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Southwest Airlines Community

My Conversation with Kevin Smith

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.

1,804 Comments
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I wish other airlines would follow Southwest Airlines example. If someone's size goes beyond the allowed "space" in the seat, it gets into MY SPACE. I paid for my full space, and I didn't agree to share it with anyone else. There are two other airlines I refuse to fly any more because I have twice had to make trips using only half of my seat. When I complained, those airlines were rude to me! WAY TO GO, SOUTHWEST. Keep saying that if you cannot fit into one seat, you have top buy two seats.
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Such a strange debate and policy. Kevin Smith says he was able to fit in the seat with the armrests lowered and use his seat belt properly without any kind of extension That is provable. It does not require any sort of "judgment call" by an overworked flight clerk. So he should be allowed to fly if he meets those requirements. Sure I will continue to make a beeline for the seat next to the wafer-thinnest lady I can find, but that doesn't mean Smith should be kept off the flight. (I'll avoid a 7' tall NBA player, too,and a height-and-weight-proportional Texan with a cowboy hat, but they can fly on SWA, right?) The judgmental blowhards who think Smith is just "too large" and needs to run marathons and eat kelp just like them are the very last people I'd want to sit next to.
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1) So, ManagerJosh works for which Southwest department? (posted twice) I applaud Southwest for continuing to demonstrate humility and grace, and willingness to demonstrate to learn from every situation. ManagerJosh — Mon, 02/15/2010 - 19:06 2) How much of an a** must that pilot/employee feel like at this point? 3) Hooray for trains and driving cars. Between full body scanners & the way airlines like this treat their customers, I can't imagine why anyone with a shred of dignity would choose to fly these days. Congratulations airline industry for demonstrating how the human race should never be represented. 4) After watching that show "Airline" about Southwest , none of this surprises me. It's quite clear on that show how Southwest feels about its customers - like Nurse Ratched felt about her patients in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'
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I am horrified by your airlines treatment of its passengers. This is not the first incident that I have heard of but you did this to a person who has a voice. God Bless Kevin Smith for being vocal and public about this. He could have easily just stayed silent and hoped no one would find out. You have wronged him in the worst way and you will not admit it. If he fit in the seat then what was the issue? The citizens of this nation vote with their pocketbooks on a daily basis. I will not be at all surprised when your sales decline in the next 3-6 months. THIS WOULD BE A GREAT TIME TO SELL SOUTHWEST AIR STOCK SHORT!!!!
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Sounds like quite a fun trip for any PR mouthpiece. Unfortunately the whole machine failed at handling this situation before it hit the public. Those bashing the passenger should try to comprehend the size of the passenger before making a blatant statement that they're too big. The obvious question is, were you on the flight? Do you hang out with Kevin Smith daily? Did you guys sit next to each other on the plane? If any of those answers are no then it means you're making gross assumptions about someone you don't even know. Southwest could have handled this better, but in the end they wanted to protect their bottom line and stick to a policy decision and invisible eyewitness quotes so that in the event that they are sued they can claim consistency by never admitting fault. Good job protecting the investors Linda, I'm sure they're all set to give you a nice raise for the half slap to the face you dished out in this case. I used to recommend southwest for cheap business flights but at this point I'll make it a point to suggest other airlines instead. Kinda great how that works, terrible service resulting in an instant re-routing of flight recommendations. As all the hyper-masculines have said "High-Five!" you totally botched this one. You guys should all get together, have a few drinks and ride dirt bikes to talk about how awesome you all are.
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Well, Southwest, you can halfheartedly apologize all you want... but I'm done with you. First it was people kicked off for their "innappropriate clothing", now it's for someone being too fat - who it turns out wasn't too fat, but rather was the last guy on the plane. Yeah, I read the other side of the story, and it's written in actual english, not soulless corporate speak. You've learned a lot today? Learn this: I would pay Greyhound a million dollars to ride a slow bus to hell before I paid your company another stinking penny.
