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Southwest Airlines Community

My Conversation with Kevin Smith

LindaRutherford
Employee
Employee

I had the chance this afternoon to speak directly with director Kevin Smith. I let him know that in my 18 years here at Southwest, I have never dealt with a situation like what has been unfolding in the last 48 hours. I let Kevin know we have refunded his airfare. I told him we made a mistake in trying to board him as a standby passenger and then remove him. And I told him we were sorry.

 

 

Now, 48 hours later, after talking to many involved, we know there were several things going on that day and that our Employees were doing their best to get his flight out safely and on time, including finding seats for everyone and trying to accommodate standby passengers. The Captain did not single Kevin out to be removed, but he did ask that the boarding be completed quickly. At that time, our Employees made the decision to remove Kevin after a quick judgment call that he might have needed more than one seat for his comfort and those seated next to him. 

 

 

Although I’m not here to debate the decision our Employees made, I can tell you that I for one have learned a lot today. The communication among our Employees was not as sharp as it should have been and, it’s apparent that Southwest could have handled this situation differently. Thanks, Kevin, for your passion around this topic. You were a reasonable guy during our conversation.

 

 

Southwest, like most carriers, has a policy to assist passengers who need two seats onboard an aircraft. The policy is an important one for the comfort and safety of all passengers aboard a plane, and we stand by that 25-year-old policy. This has our attention, and we will be reviewing how and when this delicate policy is implemented.

