Skip to main content

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.

1,804 Comments
Anonymous766
Not applicable
Southwest Airlines is the best commercial airline. I will, as always, continue to support and fly Southwest.
Hass_Fett
Not applicable
I applaud your removing an overweight passenger who would intrude in to someone space. Please continue to enforce this policy for the comfort and safety of all fliers.
Anonymous4578
Not applicable
I'm appalled at the number of people who are allowed to make bigoted comments about overweight people in this comment section. Then again, Southwest Airlines has gone overboard to point out they really, really don't understand. They'll never get it.
Anonymous3237
Not applicable
What about all of the skinny minnies who have overloaded, multiple suitcases and fill every available compartment with their junk? I use a carryon backpack and hop off the planes immediately (and by the way, "large people" also comprise the tall and muscular). You can't tell me the "plane balance" is affected more by my bit of chunkiness than people who pack multiple giant suitcases for Around the World in 80 Days.
Anonymous873
Not applicable
Why don't you sell bigger seats for big people? Could be a big money maker.
Andrew6
Not applicable
What is not being mentioned is that Kevin Smith is not 'that' big. I believe he's said he's around 260 pounds. Certainly there are people on this board who have had a very poor experience with an overweight person that would not have had a problem sitting next to someone of Kevin's size and the two women he was supposed to sit next did not express any concern. SouthWest NEEDS to do something to fix this VERY quickly. Unfortunately for them Kevin Smith is a celebrity of some note, and has a pretty big mouth and is not shy about expressing himself. Can you imagine what this incident does to there image. Imagine the poor comments on this board being multiplied by a factor of 10 on boards on another website with a story not promoting SW's side of the story. Please SW, at least come out with a better apology, and a commitment to altering proper guest courtesy practices... even if you have no intention on following through. At least it shows you care about your guests in the friendly skies. Make it right
David27
Not applicable
I am a frequent flyer. I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to people - no one is better than another, regardless of size, shape, net worth, looks, physical abilities whatever. However, there are many times in life that reality sets in and our differences must be taken into account. In the case of airline seats, the size of the person next to you has a direct effect on your ability to realize the value of your purchase. At a certain point, the size of the person goes beyond some gray line of reasonableness and needs to be addressed. One option is to force the airline to accommodate larger people by giving them more space, assumedly for the same price. This creates a negative impact to both the airline (bad economics) and society (higher airline fares). Another option is to force the other people on the plane to accommodate larger people by squeezing themselves into smaller spaces - sitting to the far side of their seat, sitting far forward, giving up armrest space, etc. This is a negative for the less-large people on the plane who are reducing their purchase price benefit for others who are larger. These two options are indicative of the victim mentality our nation to which our nation has been subscribing to for far too long. Rather than expect others (airlines, government, people) to meet our needs, we have lost the balance of responsibility for ourselves. The third option, which seems perfectly reasonable to everyone except for large people, apparently, is to define what is 'too large' for a single seat, offer the option to purchase additional space, and refund that cost if it is not otherwise used by the airline. A silly analogy: Let's say a big guy 6'10" and 240 - not fat, an athlete - goes into a restaurant with his 5'10" and 180 friend. They both order a ribeye, baked potato, broccoli and a glass of wine. When they finish eating, the 180 guy is stuffed. However, because he's bigger, the 240 guy is still hungry. Should he be able to demand more food from the restaurant for the same price? Further, should the restaurant force the 180 guy to cut off a piece of his steak to give to the 240 guy who needs more, but without reducing his meal price? Obviously, the rational answer to both questions is no. Like the third option above, the restaurant would be happy to give more to the 240 guy and would be happy to sell him an additional meal. And remember that, unlike most people who are 240, the guy in the example wasn't even that way by choice. All of this to say - we need to eat less, argue less and think more about what's best rather than what's best for the almighty ME.
