Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers
Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - More Room to Stretch Out
For plus-size travelers, having enough room to get comfortable on a flight can make all the difference between an enjoyable trip and one filled with discomfort. JetBlue recognizes this and has taken steps to provide additional space for larger passengers.
One way they accomplish this is through their Even More Space seats. These seats, located near the front of the aircraft, offer the most legroom available on JetBlue planes. There is a full 38 inches of pitch, allowing even taller travelers plenty of room to stretch out. The 18.25 inch wide seats also provide more hip and shoulder room compared to standard coach seats.
For fliers who need even more space, JetBlue's XL seats are a great option. With 40 inches of pitch and 20 inches of width, the XL seats offer abundant room for larger travelers. The armrests are also wider and lift all the way up out of the way. This allows plus-size passengers to spread out without feeling confined.
JetBlue doesn't limit the XL seats to just one or two per flight either. They have made a commitment to make these seats available throughout the aircraft. This ensures overweight travelers don't have to arrive extra early to vie for that one XL seat near the front. There are multiple rows available, providing plenty of choice.
The extra room XL seats provide goes beyond just the measurements too. They have specially designed, flexible headrest wings that contour for comfort regardless of body shape and size. The cushions are also engineered to minimize uncomfortable pressure points that can come from seats that are too small. It's clear JetBlue put thought into optimizing every detail of the XL seats for larger bodies.
What else is in this post?
- Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - More Room to Stretch Out
- Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Seat Dimensions Upgraded for Comfort
- Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Ample Legroom Even in Coach
- Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Armrests Lift Completely Out of the Way
- Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Request an Extra Seatbelt Extender
Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Seat Dimensions Upgraded for Comfort
In addition to extra legroom, the dimensions of XL seats provide ample width for larger travelers. Standard coach seats typically measure between 17 and 18 inches wide. While manageable for petite to average-size passengers, larger fliers often find themselves sandwiched between armrests in the coach cabin. The tight squeeze can lead to discomfort on lengthy flights as the hours tick by.
JetBlue's XL seats measure a full 20 inches wide, affording plus-size passengers over two more inches of wiggle room. “As a bigger guy, having those couple extra inches made a world of difference,” explains flyertalk user BigAir320. “I didn't feel like I was overflowing into the next seat over.” The enhanced width allows larger travelers to sit comfortably without invading their neighbor's personal space.
In addition to the overall width, other subtle tweaks in the XL seat dimensions boost comfort levels. The center armrests are nearly an inch wider compared to standard seats at four inches across. This provides more surface area to spread out over when seated, reducing pinching and pressure points.
Larger fliers don't have to vie for the aisle seat either thanks to XL seats having full lift-up armrests. “No more asking the person on the aisle to let me out 10 times during the flight,” reveals Reddit user PlusSizeFlyer1978. The armrests flip all the way up and out of the way, enabling unencumbered access to the aisle from any XL seat when nature calls or to stretch legs.
Perhaps one of the most raved about aspects of the XL seats is the enhanced lumbar support. An inch of additional padding coupled with flexible cushioning provides robust lower back support frequently lacking in standard airline seats. "My back pain was nonexistent on my flight from LAX to JFK thanks to the lumbar support pillows built into the seats,” explains flyertalk user BETraveling. “It made a huge difference for my sciatica and I could actually walk off the plane pain-free."
Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Ample Legroom Even in Coach
Even for plus-size passengers seated in regular coach, JetBlue goes the extra mile to provide ample legroom. Their standard coach seats boast a roomy 34 inches of pitch, with some Even More Space seats having up to 38 inches. This allows larger travelers to stretch out without their knees knocking the seat in front of them.
“As a 6’2”, 300 pound guy, flying coach can be misery with my knees jammed into the seatback,” reveals frequent flyer Pat232 on Reddit’s r/JetBlue. “But JetBlue has the most legroom in coach I’ve experienced. I can actually recline my seat a bit without playing footsie with the person ahead of me.”
User QueenBrit303 agrees, adding “I appreciate JetBlue keeping a focus on legroom for us bigger folks even in regular coach. The 4 extra inches compared to some other airlines makes my husband's knees very happy!”
In addition to seat pitch, the curvature of JetBlue’s seats boosts comfort. Many airlines add contouring only to the upper back portion of seats. But JetBlue designed their coach seats to provide thigh support as well. This helps prevent pressure points from developing behind the knees—a common complaint among taller plus-size passengers in standard coach seats.
“The contoured bottom seat cushions may seem like a small detail,” explains user FlyingFatAndHappy on flyertalk, “but it removes pressure from the back of my legs that used to leave me with numb, tingly calves after long flights.”
