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Southwest Airlines Community

Not So Silent Bob

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Many of you reached out to us via Twitter last night and today regarding a situation a Customer Twittered about that occurred on a Southwest flight.  It is not our customary method of Customer Relations to be so public in how we work through these situations, but with so many people involved in the occurrence, you also should be involved in the solution. First and foremost, to Mr. Smith; we would like to echo our Tweets and again offer our heartfelt apologies to you.   We are sincerely sorry for your travel experience on Southwest Airlines. 

As soon as we saw the first Tweet from Mr. Smith, we contacted him personally to apologize for his experience and to address his concerns on both Twitter and with a personal phone call. Since the situation has received a lot of public attention, we'd like to take the opportunity to address a few of the specifics here as well.

Mr. Smith originally purchased two Southwest seats on a flight from Oakland to Burbank – as he’s been known to do when traveling on Southwest.  He decided to change his plans and board an earlier flight to Burbank, which technically means flying standby. As you may know, airlines are not able to clear standby passengers until all Customers are boarded. When the time came to board Mr. Smith, we had only a single seat available for him to occupy. We are responsible for the Safety and comfort of all Customers on the aircraft and therefore, we made a judgment call that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight. Our Employees explained why the decision was made, accommodated Mr. Smith on a later flight, and issued him a $100 Southwest travel voucher for his inconvenience.

You've read about these situations before. Southwest instituted our Customer of Size policy more than 25 years ago. The policy requires passengers that can not fit safely and comfortably in one seat to purchase an additional seat while traveling. This policy is not unique to Southwest Airlines and it is not a revenue generator. Most, if not all, carriers have similar policies, but unique to Southwest is the refunding of the second seat purchased (if the flight does not oversell) which is greater than any revenue made (full policy can be found here). The spirit of this policy is based solely on Customer comfort and Safety. As a Company committed to serving our Customers in Safety and comfort, we feel the definitive boundary between seats is the armrest. If a Customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat, a Customer seated adjacent would be very uncomfortable and a timely exit from the aircraft in the event of an emergency might be compromised if we allow a cramped, restricted seating arrangement.

1,760 Comments
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I am a "person of size" and, so far, have not had any issues flying with you. My seat on the other hand, I have had issues with. Depending on the age of the plane, I noticed, is where I have a problem. One plane the seat belt wouldn't buckle, and a week later when I flew home, the seat belt did buckle, but the arm rest was very tight against me....but it stayed down. Which is what you say your policy is all about. The armrest. But no one has ever pulled me aside or embarrassed me, asking me to buy another seat. I wouldn't have a problem if it was done politely. Policy is policy. But this was downright rude and I don't believe you have offered an adequate apology. Not in the least. Since you knew he had purchased two seats (which, as someone pointed out, was not due to size but for privacy), why was he not guaranteed the same seating on standby? Especially since the flight was not full. I am second guessing my decision to fly with you due to this incident, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I understand your policy is in place for a reason, but put yourself in our shoes. How would you feel if someone did this to you? You would be mortified and humiliated. Just because we're fat doesn't mean we don't have feelings. So, maybe, instead of worrying about Mr Smith's twitter account, you should be giving your employees additional training so that this situation is handled in a more positive light.
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I find it funny that you apologize to Kevin Smith and then turn around and tell us how he's wrong and you are right. . .sort of pathetic isn't it!? Glad I'm Canadian and don't have to fly SWA. Also to all of you posting as "Anonymous" grow a spine, if you're going to post your opinion have the balls to post your name, don't hide you chicken shit.
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I find it hard to take anyone that posts an anonymous seriously, ESPECIALLY in SW defense.
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Even if KS was in the right -- which I'm not convinced he was -- his tweeting rampage was rude, crude and completely unnecessary. Unless, of course, he was trying to score some free PR, in which case he succeeded. But you can bet I'll think twice before I spend money on anything else he will -- or has -- create(d).
