6 Best Airlines for Overweight Passengers

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Being plus-size can trigger flight worries. Not being able to fit in a seat can make overweight passengers feel embarrassed, or even worse, lead them to avoid booking a flight at all. Therefore, avoiding negative feelings about body size is necessary in the flight booking process with the help of airline accommodations.

6 Best Airlines for Overweight Passengers

In this review, we cover the best airlines in the USA to provide overweight passengers with wider seats, that are more accommodating for the same or similar cost, with advanced features. These advanced features include extra baggage space and reclining seats that provide optimal space for the passenger behind. 

Six Best Airlines for Overweight Passengers

Below is a list of American airlines to accommodate plus-sized passengers. Some include a fee for upgrades, and some do not. Keep reading for the best choice for you. 

  1. Jet Blue 
  2. American Airlines 
  3. Virgin America 
  4. Delta Airlines
  5. Spirit Airlines
  6. United Airlines 

Six Best Airlines for Overweight Passengers

Our Top Choice of Airline: Jet Blue 

  • Large pitch and width 
  • Can board early 
  • Early carry on placement on overhead 
  • Good customer service 

#1. Jet Blue

Jet blue is known for its widened seat capacity for obese passengers. Includes roomy seats for a stress-free flight every time.

Features and Benefits 

  • Wider seats. Jet Blue’s seats are typically 32 to 35 inches wide. Some planes are equipped with even larger ones at 37 to 41 inches for optimal weight capacity.
  • Tons of legroom. Up to 7 inches more legroom so overweight passengers will sit comfortably. Stretch and relax to 38 inches of legroom
  • Early boarding. Overweight passengers can easily board their flight early even if they buy a Blue Basic far no reduce stress in chaotic boarding.
  • Early access carry-on space. Extra space is vital for people with larger bags as clothing is extra-large and needs a large bag.


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#2. American Airlines

American airlines provide main cabin features to fit your personal belongings with first come first serve early boarding. More space for obese or overweight passengers to enjoy their flight.

Features and Benefits

  • Legroom. When the passenger in front of you reclines back, their seat slides forward to give your feet and legs enough room and not feel Closter phobic
  • More room. Sprawl out with the roomy space between seats that is helpful for plus-size passengers.
  • Main cabin extra. Store your carry on before anyone else to get the most room to fit your free bag and personal bag
  • Early boarding. Provides early boarding to relieve boarding stress by choosing seats in the main cabin beforehand

#3. Virgin America

Virgin America is a resourceful airline with roomy upgrades for any passenger to sit back, relax and enjoy their flight. Lots of space for plus-sized passengers to feel comfortable flying.

Features and Benefits 

  • Very wide seats. Typically, 32 inches and up to 38 inches on other Virgin America planes. 38 inches is one of the largest seats a plane is designed with for the most spacious seating.
  • More legroom. Enough space to recline back and relax so you can stretch out your legs and is an appreciated addition for overweight passengers.
  • Footrests. Provided footrests with enough room to not annoy the person in front of you with provided space to recline.
  • Leather seats. New Recaro leather seats for comfort to hold large weight.


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#4. Delta Airlines

Delta airlines is equipped with larger seating to accommodate overweight passengers. Some passengers may have to pay an extra fee for an upgraded seat.

Best Airlines for Overweight Passengers

Features and Benefits 

  • Provides wide seats. A passenger who is overweight can either ask to be reseated beside an empty seat and just flip the armrest up for an optimal sitting room. Or, the passenger can pay a fee to upgrade to First class with widened seating.
  • Bulkhead seats. Delta provides bulkhead seats that give you extra legroom to stretch and feel comfortable during your flight.
  • Great customer service. Obese passengers have stated that they have been treated with nothing but kindness and respect on board. A friendly worker can make a huge difference when overweight passengers may feel awkward or uncomfortable when requesting a larger seat.
  • Large seat sizing. first-class is 38-39 in with a width of 20 in. The main cabin is 31-32 inches of legroom with a width of 17 inches.

#5. Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines has lower-cost flights where they can accommodate overweight passengers in their Big Front Seats. Big Front Seats come with an extra fee in a booking depending on availability

Features and Benefits 

  • Larger seating. The big front seats are ideal for overweight to obese passengers. A size of 36 in pitch and 18.5 in wide makes for enough room for larger passengers to fly comfortably.
  • Legroom. There is lots of legroom for large legs to fit and stretch out behind the seat in front.
  • Front seats. If you do not want to pay more for the Big Front Seats and are a passenger that needs more legroom, the front seats have slightly more legroom than average. You can save money while sitting in a more comfortable spot.
  • Comfortable pitch.  A very large passenger of Spirit airlines stated he was comfortable in the Big Front Seat pitch


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#6. United Airlines

United airlines accommodate larger passengers but may have to pay an added fee for an upgraded seat for fitting. However, you can purchase an additional seat for the same amount as the original seat if you buy both sets at the same time.

Features and Benefits 

  • Provide wider seats. United Airlines provide wider seats if the passenger cannot buckle comfortably in the original seat. Buying a larger seat in advance can save money and make for a safer flight.
  • Legroom. The seats have a 31 in. pitch. The Economy Plus seating (for overweight passengers to upgrade to) gives 34-37 inches of pitch on average. They are located near the front of the plane’s main cabin to make for easier boarding.
  • Economy Plus. Available to book and purchase in all United airlines flights including some United Express airlines.
  • Good customer service. Since they offer a seating range to accommodate overweight passengers, they are helpful and friendly in booking your seating in advance. Chat with customer service online or on the phone.

Things to Consider Before Flying in an Airplane for Overweight Passengers

Size of Seats

Most airline seats on average are typically only 17 inches wide. Look for an airline with 32 inches and up (38 inches is large enough for obese people) to fit comfortably in an airplane seat to disregard any fitting issues. 

Airlines for Overweight Passengers

Baggage Space

Airlines with extra space on the above bag bin is vital for overweight passengers as their belongings are naturally sized up and larger. Consider an airline with a feature of extra room or early access to carry on space or boarding. 


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You want enough legroom to comfortably fly – and is especially important for overweight passengers. Seek out an airline with a specified extra legroom feature or reclining chair room for a relaxing flight to fit an overweight passenger’s body capacity.

Legroom can also be referred to as “pitch” which is the measurement between the passenger seat and the seat in front of it. it is typically measured in inches or centimeters – so the larger the number the more room an overweight passenger will have.

Extra Fee 

Some American airlines may need overweight passengers to pay a small added fee to fly in a wider, lengthier space to board smoothly. Fee prices may differ from each airline – however if you do not want to pay for a fee look for an airline that accommodates all sizes for the price of one. 

Good Customer Service 

Look for an airline company that provides good customer service in their reviews. If nothing good has been stated about the company, it might not mean they give bad customer service. It just might make the overweight passenger feel more confident if it’s clearly stated that the airline workers are friendly

Being accepted and treated kindly can make a huge difference in how the passenger feels when boarding – thus making for a more comfortable flight emotionally and physically when their needs are accommodated. 


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Wrapping Up 

In this article, we have discussed the best airlines that will fit obese or overweight passengers, with a consideration guide to help choose a suitable airplane. 

The features and benefits to look for are roomy leg space, wider seats (32 inches to 38 inches), and early access to carry-on bins or boarding. 

In our opinion, Jet Blue is the best airline because they offer everything a plus-sized passenger would need. Top features include enough leg space, early access to boarding and overhead bins, and wider seats. 

Flying when you are overweight doesn’t have to feel shameful or embarrassing with these top-tier airlines. They provide optimal comfort to embrace any weight person to get to their destination.

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