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Not only is this ridiculous, fat-phobic garbage of a rule insulting to EVERYONE, but this apology is not an actual apology. It totally does not mention that he had no problem fitting into the seat or that he even ASKED the other passengers if he was bothering them. This is a tremendous FAIL. Yes, you're being nicer about it now, but you're still saying he's too fat (when he's not as fat as many passengers I've seen comfortably fit into your seats when I, myself, was flying, without bothering other passengers). He's NOT THAT BIG, folks. As for you jacka$$es who don't want to sit next to "fat" people--why don't YOU buy two seats, since you're the REAL problem. Your judgmental, bigoted, brainwashed garbage. I don't want to sit next to someone who stinks to high heaven or the perv who likes to lean over to rub against the woman he was "lucky" enough to get in next to, or the parent who won't quit being rude to their kids or freaking FEED their baby instead of leaving it to cry, etc. but if that's the luck of the draw, I can either try to trade seats or I can suck it up and mind my own business. Because SW isn't going to boot THEM off (nor should they!). A paying passenger is a paying passenger and this was the last straw in a line of crappy, lying customer service that I've experienced with Southwest (which is too bad, since a good number of your on board staff tends to be really great, your flights are well-priced and convenient and you have good coffee). Bad form. You should be ASHAMED.
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The only thing I have to say is discrimination is discrimination. Whether it involves weight, or color of skin, or religious belief. Southwest is not now, and never will be an airline I will choose to fly on.
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I fly as much as twice a month with Southwest. I have to say I am very disappointed in the treatment of Mr. Smith by Southwest. Could you not have stated a different reason for removing him from the plane vs. humiliating him? Shame on you Southwest. I think Delta just became my new airline.
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I never before realized there's something worse than being fat: being an ugly person in a thin body.
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I say we put all fat people on trains and ships, because clearly their decision to get fat means they can never be allowed to board an airplane again. Shame on you, fatties. Furthermore, if there are fat people who may be still riding the line of obesity, whom we can consider putting on a plane, we should also make sure to stick these people in the back and by the windows, so they may not encroach on anyone else's possibility for salvation in the event of an emergency. After everyone else is saved, fat people can come off the plane. That way, it's not a big deal. Actually, America could use fewer fat people. This is shameful, and I would be embarrassed if I spoke for SWA. Not only is your policy fatphobic, but your implementation of it is very distasteful. And you are incapable of a true apology. I hope a lot of people reconsider flying with you--and those who don't, we'll know where their true morals lie.
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That's strike 2 SWA. You can't even make a reasonable apology to a guy you yourselves admit you wronged. Tomorrow in honor of Fat Tuesday I suggest you apology for the continued implication you make that Kevin Smith is "too fat to fly" and promise to step up and revise training and procedures dealing with the enforcement of this policy. I've been flying SWA for 20 years and I've seen the airline change over that time -- I believe this is the straw that breaks the camel's back. Balls in your court - fail to treat ALL customers with dignity and respect, and I will be taking my business elsewhere. Maybe my tickets will cost a few bucks more, but I cannot in good conscience continue to support an airline that treats people this way.
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Wouldn't you be upset and confused if you are able to fly in without a size issue and then on the flight back you get singled out? The inconsistencies would piss me off, its like playing roulette. If SW is going to make the call, then there has to be standards they work with. The pilot in command has final say, but event they have standards they work with i.e. cross wind speeds and gross weight. SW you need to be very clear on the 2 seat criteria. Why not pick the pregnant women or travelers with children in lap, they are just as much a burden as overweight passengers. Totally unfair, I'm willing to join a class action law suite against your at will decision making.
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insulting fat people ..humiliating customer..harassing passengers...and then simply appologizing!!!??? appology not accepted..it is amazing what corporation think they can do with people...enough is enough.. first fire Baron Linda Rutherford second BOYCOTT southwest airline
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I will never ever fly your execrable excuse for an airline with its arbitrary and capricious gestapo like policies. I will tell everyone I know not to ever, ever fly your airline, and in fact to boycott your airline, and dump your stock if it it publically traded. Your response to paying customers, your total lack of customer service, is what has caused this. You have brought it upon yourselves.