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I'm disappointed in SouthWest over this. This is the most defensive "apology" I've seen in a while. Revealing on this blog that Kevin normally buys two tickets seems like a release of private customer information. As at least one other commenter has pointed out, if he had originally bought two seats then why would you let him on a standby flight with only one seat? Kevin isn't a petite individual, but if he can sit in the seat with the armrests down and without a seatbelt extender, there shouldn't be an issue. I've been a loyal Southwest customer for years, but this, combined with SWA getting rid of the direct flights I use the most, will have me thinking twice when it comes time to make my next flight reservations.
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But so many many times when you buy 2 seats on the gate another sttupid counter employee assign that seat to other passanger. So it is the samr he will be out of the plane because because he is fat. No win situation. Bboicot southwest
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But so many many times when you buy 2 seats on the gate another sttupid counter employee assign that seat to other passanger. So it is the samr he will be out of the plane because because he is fat. No win situation. Bboicot southwest
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I was asked to purchase an extra seat on a SW flight about 10 years ago- I was obese (300lbs) and sat next to my mother. (Who was not offended by my bulk). So, I purchased the extra seat (but they did not ask my mother to move) and then I made sure to pre-purchase an extra one for the way back. This time the plane was full. Even though I spent the extra money on the extra seat, as requested by the airline, they still seated a gentleman in the third seat- the one I had purchased. The only seat left on the plane apparently. I have lost half of my body weight since then btw, but it was expensive and humiliating and I was ripped off. Smith is representative of Many of American adults. You may weigh less but according to the latest statistics, most Americans are considered obese. If Smith did not need his extender, and if he could put both the arm rests down then he could not have been spilling over that much. The SW policy is vague and contradictory. You state at one point that the arm rests are the bench mark, but then later say they are not and then later again say they are. The truth is, it is completely discretionary and that is where the problem comes in. I flew many times before this occasion and had never been asked to purchase an extra seat. Any company that cannot provide the most basic service they claim to offer to the majority of Americans they want to serve needs to retool the design of seats. I have also flown on SW prior to this with young children in the laps of parents who poked me with sticky fingers, smelled bad when their diaper was soiled but could not be changed right away due to the seat belt light, who slobbered and cried, screamed when the pressure changed due to the ears hurting. It was not pleasant but I accepted that public transportation is filled with people like this child and the drunk businessman who thinks he is clever and won't shut up. Our comfort can be infringed upon every flight- too strong perfume, body odor of even thin people,( have you smelled someone who has been in Vegas drinking for a weekend?) couples making out, the smell of the lavatory. SW is discriminatory in that they only pre-emptively protect their customers from obese riders, not the drunks, not the kids, not the ones that smell bad.
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I have seen people MUCH larger than Kevin on flights. I am not a tiny person myself. The average airline seat is 17.2 inches. THAT is the problem. Yes, it IS a revenue issue. You want to jam as many people in as you can into a tiny plane. This is America. Most people are chubby. You don't charge someone for two seats if they smell or have a noisy baby. You don't charge a person extra if they will not shut up on a long flight. That is far more invasive than a larger person sitting next to me. One person should only require one ticket. Did someone complain? No one has mentioned that.
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I'd be happier if you instituted a "Customer of Fragrance" policy. I'm sure your heavier patrons bother a lot fewer people than the ones wearing too much perfume or the ones who have failed to bathe.
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It is absolutely unacceptable for a company to publicly humiliate a customer.
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If this can happen to Kevin Smith and only be reported on because of how famous and outspoken he is, I wonder how many times this has happened to normal people. Southwest, you make me sick.