1,794 Comments
Anonymous1388
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Admit you guys messed up.
Rob18
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I fly about 100,000 miles a year, and I know that severely overweight people are a real problem on aircraft. I like Southwest's COS policy, and I have seen it by and large implemented fairly, if not perfectly. Boarding an aircraft is extremely complex, and mistakes happen. All that being said, Kevin Smith does not fall within your COS policy. He deserves an acknowledgment of that.
JimmyD
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I've been following this all day. It's a nice statement but nowhere does it say that any of the given reasons were ever conveyed to Mr Smith. Yes. I've been following his Twitter and I listened to his SModcast. And yes, I am a fan of his work. From his various work I know him to be very open and honest regarding all aspects of his life. Warts and all. I also know he's very passive and non-confrontational. And the above statement doesn't cover the incident Mr Smith witnessed on his eventual flight where another large person, a woman, was treated in the same fashion. It's an incredibly touching part of his SModcast. If you have any interest in learning more about it, I highly suggest you check it out. I'll not provide the link but it's SModcast #106. Google it. I hope at least one of you do. I had an incident with United several years ago where I was treated poorly in an unrelated situation. I think that's why I feel so passionately about this case. BTW: All the comments with crass comments about fat people? That is discrimination. It's vile and unacceptable. Every single one of is is far from perfect. Judge ye not and all that. I'm tall. 6'4". I suppose you're going to tell me I should be shorter. I have a terrible time on planes unless I can score an exit row or bulkhead seat. Be careful with your discrimination... one day you might find yourself on the receiving end. You might not be fat or tall, but one day you'll be old. Think about how the elderly are treated in this country.
Dustin3
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Company policy, regardless of how long it has been effect, should not always come first. I work in retail and I've never really believed the whole "customer is always right" mantra, and I'll be the first to say that while one customer feels like something is being dealt with wrong, they don't stop to think about how many times we as workers have to deal with the same things. I'm sure Southwest is not out to hurt people, they are not happily getting rid of fat people. Rick, you have one of the most ignorant comments I've ever read. They are following policy and while that is their job and something I'm sure they are stressed over because they have to continually try and explain themselves, this is insane. Comfort of himself and others? See, I thought it was a safety thing. First of all, get your "policy" straight - don't change the definition so that it suits the company better. Southwest, and I'm sure other airlines, are not just losing a customer, they are flat out telling people they can't even be customers. Imagine if a friend or family member had this happen to them, would you really just recite "company policy" and offer a delayed apology?
Michelle__WA
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I am a fat chick and I have to say that I agree with the policy that if you can't put the arm rests down you should pay for 2 seats, but I don't believe that Kevin Smith is lying about whether or not he fit within the arm rests. No matter what crap has been said, if he fits then SWA should apologize! Sincerely, Someone who won't be flying with SWA again
KathyH
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Kevin Smith is a well known person, at least to people who love his movies---millions of people. Kevin says he witnessed a young overweight woman suffering the humiliation of being booted from the flight also. It's those stories we never hear about, and I'm sure it's happening a lot. Gosh, I can't even imagine how lousy those customers must feel every day. I applaud Kevin Smith for using his celebrity to call attention to how Southwest will do anything for a buck, including taking away a person's dignity. The people commenting here about how "fat people should just lose weight" are ignorant and cruel. What is this, 5th grade? Southwest, you can say over and over that it's about "safety" but that's a lie, because you would have to expand your list of groups of people you discriminate against to include the handicapped (People of Handicap), pregnant women (People of Childbearing) and the elderly (People of Slow Walking). And any policy that is enforced arbitrarily is not going to work. I don't fly your airline and now I'm certain I never will. Your "airline of love" marketing is a joke.
25__waist
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Everyone who's saying "I'm normal-sized/skinny and I applaud SW for implementing this policy" is COMPLETELY missing the point. 1) By Southwest's own (admitted) standards, Kevin Smith fit in the seat just fine. 2) It's not necessarily the fact that he was booted off the plane, but it's how Southwest's employees HANDLED THE SITUATION. Completely unprofessional from the first to now. (Well, slightly more professional now, but really it's still just a fancy way of saying "KS is still too fat to fly.") To reiterate, read this: http://silentbobspeaks.com/?p=393. It explains his side of the story, which, conveniently, the Southwest posts have neglected to discuss, because it puts them in a bad light. Shame on you, Southwest. And to everyone who thinks Kevin Smith is using his "fame" to make a huge deal out of this, he's not. He's bringing up something that's been happening for YEARS (at least 25, to be sure), and no one's been vocal enough or had the platform to do so. P.S. Southwest, you fail at damage control. Just sayin'.
Michelle__WA
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I am a fat chick and I have to say that I agree with the policy that if you can't put the arm rests down you should pay for 2 seats, but I don't believe that Kevin Smith is lying about whether or not he fit within the arm rests. No matter what crap has been said, if he fits then SWA should apologize! Sincerely, Someone who won't be flying with SWA again