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I know why some of these people are angry at Kevin - they think he's a huge slob who's corpulence pours over into the seats, displacing everything in its path: briefcases are forced into the aisle, patrons have to roll over on their sides to avoid being crushed against their own armrests and baby's face is smashed up against the window, it's body suspended by the neck because she is jammed between the glass and Kevin's all-consuming flab. What southwest isn't saying is that Kevin fit in his seat, was able to lower both armrests and even asked the people next to him if he was problem - which they said he wasn't. Fess up Southwest - your fans won't leave you and those you've angered will be more likely to forgive you.
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THANKS FOR MORE LIES, SOUTHWEST.
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THANKS FOR MORE LIES, SOUTHWEST.
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I will never ever fly your execrable excuse for an airline with its arbitrary and capricious gestapo like policies. I will tell everyone I know not to ever, ever fly your airline, and in fact to boycott your airline, and dump your stock if it it publically traded. Your response to paying customers, your total lack of customer service, is what has caused this. You have brought it upon yourselves.
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I only weigh 160 pounds and I measured my butt and it is only 14 inches wide. Can I get a 20% discount because I only take up 80% of my seat?
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Way to go Southwest! This is not surprising from the company who has gotten away with treating their customers like cattle for years. Every time I stand in one of those stupid lines, I ask myself why I flew with them. The next time you make the mistake of flying with SWA, notice the last people boarding from the C group. They usually end up standing confused at the end of the cabin trying to find the last 4 seats in the middle rows and not being able to find space for their carry-on luggage. Southwest, is it really worth treating your customers like this to save the cost of writing a seat number on the boarding pass? With respect to Kevin Smith, he clearly does not fall in the category of needing to buy two tickets. He has been accustomed to doing so, because he is has the means to not worry about the extra cost . He is overweight, sure, but not that obese that he would really need two seats. He should be given a sincere apology, not the kind of BS Linda Rutherford offered up. In general Southwest has a longstanding tradition of unreasonable treatment of their customers. It was sometimes unbearable to watch A&E's 'Airline' reality show with Southwest, as many of the episodes showing supposedly unruly passengers in fact very often ended up as examples of SWA employees overreacting and overreaching. Thank you, Southwest Airlines, for reminding me not to fly with you again!
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As a frequent flier on your airline, this incident scares the hell out of me. I am a little bit overweight due to a permanent and debilitating medical condition, yet I fit in your narrow seats just fine and can buckle the seatbelt with strap left over. But, seeing how you are treating people who your attendants think are "fat", I am terrified that I will be on one of your planes with my already-bulimic daughter and have some tarty attendant come and tell me I have to get off the plane or buy two seats. You know that most people buy seats in advance and don't usually have that extra seat budgeted. That is how I travel and I would never have the extra money to buy a last-minute ticket for full fare if your employees decided to target me. Therefore, you would be tossing both me and my daughter. You would also be delayed because I would refuse to leave until you got our bags off the plane. Then you would be sued for pain and suffering because my child would go from bulimic to anorexic. Are you ready for that kind of lawsuit? Or the ADA charges?
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Way to go Southwest! This is not surprising from the company who has gotten away with treating their customers like cattle for years. Every time I stand in one of those stupid lines, I ask myself why I flew with them. The next time you make the mistake of flying with SWA, notice the last people boarding from the C group. They usually end up standing confused at the end of the cabin trying to find the last 4 seats in the middle rows and not being able to find space for their carry-on luggage. Southwest, is it really worth treating your customers like this to save the cost of writing a seat number on the boarding pass? With respect to Kevin Smith, he clearly does not fall in the category of needing to buy two tickets. He has been accustomed to doing so, because he is has the means to not worry about the extra cost . He is overweight, sure, but not that obese that he would really need two seats. He should be given a sincere apology, not the kind of BS Linda Rutherford offered up. In general Southwest has a longstanding tradition of unreasonable treatment of their customers. It was sometimes unbearable to watch A&E's 'Airline' reality show with Southwest, as many of the episodes showing supposedly unruly passengers in fact very often ended up as examples of SWA employees overreacting and overreaching. Thank you, Southwest Airlines, for reminding me not to fly with you again!
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Fat people indeed suck! Maybe you could start banning ugly people next, so I won't have to endure looking at them on my trips to Vegas.
