A woman has divided opinion after documenting her experience of flying with Ryanair as a plus-size passenger in a viral video. Kirsty Leanne shared the video with her TikTok followers, and soon found that people had differing opinions on her situation.
The 29-year-old, from Shropshire, was given a middle seat on the budget airline flight, and had to ask for a seatbelt extender due to her size. She said she struggled to fit in the plane’s narrow aisle.
Kirsty was travelling from London Stansted to Hamburg last Thursday (April 21) for a conference and returned five days later. She said she could “feel the stares of people” as she approached her seat, but was lucky enough to have a spare seat next to her on the one-and-a-half-hour flight, which made her more comfortable.
Kirsty said: “The first issue I faced was walking down the plane aisle, I was one of the last people on the plane as I was running a little late so I felt the stares of people and all I could think was that they didn’t want me to sit next to them. I got to my seat and thankfully the one next to it was empty, giving me a little more room.”
She said she didn’t have much legroom but she also had a bag underneath her seat which reduced the space she had. “It was definitely manageable,” she admitted. “I was going to use the tray table to do some work on the way but when I couldn’t put it down, I quickly decided that it was not going to happen,” she added.
Kirsty decided against using the bathroom, describing it as “probably one of the world’s smallest”. She said: “I was running late, I didn’t get to use the bathroom before I boarded so I thought I’d chance using the one on the flight but unfortunately, it’s probably one of the smallest bathrooms I’ve ever seen and I decided against trying to squeeze in.”
Kirsty said she was “comfortable” in her seat but added: “I think it’s because the seat next to me was empty and I had that little bit of extra space.” She said she needed to use a seatbelt extender which is “something I am used to” and said the Ryanair flight attendant handed it to her “discreetly” upon boarding.
In the TikTok, Kirsty can be seen showing her computer screen where she has been put in a middle seat and then the amount of room she has on the day. She also shared a snap of the seatbelt extender and captioned the clip “Flying Ryanair with no upgrades.”
The video has been viewed more than one million times and has racked up over 4,700 likes so far, but users are divided on the issue. Some people insist Kirsty deserves to fly comfortably, while others feel she only has herself to blame.
One person commented: “What is everyone’s problem? she’s not hurting anyone, just showing her struggle with travel and how people in the same position can make it work!” Another said: “Why are the comments so rude? She never said she was blaming the airline she is just showing you her experience travelling. Do you girl, love the video.”
Someone else added: “People saying that it’s so easy to just lose weight. Some people have diseases and metabolism issues and it would be difficult for them to do so though.” Another added: “Ppl acting like being plus size is a choice/something to be ashamed of?”
However, critics argued that planes shouldn’t have to accommodate her. One user said: “Acting like it’s their fault,” while another said: “This should be a massive wake up call.” Someone else said: “Honey it’s not the airlines fault.”
Blogger Kirsty shares her adventures on her travel blog, Plus Size Travel Too, where she talks about travelling as a plus-size person and says the experience is less than comfortable for larger people.
The Manchester Evening News has contacted Ryanair for comment.