Anonymous461
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As someone who flies southwest and also a bigger guy, I see both sides. Here is some of my noticing on this type of thing. 1. This is not checked consistently. I had one guy who used a seat belt extender next to me, in the middle seat, could put the armrest down, but not 100% and be comfortable, so it was up slightly between us. My pants leg was damp by the time his leg of the flight was done. Why didn't this guy get flagged? I can put the arm rest fully 100% down and sitting next to him, I would've preferred it, but his large leg prevented it. He was in the back on a middle seat, clearly enough time to figure out he may need an extra seat. If they look like they need two seats and the flight they aren't originally scheduled to be on is almost full, just tell the passenger the flight is full. Whose going to know the difference?!? 2. Perhaps like the luggage bag size things (which seem to have gone away because of people who bring larger bags on nowadays), why not a chair in the back room that's from an exit row that's solid and have passengers sit in. It could be a good gauge of measure to determine who needs to buy a second seat. Humiliating? Maybe, but I'd rather do this than get singled off once in the plane or something along those lines. 3. If the flight is empty or a middle seat has been bought by someone else and they're okay with someone of size overflowing into it, then no problems, don't even address it. 4. If the person has bought two/three/ten seats, it doesn't necessarily mean they won't fit in one. In the case of Kevin and in his podcast, he said he has the dough and likes to have one extra space of seat next to him, even though he said he fits into one seat. This shouldn't be the judgement of whether or not someone needs to come off a flight at all. Contrary to belief, most people think that obesity can be hereditary. It isn't. Poor eating choices and using food as an escape is. I know. I'm a product of a family who did do that and also still struggle with it. Drink more water, cut down portions, eat a little healthier, take some vitamins and go out for a walk. Things like this do help. No excuse for being fat, but it's your life. You don't have to fly southwest, you can go somewhere more accommodating. I guess what is probably the worst and southwest isn't the only one is that because I'm not famous or have a large audience who will listen to me within arms reach, who is going to give a crap if I get singled out and thrown off a plane? I'll get the "here, have $100 and shut up." type of thing and that'll be the extent of it. Overall I will say that I haven't had really any bad experiences with Southwest, so I guess I'm fortunate, but it seems like if you do have a bad one, that it is really bad.
Anonymous302
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To all the people saying "way to go SouthWest for enforcing your policy... I don't pay for my space to be invaded.... thanks for making flights comfortable for us normal sized folks", you guys are MISSING the point here. The same goes for the individuals saying Mr. Smith acted like a spoiled child/rich guy. Kevin Smith DID fit in one seat, and he WAS ABLE to lower the arms rests and COMPLETELY buckle his seatbelt. He HAS purchased two seats, not enough to be considered "regularly", but he does so because he just likes to avoid sitting next to someone else (we've all sat next to that annoying as hell passenger... if you disagree you're probably THAT passenger.). Yet even with ALL THIS, they still kicked him out. So the policy is irrelevant, because even if a person isnt "too fat" based on being able to sit in the seat, put the arm rests down and buckle the seatbelt.... you can still be kicked off the flight. PATHETIC, SouthWest and everyone here not being able to get past the "well just buy another ticket" or "fat people suck" replies and see the BIGGER PICTURE.... in case you havent picked up on it yet: THEY KICKED HIM OUT EVEN THOUGH HE WAS NOT ACTUALLY "TOO FAT".
AmandaB
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Since several "non-fatties" have posted commending a company for willingly embarrassing a select group of customers, I'm going to speak up as a non-fatty. I understand not wanting to sit next to someone whose size is such that it takes more than the seat; plane seats are uncomfortable and claustrophobic as it is. I don't like sitting next to anyone, regardless of size. The problem, in my eyes, is that this situation should NEVER happen in front of a plane full of people. If there's any question, it should be addressed away from other customers, without there being any singling out of ANY sort. Publicly embarrassing customers should never be an acceptable company policy. If your company representatives are so incompetent that they can't understand it, then Southwest Airlines failed as a company to properly select their employees. To accept treatment and incompetence such as what happened is completely ridiculous. And if as a company, you cannot admit publicly that you made an error, then you do not deserve people's hard earned money. The whole situation is disgusting. I will never commend a company for treating any customer as such. And I firmly believe that the ONLY reason anything is happening because you just happened to pick on the wrong person. Have some empathy, people.
Anonymous2768
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Great job SWA!! Sounds to me like Kevin Smith is just another attention seeking Hollywood loser. I'd never even heard of the guy until this happened. I'm sure he's thanking his lucky stars that his obesity has landed him so much free publicity. Wake up people! He has a new movie coming out. Southwest is the ONLY currently successful airline in the nation for a reason. That reason is how they treat their customers. This type of thing happens on other carriers as well, its just that it hasn't happened to some attention seeking compulsive tweeter on those airlines. Did he fit in the seat or didn't he? Who cares. Keep up the great work Southwest.
Dustin3