Anonymous467
Not applicable
F all you people that sided with SWA. The guy paid for 2 seats, which they said they refunded, and it happened 2 hours later with the flight he did take. It's just corporate BS to pull in more money. 25 year old policy, maybe it's time to revamp your policy. SWA looks like an ass with the tweets to try to squash it before it blew up. I hope SWA has lost many customers because of this. Suzanah made a judgment call, security, oops. Now it's national news, you-SWA just make yourself look worse trying to defend your position instead of just admitting you were wrong. Boycott SWA, total A-holes for handling this so poorly.
T__McDaniels
Not applicable
The other issue that comes to mind is on one hand, Southwest is saying this is a safety issue and fat people NEED two seats for the safety of EVERYONE. On the other hand, Southwest is self-congratulatory because they refund the price of the second seat if the airplane is fully booked and that second seat wasn't available. You can' t have it both ways. Either there is a safety hazard for a fat person to have only one seat or not. I'm not sure how a second seat makes us or anyone else safer, but in any event either it does or it doesn't. Either you should preserve that second seat during booking or admit that really the bottom line is money and pleasing your socially acceptable thin customers at our expense.
Jorge1
Not applicable
T. McDaniels : You've got something wrong that needs to be corrected. You said "On the other hand, Southwest is self-congratulatory because they refund the price of the second seat if the airplane is fully booked and that second seat wasn't available." A refund is given for 1 seat ONLY if the plane is NOT fully booked. The passenger of size will still have 2 seats, but will ultimately ONLY pay for ONE. IMHO...that's a great deal and is hardly a revenue generator. SW could just keep the money for the extra seat now that might make some extra revenue.
Rachel_Hendrick
Not applicable
I'm coming at this as a person that rarely finds any problem on a flight and am often looking for cheap flights that get me from one part of the country (or planet) to another. I am not fat. I still think however that Southwest Airlines even with this post is continuing to handle this situation incorrectly. This was not a matter of Kevin Smith being so fat he needed two seats because of it - he wanted two seats because he wanted not to put up with other people but was (he says) willing to forgo the luxury of the second seat just so he could get home. I have never flown Southwest Airlines and in my annual flight to California I am pretty sure I will never fly Southwest Airlines. That you can't just simply say "We made a mistake, we apologize." Without tacking on the "But our policy is to bump fat people when we need the space" considering he was not to quote Kevin Smith himself " 'THAT' fat."
Rachel_Hendrick
Not applicable
I'm coming at this as a person that rarely finds any problem on a flight and am often looking for cheap flights that get me from one part of the country (or planet) to another. I am not fat. I still think however that Southwest Airlines even with this post is continuing to handle this situation incorrectly. This was not a matter of Kevin Smith being so fat he needed two seats because of it - he wanted two seats because he wanted not to put up with other people but was (he says) willing to forgo the luxury of the second seat just so he could get home. I have never flown Southwest Airlines and in my annual flight to California I am pretty sure I will never fly Southwest Airlines. That you can't just simply say "We made a mistake, we apologize." Without tacking on the "But our policy is to bump fat people when we need the space" considering he was not to quote Kevin Smith himself " 'THAT' fat."
Anonymous1878
Not applicable
Too little too late Linda.
Anonymous987
Not applicable
>>>.Kevin Smith is not the opportunist you have all alleged. Check out his YouTube videos about this issue. He addresses all of your criticisms. Oh, is that the one where he's NOT cursing a blue streak, and is calmly denying he did it for the publicity? The one where, as "proof" he points out this latest YouTube video has a banner highlighting the needs of the folks in Haiti? It's the most disingenuous bovine fecal material I've seen in a long time---inferring that by his merely putting up a "Help Haiti" banner in this LATEST video translates to not having ulterior motive to promote his movie in the original curse-fest that he first posted after the weekend event. AFAIC, none of this anything to do with his eating habits, or his weight. He knew the rationale for buying two seats, and had previously complied with it, no doubt getting later refunds if the flights weren't full. He didn't get booted because he was "fat", but because he was cleared as a standby to a single seat, and only discovered once onboard that he'd bought two seats on his scheduled flight. That was the goof, NOT that anyone called him "fat" and booted him off with malice aforethought. >>>I have to wonder if there is a correlation between people who are obese and the negative posts contained herein. I have to wonder if there's a correlation between some of "I'll never fly Southwest again" comments and IP addresses traceable to some of Southwest's competitors or their employees... I certainly don't think all of them are, just some, and I wonder how many. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at Southwest's data center. I'm not the kind of person predisposed to conspiracy theories, just acknowledging that there those out there who are not above resorting to dirty tricks--kind of like KS did when he scammed that TV reporter...
