General Question

taytaysafreak's avatar

How can I get my (rather large) boyfriend a plane ticket?

Asked by taytaysafreak (244points) February 9th, 2011

My boyfriend is 6’6 and is built like a lineman. He has extremely long legs. I wanted to buy him a plane ticket from a discount plane ticket site (which I have used for myself before, but not for him.) I know his legs would be too long to sit in a normal seat. Even if I buy the ticket offline from like Priceline or something, can I make it so that he can sit near the emergency exit door? We will be using Sun County Airlines. Also, his shoulders are extremely broad and I fear that will make it so we have to pay for 2 tickets instead of 1. Is there any way to avoid these complications or spending extra money?

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11 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Call the airline and ask them. There are seats in various parts of the airplane that will be good. There are some flights (for football teams) that are all for the larger person.

Silence04's avatar

I am 6’6” and 280lbs… He should be able to fit coach, but it will be I a little crammed. Exit rows are the best cause they have extra leg room.

jlelandg's avatar

No no no. Yarnlady is closer to correct. Here’s what you will have to do: try to arrange the seating when you buy the ticket. If you can’t then you need to contact the airline and let them know your boyfriend’s situation. Ask if they can sit you and him in the bulkhead or exit row (if there’s additional leg room there). You may have to pay an additional fare, but I am 6ft 5in 230 lbs and the comfort is worth a few extra bucks to me.

Some asshole airlines **COUGH COUGH COUGH AIR EMIRATES BASTARDS COUGH COUGH COUGH*** will tell you they have a policy that will not allow them to change seating because of other “special needs passangers” (like tons of short healthy people who I hated on my 8 hour int’l flight). That’s fine too, you just need to show up very early-be one of the first in line to check in and let them know your special needs (you have to spell it out for them because some of them have learning disabilities like Emirates check-in counter employees) and see your boyfriend.

If the airline doesn’t comply after taking all these steps make sure you let people know that airlines (Like AIR EMIRATES IDIOTS) do not try to help tall people, and want to inconvenience us for their bastard fantasy fun.

If you need to complain about an international flight not taking care of your boyfriends needs, don’t complain to the Asia Customer Service dept., they won’t listen, especially if you fly mother f****** emirates (was that enough stars in the f word? I’m too lazy to count).

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@jlelandg Tell us how you really feel about AIR EMIRATES, don’t hold back.

Yes, getting special seating can be a challenge. It may cost extra for an extra effort by the airlines.

Kayak8's avatar

I don’t know if all airlines have the same policies, but recently when arranging tickets for my family to make a long trip (my mom, sister, her husband and two kids), I was told that they arrange for sitting in the emergency rows just before the flight (I guess they want to see you and assess if you can help or hurt by being placed in an emergency exit row).

I agree with trying to call ahead and explain the situation, but it may not help. I go with the “get there early” and ask the airline to work with you philosophy.

john65pennington's avatar

Spend a little more and purchase him a first class ticket. He should have no problems in first class.

robmandu's avatar

Buying general coach tickets from (or similar) might be part of the problem.

A lot of airlines charge different fees for different blocks of seats. All the center and back-of-the-plane seats generally go for less and then the better seats are priced higher. Also depends on how full that particular flight is. On top of that, some airlines only allow members of their frequent flier program to reserve special seats – like those in exit rows – themselves through their web site.

As already mentioned, your best bet is to call the airline. A few, like American Airlines, will be able to get you the best fare themselves anyway.

mrlaconic's avatar

I am 6’5” so I have a problem with my knees pushing into the back of the seats.

United has an Economy plus section on some of the planes which has more room

If I can’t fly united (generally an Alaska person here) I just make sure to get to the air port early and make sure to request a seat on the exit aisle or on the row behind the aisle because those seats usually can not recline…

geeky_mama's avatar

Hi there.
I fly about 50~75% of the time for work…and can share a few tips & tricks I’ve picked up as a frequent flier. One caveat—I’m almost exclusively on Delta & United, so my info may not be as helpful for your BF flying on Southwest because I hear they do stuff like fee-based boarding protocols. (You can pay extra, about 24 hours before your flight, to get put in boarding “Zone 1”). My hubby flies on them sometimes..and they keep changing their boarding read their website closely and see if you can just pay a bit extra (after you’ve used Priceline or whatever to book the flight) to get him a confirmed seat.

Anyhow, one thing I know about all U.S. airlines – they do not, per FAA rules & regulations, assign certain seats including bulk head & exit rows until hours before the flight.
This means, aside from buying a first class seat, you cannot assure him enough leg room at reservation time.

Here’s what I’d do in your shoes:
1. Buy the ticket at the discount website of your choice.

2. Check in online literally as soon as online check-in is allowed. (Delta lets you check-in online 24 hours before your flight.)

**btw, this step is just to prevent you from getting bumped.
If you do not have FF status and you do not check-in before arriving at the airport you have a GOOD chance of getting bumped. Carriers routinely oversell flights by about 10 to 20%.
If everyone who bought a ticket for the flight actually shows up or they have weather issues or aircraft maintenance issues on the flight before yours—they have to bump people. Delta (and many other carriers) will pick the last checked in and work from there. So, if there are 120 people on the flight, if you waited to check-in on arrival at the airport and everyone else checked in get bumped. I’ve seen it happen even to colleagues of mine, even on international flights.

Another option would be to TRY to get him bumped (don’t check in early then..) or for him to volunteer to take the next flight if they are in an oversold situation..because they will likely offer him a First Class seat if they need volunteers to be bumped.

3. If you don’t want to be bumped, and you want to get Exit Row seats in coach.. proceed to this step. Get to the airport a little bit early. There won’t be a Gate Agent (and this is the person you want to talk to—not the person who tags your luggage at the front counter) at the departure gate until about an hour before the no need to get there any earlier than that.

4. Have your boyfriend approach the Gate Agent. The MOST important person to charm is this person. If he approaches the Gate Agent and says:
“Excuse me..I’m just wondering if you have any exit row seats available? I’m a bit tall…” – that should do the trick.
They will likely be in the process of assigning the exit rows – and he has a shot at them if there aren’t too many Gold/Diamond level frequent fliers on the flight. (Yes, Frequent Fliers get first crack at better seats, even in coach, than the rest of the people on the airplane.)

Best strategies for getting on a flight where you won’t get bumped or trumped by Frequent Fliers: Fly at a day/time that business people are less likely to travel.
Mid-week, middle of the day is your absolute best bet. (Wed. @ 11am, for example.)

taytaysafreak's avatar

Thank you all so much! I’m going to show him this…entire page because it’s way too much to repeat haha! Very helpful. You are all wonderful. :D

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