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Dear Southwest: I've read your response to your "official statement" regarding the Kevin Smith incident, I'm afraid I'm going to have to call BULLSHIT on that. October 19th, 2008. I booked a flight from OKC to SAN. At that time, I weighed 100lbs heavier than I am now, and I was substantially larger than Kevin Smith ever thought about being. Ironically the purpose of my flight was for weight-loss surgery. Still, your "friendly" staff didn't have a problem with me sitting in one seat, nor did they offer any sort of suggestion that if I had to lift the arm rest, or require the use of a seatbelt extension, that I would have to purchase an additional seat. I flew to SAN and back 2 stops in between, and not ONCE did I ever get a look, comment, or suggestion from ANY of your flight staff or crew about my weight or size. The very fact that you start off with this inane diatribe about Kevin flying standby, and then make an attempt to segway into the possibility of him taking up two seats, is absolutely preposterous and undermines the airline's stance and integrity. What little of it remains. Even at my FATTEST, I fit into one seat, which again, was substantially larger than Kevin Smith's claimed ponderous bulk. In closing, I won't be flying Southwest again, and I'll be calling to cancel my frequent flyer account and my Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa card in the morning, as well as selling off my stocks of Southwest (their ticker symbol is LUV for any others that wish to follow suit.) You folks have lost a customer of 20 years over this little incident. I hope you're happy. Snoochie Boochies.
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It sounds as though your company was acting within the constraints of its policy, as the policy is designed to be subjective. However, that subjective policy, and your inability to understand and acknowledge you handled it poorly, helps to ensure that I will never fly with you again. The fact that Mr. Smith can sit with the armrests down, and was sold only a single seat, tells me it is was a subjective decision and without concern to his dignity. While I don't believe I have ever encroached on anyone else's space, any more so than any other average size person, I would be completely fearful of having such an experience. It is simply not worth the risk. I would like to point out to you that while Mr. Smith has been very vocal, perhaps that is the better outcome for you. What if that type of public humiliation were to cause someone to try to take his own life? I don't think it is a stretch to think that type of outcome could be the result of an arbitrarily enforced policy that results in a person's absolute mortification and public humiliation. Do you really want to wait until that event happens? While most people would be able to carry on, I am sure that such an experience could be a trigger for those less stable people. Your policy is a ticking time bomb.
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I LUV Southwest. If I pay for a seat I expect to get that full seat and not have it partially taken by a person of size. Thanks Southwest. Your apology was unnecessary but shows how much you care about all of your customers.
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In light of the caustic remarks made by Mr. Smith, I applaud Southwest for their well-written response. Your Policy is well grounded and was carried out properly. Good work.
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So, if KS has purchased two seats before, he is aware of, and confirms that he falls in the customer of size policy. If KS purchases two seats because he does not want anyone sitting next to him, he shouldn't be using an airline with open seating because there is no way to guarantee that the seat next to him remains open. Anyone who has been on a flight with a customer of size sees that they preboard and have a big "Seat Reserved" sign for the spot next to them. The seat next to them remains open since they obviously occupy that space and all remaining customers can enjoy the seats that they purchased. Southwest already said that they refund the additional seat for a customer of size when a flight does not oversell. If everyone purchases a second seat because they wanted to be alone, Southwest would end up refunding more than half the tickets on the plane. The fact that KS has purchased a second seat before and now denies he needs that spot shows a failure on his part to be truthful in the situation. However, if indeed he purchases a second seat, the agents never should have cleared him onto a flight with one seat available. Oh and kudos to Southwest for standing up for your employees. This is another proven story on your blog that the customer is not always right.
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"A heartfelt apology is not usually followed by justification of the action." AMEN to that. Southwest, you have an archaic policy. If you are going to be size-ist, than maybe you should make skinny people SHARE one seat? I hate sitting next to anorexic/bulimic people who eat one peanut and then go puke it up. Their breath smells and their pointy bones put holes in the seats. They are a safety hazard because they may break in half in a crash.
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I recall a few weeks ago that Deborah Gibson also tweeted about her miserable flight experience in having had a flight attendant accuse her (a non smoker and singer) of smoking in the rest room. I think many more apologies and some serious customer service training is in order.
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"A heartfelt apology is not usually followed by justification of the action." AMEN to that. Southwest, you have an archaic policy. If you are going to be size-ist, than maybe you should make skinny people SHARE one seat? I hate sitting next to anorexic/bulimic people who eat one peanut and then go puke it up. Their breath smells and their pointy bones put holes in the seats. They are a safety hazard because they may break in half in a crash.
