Southwest airlines policy for plus-size passengers

Southwest Airlines to Give a Full Row to Accommodate Plus-Size Passengers

Southwest Airlines is being celebrated on TikTok for its policy that accommodates plus-size passengers. Here, plus-size passengers can ask for complimentary seats (one or even two) to accommodate their girth during a flight.  

In a now-viral video, a woman says “Hi, I’m hoping to use your customer-of-size policy today.” The woman said that Southwest is the only airline that allows you a second seat at no extra cost even if the flight is fully booked.

She said “I’ve done this a dozen times and never had an issue or been denied.” She added, “Enter the aircraft, get your seatbelt extender and grab your seat! I place the ticket in the seat next to me… If anyone tries to sit in it I kindly let them know I have two seats booked. To be honest, I almost never get approached because no one wants to sit in the middle seat next to a fat person on a plane.”

Plus-size Passengers Can Get an Extra Seat for Free

According to the airline’s inclusion policy, passengers with bodies that “encroach” over the armrest can get an extra seat. 

In their policy,  passengers will “have the option of purchasing just one seat and then discussing your seating needs with the Customer Service Agent at the departure gate. If it’s determined that a second (or third) seat is needed, you’ll be accommodated with a complimentary additional seat.” 

Plus-size Policy is Rewarding Obesity? 

This policy isn’t exactly new. However, the viral video shows how relevant this policy is today. The average American gets larger while airline seats have allegedly become smaller.   

Since the 1960s, obese individuals in the US increased from just 10% to around 42% by 2020 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, advocates claim that airplane seat widths have undergone a reduction by as much as 3 inches. 

However, there are mixed opinions regarding this policy. While some call this move “amazing,” others criticized Southwest for “rewarding obesity.” 


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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.


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