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This Woman Shared What It's Really Like "To Fly While Very Fat" And It's Heartbreaking

"No matter what happens, if someone complains, my body will be discussed loudly, without regard for who hears it."

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On Tuesday, Twitter user @yrfatfriend (Your Fat Friend) tweeted a thread about what it's like to fly "as a very fat person," and it went viral.

So, I'm on a plane today. Here's what I did to prepare to fly as a very fat person. (Thread.)

Her first step was researching the airline's customer-of-size policy, which requires her to buy a second seat — whether it's available or not. If it's unavailable, she will still be charged.

She said she isn't embarrassed to ask for an extender, but she does worry about others complaining. When they do, more passengers usually do, and she will often be "reseated, charged double, or escorted off the plane, stranded" — sometimes with no refund.

For this flight, @yrfatfriend bought a first-class ticket — which was $900 more than a coach ticket — because seats are wider. The tray table didn't fit around her, however, which meant she could not do work or eat the first-class meal she paid for.

After that flight, @yrfatfriend didn't fly for a year and a half. Despite the incident, she continues to fly — for her family, for her job, and because she won't let others' perceptions of her body control it.

@yrfatfriend said she hopes her story will make people show some compassion. "I'm hopeful that when [people] hear about what it's like to fly as a fat person, they're able to extend a little more compassion, a little less judgment, and that they're willing to think more carefully about airlines' roles in making flying challenging for all of us — fat and thin," she said.

Thank you for sharing your story, @yrfatfriend. You can read the full thread here!

Additional reporting from Delaney Strunk.

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