Plus-Size Travelers Comment on Southwest Airlines’ ‘Customer of Size’ Policy

Plus-size travelers have been calling for other carriers to adopt Southwest Airlines' policy.

(Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Plus-size travelers have been giving their thoughts on Southwest Airlines' "customer of size" policy and posting their takes all over TikTok.

The policy allows passengers to purchase additional seats before travel, and once the trip is over, they receive a refund for the cost of those extra seats. Southwest also pushes for passengers to purchase extra seats in advance to "ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation," according to the policy.


How to use @southwestair customer of size policy. Southwest is the only airline that allows you a second seat at no extra cost even if the flight is FULLY booked. You HAVE to use it at the departing gate when you start your journey. If you don’t use it going out you cant use it flying back. Go to the departing gate agent and kindly ask them to use the customer of size policy. I’ve done this a dozen times and never had an issue or been denied. They will print you a new ticket + a second ticket to put down on your free seat. You will also be allowed to pre board! Enter the aircraft, get your seatbelt extender, and grab your seat! I place the ticket in the seat next to me. I always take the window seat. If anyone tries to sit it in 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 🙃. I’ve heard from others sometimes southwest will just put customer of size in your account so anytime you approach the main ticket gate you’ll get both your tickets at once but this hasn’t happened to me yet. I think this has to do with how “visibly fat” you are. Public airplanes are public transportation and should be accessible and comfortable for us all. I applaud @southwestair for being the only airline with a fair and humane way of flying fat passengers with dignity. We shouldn’t have to pay for two seats. Seats should be larger for all people including tall and pregnant passengers. Since airlines got deregulated it’s been an ADA nightmare. Airlines should also allow wheelchairs in the cabin esp power wheelchairs. This is an access issue at the end of the day and discriminatory to fat and disabled customers. #southwest #southwestairlines #customerofsize #customerofsizepolicy #plussize #plussizetravel #traveltips #plussizetraveltok #traveltok

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The policy has been getting a lot of love from people on TikTok, such as one video that praised the policy and called for all airlines to adopt the rule. "It should be the industry norm. Flying is public transportation and should be more comfortable and accessible for all people including fat and disabled people," read the caption of the post.

Jae'lynn Chaney, a plus-size TikTok user, started a petition last April pushing for a federal mandate requiring all airlines to have "a comprehensive customer-of-size policy that prioritizes the comfort and well-being of ALL passengers."


As a plus size traveler, I know firsthand how uncomfortable and unsafe it can be to squeeze into a tiny airplane seat. That's why I believe that every plus size traveler should have access to a free second or even third seat on an airplane if needed. This isn't about asking for special treatment or luxury accommodations. It's simply about ensuring that all travelers have enough space to travel comfortably and safely, without fear of being discriminated against because of their size. I'm not alone in this opinion - many people agree that plane seats are too small even for the average person. By signing my petition and sharing it with your friends and family, you can help us work towards a more inclusive and accommodating air travel experience for everyone. Let's stand together and make some real change in the industry. To sign the petition check out the link in my b!0. You can also find the petition at #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltok #travelingwhilefat #flyingwhilefat #fattravel #accessibilityforall #inclusivitymatters #bodyequalityintravel #inclusivetravel #fyp

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According to CNN Travel, the petition has received about 40,000 signatures as more TikTok videos related to Southwest's policy have been getting more views on the popular social media platform. Chaney also stated that some airlines have their policies on their websites but Alaska Airlines is the only other US carrier that has a "customer of size" policy similar to Southwest. 

Others weren't too fond of the policy, such as one person who said, "I think you should get a seat for a lower fee but I am 6'7" and I pay for extra leg room."

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