I travel A LOT for both business and pleasure. Like, once a month or sometimes more. For a long time I was miserable during EVERY. SINGLE. FLIGHT. The craziest part is that most of this misery was self-induced, but some of it was out of my control… at least that’s what I thought!
Over the years, I have finally figured out the most important tips & tricks for a stress-free and comfortable flight.
What I’m about to share with you really, truly changed my life and eliminated 99% of my travel related stress.
I have a million plus size travel tips that I’ll share with you over time, but for now I wanted to let you know about my top three tips to make air travel a little less miserable.
Take advantage of Southwest’s “Customer of Size Policy”. To my knowledge, Southwest is the ONLY airline with a policy like this… and it is truly incredible! In short, with the policy you are able to get a second seat FOR FREE simply by asking the Southwest agent at check-in at the airport. You’ll get a second ticket along with a pre-board authorization so that you’re able to get on the plane first and ensure you’ll have two seats together for your comfort.
If you’re uncomfortable asking the gate agent for the second seat, you also have the option to book the second seat online and then request a refund after your trip. I used to do this because I was worried about the whole process but now choose not to deal with spending the $$ and waiting for the refunds.
Southwest employees are known for being really kind and I’ve never had a bad experience taking advantage of this policy. I recommend you read the full policy here before taking advantage!
SIGN UP FOR TSA PRE-CHECK
TSA Pre-Check is another absolute game changer when traveling by air. I held out for a long time on this because the process of going to the airport and being interviewed by the TSA just seemed like a hassle. After months (or years, I guess) of avoiding it, I gave in and it took MAYBE 15 minutes to sign up and only costs $85 for five years!
TSA Pre-Check is a pre-screening process you follow where you fill out personal info online and are then interviewed by a TSA agent. The purpose is to allow frequent travelers to be pre-screened so that they can skip certain security protocols (like removing shoes and jackets or taking your laptop out of your bag). The lines are typically MUCH shorter for Pre-Check passengers so you also get through security much faster.
Even if you don’t travel as much as I do, I recommend you consider TSA Pre-Check if you’re plus size.
The very shape of many plus size bodies can cause the latest TSA body scanners to alarm. EVERY time I fly and go into the body scanner my legs and arms trigger the machine, leading to the dreaded pat down. It is SO annoying and always adds extra headache to an already stressful situation (not to mention it’s embarrassing to have your body patted down in the middle of the airport and it adds even more time to the security screening process).
TSA pre-check passengers are scanned by a DIFFERENT machine, not the “new and improved” ones that read fat as a threat. Now that I have TSA Pre-check, not only do I get to surpass the long security lines and keep on my shoes, I also don’t have to get to second base with the TSA agents!
You can learn more & apply here!
SEAT BELT EXTENDERS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Please do not try to force the seat belt on a plane to fit! There have been times in the past where I’ve tugged and pulled and tried everything in the world to avoid asking for a seat belt extender. I always hated trying to get the attention of the flight attendant while they were busy preparing for take-off and for years I felt self conscious asking (I no longer care to ask for what I need, thankfully… and I hope you’ll get there too if you’re not already!).
Now I’ve learned that the seat belt extenders are stored near the entrance of the plane. As soon as I board, I ask the flight attendants up front if it would be convenient for them to grab it for me while I’m passing by on the way to my seat. They almost always have it within about two seconds, give it to me discreetly, and send me on my way to my seat.
Now, go book a flight & enjoy! Hopefully, the only stressful part of your next trip will be planning where to go and picking out the best outfits.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful! Feel free to leave any of your other favorite airline travel tips in the comments below! Do you have any other fears or concerns about traveling that you’d like to discuss here? If so, let me know!