Haters have deemed her “too fat to fly.”
A UK travel blogger who filmed herself struggling to fit in a plane seat has divided commenters — with critics telling her to buy two seats or forgo flying altogether. The now-viral video of her mile-high mishap currently boasts 1.7 million views on TikTok.
“I wanted to make a light-hearted video – using a very popular TikTok trend – to illustrate things that I know a lot of people face when they travel,” Shropshire travel enthusiast Kirsty Leanne told Jam Press of her predicament.
The 29-year-old globetrotter runs Plus Sized Travel Too, a site geared to help fellow travelers overcome the hurdles of “traveling while fat.” Some of Leanne’s tips include asking for seatbelt extenders and selecting window seats as they provide more space.
“Choosing a comfortable seat, asking for a seatbelt extender, tray tables not going down, small bathrooms are all things we have to worry about when we travel and so I wanted to show people that they’re not alone,” she said of her latest video.
The eight-second clip, captioned “emotional damage,” shows Leanne boarding an unspecified flight, whereupon she struggles to fasten her seat belt and put the tray table all the way down.
The clip split TikTok — with the majority of commenters suggesting that the flyer should have to purchase two seats to accommodate what they deemed her excess baggage.
“Really not fair to others to take up 1 and a half seats,” scoffed one unsympathetic commenter. “Buy 2 seats or don’t fly.”
Another social media watchdog sniped: “They should make you pay more, just as we pay more for extra weight in our luggage. Or else say that passenger+suitcase is an overall weight.”
Some claimed she was being inconsiderate to other flyers. “The problem that I have, is you keep saying ‘bigger seats’ are the solution, no they are not,” said one commenter in reference to Leanne’s other plus-sized passenger guides. “Larger seats would only make flying less accessible…”
Yet another detractor weighed in, snarking, “If it isn’t the consequences of my own actions.”
“Shouldn’t… you get smaller instead of the planes catering to you?” seconded another.
However, others sympathized with the Leanne’s in-flight plight with one writing, “the lack of empathy and understanding in these comments is embarrassing. you shouldn’t have to apologize for the space you occupy. enjoy your travels!”
“These comments are NOT IT.” said another. “I’m a flight attendant and it is definitely up to the airline to work with you to find a solution. Love your content.”
Leanne has since addressed her critics in the comments, writing: “Just because you all love to jump to conclusions, yes I do care about the person sat next to me and I apologize for the lack of space.”
She added, “Also no, I am not blaming everyone but myself — I’m saying that there should be a few accessible options available for those that need them.”
The notion of buying two seats has long been a point of contention in the travel community with some dubbing it discrimination and others calling it a simple question of physics. This past Spring, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sparked outrage after proposing a policy which would require passengers to step on a scale – or provide their weight- before boarding a flight in order to ensure the aircraft didn’t exceed the weight limit.