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If Southwest truly wants to be honest and aboveboard, they must do the following: 1. Create a criteria that is objective, not subjective. Nowhere on Southwest's website can you find out how big is 'too big'. Give me measurements, so I will know in advance if a second ticket is required. I visited with a Southwest employee, and was told that if I can buckle my seatbelt and put the armrest down, then I won't need another ticket. According to news reports, Mr. Smith was able to do the same, and was still asked to deplane. 2. I have been told that, since I don't know if I will fit into the seat properly until I get onboard, i should buy 2 tickets - and that if my second ticket isn't required, I can get a refund. Really? Will there really be someone there to verify my non-need? Will I really get a refund?
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I will no longer fly southwest. The way you handled this is disgraceful. My friends and family all feel the same.
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I fly Southwest twice a week and the seats are cramped enough without having someone encroach on mine. In my opinion, Southwest's policy regarding obese passengers should be applauded not berated.
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I applaud Southwest. My family and I will continue to support this fine airline. In addition, 99% of the people here will fly southwest again, simply because it's the cheapest. Money talks. The 1% that don't fly SW were probably the fatties that wouldn't be allowed on... In the future, rather than provide a $100 reimbursement, Southwest should give a 30 day complimentary gym pass to each one of them. I also applaud public humiliation techniques -- hopefully we can get YouTube scenes of this? These people should know that they are inconveniencing everyone around them.
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if your policies are based on comfortability then i want vouchers anytime i have to fly with some asshole and their douchebag 5 yr. old that kicks seats. or the loud gum chewer, or the dood who thinks i should have to listen to his crappy music too. lets face it, SWA was in the wrong, and instead of owning up to it you cop out and say its kevin smiths fault for being a fat ass with a big mouth. ya'll just suck.
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Several comments have mentioned how dangerous it is to have fat people on a plane if there was an emergency. If you're going to say that, then I need to point out a few other "types" of people that would be dangerous on plane if there was an emergency... Elderly people-Not exactly agile Physically handicapped people-Think wheelchairs, walkers and crutches. And consider the fact that these people need these items to be mobile. People with children-Would you leave yours behind so the stranger in your row can get out? People with anxiety disorders-Hmm, let's add a disaster to already excessive stress levels. And let's not forget the idiotic people, you know who I'm talking about, the ones run everyone else over because they think they are better... Policy is policy, but policies only work if they are consistently followed. If Kevin Smith truly was a safety issue, then he has been for a long time, and it would have been brought to his attention long ago. Southwest has handled this very poorly so far. I hope they are more consistent with their policies in the future and have learned a lesson on how and when to address a paying customer about policies.
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Still pushing the "Two Seat" angle when it was clear that the gentleman in question did not need two seats, are you? It's quite pathetic, really. How this actually reads is: "We're sorry you had your feelings hurt. My company behaved badly and I'm trying to do damage control because of all the media surrounding this, but honestly, it was your fault to begin with because you are too fat and couldn't fit in one seat." Of course, is this were any other person on Twitter, you wouldn't bat an eyelash. Sorry, Southwest. Too little, too late. While I don't actually watch the stock market, it will be interesting to see what happens to your shares in the coming months as the economic impact of people professing to never fly your airline again begins to be felt. I know I'm one of them. So long, SWA. It wasn't nice knowing you. Here's hoping you soon join Hughes Air West, PanAm, PSA, Western Pacific and the dozens of other defunct airlines in that great place where airlines go to die. I promise, there's more than enough room and you won't be "bumped."
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If you are honest about reassessing your "people of size" policy (and customer service methods, I hope), then I commend you. However, I have followed Kevin Smith on Twitter and listened to his SModcast episode detailing his experience. First off, I am shocked that the employees involved were allowed to conduct themselves as they did. In my seven years of customer service I have seen a lot of apathy and can never understand why it s allowed. It also seems that there were alternative methods that could have been taken. Secondly, there is the girl Mr. Smith mentions on SModcast who was expected to purchase a second seat when the plane was nowhere near full. All the statements SWA has made single Mr. Smith out as the sole injured party. Has SWA made any attempt to apologize or rectify HER experience? I sincerely hope you're being truthful about your company's attempts to rectify this issue in the future. I would also bight recommend sensitivity training and refresher customer service classes. Customer service employees are a business's first line of defense. While I fully understand how difficult and stressful it can be, they're job is to ensure a customer's satisfaction not humiliate them. Set the bar for stellar service and other companies will follow your lead.
