In the world of online travel advice, a U.K.-based influencer named Kirsty Leanne has sparked debate with her travel hacks aimed at “plus-sized” passengers, a term she uses to describe herself. Garnering a substantial following, with over 4.6 million likes on her social media platform, Leanne offers tips for making air travel more comfortable for individuals with larger body types.
In a recent post to her nearly 130,000 followers, Leanne divulged a strategy for securing an extra seat on a plane without additional cost. Her method involves inquiring at the gate about any rows with two adjacent unoccupied seats, a tactic she acknowledges may not be successful on flights at full capacity.
One of her trending videos, which amassed over 6.6 million views, features her comfortably occupying a row of three seats. Here, she expands on her guidance, suggesting late check-in to scope out empty seats, opting for less popular sections of the plane, and researching airlines with favorable policies towards “customers of size.”
While Leanne emphasizes that purchasing a second seat is the best guarantee for extra space, she also notes the financial burden it can impose and the risk of airlines reallocating seats due to frequent overbooking.
Despite her well-intentioned advice, Leanne’s suggestions have not been met with universal applause. Critics have flocked to the comments section, with some suggesting that requiring more space should entail additional costs, akin to paying extra for oversized luggage. Others argue that comfort should be a right afforded to all passengers, not compromised by the needs of a few.
Amidst the backlash, some comments have taken a more personal jab at Leanne’s lifestyle choices, prompting further controversy.
Leanne, undeterred by the mixed reception, continues to share her globetrotting experiences through her blog, “Plus Size Travel Too.” Here, readers can find resources like a guide to a plus-size-friendly Bali adventure and reviews of cruise ships through the lens of a plus-sized traveler, championing the idea that travel should be accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of body size.