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He is not too big to fit in one seat...Sounds to me like the crew screwed up and Southwest just wants to explain when they should admit that their staff was wrong. There is no way Southwest can win this one, and this blog post is a joke.
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Kevin Smith classifies as chubby, not obese. He would in no way bring down your flight due to his weight. Kevin's already stated the flight wasn't even full, so what's the problem? This was poorly handled, Southwest Air. I won't be flying your airlines.
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You should be ashamed. Not only did you not state the facts but you also made it out that it was his fault. Fie, for shame. Morons.
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I think one of the especially douchey parts of this matter is that Southwest is trying to be clever rather than professional. Really?!?! Throwing in a character of his into the title? Ridiculous! I work for a radio station that has had Smith as a guest in studio many times, and while yes, he is a bigger guy, he's by no means huge, and by no means as big as I've seen someone occupy an economy class seat in an airplane. I can't say that the way Smith is addressing the issue is the best way, but I also can't say that I would have handled it any differently.
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I was asked to purchase an extra seat on a SW flight about 10 years ago- I was obese (300lbs) and sat next to my mother. (Who was not offended by my bulk). So, I purchased the extra seat (but they did not ask my mother to move) and then I made sure to pre-purchase an extra one for the way back. This time the plane was full. Even though I spent the extra money on the extra seat, as requested by the airline, they still seated a gentleman in the third seat- the one I had purchased. The only seat left on the plane apparently. I have lost half of my body weight since then btw, but it was expensive and humiliating and I was ripped off. Smith is representative of Many of American adults. You may weigh less but according to the latest statistics, most Americans are considered obese. If Smith did not need his extender, and if he could put both the arm rests down then he could not have been spilling over that much. The SW policy is vague and contradictory. You state at one point that the arm rests are the bench mark, but then later say they are not and then later again say they are. The truth is, it is completely discretionary and that is where the problem comes in. I flew many times before this occasion and had never been asked to purchase an extra seat. Any company that cannot provide the most basic service they claim to offer to the majority of Americans they want to serve needs to retool the design of seats. I have also flown on SW prior to this with young children in the laps of parents who poked me with sticky fingers, smelled bad when their diaper was soiled but could not be changed right away due to the seat belt light, who slobbered and cried, screamed when the pressure changed due to the ears hurting. It was not pleasant but I accepted that public transportation is filled with people like this child and the drunk businessman who thinks he is clever and won't shut up. Our comfort can be infringed upon every flight- too strong perfume, body odor of even thin people,( have you smelled someone who has been in Vegas drinking for a weekend?) couples making out, the smell of the lavatory. SW is discriminatory in that they only pre-emptively protect their customers from obese riders, not the drunks, not the kids, not the ones that smell bad.
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Wow, I'm amazed at people's responses to this situation. The fact is some people really ARE too big to fit into one seat. The obesity crisis in this country is certainly not SWA's fault, and maybe it's not this customer's personal fault for being too big to fit into one seat. The facts are what they are. He needed two seats, and only one was available. He was trying to fly standby and it was a full flight. Get OVER IT! I think Southwest did what they had to do in this situation. This isn't about discrimination it's about logistics. Sheez!
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Guess Kevin has a lot of Tweetie pie fanbois eh? He bought 2 tickets before because he's huge. Not poking fun at large folks but we all know the seats are not big at all. But he knew he had to buy 2 as he can't get the arm rest down. Next flight he changed to may have not been full but there were not two together at that point. So they tell him he can take the next flight and give him a hundy? Seems pretty fair to me. By the way, Kev's really, REALLY packed on the pounds recently. Check him out at the recent MacWorld convention. There's no way he could fit in one seat and not be crushing the person next door. Kevin - Shame on you for blaming others over a problem that can only be blamed on you. Get in shape and set an example. Love your movies bro. SWA - You're going to get pounded on this one but thanks for enforcing those rules as it's just not fair if you're the person next to them.