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Dependent upon the weight of the person and the mobility which they posess a fat person can evacuate a plane just as fast as an otherwise able-bodied person. A side benefit is that the fatties float in water. If you look at the people on a plane the slowest folks will be the idiots who want to grab their carry-on rather that evacuate. Your true problems, unfortunately, are the handicapped. They can not move off the plane and are a greater burden than the elderly or the fat. Speaking as a pilot, firefighter, and now fat armchair quarterback.
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WERE YOUR EMPLOYEES RIGHT OR WRONG???? Do the investigation and find out. That is the LEAST you can do. Your treatment of this situation is deplorable, and dehumanizing. Do you not understand that? We are all human and we all make mistakes. Take responsibility for it or you risk loosing all respect.
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Re: Cnn interview Do you really want this Mimi Roth speaking on South western's behalf. I don't think this is going away too soon. You've lost me as a customer.
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Southwest shouldn't have to apologize for the policy. Its in place for safety...EVERYBODY'S SAFETY. I've been that skinny person in the middle seat between two large people...its NOT FUN and it NOT safe. If you buy a seat, it should be YOUR SEAT. I'm so sorry, but what right does YOUR ample butt have to MY seat? If you KNOW you spill over into multiple seats you need to BUY MULTIPLE SEATS!!! Southwest, you apologized for the situation not being handled as tactfully as it should have been. Bravo. Learn a lesson. Let's all move on.
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Such a pity that so many people take to this blog to state their support for Southwest's policy and use Kevin Smith's situation as an example. As he has regularly stated, he is not one of the people that you continually reference as too fat to fly. He fitted in the seat, lowered the arm rest and buckled the seat. If he had been unable to do so, Southwest would have been justified in removing him per their policy. But this is not the case, and therefore a mistake was made by the crew that Southwest continues to try and deflect attention from. Like so many other posters here, I am a regular flyer, normally on international flights of 10 or more hours duration. I can certainly appreciate a passenger being entitled to room on the seat they paid for. Once again however, this is completely irrelevant to the situation at hand, and nothing short of a full apology from SWA will be satisfactory for those of us who actually understand the situation, rather than just jumping on the 'bash the big guy' bandwagon. PS: (I weigh 165 pounds, before anyone starts wondering if this post is self motivated.)
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Sadly a lot of people are completely missing the point, including the employees of SWA. What's even more tragic is the posts by some people who are trying to support the airline but just come off sounding like really horrible people. I have to say that it's not really fat people that are a liability when evacuating a plane but the stupid or panicky ones and unfortunately there is no way to screen for them. In the real world a company like SWA needs to change such discriminatory polices or it will be sued or boycotted out of business. How they have gotten away with it for so long is something of a minor miracle.
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I agree with this policy 100%, but I also think SW should also force black people to buy two seats, why should my trip be ruined by sitting next to a black person?
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Hey Myk, I am in agreement with you about Rick. Have you seen most lineman in the NFL? Although they are all big men most of them can outrun normal people.
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SWA You SUCK
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Way to go SWA! I hate sitting next to fat people on flights. I worry that just having them brush against me might cause me to become fat as well. I can't imagine how horrible the life of a fatty must be. In fact just seeing them makes me uncomfortable. Please go further with your anti-fatty policies and remove anyone remotely overweight from your flights. While you are at it can you please ban midgets(funny looking), black people (scary), old people(smelly), and infants(noisy/stinky) too so that people like me wont have to be uncomfortable with their presence? People need to be held accountable for their actions and healthy, normal sized, white people like me shouldn't have to put up with their bad decisions!!!! SWA you are an industry leader and I'll fly with you anytime!
