Travel Agencies Are Tapping Into America's Underserved, Overweight Passengers

Photo: Flickr/mrtgt

Stories of obese fliers getting booted off aircraft or publicly derided for paying for one seat when they require two still grab headlines, and as Gadling’s Dave Seminara writes, “When it comes to airline travel, size clearly matters.” 

In fact, many would-be fliers are eliminating air travel altogether, creating a hugely underserved market that has been tapped into by travel agencies tailor-made for larger clients. 

In a new interview, Seminara speaks with Tony Harrell, a board member of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), and founder of Abundant Travel, a Alexandria, Va.-based travel agency for “people of size.” 

“It’s an underserved market, helping people of size. Frankly, I think airlines have been trying to fit more seats in for a long time and if they are discriminating against larger travellers, it’s because they’re looking at their bottom line and don’t want to give away free seats.

On the other hand, some larger travellers need to be more realistic and proactive about air travel and be prepared to make a larger investment in their airfare than they may have anticipated.”

He’ll sooner point a heavy-set couple to a vacation in Texas or Disney World than, say, Venice Beach, Calif. or the slopes in Aspen. 

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