Size 16 woman slams ‘fat-phobic’ airline over painfully tight seatbelt

A beautician from Scotland claims she was “lassoed” into her chair by a seatbelt on a Ryanair flight, saying the airline’s standard-size belts could be viewed as “fatphobic”.

Katie Higgins, 33, from Ayr in Scotland, was flying from Glasgow to visit her family in Cork.

She says she is the average dress size in the UK – size 16, but claims there was barely an inch of room left after she clipped in her metal fasteners.

After the 33-year-old boarded the flight, she discovered she was in for an uncomfortable journey. She says she is not “delusional” and knows she is a “bigger woman”. However, she was left feeling a little baffled when the belt did not fit her, even though she recently lost two stone in weight.

The part-time blogger shared her experience on Facebook and claimed Ryanair’s tight seats could harm “the self-esteem and mental health” of plus-sized passengers.

Ms Higgins said: “If someone else was a different shape or a different size, they might not be able to tie it.. With other airlines, you can usually pull the length of the belt a little and try to adjust it, but there was none of that.”

MailOnline reported the 33-year-old hasn’t yet contacted Ryanair about the issue as she believes that her complaint would fall on deaf ears, but instead, she used social media.

Her post has racked up more than 400 likes, shares, and comments on Facebook, with viewers sharing their own experiences too.

The activist is now calling for the public to listen to the concerns of plus-sized people, rather than telling them to “lose weight”.

After posting about the incident on social media, Katie said she was contacted by several plus-sized women who had been left feeling embarrassed after having to request a belt extender on a flight.

“There’s a lot of people who reached out and told me that they bought their own belt extender because they were afraid of the embarrassment. It’s nothing to do with the size of you – it’s to do with the size of the belt and the safety aspect of it.” has contacted Ryanair for comment.

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