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This so-called 25 year policy has never been enforced on my numerous flights on SWA. SWA needs to be consistent with their policies! I do agree that it is uncomfortable to sit next to a large person, but they should not be humiliated by being thrown off the plane. Get your act together Southwest and screen people before boarding!
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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!!!!!!!!!
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I don't believe that this is really a matter of size or policy. I believe it is a matter of humanity and sensitivity. No one wants their space in fringed upon, especially on an already uncomfortable flight. Kevin Smith even stated that he normally buys 2 seats because he would prefer not to sit next to anybody. What this is really about is customer service. How would you feel if your overweight daughter or wife was escorted off a plane humiliated in front of all those people. Not going to happen you say, my family isn't fat. Maybe we should start kicking screaming babies off flights. Or maybe we should single out pregnant women because they can't move very well and are a safety hazard in the case of an emergency. I know we won't let elderly people fly, I have had two flights diverted because of older people having heart problems while on the plane. Maybe we shouldn't let people over 60 fly because they are at higher risk of heart trouble. Where does it end? Are we so callous as a society that we don't care about anybody else's feelings. We only care about our own comfort and well being. I say F%^& that think about your actions a little before you act.
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I've been flying a lot both domestically and internationally for over 20 years now, and have really noticed the decline of quality in both service and performance on most domestic American flights. Basically, Americans are not getting what they pay for anymore. This whole issue with Kevin Smith is indicative of that. Unfortunately, I have to choose between the best of a bad lot. Thank you SWA, for making my choice a little easier. I will never, ever fly SouthWest Air again -- too many choices to give good money to bad organizations.
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Wow, just wow! I can't believe the amount of sheep congratulating SW for a job well done. Have you people lost your friggin' minds?!? Um... I don't know if you guys realize it but SW flights are essentially cattle calls into a sardine can. Yes, they WERE my preferred airline, and no, I'm not a "person of size". Regardless, I'm less than comfortable with the space my ticket affords me. I hope this serves as a wake up call to this and all airlines. Add an inch or two to your seat width and foot space to avoid future debacles. And for the record, your treatment of Mr. Smith, and was deplorable. Issue a sincere apology, accept fault, make your policy less arbitrary, and maybe someday you'll gain back a portion of the business this SNAFU has cost you. So, perhaps congratulations on a job well done is in order SW... You've certainly gone out of your way to change my mind about you, and who I book my flights with.
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Just wow. I can't believe this is what you're trying to pass off as an apology. You guys admitted to Kevin that he was in fact NOT too fat to fly. Yet you continue to cite that policy in your so called public apologies. Just put in words on this blog that you made a mistake. Own up to it and this can begin to go away.
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This article and attempt to "deal" with Kevin Smith is awful. You and everyone at Southwest should be ashamed of your actions. It seems like you really do NOT care at all. Why so phony? As a long-time customer and a long-time Southwest supporter, I want you to know that you have lost not only my business, but I will make sure that my family and friends ALWAYS avoid your airline in the future. Your reputation for customer service has been slipping over the last few years, but this is truly the straw that breaks the camels back. To single out an individual, already seated on your plane and make him leave because you suddenly deem him too fat is the height of arrogant, caprious and anti-customer policy. You clearly have no idea what you have done and how much business you are about to lose. Get your resumes ready SW employees, you are going to need them.
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I don't believe that this is really a matter of size or policy. I believe it is a matter of humanity and sensitivity. No one wants their space in fringed upon, especially on an already uncomfortable flight. Kevin Smith even stated that he normally buys 2 seats because he would prefer not to sit next to anybody. What this is really about is customer service. How would you feel if your overweight daughter or wife was escorted off a plane humiliated in front of all those people. Not going to happen you say, my family isn't fat. Maybe we should start kicking screaming babies off flights. Or maybe we should single out pregnant women because they can't move very well and are a safety hazard in the case of an emergency. I know we won't let elderly people fly, I have had two flights diverted because of older people having heart problems while on the plane. Maybe we shouldn't let people over 60 fly because they are at higher risk of heart trouble. Where does it end? Are we so callous as a society that we don't care about anybody else's feelings. We only care about our own comfort and well being. I say F%^& that think about your actions a little before you act.