I am 655 pounds (297kg) and 6 feet 4 inches (193cm) tall. Will I fit in a first class seat? I want to be able to take my wife of 15 years on a honeymoon and will likely need to fly to go anywhere good. I have never been on an airplane before and have heard stories of people getting put off of planes because of their size.

  • The fixed armrests look like they're just in the emergency exit row to me -- I've never see them in any of an airplanes other rows.
    – Carl
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 18:54
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    @Carl: First class often has fixed arm rests, as they're wide, and have cup holders or other accessories built in. I've also never seen a first-class exit row seat (although they probably do exist somewhere)
    – Flimzy
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 18:57
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    Regarding the height, I would say it is OK, maybe a bit uncomfortable even in regular Economy seats. I am 6'3" and I flew over 20 times on short-haul or long-haul flights (still < 9 hours), and I only once encountered issues on a plane when the person in front of me wanted to bend the seat and the person behind me complained that he could not see the movie on the screen because of my head. The rest of the times, it was fine.
    – Vince
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 19:20
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    Would this be a Domestic or International flight? US Airways don't seem to offer First class on their long-haul international routes, only Business class, but there's quite a difference between the domestic first and international business seats (with the international business ones being better!)
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 19:30
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    Alas, few people of any size fit comfortably in today's airline seats. If comfort is a goal, regardless of size, planes are usually at the bottom of the list. Their only saving grace is that you don't suffer as long as they're quick. Have you considered Amtrak for continental travel or a cruise for Hawaii? Amtrak is often more expensive than economy class on the plane for long trips, but compared to first class, it may be quite competitive. Plus trains are fun.
    – DA.
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 6:35

3 Answers 3


Airlines have policies for passengers who are larger than their seats, whom they most commonly refer to as "customers of size".

Economy airline seats generally resemble a thin couch for three people with hard armrests between each seat. The armrests between the seats raise up and you can sit across two seats though it might not be that comfortable depending on how high the armrest goes and the ergonomics of the seats. First class seats are often more separated from each other.

Some airlines ask you buy two adjacent seats, and you can get a refund for the extra seat if the flight isn't sold out, while other airlines don't require you to buy an extra seat but will ask you to wait for the next flight an empty extra seat if the one you booked is sold out. You can find more info on some standard policies in this airfarewatchdog blog post.

You'll be best off contacting the airline directly because the seat size depends on the aircraft they use; while you may be ok in first class on an overseas flight, a little regional jet's first class seat might be too small.

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    Regarding raising armrests in economy class: often it won't be viable to "straddle" two seats because the armrest does not lift to be completely behind the seats. You'll end up with the armrest sticking into your back by 2-3 inches, which could be quite unpleasant--perhaps even dangerous on very long flights. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 1:35
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    There are a lot of flights within Europe (I don't have much experience with flying within the US) where first class simply doesn't exist and the business class seats are exactly the same as the economy class seats, except they leave the middle seat free for 3 adjacent seats, meaning that the 2 people can use the space originally designed to be used by 3 people. I doubt that would be the case for a flight where there is a first-class option, but contacting the airline in advance is the only true solution.
    – downhand
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 10:06

From the US Airways web site:

Aircraft seating configuration

For information about aircraft seating configuration, please the map shown during the booking process on our website (usairways.com.) Customers may also request information regarding our general aircraft configuration at any time by calling US Airways Reservations at 800-428-4322. US Airways agents are able to provide information regarding exit row seating, seating for passengers with disabilities, seat configuration, average seat size and pitch. Telephone reservations agents, upon request, will provide the customer with seat information including the average seat size by class of service. The information is accessible in the Direct Reference System through the computer reservation system.

So in summary, it depends on the flight, and the aircraft. When you are booking your flight, you can see the size of seats while selecting your seat. If you want to know ahead of time, it's best to contact the airline directly.


I have two very tall sons - 6'4", 270 lbs and 6'6", 240 lbs. The taller one has legroom issues, but fits snugly in the seats. The 6'4" 270 lb guy has more trouble. He can fit "in" the seat with his hips, but his very wide shoulders hang over into the seats on either side of him. He tries to sit by the window, as you can kind of sit a little diagonal, wrapping a shoulder up in front of the window. Honestly? I say take the wonderful lady on a cruise - you'll both be more comfortable!

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    Is this first class or economy? The question asks about first class seats. Depending in where they live, taking a cruise may be impractical without air travel. Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 17:40

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