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Best airlines for overweight passengers in New Zealand

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 are just a part of life.

So if you’re feeling that the size of an economy seat isn’t providing you with the right amount of comfort, you don’t have to keep quiet about it. Many airline 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 New Zealand and 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.


New Zealand airline seat size comparison for overweight and tall passengers

AirlineEconomy seat width
(standard)
Economy seat pitch
(standard)
Extra leg room
on exit row seat
Extra leg room seat chargeOptions for overweight passengersBusiness class seat width and pitch
Air New ZealandA320: 44.95cm

Boeing 787: 43.68cm

A320: 80cm

Boeing 787: 81cm

A320: Up to 86cm pitch in total

Boeing 787: Up to 83.82cm pitch in total

  • $10 for extra leg room on domestic flights
  • Purchase extra leg room
  • Purchase an extra seat

Boeing 787: 201.93cm width/55.88cm pitch

JetstarA320: 45.42cm

A321: 45.72cm

A330-200: 44.45cm

Boeing 787: 43.18cm

A320: 73.61cm

A321: 71.12

A330-200: 78.74cm

Boeing 787: 76.2

A320/A321: 91.12cm

A330-200: 101.6cm

Boeing 787: extra 35cm

  • $25 for extra leg room
  • Purchase an extra seat
  • Purchase a business class seat
  • Purchase extra leg room
A320: N/A

A321: N/A

A330-200: 54.61cm width/96.52cm pitch

Boeing 787: 48.26cm width/96.52cm pitch


Crossing the Ditch? Here is Australia’s airline seat size comparison for overweight and tall passengers

AirlineEconomy seat width
(standard)
Economy seat pitch
(standard)
Extra leg room
on exit row seat
Extra leg room seat chargeOptions for overweight passengersBusiness class seat width and pitch
QantasA330-200: 44.45cmA330-200: 78.74cmUp to 22.86cm extra leg room$60 or 8,000 Frequent Flyer points
  • Purchase an extra seat
  • Purchase a business class seat
  • Purchase extra leg room
A330-200: 54.61cm width/93.98cm pitch
Virgin AustraliaA320: 45.2cm

A330-200: 44.1cm

ATR 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 seatbelts
  • Purchase an extra seat
  • Purchase a business class seat
  • Purchase extra leg room
A330-200: seat converts into a 203cm flat bed

Boeing 737-700: 49.5cm width/94cm pitch

Embracer E190: 50.8cm width/96.5cm pitch

What options does each 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.

Air New Zealand Sky Couch

Air New Zealand

With seat widths of 44.95cm on its A320 aircraft and 43.68cm on its Boeing 787 planes falling short compared to other airlines, Air New Zealand makes up for it with its seat pitch, which is 80cm on the A320 and 81cm on the Boeing 787.

Air New Zealand offers affordable extras that make for more space on flights, including extra leg room for $10 and the option to buy a Twin Seat at check-in that offers double the space from $29.

jetstar_economy

Jetstar

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 that 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.

Browse Jetstar flights

international-economy-seat-qantas

Qantas

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.

Browse Qantas flights

virgin-australia-seats

Virgin Australia

Virgin’s 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 203cm convertible flat bed. If extra legroom is all you’re after, you can get up to 96.5cm in extra pitch for $10-$175 (depending on fleet and class).

Browse Virgin Australia flights

The results?

Looking for extra seat width? For domestic flights, Jetstar offers the most width with 45.72cm on its A321 aircraft. If you’re flying to Australia, Virgin Australia’s A320 flights offer 45.2cm of width.

Looking for extra economy leg room? Qantas’s 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 favourable at $25 compared with Qantas’s $60 fee.


See the latest flight deals and sales

Deal

New Zealand flights from $30 each way

Verified 2 days ago Expires 2 Oct 2021
Available on flights until December 2021 to Auckland, Queenstown, Napier and more. Sample fare is Wellington-Christchurch with Jetstar.

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