How fat is too fat?

Old Mar 5, 15, 6:22 am
  #1  
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Unhappy How fat is too fat?

Hi everyone.

I'm 370lb and terrified of being an inconvenience to others or being kicked off the flight. I am planning on a new Zealand to Perth, Australia, flight in mid-april.

Pic for reference: Photo

I have booked premium economy with nice wide seats, but to get to the international leg, I need to fly a domestic economy route in an a320 first.

How likely is the airline kick me off? Have you heard of Air new Zealand's policy? They haven't listed it anywhere.

I'm not HUGE. I know I'm HUGE compared to a normal-weight person but there are people that weigh less than me that are a larger size than me. I know that I'm not the only overweight person to have flown but It still terrifies me. This trip means the world to my partner and I don't want to let her down. Hopefully I can lose more before the date next month. (20lbs down in a month so far).

Please don't be rude. I know my situation is my fault. The purpose of this post is to help me minimize the inconvenience to others.

Thanks everyone
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Old Mar 5, 15, 7:44 am
  #2  
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Welcome to FlyerTalk, Stevo443!

As your query seems specific to Air New Zealand, we'll move your query to that forum for further discussion. Thanks. /JY1024, TravelBuzz co-moderator
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Old Mar 5, 15, 9:40 am
  #3  
 
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I don't think you look that big compared to some guys I've seen on the flights.

I know that this is specific to ANZ, but I have seen a LOT of big guys in economy and they just ask for seatbelt extenders.

Hopefully someone here will know the answer to the question, but congrats for your weight loss and for being so brave to post a sensitive topic.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 1:31 pm
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I fly Air NZ domestically about 80-90 times a year and I've never seen anyone thrown off for this reason (or any other reason). I've seen lots of people with similar builds to you flying. So no need to be terrified at all.

They do have extender seat belts which you may need, just ask the flight attendant when you are getting on.

Flying on the A320 as you are will give you a better seat than the 737 even though they are both officially listed as 17" wide.

You can also increase the chance of getting empty seats around you by flying off peak, i.e. away from 7am-9am and 3pm-7pm.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 1:34 pm
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Congrats on the weight loss! AirNZ has some of the world's most helpful staff, so they should be able to help you on this topic. I'd suggest calling their reservations desk and telling them the situation. First off, they'll be able to identify how full the flight is -- given you're connecting to the AKL-Perth flight, which departs midday, your inbound domestic flight on the A320 (are you departing at say 11am?) shouldn't be as full than if you were on an 8am business-traveler heavy (sorry for the pun!) flight. The reservations agent may be able to either (1) assign you a seat and put what's called a "soft" block on the seat next to you and/or (2) put a comment in your record indicating that you might need for the "airport control" desk to block the seat next to you. Worst case, and assuming that your partner is traveling with you, and likely seated next to you, the two of you would likely be sharing your two seats. I'd be highly surprised, given the photo and your weight, if anyone would even take notice let alone deny boarding to you. I do understand being anxious about the 0.0001% chance, so calling reservations and explaining the situation should allay any concerns.

Have a great flight and do let us know how things turn out.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 2:16 pm
  #6  
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Good advice so far - if you are still concerned, NZ may sell you a 'comfort' seat - which is an additional seat beside you which is kept empty. You lift the arm rest for room.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 2:31 pm
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Looking at your photo I can't see how you'd have any problems. Air NZ staff are excellent and i'd be gobsmacked if they made any issue, other than being as helpful as possible (extender seat belts etc).

If you're still worried about it, (and if you are booking via the Air NZ website) there's a section you can fill in regarding special assistance. You could make a note in there and it's likely they'll contact you regarding blocking the seat next to you. Alternatively call them directly to arrange it.

