Best airlines for overweight passengers in Australia
Read more on economy seat options for larger passengers.
“Overweight”, “guests of size” or “customers of size”. However you choose to classify it, larger passengers on planes is just part of life.
So if you’re feeling that the size of an economy seat isn’t providing you the right amount of comfort, you don’t have to keep quiet about it. Many Australian carriers have alternate options to accommodate overweight passengers – all you have to do is ask.
This guide looks at economy seat widths, seat pitch, leg room and options for overweight passengers across Australia’s domestic carriers. With this information, you’ll be able to choose the airline that offers you the most comfortable flights possible. While leg room and seat pitch are similar the difference is that leg room is the distance from your seat to the seat in front whereas seat pitch is the distance from any point on your seat to that same point on the seat in front or behind you.
Australian airline seat size comparison for overweight and tall passengers
|Airline||Economy seat width|
|Economy seat pitch|
|Extra leg room|
on exit row seat
|Extra leg room seat charge||Options for overweight passengers||Business class seat width and pitch|
|Qantas||A330-200: 44.45cm||A330-200: 78.74cm||Up to 22.86cm extra leg room||$60 or 8000 Frequent Flyer points||Purchase extra seatPurchase a business class seatPurchase extra leg room||A330-200: 54.61cm width / 93.98cm pitch|
|Virgin Australia||A320: 45.2cmA330-200: 44.1cmATR 72: 43.9cm|
Boeing 737: 43cm
|A320: 78cmA330-200: 78.7cmATR 72: 78cm|
Boeing 787: 78cm
|Up to 96.5cm pitch in total||$10-175 (extra leg room)||Extended seatbeltsPurchase extra seatPurchase a business class seatPurchase extra leg room||A330-200: seat converts into a 203cm flatbedBoeing 737-700: 49.5cm width / 94cm pitchEmbracer E190: 50.8cm width / 96.5cm pitch|
|Jetstar||A320: 45.42cmA321: 45.72cmA330-200: 44.45cm|
Boeing 787: 43.18cm
|A320: 73.61cmA321: 71.12A330-200: 78.74cm|
Boeing 787: 76.2
|A320/A321: 91.12cmA330-200: 101.6cmBoeing 787: extra 35cm||$25 (extra leg room)||Purchase extra seatPurchase a business class seatPurchase extra leg room||A320: N/AA321: N/AA330-200: 54.61cm width / 96.52cm pitch|
Boeing 787: 48.26cm width / 96.52cm pitch
|Tigerair||A320: 46cmB737: 43cm||AA320 - 72.5cmB737 - 78.7cm||A320: 97.5cmB737: 86.3cm (extra leg room seats), 96.5cm (exit row seats)||From $20 (extra leg room), from $7 (seat up front)||Purchase extra seatPurchase seat with extra leg room||N/A|
|Rex||SAAB 340B/SAAB 340WT: 46.99cm||SAAB 340B/SAAB 340WT: 76.2cm||SAAB 340B/SAAB 340WT: 81.28cm||$4.80||Purchase extra seatPurchase seat with extra leg room||N/A|
What options does each domestic carrier offer for overweight passengers?
As economy seats on domestic flights generally come in standard width sizes, you might have to look at alternate options to accommodate you. This could include purchasing an extra seat, booking a business class fare or getting a seat with extra leg room. Find out what options each Australian carrier offers here.
A standard Qantas seat on one of its A330-200 planes is approximately 44.45cm wide, with 78.74cm of pitch (the distance between the seat in front of you and your seat). This is only marginally more than on Virgin’s A330-200 fleet, which offers 44.1cm of width and 78cm of pitch.
Qantas encourages anyone requiring more room to purchase an extra seat for comfort. Another option is to purchase a seat in business class, where the seat width is 54.61cm and the seat pitch is 93.98cm.
If those options are too expensive, you can look into an exit row seat or an extra legroom seat. While these don’t offer you anything extra in the way of width, they can provide you with an added 20cm (totalling a generous 101.6cm) in front of you. This service is available for an extra $60.
Virgin’s domestic fleet offers seat widths from 43cm (Boeing 787) to 45.2cm (A320), with seat pitches ranging from 78-78.7cm. Virgin Australia offers extended seat belts for more ample passengers.
You also have the option of purchasing an extra seat or a business class seat, which has a width of up to 50.8cm and a pitch of up to 96.5cm. Fly business class on an A330-200 and you can also make use of a 203-cm convertible flat bed. If extra legroom is all you’re after, you can get up to 96.5cm in extra pitch from for $10-$175 (depending on fleet and class).
With seat widths of 45.2cm on its A320 planes, Jetstar offers slightly larger seats than Qantas and Virgin. However, it sacrifices space in its seat pitch, which is 73.61cm on the A320 or 71.12 on the A321.
Jetstar states that if you are unable to lower both armrests, or you compromise any part of the adjacent seating, you must book the full number of seats required for you to achieve this. You can do this by booking the second seat under your name and then contacting Jetstar directly to advise them of the reason. Alternatively, you can purchase a business class seat which can provide you with up to 54.61cm in seat width or an economy seat with extra leg room for 20cm extra pitch on the A320/A321 or 35cm on the Boeing 787 for a $25 fee.
Tigerair offers a seat width of 43cm and a pitch of 72.5cm on its 4/A320 planes. Its B737 aircraft, on the other hand, have seat widths of 46cm and 78.7cm.
As a low-cost carrier, domestic Tigerair flights do not offer business class. If you need more space, you have the option of purchasing an extra seat or a seat with extra leg room. Extra leg room can be purchased for $20, while extra seats are sold at standard prices for the flight you choose.
Regional carrier REX offers the greatest economy seat width of these carriers, providing each passenger with 46.99cm on its SAAB 340B/SAAB 340WT planes. But its seat pitch is slightly shy of most other carriers at 76.2cm.
Rex does not offer business class seating. Options for guests of size include purchasing a second seat or purchasing extra leg room for $4.80.
Looking for extra seat width? REX is the most generous when it comes to seat width offering 46.99cm worth. The Tigerair A320 follows this offer with 46cm in seat width.
If you want to fly business class, then the roomiest business seat available is on Jetstar or Qantas’ A330-200 planes. Both offer 54.61cm in seat width.
Looking for extra economy leg room? Qantas’ A330-200 and Jetstar’s A330-200 can give you up to 101.6cm to stretch out, providing you pay for an exit row/extra leg room seat. Jetstar’s charge is more favorable at $25 compared with Qantas’ $60 fee.
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