Anonymous2461
Not applicable
Southwest, you are one of the best companies this country has ever seen. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to the comfort and SAFETY of your passengers. Please hold true to your values and high standards of service.
Charlie2
Not applicable
I was pondering what is Southwest's real motive behind such a policy. Is it only to make normal sized passengers more comfortable? Or might the airline be tyring to squeeze out additional fare $? Buying 2 seats seems outrageously unfair. If one's fat rumpus hangs over 20% of the adjacent seat, maybe SW should charge for 1/5 an additional seat and stick a skinny-butt in the remainder of the seat with a 20% discounted fare! We can report our height and weight when purchasing the tickets and weigh in on the suitcase scales for accuracy!! SW can use fat calipers on passenger's triceps to determine if a carry-on will be allowed. Instead of all that additional bureacracy, though, I would suggest SW and all airlines use reasonably sized seats to begin with. If that's too much to ask, why not include a couple of 'fatty rows' and allow all us biggest loosers to book our seats there in the first place, for a more reasonable surcharge of 20% or 25%? In fact, if one's size is the determining factor in required fares, maybe SW has thought of equiping the planes with small, medium, large, and extra-large seats and charge accordingly! In like manner, since there is more body size square footage involved in searching an overweight individual, SW can also surcharge for additional security screening.
Laura_S_1
Not applicable
This "apology" does not take away from the fact that you: a) flat out lied to a customer b) flat out lied to the rest of the country c) revealed personal information about the flying habits of a customer. I will not fly an airline that treats their patrons this way and does not respect consumer privacy. My choice to no longer fly your airlines (which I have been a loyal customer to until now) has nothing to do with your "customer of size" policy, but rather it has to do with the lack of professionalism displayed by your employees and corporate offices during this matter.
Anonymous2540
Not applicable
hold up!!! anonomous at 704p 2-15 you wont fly southwest because if you fit in 2 seats and take up 2 seats you wont buy them. whats up w/ you and some of america. 1st of all we have too many overwt people in this world claiming diability because of the simple fact you eat too much. you fit in 2 seats you buy 2 seats. id love to have 3 of you oversized passengers try to fit in one row and see how that feels. why should i, a person of decent size, be sqaushed having to sit next to your disgusting fat ass!!!!! how dare you and anyone knock southwest airlines of their policy which is way accomodating........if flt doesnt go out full you get your money back for one of those seats. im personally opposed to that part of the policy as again ill reitterate you fit in 2 seats you buy 2 seats. you said youll never fly southwest again......good.....good for southwest not having to deal w/your disgusting fatness. and good for me as theyll be no chance ill have to sit next to you then.
Xenite227
Not applicable
It's pathetic that SWA is using it's own employee's to defend them in the comments section. I among many others will NEVER be flying SWA again. You already design your seats like they are for people with scoliosis, and then ostracize people for no real reason. Hope you go bankrupts real soon!
cbg
Not applicable
I remember a flight on Southwest Airlines in which a flight attendant asked an amputee with one leg to move to a different seat because the person in the next seat was "uncomfortable". That made me sick at the time, and after my own experiences on Southwest, and those of Mr. Smith, I am beginning to see a pattern of behavior here. Southwest airlines apparently wants their passengers to be "normal" whatever that means at the moment. Anyone not judged "normal" will be hassled. I've decided - I'm taking my frequent-flying differences to other airlines and will never fly Southwest again.
