Best Airlines For Plus Size Passengers (5 Roomiest Options)

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When you want to start traveling, or you are just forced to start going to meetings with people across the country, you will eventually have to fly. When you are obese, things can be difficult as even the most normal things become harder to do; this includes having to sit on a flight. 

I do my research and buy heavy-duty couches and extra-wide recliners for home but, when flying on business, I don’t have that luxury. I’m left with finding what feels like the widest of the skinny seats.

Airline seats are notoriously uncomfortable but they don’t have to be. There are several airlines that provide a much better experience for big and heavy people like myself.

The best local seats for plus-size passengers that are flying in economy class are provided by Jet Blue, as their seats are slightly larger than normal. When flying internationally, things can be difficult, as United Airlines, Emirates, and Virgin airlines are more likely to have wider seats for you to fly in.

To understand which airlines are the best for you to be properly flying without being extremely uncomfortable, you need to take a look at which airlines are best. Further, some airlines will not specifically travel to certain countries, which means you may have to think of other alternatives. 

Which Airlines Have The Widest Economy Class Seats?

We are focusing on airlines flying in the Americas because these are some of the few airlines in the world that cater to obese people. At the same time, some international airlines will normally have smaller seats that will make it harder to travel while only buying one ticket. 

We must mention that sometimes buying more expensive seats, first-class or business class will give you significantly more comfort. With many modern airlines, the cost of a seat that can accommodate obese people is nearly as expensive as the seats would be when upgraded.

Jet Blue

Overall, for local flights, Jet Blue has the best seats in the economy for obese people as the average seat ranges from 32 inches to 25 inches. These are the cheapest seats too, with more expensive seats offering up to 42 inches, with the average width of all seats ranging from 17.8 to 18.5 inches. 

The airline is not the cheapest, but the trade-off is that you will always have a seat that you can comfortably fit into. Many airlines have started to make the seats as thin as humanly possible to fit more people in them without having to provide comfortable seats. 

Air Canada

Air Canada Economy Seats

We have seen that Air Canada is one of the best with a pitch range for economy class seats. This airline has an average seat pitch of 35 inches and offers flights around the US and Canada, with most of the seats also being around 17.5 to 18.5 inches in width.

We recommend taking this airline as it is not so much focused on providing the cheapest flight possible, catering more towards comfort. This means that even with the cheapest tickets that you can buy from the airline, you will ask for a seat that will fit you if you are obese. 

Virgin America

With the largest width of any airline at 18.7 inches, Virgin is an option you should always consider, even when traveling internationally. Their seat pitch only tops out at 38 inches, depending on the plane, but the overall width is much more comfortable than the rest. 

However, we should note that while Virgin is more likely to be comfortable, it can be a lot more pricey than the other airlines focusing on national travel. We have seen many people disregard this airline purely based on price, forgetting that the company focuses on overall comfort. 


Most local and international locations can be reached on an emirates flight, which is why the airline boasts a seat width of 18.5 inches and a seat that reaches a maximum of 34 inches. This airline usually has a business class section, too, with seats much larger than economy class.

We recommend always sticking to Emirates if you are unsure of the seat width and pitch of the airlines available to you. When flying, it is always better to stick to the airlines that you know are trustable than taking the chance and flying on something completely unknown. 

Which International Airlines Have The Best Seats?

When you are starting to travel the world to see what everyone else is up to, it can be exciting and thrilling. Except when it comes to your airline choices, as there are seemingly more to choose from than there are car manufacturers to choose from. 

Fortunately, it will usually depend on where you are going and how long you are flying, with many international flights having layovers. These layovers are important to consider as it means some relief from sitting in the often-smaller seats that are in economy class. 


As mentioned earlier, Emirates is one of the best airlines to choose when you are unsure, with the benefit that they travel to almost every country on earth. This means that you can sit comfortably in the economy class seats that are still 18.5 inches wide, with a pitch of 34 inches. 

It is important to note that Emirates will usually have a connecting flight somewhere in the United Arab Emirates, with longer layovers. This is by design, and these airports are worth visiting as there are many things to do inside them that most other airports would never attempt. 

United Airlines

This airline usually flies into and out of the United States, with a few national flights, and will be the cheapest flights you can find from the US. However, they have seats as wide as 19 inches which makes the sacrifice of service worth it when you need to reach a location.

However, we always recommend using other airlines once you reach the US as international flights are more regulated. This means that they cannot overbook the flight when flying internationally, allowing you to be secured in the seat you need for at least 8 hours. 

Ethiopian Airlines

Economy class seats on Ethiopian airlines are some of the smallest, with a width of only 17 inches and a pitch of 33 inches. However, because this is a budget airline that travels through Africa and the middle east, it has an extremely affordable business class with massive seats.

The business class seats usually have a pitch of 68 inches and a width of 21 inches, with these seats being only marginally more expensive than other airlines’ economy seats. If you are traveling to any of these countries, it is always worth checking this option and the possible comfort. 

Virgin Airlines

Virgin airlines fly to almost every country on earth and usually provides seats between 17.5 and 22 inches in width if you are willing to take more expensive seating. You should always ensure that you consider them when you start to travel to multiple locations around the world.

We cannot stress enough how much the cost of your seats will usually determine the size available to you in total. More expensive seats not just being the amenities that are provided to you but also the comfort for you if you are obese. 

Qatar Airlines

Qatar airlines have the same pitch as Emirates, at 32 inches; however, the seats are slightly wider at 18.-7 inches, giving you the space to move comfortably. We always recommend getting on this airline when traveling anywhere to the east, with the service being top class.

However, these seats will easily be one of the most expensive ones that you can get and will require that you pay a bit extra. But all flights are luxurious, with the first class and business class seats usually being experiences all on their own that you need to experience at least once in life. 


Airline seats are easily some of the most uncomfortable things you can experience if you become obese. We always recommend that you spend a bit extra to ensure that you are not only comfortable but that those around you are also comfortable when needed.

Remember that you can be more comfortable if you are willing to spend the money on the right solutions!

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