These days, once you’re finished with your government-mandated assault on your person, you’ll be assigned to your lousy eighteen-inch-wide inflight penalty box, and you’ll like it, peasant. Or you can just pay for two seats, unless you’re in Canada, where this is considered a Discriminatory Practice.
Alternatively, you can hope (1) you’re riding on an Airbus A320 and (2) the airline checked the right boxes on the order form:
The standard economy seat on an A320 is eighteen inches wide; the XL versions will be twenty inches wide. Ostensibly airlines that order these planes will be able to choose how many XL seats and how many standard-size seats they would like, and will be able to upcharge accordingly for the more spacious ass accommodations.
“These seats are not meant just for overweight passengers,” Airbus’ aircraft interiors director Zuzana Hrnkova told journalists, before adding, “Mothers with children may be ready to pay a little more in order to be able to keep their babies in their lap, and large football players may be interested.”
Disclosure: While I’m on the wide side, I’ve never been asked to buy a second seat, though I did once have to ask for a seat-belt extension. I am, um, a bit narrower these days.