World’s tallest woman travels on a plane for the first time after Turkish Airlines removes six seats to make room for her 7ft build on flight to San Francisco
The tallest woman in the world has taken to the skies for the first time in her life after Turkish Airlines adapted one of their planes to accommodate her towering 7ft frame.
Rumeysa Gelgi, who stands at 7ft 0.7inches (215.16cm), was officially named the tallest woman alive by Guinness World Records earlier this year.
She typically gets around in a wheelchair or with the aid of a walker, her huge stature the result of a condition called Weaver syndrome which, among other things, causes accelerated growth.
Gelgi, 24, had never travelled on a plane before, having been too tall to fit in regular airline seats even as a child.
But she is now able to travel abroad and flew to San Francisco in September thanks to her national airline, which tore out six seats aboard one of its aircraft and replaced them with a specially-made stretcher to allow Gelgi to fly in comfort.
Posting on Instagram having landed in California, she said: ‘A flawless journey from start to finish… this was my first plane ride but it certainly won’t be my last… heartfelt thank you to each and every person who has been a part of my journey.’
The 24-year-old travelled to San Francisco to further her career in software development, but she will also co-ordinate with Guinness World Records to promote various events.
Gelgi was confirmed last month as the world’s tallest living female by the organisation.
Upon the receipt of her Guinness world record certificate, Gelgi said: ‘Every disadvantage can be turned into an advantage for yourself so accept yourself for who you are, be aware of your potential and do your best.’
It is the second time Ms Gelgi has achieved a world record after being named the tallest teenager alive in 2014.
Since then, she has used her platform to advocate for others with rare conditions.
‘Being different is not as bad as you think. It can bring you unexpected success,’ Gelgi told reporters last month.
‘I personally think that differences and other features which seem like a disadvantage can be turned to advantages if you want it and make the effort for it.
‘That is exactly what I did.’
Craig Glenday, editor in chief at Guinness World Records, said: ‘It’s an honour to welcome Rumeysa back into the record books.
Glenday continued: ‘Her indomitable spirit and pride at standing out from the crowd is an inspiration.
‘The category of tallest living woman is not one that changes hands very often, so I’m excited to share this news with the world.’
The tallest man in the world, Sultan Kosen, is also Turkish – he was measured at 8ft 2.8in (251cm) in 2018.
Gelgi says she hopes to meet him in person one day.
The tallest woman to have lived was Zeng Jinlian, from China, who was measured at 8ft 1in (246.3cm) before her death in 1982.
Gelgi has also broken records for having the longest finger on a living female person, the largest hands on a living female person, and the longest back on a living female person.