” and 280lbs I’ve got 99 problems and air travel is most definitely one. I travel via air approximately 10-15 times a year for a mixture of business and pleasure. Being this large and in charge, I’ve come to learn a few things that I want to share with you, my fellow giants.
Exit Row Seating / Bulk Head Seating
Exit row seating also as known as bulk head seating are seats that have additional leg room typically up to 7”-8” of extra room. These seats are usually in the front or middle of the plane depending on the aircraft manufacturer and model. Typically these seats can be reserved for a fee. In the past, I have been successful (25%) of the time to get the fee for these premium seats waived by the airline. To do this call the customer service and ask to speak with a manager. Inform them that you’re tall and need the extra leg room. In the event the airline will not allow you to book these seats free of charge it will typically cost you approximately $60-90 per seat for a return flight. It's well worth it!
Early Bird Gets the Worm
If you don't want to pay for the seats here it another option. In a few instances where I neglected to book an exit row seat I discovered that arriving early on the day of my flight was the next best free way to secure these premium seats. Arriving early typically means that you’ll have first crack at any of the available seats that have extra leg room. I know from my own personal experience that the airline staff at the check-in counter typically feel sorry for me because of my height and Shrek like appearance. This is usually enough to earn me and my guest free exit row seating. Just ask and you shall receive in most instances.
Be the last to board the plane. By boarding the plane last you spend the absolute least amount of time on the plane. Those who board the plan first usually spend an additional 15-20 minutes on the plane, ain’t nobody got time for that. Spend the time waiting for your flight in the terminal close to your departure gate so that you can see/hear exactly when the last boarding call is made. Since you'll be boarding the plane last be sure to pack light as you may not be able to get a spot in the overhead luggage. In the event this occurs sometimes the flight attendants will be nice enough to store your bag in a crew compartment.
Stretch often! Taller people are more susceptible to blood clots forming during long flights. A blood clot is potentially a life threatening condition and you need to take precautions to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. For any flights longer than 90 minutes in length be sure to get out of your seat and stretch every 30 to 60 minutes. Remember to be courteous and don’t stretch directly in front of other passengers.
Don’t forget about your travel companion
In 2010 my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I were travelling Mexico for a well-deserved vacation. I made the silly mistake of only booking a single exit row seat for myself, neglecting to get her a seat in the same row. At the time I told her that the money I saved would be put towards additional spa treatments at the report. Unfortunately, she didn’t buy it. It would have cost me $70 for her to sit in the exit row with me. Ultimately, it cost me a lot more than $70.... If you’re a giant spring for the extra exit row seat for your companion.
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(price as of Apr 21, 2016)