Anonymous3954
Not applicable
In this day in age with cyber bullying I bet some of you people here that have compared fat people to troll and said we are disgusting you have probably made someone feel so horrible about them self for no reason that they have done something horrible. You people are grown adults how dare you say fat people should be treated like the disgusting people they are.. do you treat pregnant ladies the same way? They are FAT when they are growing BABIES! No pregnant fat is acceptable. You people here completely DISGUST me! adults like you set examples for teenagers and children and it's because of people like you little girls throw up after every meal or kill them self because they are told they are disgusting waste of space. I am over weight and agree people who flow over their seat NEED A SECOND SEAT. You should however be able to purchase this seat at a discount rate especially since southwest deems you a safety risk. I am over weight and fit in the seat however yet I feel like God forbid I get on a southwest flight I could be considered too fat too fly and I am NOT EVE CLOSE TO THAT. my fat does not roll over the arm rest nor does it roll under the arm rest so please stop calling us Trolls and Southwest you should pull those posts down where people out right call fat people disgusting thats uncalled for.
Anonymous278
Not applicable
I really hope you realize that the damage has been done here. Your "apology" hardly qualifies as an act of contrition. It is full of spin and "we COULD have handled this differently" "this May have been a bad decision" "We are Sorry, and we are reviewing our policy." is an Apology. "We regret that this incident took place, and we maybe could have done this differently, but wait we still stand by enforcing this 25 year old policy that ensures the comfort and safety of our customers" is NOT an apology. It's an attempt to dig out from under a mountain of bad PR because you make the mistake every airline makes: You don't pay your employees enough to care about the company image, you don't train your employees enough to make them able to handle simple things like "if the armrests go down, then this is not a "customer of size". Your point of contact with your customers are so underpaid and poorly prepared to work with humans on a daily basis that the vast majority dislike dealing with them. We just want to get through the terminal, get on our cramped seat, that we paid too much for and not die in a plane crash, and if we're lucky, IF we're lucky, we'll be able to fall asleep long enough for the discomfort to seem like minutes instead of hours.
B__Torres
Not applicable
I have flown SW exactly once because of this same policy. Now I am a large woman and as a viewer of the show on A&E I advance purchased 2 seats so that I would be compliant with their policy. Before I even completed check-in there were 2 SW employee's behind me with walkie-talkies calling in a COS (SW's code for overwieght). As I walked up to the counter at the gate, someone pulled me aside abruptly to explain that "for my safety and comfort, I will be required to pay for a second seat but if the flight is not completely full I can apply for a rebate of the amount paid." This is even before I presented my TWO TICKETS for the flight. I thanked the woman for her advice and stated that I will deal with the gate agent. Again at the gate counter, I had the "Customer of Size" rules explained to me before I could present my 2 tickets. Finally we were called to board the plane and as I got on I asked a Flight Attendent for a seat belt extender so I could sit comfortably, before the words were completely out of my mouth the COS rules were explained again!!! Remember, I had already advance purchased my 2 seats to try and avoid this exact turn of events. After this one trip, I decided that I would never fly with SW again. Instead I will pay more "for my 2 seats" on an airline with compassion and understanding. When I heard what happened with Mr. Smith I was not shocked but after downloading his podcast about the incident I was even more angry that not only did they usethis policy to embarass him, but not even 2 hours later they targeted another young woman on the flight Mr. Smith was taking home and confront her about the second seat issue when the seat in question was already paid for by Mr. Smith! Again a harried staff makes the wrong determination and looses a paying customer.
Anonymous1841
Not applicable
Why not offer a more succinct and real response? From this spout, you are anything but tangible. Kindly go away, forever.
Anonymous1541
Not applicable
I appreciate the fact that SW has issued an apology (or sorts), but frankly there was no need; they did nothing wrong. What's wrong, however, was Smith's behavior following the incident. If I followed Smith's example, I would demand reparations for the crimes against cinemas that he has committed over the years.
