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Old Aug 7, 02, 10:45 pm   #1
 
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Which Airlines/Airplanes Best for Big People

Hope this is not too general of a question but what airlines or airplane seats are the best for big people? I am 6ft tall and about 240 pounds, long legs. Would flying on an America West A319 from Phoenix to JFK be miserable for me in coach? How about Southwest Airlines coast to coast on a 5 hour flight?
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Old Aug 8, 02, 4:46 am   #2
 
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Your only good choice ia American, which has appreciably more leg room in all their seats in economy than any other airline. United has even better room in some economy seats on some of its airplanes, but those seats are tricky to get unless you're an elite flyer on United.

Legroom on all other airlines is uncomfortable for big people. Southwest Airlines is probably the very worst.

For seat width, the most important factor is the airplane itself. In my experience, the narrowest seats in economy are on Boeing 737 and 757, the least narrow on Airbus. In the middle of those are Boeing 767 and 777 and MD90s.

Many airline web sites list the exact dimensions (pitch and seat width) for each of their a/c.
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Old Aug 8, 02, 2:50 pm   #3
 
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Try Midwest Express - 4 across leather seating in an MD80. They only go to LGA, but it would be worth it. Connections in MKE.
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Old Aug 9, 02, 9:19 am   #4
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by JerryFF:
Try Midwest Express - 4 across leather seating in an MD80. They only go to LGA, but it would be worth it. Connections in MKE.</font>
Midwest Express flys to Newark, in addition to La Guardia. The only real problem is their lack of frequency from the west coast. If Midwest's one or two flights a day will work, they are a great airline to choose.
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Old Aug 10, 02, 3:42 am   #5
 
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I'm 6.4", 220 Lbs and quite comfortable in American Airlines coach cabin.

I think you would really struggle on a 5 hour flight with southwest...
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Old Aug 12, 02, 9:06 pm   #6
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Do tall people like the backwards-facing SW seats? I'm not tall myself, but seems like they would be good for people with long legs since you don't have a seat in front of you. This assumes the person across from you doesn't have extremely long and/or wide legs.

I did sit next to a 6'8" basketball player on SW once, so it can be done. Needless to say, he was hardly comfortable.

Didn't somebody here one post a link to a web site which tracks favorite (and least favorite) seats on airliners? My guess is the site was probably created by a FTer.

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Old Aug 12, 02, 9:11 pm   #7
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Aha! The site is www.seatguru.com. It shows seat maps for AA, UA, CO, DL, and US for what appears to be the vast majority of their fleet. It mentions things like the fact that Seat 9F on a UA 319 has extra legroom since there's no 8F in front of you.

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Old Aug 12, 02, 9:46 pm   #8
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by cnk:
Aha! The site is www.seatguru.com. It shows seat maps for AA, UA, CO, DL, and US for what appears to be the vast majority of their fleet...

cnk
</font>
Gotta second this posting, cnk! Several days ago, I used seatguru for the first time. It won't be the last.
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Old Aug 12, 02, 10:02 pm   #9
 
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I would not recommend the backward facing seat on Southwest unless the flight is fairly empty. Playing footsy with someone for 3 hours is not my idea of fun. I would not recommend any of the lounge seats in fact. Sitting face someone that you don't know for 3 hours is really too much. Also in "the lounge" there are no tray tables in the arm rest, so you must hold your drink and peanuts till they come around to pick them up.

Try flying on any airline at a non peak time. You are more likely to have an empty seat next to you. Flying on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are the best days for light loads.

Coach is pretty much the same on any airline. AA does offer more seat pitch but no additional seat width. Since there are less rows on an AA flight it is more likely that the middle seat will be filled. I personally will take less pitch for more width anyday. So unless you have a way to snag a first class seat go for the cheapest ticket.
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Old Aug 12, 02, 11:10 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Happs:
Hope this is not too general of a question but what airlines or airplane seats are the best for big people? I am 6ft tall and about 240 pounds, long legs. Would flying on an America West A319 from Phoenix to JFK be miserable for me in coach? How about Southwest Airlines coast to coast on a 5 hour flight?</font>
I am about the same dimensions as you are, although I never have considered myself a "big person" per se. In my opinion, the worst choice would be Southwest, especially the lounge seats. As others have stated, you actually have less personal legroom in the lounge seats, as you must share the space in front of you with someone else facing the opposite direction. I think my worst flight experience ever (and I have very few bad experiences, as I'm generally happy-go-lucky on an airplane) was on a Southwest flight in a lounge seat. I was one of the last to board, and I was stuck in a middle lounge seat. Opposite me was Wife, to her left was Baby, and to my right was Husband. To my left was a big guy and his friend across from him. So, I had no room to my left, I was leg-weaving with Wife the entire time, and both Wife and Husband were tending to misbehaving Baby for the entire 3-hour flight.

I think that AA is your best shot, because of the extra legroom. But, considering that we are of roughly the same dimension, I have to say that I don't find regular coach to be particularly cramped. As long as you don't have the bulkhead, there's plenty of room to stretch your legs under the seat in front of you (move your carry-on to immediately in front of your seat after takeoff). The big advantage of AA is that you actually have room to read a book or work on your laptop, which is difficult if not impossible in regular coach seats.

The most important part to a comfortable flight, in my opinion, is making sure that you're not stuck in a middle seat. The aisle is the best, as you have one side open, but the window will do. This is one thing you really can't guarantee on a Southwest flight, since they have no pre-assigned seating. You can try to get to the airport early, but these days it may mean 2 hours ahead of time to get a coveted "A" boarding pass. Even then, you may have to be near the front of A to get the seat you want if you're boarding a continuing flight.
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