Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fat Flying Fears- Advice and Tips

Woop Woop!! I'm back home this weekend and I was going to do a what's in my travel makeup bag type post. But I thought I'd do something a bit different.
This might not be everyone's taste but I thought it would be good to share even though I'm a bit apprehensive.
So as you can tell from the title probably, today's post is about being a larger, overweight, obese, fat, whatever you want to call it person on a flight*.



clouds from airplane
The actual clouds from my flight home!


A bit of background; I am rather large and that causes me shitloads of anxiety about travelling or going places in general. I worry about the seats, what other people will thing etc etc. So getting on a budget airplane on my own for the first time in well over a year caused me tears, sleepless nights and almost led to me cancelling.
large person on plane
An awful pic of me at my window seat.

I searched the Internet for some sort of tips or comfort but all I found was forums about being stuck next to a fat person and articles about making overweight people pay by the kilo and buy an extra seat- cue hyperventilation and hysterics.
I decided that I'd share my experience and give you some tips if, like me, you have a big ole booty and are worried about flying:
1) So I think my top tip would be- bring someone else. A friend, partner, child, whoever. Someone you don't mind getting up close and personal with. I have done this for the past 4/5 trips home and it has calmed me down no end. You aren't worried about encroaching on their space , you can lift the arm rests etc but I know that isn't always possible, so...
2) Book another seat- an expensive measure but it guarantees that you have no one sat next to you and you can have whatever space you need.
3) Book a window seat. Now I've flown with Jet2, flybe and easyjet over the past 5 years and each time I've found that the window seat offers an inch or two more space, often the inside arm rest lifts and you can shimmy in towards the side. And you get a pretty view!

leeds arial
The view from my plane taking off in leeds
4) Ask for your seatbelt extender as you walk on the plane. I found there is nothing as embarrassing as having to stop an air steward/stewardess as the walk down the plane and ask infront of all those around you for one and for them to walk back up with the (often bright orange) thing and hand it over your seatmate's head for you to struggle to fit it.
5) Get on there first. Whether that be booking preboard assistance, priority boarding or just getting to the gate ASAP (my personal choice) getting to the front of the queue usually gives you time to get on and get settled before the person next to you.
6) Strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Whether that be making a joke or offering them something to suck on (I mean a mint or boiled sweet get your mind out of the gutter!!) getting your seatfellow on side can give you the opportunity to ask to move the arm rests and can also calm you down if, like me, you are paranoid about them hating you!
7) Maybe an obvious one, but bring some entertainment. My personal choice is my phone with my kindle app and music. There is honestly nothing the frozen soundtrack can't help with. Also the kindle app means you can read but in a very tight space without needing arm room.
8) Pee in the airport. There is no way I am chancing those tiny coffin- like toilets on the airplane. No way in hell!!
9) Narcotics! Lol not really hard drugs. If you struggle with anxiety maybe something from the docs will help. But I usually self medicate with a glass of wine. It kind of helps you leave the last f**k you gave at the plane door.
10) probably the most important thing. Be prepared to be physically uncomfortable. These little planes are made to cram as many people in and make as much money as possible so not exactly accommodating for the larger person. You may have to sit at an awkward angle or so a thigh workout to make sure you don't take up much leg space but think about why you are doing it, the end result and the fact it's only (in my case) an hour or two out of your trip.
That's it really! I hope I haven't bored you to death and that this has helped in some way. Of you have any specific questions leave me a comment down below or you can tweet me @lozzyloveslippy.
*Disclaimer I'm not trying to single out fat people nor am I trying to condone being very overweight but shit happens in life and it's how you deal with it that matters. Wish me luck in my own weight loss journey!!