BKE
Not applicable
Your treatment of Mr Smith was deplorable as was your lame belated apology. You still refuse to accept any responsibility. I will NEVER again fly your wretched airline. NEVER. I would rather hitchhike. I am also writing my Congressmen to insist we have an airline passenger bill or rights. The airline industry has had its own way too long.
Anonymous987
Not applicable
I just watched this evening's "Entertainment Tonight", and i have to tell you, it's all I can do to keep my recently consumed dinner down. ET led-off their program with several minutes of the latest KS BS, featuring KS continuing to spin this as some kind of public referendum on how poorly society treats larger people. I get it, really, since I'm overweight myself, but what truly disgusts me (in addition to the genuinely cruel treatment larger folks are forced to endure at the hands of the insensitive) is KS's hijacking the issue to serve his own desires and motives. Hey Kev, if you can manage to con the seemingly oblivious media into milking the "controversy" for just one more day (Thursday), it'll be Friday and your movie will be opening. What great timing, gee, almost like it was planned or something...
Chuck_D
Not applicable
I am 6'3 and 260 pounds. Yes I am fat, but muscular too. I have never had a problem putting down my armrests or using the seat belt on a Southwest flight. I will definitely never fly Southwest again for fear of being humiliated and tossed off the plane. I will not buy a second seat because I fit comfortably in the seat. The only reason I am ever uncomfortable when I fly is because of my long legs and the person in the seat in front of me always reclines their seat. Goodbye Southwest, I will pay more on another airline to avoid the way you now treat your customers.
PLEASANTLY_PLUM
Not applicable
I am larger than the average person but have never had a problem flying. I travel quite frequently and ALWAYS AVOID your airline for fear of this type of humiliation. I have been "trapped" by long legged giants, who's knees prevent my seat from going into a recline position, I have had my eardrums ringing from the screaming bratty kids, I've had to pull out my perfume and spray the air because of the horiffic body odor of others. I have had to put up with slurring drunks, crazy teenagers playing loud music, smelly feet, snoring idiots, kids kicking the back of my seat, etc. etc. etc. Nothing has ever been done about them, especially in the public eye. They are never humiliated or even spoken to by staff. YOU WERE WAY OUT OF LINE ON THIS ONE SOUTHWEST. I HOPE YOUR BUSINESS SUFFERS DRAMATICALLY.
Anonymous1471
Not applicable
Like Mr. Smith I am fat, but not that fat. I will never fly your airline for fear of being publicly humiliated by your airline. You have lost a customer.
Anonymous727
Not applicable
what about people with shoulders like football players? those are the ones that cause me discomfort when sitting next to me when flying. do you charge them for 2 seats?
TJ2
Not applicable
Southwest, You are a great airline. Kevin Smith was wrong and I support your efforts. Certain overweight passengers like Kevin Smith have this sence of entitlement. They should think of the other pasengeers not just yourself? This is a safety issue along with comfort of the passanger beside your oversized body. They should have to purchase two tickets. When you have an oversized load on the roads, special permits and percautions must be used to protect them and the public. Well, oversized passangers, the same applies to you. Southwest, one solutions. Sit the little overweight fatties next to each other. Then let them flight for the space like the rest of use when we sit fat butts! TJ, Pasadena.
Smitty
Not applicable
Lol- I wouldn't consider this an apology at all... more of an efficent way of showing how Southwest Airlines continues to lie and decieve its customers- paying customers none the less. And may I quote: "You were a reasonable guy during our conversation." Wow... reasonable huh- great way of dressing up that compliment Linda.