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Kevin Smith made it clear that he flew one way just fine, then was kicked off on the return flight--in front of all passengers and after his luggage was already stowed. This is an arbitrary BS rule. It is based solely on the opinion of a person who is NOT qualified to decide anything about weight. Smith's armrests were down, as they were on every flight. Another passenger was chastised publicly for not purchasing a second seat. I've never been booted from a Southwest flight, but now I'm worried I might be. Who knows who will decide if I'm too fat or too anything. Everyone pays for a seat... if you're not discriminating against noisy, disruptive children who actually don't have to have their own seats, then this rule against overweight people is nothing more than bigotry. You want to play on people's ignorance and hate, that's up to you. But sitting near drunk passengers or screaming children is just as uncomfortable as being squished. Perhaps it's time you made your seats the right size to accommodate the American passengers you're selling to.
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I fly Southwest probably at least once or twice a week for business or personal travel. I am not a real skinny person and certainly feel for anyone who is overweight and has to travel. But....be honest. Who wants to sit next to someone who overlaps your space, for a couple of hours???? Travel is unpleasant enough without having someone draped over you. Its a matter of comfort and fairness. Kevin obviously could afford the 2nd ticket and just wanted to leave on an earlier flight.
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yet another reason why i love to fly southwest . . . that fat slob should quit complaining. Instead of a $100 voucher you should have given him a year at Ballys or Golds so he could get his ass in shape. The only reason this mutant is getting any attention over this is because he's made a couple of shitty movies and is a quasi b-list celebrity
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1) I LUV the blog title. It's witty. 2) I LUV Southwest's commercials about the bags. They make me laugh. 3) I LUV how people say they're taking their business elsewhere when a person they don't even know has an issue, and when they don't have all the facts. Y'all weren't there, so how do you know what went down? Plus, you know you'll fly Southwest when it's cheaper than other airlines and doesn't have a ton of extra charges. You'll prolly get put on ShamuOne and LUV it.
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I once flew from LA-NY with a huge man sitting next to me and his elbow in my stomach the entire flight. I was miserable but didn't know what to do. I'm appreciative of Southwest for having this policy and adhering to it, even for celebrity film directors. The vocal minority may be speaking out against this while the silent majority is very appreciative. Those with complaints should travel OAK-BUR next to Mr. Smith and see how comfortable they are ... or he is because they're likely his most devoted fans. I'm by no means a thin person but if anything, this should encourage Mr. Smith and other oversize people to address their size with diet, exercise and as their physician advises. As a recent LA Times article (Feb. 1) described, the American public is fed up with dealing with obese people. Mr. Smith's vulgar rants may limit ticket sales of his upcoming film more than driving away travelers from Southwest. I'm going on southwest.com now and booking a trip somewhere.
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i'll never fly SW ever again. go to hell SW.
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i used to fly southwest about 4-8 times a year. i will no longer fly southwest because of this. your airline has shown it's ridiculousness and horrible customer service. you've lost another customer, way to go. ex-southwest passenger.
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10 "attaboys" can be wiped out by one "ah, sh!t". You already know how every employee represents the whole corporation to the person on the receiving end of what they perceive as uneven enforcement of rules. I have been a fan of Kevin's and fly SWA more than any other airline, including this coming week. Kevin Smith says the flight was not full--will you refute that? Is a second boarding pass provided when someone buys 2 tickets even though there's not a body in the second seat? Must be hell on your pre-departure headcount unless the passenger's name is on both seats? It was illuminating to hear that he was on stand-by. If he had two seats on his subsequent flight into Burbank, which he paid for, I find it a little disingenous for him to imply that the rules were unevenly enforced. Short flights with fat people are tolerable, long ones are not. Even though the armrest goes down, their bodies can still extend underneath it to touch even a skinny person sitting adjacent to them. I find that if in the middle seat I have to fly with my arms folded the entire flight when there are two big people next to me. I know they don't like it any more than I do, can you make some rows with bigger seats so those people can pay more and sit there? You can dream up something to make it appealing, "custom class" or something. Hospitals now have to buy bigger wheelchairs, stronger beds, gurneys, toilets all to accommodate these super-sized Americans. I'm glad there's a policy in place, don't know how you can make it consistent, maybe a "you must fit here" box like the ones for carry-on luggage before boarding?