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Company policy, regardless of how long it has been effect, should not always come first. I work in retail and I've never really believed the whole "customer is always right" mantra, and I'll be the first to say that while one customer feels like something is being dealt with wrong, they don't stop to think about how many times we as workers have to deal with the same things. I'm sure Southwest is not out to hurt people, they are not happily getting rid of fat people. Rick, you have one of the most ignorant comments I've ever read. They are following policy and while that is their job and something I'm sure they are stressed over because they have to continually try and explain themselves, this is insane. Comfort of himself and others? See, I thought it was a safety thing. First of all, get your "policy" straight - don't change the definition so that it suits the company better. Southwest, and I'm sure other airlines, are not just losing a customer, they are flat out telling people they can't even be customers. Imagine if a friend or family member had this happen to them, would you really just recite "company policy" and offer a delayed apology?
T2OY
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I don't know what's MORE PATHETIC, that apology that wasn't EVEN a apology by SWA or the SAD, PATHETIC people who agree with SWA's concerning Kevin Smith's mistreatment. IF those ignorant people cared about the FACTS of the story instead of being typical SHEEP (spoon fed and believing ONLY the large corporations side of the story) then they would have seeked out BOTH sides of the story. And if they possessed ANY common sense and could READ then they would have found out THAT KEVIN SMITH WAS NOT KICKED OFF THE FLIGHT FOR BEING "TO FAT TO FLY". I'm sure SWA's is very happy to learn that some of their customers are as ignorant as their busniess practices.
James_Victoria
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Reading through these comments, it seems many larger people don't know, or want to acknowledge that they require two seats. Perhaps a better policy would be to ask passengers height and weight before the ticket sales and if their BMI is above a certain threshold they can be told at time of purchase that they need two seats. I really appreciate Southwests policy and hope that they can enforce it normally through all flights. thanks
alan_t_
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Obviously, the very problem here is your last paragraph. Simply adding something to the effect of, "It should be strongly emphasized and reiterated that Mr. Smith was indeed NOT in violation of this specific policy" would have saved you from the bogus mea culpa your post really is. What in the world does the last paragraph have to do with the Smith incident itself? Evidently, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You say you're purportedly sorry and it was Southwest's fault in one breath, and in your final breath, you plainly imply it was actually completely the opposite. You're attempting to appease Mr. Smith, while at the same time, attempting to appease your bosses (and the company lawyers) by refusing to accept sole responsibility for what really happened. All in all, it's just spin. And just for the sake of clarification, I have never seen a Kevin Smith film and don't know a darn thing about him. But after hearing both sides of this story, I know bogus when I read it. Southwest is trying to spin and spin a negative into a public relations positive. It stinks.
Dustin3
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Company policy, regardless of how long it has been effect, should not always come first. I work in retail and I've never really believed the whole "customer is always right" mantra, and I'll be the first to say that while one customer feels like something is being dealt with wrong, they don't stop to think about how many times we as workers have to deal with the same things. I'm sure Southwest is not out to hurt people, they are not happily getting rid of fat people. Rick, you have one of the most ignorant comments I've ever read. They are following policy and while that is their job and something I'm sure they are stressed over because they have to continually try and explain themselves, this is insane. Comfort of himself and others? See, I thought it was a safety thing. First of all, get your "policy" straight - don't change the definition so that it suits the company better. Southwest, and I'm sure other airlines, are not just losing a customer, they are flat out telling people they can't even be customers. Imagine if a friend or family member had this happen to them, would you really just recite "company policy" and offer a delayed apology?
Anne_Hathaway1
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Hey Southwest Airlines, Since you arbitrarily apply policies so randomly - like your discrimatory size policy - it's best you HOLD OFF on throwing people out of their seats and humiliate them in process on FAT TUESDAY, tomorrow. It would be such a BIG PUBLIC RELATION NO-NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please make me believe in you, again. Your customer service had been in the pits for a long time. I have never know of a company resorting to public humiliation to get their customers to follow their policies. For example, I have seen all too often how flight attendants berate people for not stuffing their 2nd carryon overhead or underneath the seat if front of them - despite them being in the very last row. It would have been nice for the flight attendant's IQ to be above average intelligence to be able to deduce that: "oh it's a full flight, this poor person must have not found anywhere to stow the carryon and perhaps SW should do more to enforce carryons to be their required size". This way there wouldn't be an issue for the people in the last row to stow their belonging properly. It just takes a little more effort to use kind words to get the message across - unlike what I witness, the berating of this last row flyer for not listening to her a 2nd time. She didn't at all listen to the customer about there not being any room anywhere for her second carryon which contained fragile items. Just saying most flight attendants, of late, are very sour faced and unwelcoming robots - THAT NEEDs TO CHANGE ROYALLY!!!!!!!!!