Anonymous3240
Not applicable
http://smodcast.com/smods/smodcast107.html What about what you people did to Natali? Where was the rushed departure there? We see you SWA. Covering it up will only make it worse.
jezzlynn
Not applicable
So Mr.Smith stated that he had his arm rest down and his seat belt buckled when Southwest Airlines kindly asked him to please exit the plane because he was "Too fat to fly on this flight" Southwest stated this was a safety measure if the plane went down he might not be able to exit the plane fast enough. My question to southwest is: Is this the same policy for those who fly with mentally challenged individuals or physically challenged individuals. If I take my cousin who is thin and has down syndrome on your airline will she be asked to get off the flight because she may not be able to exit in a timely manner durring and emergency. Or if my uncle who is in great shape but has had reconstructive knee surgery and can not get up or sit down very easily will he be asked to fly another airline? And to those who say it's an issue of climbing over people in the event of an emergency I take it that Southwest does not allow pregnant women to fly as this would be too risky as well and they will need to find another airline. Where does it end????? Or do you just discriminate upon your personal chosing? I'm confused as to what your policy is exactly. I have a MAJOR issue with the validity of your arguement Southwest. As a person who flies frequently and has had to sit next to someone who is obese and pushing into my seating area I find this no more of a nuesence than the person with a child that is crying constantly or the elderly person who takes forever getting on and off the flight, or a tall person sitting behind me and pushing their knees into the back of my seat, however I could never imagine Southwest saying your too old to fly, to tall or we don't allow people with children to fly. Get real Southwest you have lost a customer for LIFE and I am sure there are many more out there with this same opinion!!!
Dan13
Not applicable
Many people that have weight problems, have them because of some underlying medical condition. Clearly Southwest is in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Southwest stands behind a 25 year old policy. The world has changed alot in 25 years. Sometimes for the better. There are many people today that care about there fellows and are smart enough to understand that what you see on the outside, often has a lot more to it than meets the eye. 25 years ago there was no ADA. Southwest is setting itself up for one whopping Class Action Suit and they like many, many corporations in America will find out the hard way that discimination of the Disabled or anyone else for that matter is a serious matter. And for the record I am 6'1 220 lbs and being confined to a wheelchair keeps me about 20 pounds overweight.
No_Longer_a_Cus
Not applicable
As a male 6'5" and 350 pounds, I am not a small person. I however have flown all across this nation and overseas and have never had a problem with any seat on any airline. I have never been asked to purchase a second seat. I flew 231 days last year. That being said, my schedules are very tight and I would not be able to keep my appointed rounds if I was bumped from a flight. It appears I will have to bypass Southwest as a carrier now. Too sad, but you have lost a customer, I just can't take the chance.
Mac3
Not applicable
It is scary to read these comments and realize how many morons are out there in this country. To see people cheer on discrimination and the humiliation of another human being makes me feel sad and disappointed . I know they would want everyone to be understanding of their mental disability. Could you imagine how they would feel if the Captain came back and said. "Hey You, Moron. Your going to have to get off the plane. Jeesh.
Anonymous3935
Not applicable
Next time I fly Southwest I'm going to eat a TON of beans about two hours before boarding. I won't be fat bu boy will I be flatulent and all you people on the flight with me better be praying for a loss of cabin pressure so you can get some O2.
Anonymous2931
Not applicable
Thank you Southwest for admitting mistakes were made and trying to make up for it. As another biggie, who has riden hundreds of times on your airline, your acknowledgement was very important to me.
Anonymous4028
Not applicable
Good job on kicking his fat ass off the flight. You need to set up some kind of public chair of shame for KS to sit in to prove that he doesn't fit a in seat.
Christian4
Not applicable
So how about addressing why the judgment call your employee made was wrong? By all accounts Smith was able to fulfill the two guidelines SWA stipulates for utilizing a single seat: buckling his belt sans extender and being able to lower his armrests comfortably. Smith did not need two seats. If you want my business, or my family's business, own up and make this right. Not just for Smith, but for everyone who worries they'll be wrongfully booted from or shamed by a bad employee on a SWA flight.