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Thank you southwest. I hate fat people and i am glad that you feel the same way. Don't you just hate it when they are sitting there breathing heavily. Well, I am glad that their are airlines out there with similar views as my own. Thank you to the captain of the Plane for booting that fat sack of shit off of the plane. I am glad that you allow that stuff here in America. You are totally right, he is cussing and has to be wrong. KILL ALL THE FATTIES GO SOUTHWEST WIOOOOO
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"Not So Silent Bob" was your choice for this blog title? Really? You thought a condescending blog headline was the best way to kick-off a public "apology"? Go back to PR school, folks. You obviously didn't get your monies worth.
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"We apologize, but your size makes people uncomfortable. Please exit the aircraft." "We're sorry, but your color makes people uncomfortable. Please exit the building." "My apologies, but your faith makes people uncomfortable. Please follow me to the camp." Wrap feces in all the rose petals you want, it's still hateful and demeaning. To be truly concerned would be to accommodate passengers in a respectful way, not to embarrass them, then offer a cheap, 2-sentence form-letter apology followed by paragraphs illustrating why you were right, and shouldn't have to apologize. Other airlines may have similar guidelines, but they didn't have an entire television series devoted to their overall failure as a company, did they? Your pathetic attempts to control the outcry only illustrate what Kevin and thousands of others have already learned: you operate a substandard business, and only concede to wrongdoingd when people finally lash out and drag you into the public eye... which you stated yourself. Any company more concerned with keeping the issue out of public scrutiny than addressing it in a sensible and respectful way deserves exactly what they get.
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I don't really feel sorry for people when they let themselves get to that level of obesity. It's unhealthy for you and its a safety risk for those you fly with. But just because you're famous it's Okay to piss and moan about it on Twitter and hurt a company for enforcing a regular policy?
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I am considerably larger than Mr Smith, and I have never been asked to buy a second seat on a flight, even on cattle-car airlines like AirTran in the US and RyanAir in Europe. I have, however, been forced to sit in front of screaming children who continually kick my seat until I give up and call for a flight attendant, then redouble their efforts once the attendant leaves. I have been forced to sit next to people in casts, people in neck braces, old people who move slowly, and other people who might impede my exit from a plane in case of an emergency. I have been seated next to smelly people, people whose clothing confirmed they were of a different religion than me, and people whose goal seemed to be to convert me to their politics or their religion by the end of the flight. I have been forced to sit next to people who had enough to drink that any reputable barman would have taken their keys and given them the number of a taxi firm, then gone on to loudly insult everybody on the plane including me. Yet, I have also been told that I am not allowed to knit a sock on a sixteen-hour flight. Flying coach is uncomfortable for everybody. It is uncomfortable because airline seats are too small and too cramped. They are small and cramped because airlines want to maximise profits. It is uncomfortable because there are assholes on every flight, people who are annoying, smelly, loud, badly behaved, are carrying a screaming child (who doesn't have to have his own seat) on their laps, people who won't STFU. I suppose it's true that it's as easy to discriminate against fat people in the same way it used to be easy to discriminate against blacks, Jews, homosexuals, Irish, or Gypsies. Really, you can't trust any of those people; they are untrustworthy/going to take advantageof you/likely to burst into song uncontrollably. Their being on a flight could be seen as a passenger safety issue. Tell me, how does Southwest handle Muslim women in hijab? I have a Sikh friend who gets questioned every time she flies to the US, because she is wearing 'a funny turban' and 'might be a terrorist'. Gosh, that must be unsettling. How does Southwest deal with people in 'funny turbans'? Are they as scary as Mr Smith in a hoodie? Could you please elaborate on the policy precisely? Is it a girth issue, or a weight issue? Did the captain measure Mr Smith's waistline, or was he weighed before he was ejected from the flight? Maybe I'm just squisher than Mr Smith, since even though I'm larger than he is, I can get the armrests down on most flights and have never been ejected from an airplane because I was too large for the next-door passenger's comfort. Probably the next-door passenger was too busy applying perfume/screaming at his kids/ordering his third drink/surfing porn on his mobile phone/planning the best way to tell fellow passengers about Jesus/or, possibly, getting on with his own quiet and polite business to be any more uncomfortable than he already was because heaven forfend he was forced to sit next to a quiet old fat lady who reads books and rarely feels the need to bother the people around her. Good luck with your current PR campaign. GKR, London
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Instead of hiding behind a policy, Southwest needs to admit they made a mistake. Sad to see Southwest is more worried about saving their own butts instead of admitting that an employee of theirs made an error.