Timmy
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You guys still lied. Just fess up and fix what you've done. Admit you were wrong to both Kevin and the lady on the 7:20 flight that same day. That's all Kev wants! This Blog does nothing but blur what happened even more.
Jason_Wilson
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Have him sit in the same seat and take a picture. If he fits with the arms down, admit your employees screwed up. If he doesnt, make him apologize. By refusing to do so, you're answering the question. This is really simple.
Jason_Wilson
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Have him sit in the same seat and take a picture. If he fits with the arms down, admit your employees screwed up. If he doesnt, make him apologize. By refusing to do so, you're answering the question. This is really simple.
Trent_Mills
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I don't like sitting next to fat people on planes either...unless it's a celebrity and they talk to me and give me an autograph...and put me on their friends list...and come to visit and hang out and let me introduce them to all my friends and family.
Trent_Mills
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I don't like sitting next to fat people on planes either...unless it's a celebrity and they talk to me and give me an autograph...and put me on their friends list...and come to visit and hang out and let me introduce them to all my friends and family.
Biz
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WOW, the fat-hate is pretty intense. As an overweight woman who still fits into one seat with the armrests down and no seatbelt-extenders necessary, I nevertheless have horribly anxious fits every time I have to go near an airport. Randomly enforced discrimination against people of size has changed the way I travel. I generally avoid sizeist shitbag airlines like Southwest. In addition I now book earlier flights (in case I am publicly humiliated by an airline employee and forced off a flight), take an extra credit card (in case I am forced to buy a second seat rather than completely cancel my trip), and pop an anti-anxiety pill--not because I am afraid to fly, but because I am more or less paralyzed with fear by the time I have to board a plane. Why? Because more and more, it seems like any airline employee who felt like it could have me ejected from a flight based on the visual observation that I'm large. Not too large for one seat, not "too fat to fly" (a term I find detestable), but larger than your average airline attendant. I'm not sure what airlines such as Southwest gain by sending us all back to the high school hallway for a little public humiliation and classic emotional abuse. I'm hardly a legitimate "safety" concern. I'm certainly not a danger to anyone trying to get in or out of a plane. I don't squish the people next to me. I'm not going to eat the baby seated in my row or magically make the person across the aisle from me fat by the time we get across the country. I'm bigger than a lot of other women, but I'm not subhuman. And guess what? No fat person is. I'm also not sure what the many, many anonymous jerks on this website get for screaming at us fatty fat fatties other than off on their misguided sense of power and righteousness. I don't eat whole supermarket aisles. I get exercise. I dress well, take pride in my appearance, and get along just fine in the world (as many other people of size do). I take care of myself. Guess what? I'm still fat. It's not a moral failing to be built differently, no matter how many jerks on this blog or airlines like Southwest attempt to make it seem so. And no matter how many names you call us or how much you try to shame us off the earth, fat people won't just curl up and die out of some misguided sense of inferiority. You may be able to humiliate us in a moment or two, here and there, but you can't kill us by hating us to death. We're different. Not worse. Just different. I pity the hatemongerers. It must be hard to live with yourself day after day when all that seems to keep you going is bile and anger.
indeciSEAN
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As someone who's flown almost* no airline aside from Southwest or JetBlue in the past ten years, I will now go out of my way to see to it that myself (and my family - who fly SWA even more than I) don't fly with your airline - anywhere - from this day forward. Handling the situation the way that you did in the first place was bad enough. That original blog (and arguably attempting to weaken Mr. Smith's credibility in the eyes of the public) was offensive........but this? Despite having a chance to "make this right", you've REALLY let me down, Southwest. From now on, I shall look elsewhere when flying, and also make sure to share this story wherever possible, and suggest others think twice before giving you their money. You may have never directly done me or my family wrong -- Hell, we've always liked you quite a bit -- but maybe that loss of business will give you some perspective on how big an "oops" this is if myself and others choose to fly with your rivals from now on. * I flew Virgin to London in '06 and flew Delta on a business trip about two years ago.
ItsJimD
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To the liars, Kevin Smith has NOT closed his comments area. Look for yourselves sheep.
Anonymous2339
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EXCEPT THAT KEVIN SMITH DOESN'T REQUIRE TWO SEATS. THIS WAS A CASE OF EJECTING SOMEONE WHO DIDN'T VIOLATE YOUR POLICY!
KevinB
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This is a pretty weak apology, if that is even what it is. After hearing this story I can honestly say I'll never fly SW again. I can understand having a safety policy, and if people are too large to fit in a seat to have to purchase two seats. However, this was handled extremely poorly, and you guys need to train your people better. Large people shouldn't be treated like second class citizens. And all of you sayng he should shut up and just lose weight, shame on you.
Anonymous2339