Kevin_Fournier
Not applicable
Linda, it seems to me that you could have saved yourself and Southwest Airlines further embarrassment and additional bad publicity had you simply blogged, "We didn't pull Mr. Smith from the flight under our Customer of Size policy, we pulled him because our accommodations for a paying passenger who had booked travel on that flight eliminated the standby slot taken by Mr. Smith. Our employees gave incorrect information to Mr. Smith after he was asked to deboard, and we sincerely apologize for our error." Are the Southwest lawyers so badly worried about lawsuits that they wouldn't let you do something so simple and so effective? I'm 5' 11" and I weigh 213 pounds. While you'd have to ask those seated next to me to be sure, I think I've fit well in every airline seat I've ever used -- which, more often than not, have been owned by Southwest Airlines. After reviewing the information presented by both sides in this case, I've decided to take Kevin Smith's advice and stay away from Southwest Airlines from now on. My travel needs can be met equally as well or better by any number of the other carriers. Why would I risk the same inconvenience and/or embarrassment by using your airline?
Matches_Malone
Not applicable
I still fail to see where the issue was even addressed.. I was under the impression the problem at hand was that Mr Smith was seated with both armrests down and properly buckled up yet still was ejected from the flight.. This answer is both unsatisfactory and useless, if I were Mr Smith, I would haul a mock up of your seats to the nearest court house, sit on it and then have you prove in court HOW was he removed from a flight even after passing the armrest test.. Its clearly a case of discrimination and I hope that you guys get sued for it...
Anonymous4552
Not applicable
Policy for people of size........lmao, what a joke. Kevin Smith passed your "test" yet you still removed him from the plane, and still contend that he should have purchased 2 seats. Perhaps you need to revamp your policy. Oh, and for everyone who says SW is always on time, where are you flying from?? I have never had a SW flight leave on time. In fact the last time I used SW my plane had still not arrived for boarding until 30 minutes AFTER my plane should have landed at my destination. Best part, nobody would answer questions except to say..."your plane has not arr8ved yet"
fisherames
Not applicable
I can appreciate the fact that "larger" people require extra accommodation, which can be a bit of a hassle, and the fact that Mr. Smith was flying stand-by, as Southwest is saying. However, Southwest should have intervened BEFORE seating Mr. Smith, not AFTER. THAT was what was really tacky. I think that it is a glaring contradiction that Southwest has been a promoter of, and partner with, football leagues and tournaments, and yet MOST football players would NEVER fit "comfortably" in ANY of Southwest's seats, nor would the passengers sitting NEXT to to those players be "comfortable."
Anonymous1406
Not applicable
If were onto the larger people. I pay my ticket to have a peaceful flight. But most of the time I listen kids crying and screaming for a large part of the flight. We al expect what we cant have They sat the kids cant help and maybe the large people cant either. Having gone through gastric bypass it always does not work and can be life threateniing. But I tried to live down a genetic anomally. Im still grouped as a fatty and after 60 years it still is humiliating. Just the snot nosed kids I cant help it
Anonymous4206
Not applicable
I feel SWA did a great job at resolving a delicate matter such as this. I've read most of the complaints towards SWA with demands of change to their policy or physical changes of the interior of the aircraft. First, I read their policy and it is stated very clearly and fairly. And second, to ask for the seating configuration to be changed is ridiculous! Imagine the cost of changing the seating arrangement of the ENTIRE aircraft fleet! SWA is one of the few airlines that know how to run and maintain a great airline. It’s amazing that there are people out there that don’t see that. Keep up the great work SWA!!
Anonymous1350
Not applicable
In Canada, a policy like this would violate human rights. Airlines here are required to provide overweight passengers with a second seat at no charge thanks to the Supreme Court. The average American is heavier than 25 years ago so did Southwest widen their seats to meet the needs of the average American or is this a money issue?
J_9
Not applicable
"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. " It had to of taken longer to eject him from the flight than if the staff had left him alone in his seat. A seat that no one had complained about, and a seat in which he placed the armrest down, which is admittedly your policy. Since this is the way the policy is worded, Mr. Smith is obviously within your guidelines to fly. Fess up. This situation, regardless of the person of size policy, is an example of poor customer service. If I had treated someone in that manner in my line of work (I have been in Customer Service for quite a few years now) I would have been severely reprimanded or fired. "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." Drop the hiding behind policy and just say hey, we made a mistake, and we are sorry. You might gain back a few customers that way.