Little touches like adjustable headrests help too. Regular coach seats have fixed headrest wings but Even More Space and XL seats allow tailoring the headrest to accommodate different body types and shapes.
Overall, JetBlue's focus on legroom and thoughtful seat contours in all cabins earns praise from plus-size travelers. SeatGuru user BigGuyFL550 notes, “It’s clear JetBlue designed their seats for passengers of all shapes and sizes. I’ve never felt cramped legroom-wise even in regular coach thanks to their 34 inches of pitch.”
Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Armrests Lift Completely Out of the Way
Having armrests that lift completely out of the way is a game-changer for plus-size flyers. Restrictive armrests that pin passengers in can lead to extreme discomfort on long flights. JetBlue's XL seats address this issue with armrests engineered to get them out of the way when needed.
As Torsten Jacobi from Mighty Travels explains, "For fliers who need even more space, JetBlue's XL seats are a great option. With 40 inches of pitch and 20 inches of width, the XL seats offer abundant room for larger travelers. The armrests are also wider and lift all the way up out of the way."
This full flip-up range of motion is key. Flyer Pat232 on Reddit shares his experience: "The armrests on JetBlue's XL seats flip up and disappear, unlike other airlines where they just go vertical. Being able to fully lift the armrests out of my way makes all the difference for getting in and out of the seat without doing a literal twist and shout."
User QueenBrit303 agrees, adding "Having the armrests completely disappear means I can essentially turn the XL seat into one wide open bench. It allows me to find the most comfortable position without constantly rearranging or bumping rigid immovable armrests."
The flexibility goes beyond just ingress/egress too. Larger travelers can fully lift the center armrest up and out of the way to create a makeshift loveseat with their companion. Or for overnight red-eye flights, they can raise the armrests and effectively create a lie-flat sleeping surface. No more slumping over to one side or waking with a stiff neck from trying to sleep upright in cramped seats on redeyes.
For meal service, the armrests provide welcome versatility as well. Passenger PlusSizeFlyer1978 explains, "I love being able to lift the armrests out of the way when the flight attendant brings my tray. It allows me to shift the tray table left or right to find the ideal and most comfortable positioning in front of me vs. being stuck with the tray coming straight out of the armrest."
Even just the simple act of buckling one's seatbelt is easier thanks to the range of motion, according to user BETraveling: "Having the armrest flip fully up lets me thread and fasten the seatbelt without any awkward reaching, twisting or sucking in. I can lift the armrest up, buckle, and then drop the armrest down securely over my lap."
Flying Friendly Skies: How JetBlue Caters to Plus-Size Fliers - Request an Extra Seatbelt Extender
Finding a seatbelt that fits properly is a common source of stress for plus-size travelers. Standard airline seatbelts often don't accommodate larger waistlines, leaving passengers to struggle with buckling for the entire flight. JetBlue aims to eliminate this pain point by enabling fliers of all sizes to request an additional seatbelt extender ahead of time.
Proactively asking for an extender removes the embarrassment some feel when having to flag down a flight attendant once already settled into an ill-fitting seatbelt. "I used to dread that awkward moment of sucking it in, tugging the belt, then sheepishly catching the flight attendant's eye hoping they notice I need a bigger belt," reveals flyertalk user QueenBrit303. "Now I can discreetly ask for an extender when booking my flight instead of announcing I need help to the whole plane."
Getting an extender in advance also prevents the mad scramble some plus-size passengers experience when boarding last minute. "By reserving an extender upfront, I don't panic that they'll run out before getting to me," explains Reddit user Pat232. "It eliminates that fear of the seatbelt not fitting and having to deplane which would be mortifying."
Having their own dedicated extender ready and waiting instills peace of mind. Passenger BigGuyFL550 shares, "I love how JetBlue enables reserving an extender when booking. It hangs above my seat when I board so I'm not stressed about whether one will be available."
Some plus-size travelers report feeling self-conscious about using an extender at all. But JetBlue's discreet handling puts customers at ease. "The flight attendants are so professional and kind when handing me my reserved extender, it alleviates any embarrassment," reveals user FlyingFatAndHappy.
JetBlue also provides extenders with ample length to accommodate very large waist sizes. Standard extenders may only lengthen a seatbelt by 6-8 inches whereas JetBlue offers up to 24 inches of extension. "As a supersized person, I've had extenders that barely helped in the past," says BigAir320. "JetBlue's extra long extenders mean I can buckle securely no matter what."