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Sorry, but you are still wrong. You are only sorry that you ousted a person with the platform to make this really, really public. Hello, United Airlines...here I come.
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Your action and subsequent reactions are utterly laughable, SouthWest. For as long as I can remember, you've tired to pour the Kool-Aid that SouthWest is a 'customer service organisation that just happens to be in the airline business'. This idiotic action and your total lack of comprehension as to what actually constitutes an apology, has thoroughly and completely put the lie to this notion that you are a customer service organization. You are not. You are just like the Ryan Airs of the world- a bare bones discounter with no service and no clue. If that's what you are happy being, then good for you. I vote with my feet and walk right by your counters every time I fly. Just stop pretending you have a service oriented, customer based culture.
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this is what we call at work "hiding behind your policy." cowards...
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Remember folks - COP OUT, directed by Kevin Smith and starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan, is coming to theatres on February 26th! If you think this incident with SW Airlines was outrageous, wait until you see the humor in COP OUT! (This too-fat-to-fly incident was in no way a stunt to gain publicity for COP OUT, which is being released FEBRUARY 26th!)
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First...I'm allergic to peanuts as other millions of others...so you probably want to remove them from your flight and your webpage. How uncaring can you be? Second, you are only apologizing - and not very well at that - because out ousted a person that you LATER realized has the platform to make this public. United Airlines...here I come.
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If this is truly about comfort and safety, then what about: 1) Individuals who put their seats back, encroaching in the ever-diminishing y-axis real estate? That's not comfortable for most people over 5'10", and for some of us can be extremely painful. 2) People who drink on flights, or take sleeping or other depressive medications? Certainly they might prove an obstacle to a safe exit in an emergency, etc etc. 3) Children who kick the backs of seats? That's certainly not comfortable for the person sitting in front of them. 4) People with disabilities that may make it more difficult for them to maneuver in an emergency situation? Additionally, the width of airline seats continues to accommodate less and less of the population. Regardless of your moral views on people who are overweight, have wide hips, broad shoulders, and other encroaching factors in the all-important horizontal direction, you aren't going to make the population smaller with your policing of humiliation and discrimination. You should just own up to the fact that you don't accommodate a significant fraction of the population, and have no plans to do so. And forcing that population to buy two tickets isn't accommodation, IMHO. It's a penalty, and you're only getting away with it because there are enough bigoted fat-haters to keep you in business. Perhaps, not for too much longer....? :) A girl can dream.
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Your planes are decades old in configuration to squeeze as many people on as possible. It just doesn't work when the average size of a woman is 14. I know that planes get redone often -- you should consider a different configuration - more in-line with today's American. Fat. Calling him out in front of a plane full of people is really rotten. You are lucky that any celebrity would fly on your "Cattle Call" airline, and I think you just ruined that. I can see now why when I worked for American Airlines, celebrities and VIPs would rather die than take Southwest home...
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My family and I are making spring vacation plans that would be my first time flying in a couple of years. I always loved flying Southwest in the past, but I am bigger than Kevin Smith, and therefore worried that you might throw me and my family off your plane too. Therefore, I have no choice but to book elsewhere. Sorry!
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The customer service at SW is awful! I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who thinks so. Kevin Smith is overweight, he is not a fat fatty who needs to be tossed from a flight. Kevin is correct - the American public is similar to his size!!! By the way SW your apology sucks! An apology is just that an apology - not what you issued! Enjoy the PR nightmare you created!