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EXCEPT THAT KEVIN SMITH DOESN'T REQUIRE TWO SEATS. THIS WAS A CASE OF EJECTING SOMEONE WHO DIDN'T VIOLATE YOUR POLICY!
Anonymous753
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In all honesty, the fact that Southwest won't admit that they booted Kevin Smith off for different reasons is kind of upsetting. He can fit into his seat and buckle the belt, without an extender. It really shouldn't be this hard for a company to admit that they are wrong. I know its been said, but since an actual apology hasn't happened yet, it clearly needs repeating. I also think that its sort of upsetting how little people are able to sympathize with the complete loss of dignity that those who are kicked off of these planes go through. A lot of people here just have this "blame fattie" attitude that I find unfair. People here have been acting like being overweight is a crime, and I think these people need to take a step back and take a look at themselves. You don't know everyone's life story, and they might, just might have a reason for looking the way you do. Depression can lead to over eating, so I am sure that shameless mocking of someone's weight is really going to get them in shape. I just think southwest should probably take a look at their staff and make sure that they are going to be sensitive in situations like this, because clearly, that was a big issue here.
Anonymous3263
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This is just more of the same. Southwest Airlines should just rename themselves 'Slimfast Airlines' - I hope that Kevin Smith goes on Larry King and drums up some more bad press for you all. I will never fly Southwest again.
JD5
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Sirs - Mr Smith could fit into his seat with the arm rests down and without using a seat belt extender. I predict Southwest is going to go the way of Pontiac, Eastern Air, Pan Am et al if the company persists in enforcing their policies arbitrarily while continuing to say that "the customer is always wrong."
Richard2
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Typical public relations expert pretending to be transparent and failing miserably. So, who was the social media expert that convinced y'all to start using twitter? #crowdmentality #youlreadylost http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVzGM99ZIMQ&feature=related
JD5
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Sirs - Mr Smith could fit into his seat with the arm rests down and without using a seat belt extender. I predict Southwest is going to go the way of Pontiac, Eastern Air, Pan Am et al if the company persists in enforcing their policies arbitrarily while continuing to say that "the customer is always wrong."
Anonymous122
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Linda, you're a robot. You're a better-spoken robot, with more class and training, but still a robot. He didn't need two seats, and a human being would admit this, because it is true. But someone has programmed you to avoid saying this at all costs. And so you deserve all the damage done to Southwest's reputation. Now, we return to your sock puppets and their insistence that the sub-human fatties must die.
Hagrid_Zee
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If fat folks are to be denied boarding because they are a hazard to slim (and one would thus assume nimble) people in case of emergency evacuation, are we also going to ban the handicapped, disabled and blind? What about little kids, they might be a hazard to trip over as you bolt for the exits. And old people, they are so slow and might get confused! Oh, and no more computers on board -- those pesky cords might tangle your foot in the mad dash to the evacuation slides. And, since we are talking safety -- no more booze! Emergency evacuations require everyone to be 100% sober.
Frank_Albright
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It is shocking you could be worse then Us Airways but you did it. I had been moving from Us Airways (Platinum Status) over to SW but given how you have handled this situation I am going to stick with Us Airways and deal with them treating me bad but not horrific.
Patrick_C
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Please don't apologize Southwest, please! Don't double guess yourself to sound politically correct or "sensitive" to grossly overweight people. You sound weak and unprofessional if you apologize. Loudmouth K.S. proves what an ass he is by trying to bring you bad publicity. The fact is that if the flight is overbooked, you have to make a simple business decision. Kick off the guy that needs two seats, period. It is because he is too fat. Simple. Even if there were enough seats, why should another person's body take space I have paid for on the airplane? Why should another person slow or block my quick exit in case of an emergency? Your employees made a good decision. Don't put them down or say they could have handled it differently. I will fly Southwest whenever the chance presents itself. I appreciate fast aircraft movement, since it's my job, too, as an air traffic controller. Oh, and to the grossly overweight people who won't fly Southwest Airlines, I say THANK YOU for saving me the space.
Frank_Albright
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It is shocking you could be worse then Us Airways but you did it. I had been moving from Us Airways (Platinum Status) over to SW but given how you have handled this situation I am going to stick with Us Airways and deal with them treating me bad but not horrific.
Anonymous2557
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I'm disgusted at the way Southwest has treated this situation........ Southwest has lost my business.... and the business of my friends , family and aquaintences...
Anonymous1927
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Wow, that was lame. So you're sort of saying you're sorry, you're also strongly suggesting that Mr. Smith does need to purchase 2 seats, otherwise you think it would be fair to pull him again. So really, you're not sorry at all, you could have handled it "differently" (not even better?) and it's the fatty's fault. Got it.
Jennifer13
