, Advice by Ann Landers - []
Section: manners, health-and-wellness, behavior, addictions

Dear Ann Landers,
This is about the overweight woman who was flying to California. She may not need to pay for an extra seat if she flies during non-busy hours. If she had a vacant seat next to her and an arm rest that lifts up, it would be an ideal set-up. An aisle seat is usually best, and many have arm rests that also lift up. Some larger people prefer the bulkhead seat for the extra room, but the food trays can be uncomfortable. Also, the woman should try to board first so she doesn't get in anybody else's way. And please tell her she can ask the flight attendant for a seat-belt extender. Many travelers aren't even aware that there are such things. Just wanted to pass along a few additional suggestions, Ann. -- Been There in New Hampshire

Yesterday's Response:

Dear New Hampshire,
Thank you for giving my overweight readers some tips on how to avoid possible problems and fly in comfort. You have also helped the passengers seated next to them.

Today's Response:

Dear New Hampshire,
Much of what my mother wrote is useful information. The wild card, however, is that in the last ten years some airlines had made very overweight people buy two seats. There have even been lawsuits by passengers who felt they were crushed by a large seatmate. As for boarding first, that now comes with being a frequent flyer or on an airline that offers passengers that buy "upgrades" to get on first.
- Margo

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
These suggestions are really not very helpful. Too many "ifs." The woman will not know if there is an empty seat available next to her until she is already seated, since new passengers may be on standby and board late. She also cannot "board early" to avoid getting in other people's way unless she has a first class boarding ticket. The only reliable way to solve the problem for a person who cannot sit comfortably in an airplane seat is to purchase two side-by-side seats. And, no--this is NOT prejudicial. Obesity is a choice.
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"Sensual pleasures have the fleeting brilliance of a comet; a happy marriage has the tranquillity of a lovely sunset."
-Ann Landers