Honestly i've seen much bigger passengers on Air NZ flights; you shouldn't worry at all. Enjoy your flights!
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Old Mar 5, 15, 2:38 pm
  #8  
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Thank you for your kind words, everyone. Your advice has given me a lot of comfort. My partner is indeed seated next to me. I might just ring the desk and ask them about the possibility of selling us the isle seat to be safe.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 5:39 pm
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My Air NZ experience is there are more 'bulky' passengers than the opposite as the norm. (Same applies to the crew)

Appreciate your thoughtfulness and I recommend utilising the special assistance request as others mentioned.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO_FT View Post
Congrats on the weight loss! AirNZ has some of the world's most helpful staff, so they should be able to help you on this topic. I'd suggest calling their reservations desk and telling them the situation. First off, they'll be able to identify how full the flight is -- given you're connecting to the AKL-Perth flight, which departs midday, your inbound domestic flight on the A320 (are you departing at say 11am?) shouldn't be as full than if you were on an 8am business-traveler heavy (sorry for the pun!) flight. The reservations agent may be able to either (1) assign you a seat and put what's called a "soft" block on the seat next to you and/or (2) put a comment in your record indicating that you might need for the "airport control" desk to block the seat next to you. Worst case, and assuming that your partner is traveling with you, and likely seated next to you, the two of you would likely be sharing your two seats. I'd be highly surprised, given the photo and your weight, if anyone would even take notice let alone deny boarding to you. I do understand being anxious about the 0.0001% chance, so calling reservations and explaining the situation should allay any concerns.

Have a great flight and do let us know how things turn out.

Thank you for all of your advice.

Just reporting back - The person on the phone said that I couldn't book an extra seat because I have already booked the fare. I'd have to re-book the entire trip, including the international leg, just to get the extra seat next to us that's still available. Premium economy was full apart from our seats so I wouldn't be able to re-book it anyway. My partner and I are in 18a-b in the economy leg and I wanted to purchase 18c as well. Do you think I would just be able to book that third seat under my name and have my partner sit in 18c? Or should I try to get a different operator?

That was one thing that I failed to mention in my original post, that I'd already booked my seats.

Thank you
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Old Mar 5, 15, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO_FT View Post
(1) assign you a seat and put what's called a "soft" block on the seat next to you and/or (2) put a comment in your record indicating that you might need for the "airport control" desk to block the seat next to you.
Totally agree with all the above comments and well done the OP for posting on such a sensitive topic. However, I personally don't believe it is appropriate for the airline to offer either of the two options re blocked seat at no cost.

I think OP suggestion that he pay for a an extra seat is a much more reasonable suggestion and equitable to other passengers who presumably might also enjoy the space of a free seat next to them.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by oranjemakker View Post
Totally agree with all the above comments and well done the OP for posting on such a sensitive topic. However, I personally don't believe it is appropriate for the airline to offer either of the two options re blocked seat at no cost.

I think OP suggestion that he pay for a an extra seat is a much more reasonable suggestion and equitable to other passengers who presumably might also enjoy the space of a free seat next to them.
I'm expecting to pay for the seat. I would almost decline a free seat if offered. On the phone with them again now. I don't think the last rep understood what I wanted. This guy is changing it around and re-booking it for me.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 7:02 pm
  #13  
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Just got off the phone with the new REP. He's added a ticket on both domestic flights which I have paid for.

He linked the two to my existing itinerary and we now have three seats between the two of us. Thank you all again for your help!
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Old Mar 5, 15, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Stevo443 View Post
Just got off the phone with the new REP. He's added a ticket on both domestic flights which I have paid for.

He linked the two to my existing itinerary and we now have three seats between the two of us. Thank you all again for your help!


Welcome to Flyertalk Stevo443! Excellent result and huge, huge kudos to you for being so proactive. The thought you have put into this to ensure a comfortable flight for everyone and the consideration you have shown to your partner to make sure this trip is great for her is just fantastic. You seem like an amazing guy and she is a very lucky girl indeed. Now relax and enjoy the trip. You deserve it.

And please don't be a stranger now that you have joined. We need more like you around here. I hope you'll come back and let us know how the trip went.
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Old Mar 5, 15, 7:19 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Stevo443 View Post
Just got off the phone with the new REP. He's added a ticket on both domestic flights which I have paid for.

He linked the two to my existing itinerary and we now have three seats between the two of us. Thank you all again for your help!
Thats awesome! well done you, for being proactive, showing consideration to other passengers and of course ensuring you and your partner have a comfortable trip!
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