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I am very disappointed in SWA. If you read Mr. Smith's side of the story, it is evident that the situation had NOTHING to do with his size. He fit in the seat, with armrests down, and did not cause the women on either side of him any discomfort. I appreciate the policy that requires a person to purchase two seats if they need it, but that was not the case here. Bottom line: Is he a large man? Yes. Did he fit in the seat, with seat beat buckled, no extender needed, and without infringing on the space of fellow passengers? Yes. Did SWA screw up royally, and lose my business? YES
Brian_Miller
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Southwest Airlines seats are too small on purpose so they can cram people in like "Shindlers List", Why? Money Money Money, it's all about the Benjamin's. To make matters worse Southwests over worked and under paid employees over reacted. Anyone with half a brain could have talked Kevin Smith or anyone else off of that plane with little to no hassle, but you dimwits had to get nasty. Don't worry, the economy is so strong I'm sure a 1 to 3 % decrease in sales for a week or two couldn't possibly hurt your industry. (how much to rent a pillow?!) And as Americans go, Kevin Smith is a Medium. Shame on you Southwest and your non-apology-apology Linda.
Anonymous3317
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I understand that you have a Customer of Size policy. However, I do not understand how someone who is already seated, buckled in without an extender and has the arm rests down doesn't fit in the seat and has to be ejected. The people seated next to him were asked if he was encroaching on their space and they said 'no' But your staff, who are obviously fat-phobic decided that he was a safety risk. I am not a skinny girl, in fact, the first time I flew Southwest I was terrified of being singles out for your policy even though I am nowhere close to the size of Kevin Smith because I have read many stories of women and men in the 200's being forced to purchase a second seat even though they can fit in one. Thanksfully, I was not told I had to buy a second seat...but I am not flying your airline again because I can see that all Southwest cares about it money...It isn't about safety or comfort, it is about money. The more seats they can fit on a plane, the more tickets they can sell per flight...especially when they are charging some people double! The average airline seat of 17-18 inches is smaller than a small office chair, movie theater seat or car seat. It is pretty bad when I am 5'6" and my knees are hitting the seat in front of me...I feel sorry for the tall people in the world...
J_1
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The reality is that maybe Southwest sees this as good publicity compared to this...From the Dallas paper a few days ago...way to go Southwest!!!!! WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating violations of safety directives by Southwest Airlines, the third such probe of the Dallas-based carrier's maintenance record in two years.
Regina_E_
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I am outraged by your treatment of Kevin! I am an overweight woman who can sometimes lower the armrest and sometimes not. I find it depends on the actual plane. Yes, there are differences between planes. In addition to being wide-bodied, I am tall, and I'm sick of cramming myself into an airline seat. As a matter of fact, I hate flying. When is the airlines industry going to realize what modern cinemas have realized for about 10 years now - Americans like wider, more comfortable seats! I'm boycotting SW Airlines until they change their policy and somehow make things right for People of Size or whatever the hell you're calling us now!
Brian_Miller
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Southwest Airlines seats are too small on purpose so they can cram people in like "Shindlers List", Why? Money Money Money, it's all about the Benjamin's. To make matters worse Southwests over worked and under paid employees over reacted. Anyone with half a brain could have talked Kevin Smith or anyone else off of that plane with little to no hassle, but you had to get nasty. Don't worry, the economy is so strong I'm sure a 1 to 3 % decrease in sales for a week or two couldn't possibly hurt your industry. (how much to rent a pillow?!) And as Americans go, Kevin Smith is a Medium. Shame on you Southwest and your non-apology-apology Linda. Why didn't you post this?
Regina_E_
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I am outraged by your treatment of Kevin! I am an overweight woman who can sometimes lower the armrest and sometimes not. I find it depends on the actual plane. Yes, there are differences between planes. In addition to being wide-bodied, I am tall, and I'm sick of cramming myself into an airline seat. As a matter of fact, I hate flying. When is the airlines industry going to realize what modern cinemas have realized for about 10 years now - Americans like wider, more comfortable seats! I'm boycotting SW Airlines until they change their policy and somehow make things right for People of Size or whatever the hell you're calling us now!
Basil_Ringrose
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How about just making the seats a little bigger and not trying to cram so many people into one death rocket? Then EVERYONE can be comfortable and they don't have to worry about "the fat guy" tipping the plane over. Concentrate more on getting people from A to B as quickly as possible in comfort, instead of always thinking about the $. Snoogans!
Sean5
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I hardly call this an apology. Further, I have beem stuck next to fat people and for many years, I was the fat guy in the seat. I've done my best to lose a great deal of weight and am in no danger of being kicked off. But, regardless, if I were a passenger on the plane and the guy next to me was treated the way Kevin Smith was, I, myself, would get off the plane as well. I've flown Southworst (No, that was NOT a typo) airlines several times and have NEVER once been pleased with the service. Southwest is the wirst airline I've ever flown on and this is yet one more example of why. Don't expect to see me flying as a passenger.