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Not So Silent Bob

cday
Not applicable

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
Anonymous3422
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Love Kevin Smith, hate how this was handled by both him AND by SW. If he knew that he always required 2 seats due to SW policy, how can he be surprised that there was trouble when he found only one seat? SW, how could you tell him he was cleared to fly when you knew there weren't 2 seats together? I see responsibility on both parties here. I also don't understand people being upset with the blog title. I think it's clever.
Ryan19
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Southwest is dead to me. I don't even really like Kevin Smith's movies, and I'm not very fat. But I will never fly Southwest Airlines again, not so much for the ridiculous decision to kick him off the plane, but for the very unprofessional manner of the PR and management morons trying to clean up the mess.
you_are_out_of_
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Your company has just taken a large dive in customers due to your lies, false information and and poor customer service. As stated in other comments, Mr. Smith has been buying 2 seats so he doesn't have to deal with other passengers annoying him. Your policy has stated that you must be able to have space between the armrests which Mr. Smith was shown to have provided. He also was able to put on the seatbelt comfortably without an extender. As a shareholder and market journalist, your company may not see a significant dip yet, but over time there will be an extreme drop in overall customer revenue due to the poor strategic planning you have placed on your public relations and your failure to address discriminatory regulations as well as your inability to train flight employees. Due to the high profile of this situation regarding a celebrity complaint and the news it has garnered, I would like to bid your corporation goodbye, you should never mess with a celebrity
James_Brown
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Mr Smith could sit in the seat with the arm rests DOWN & he did not need a seat belt extender. I flew South West twice last year and thought it was very well run but why would I risk being treated like this? Sorry South West but I am not going to fly your airline in the future either.
AlexJersey
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I certainly won't be using SWA any more.
Anonymous231
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Southwest Airlines has permanently lost the business of myself and my family because of their treatment of Kevin Smith. The nonapology blog posted above is pathetic.
Rev_denn
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Ok.. So Kevin Smith could get both armrests down. He also bought 2 seats on the original flight. Maybe he knew about the rule, maybe he didn't. Here's the problem from how I see it. Southwest put him on a flight. Southwest then denied him AFTER they placed him on a flight. If they knew he had bought 2 seats and they were placing him on a flight then why was he being asked not to fly? They should have placed him in a flight that had 2 seats available. Probably because the issue isn't about the comfort zone and safety procedures but more about fuel costs for the extra weight. Seriously, I fly Southwest because it's the cheapest airline to go through. However, I've also been stuck next to some very large people. If they are buying 2 seats due to comfort zones and safety issues then why am I being cramped in next to them and the whole row is taken up? Shouldn't there be an empty seat there so I don't have to share my seat with them? So Southwest.. get on the ball. If you're going to make people of certain sizes buy 2 seats then it's time to quit double booking those seats that no one is sitting in and start flying planes that are half empty. The next time I decide to fly with you and a large person is sitting next to me I will ask where that empty seat is so I can go sit there. Until the day comes that you are comfortable flying half empty planes because you force larger people to buy 2 seats, don't victimize the larger people in front of a plane FULL of customers. Because if they actually bought 2 seats you wouldn't have a FULL plane.
Anonymous999
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Heh, Southwest what do you reckon this little farce is gonna cost you longterm. Good decision Captain wave goodbye to your career !
Jen3
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Awful. Just awful. I will never fly with this shitty airline. This is how you really treat people? This is how you make up for it when you fuck up? Finally you guys are uncovered just because you happened to pull this on a guy who has an audience. Take some responsibility and stop feeding everyone bullshit.
Anonymous1955
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Oh my God!! Just how unprofessional can an organisation be? If you had listened to his podcast, you would know that he purchases 2 seats so he doesn't have to sit next to anybody in coach!! The fact you shared his personal preferences is absolutely inexcusable!! I hope your business tanks!
PhD_in_NE
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I hope by now you've realized that your attempt at glibness has backfired, and you appear at best disingenuous, and at worst dishonest. In addition to your behavior to begin with, which I would classify as ignorant and bigoted, to have reacted (and to continue to react) in this way adds insult to injury, and is inexcusable. I will not bother to reiterate the many solid points of criticism, most offered in the hope that your company really does care about the customer of size, his/her family, his/her friends, his/her business associates, etc. Surely you must be aware of the substantial numbers of customers and potential customers who empathize with Kevin Smith's negative experience with your airline. Yet your response would indicate otherwise. How disappointing. I would like to suggest some positive actions your company could take, actions that would demonstrate it really does care about its customers, as advertised. Show that you are willing to learn from this experience. Invite customers of size and the organizations that support their interests as consumers and as human beings (NAFA and PeopleOfSize.com come to mind) to meet with you to explain their concerns, their perspectives, their life-experiences. Then take what you learn to heart and do something creative and innovative- -make a change in your company's policies and services for the better. You would do well to deal with this proactively now because it is unlikely that larger people will be magically disappearing in the near future. Here is a news flash for you: NO ONE wants to be fat. And yet there are so many of us. The latest research shows obesity becoming a problem even in formerly skinny-forever hold-outs like Japan. It is a complex problem, brought on by much more than simple overeating. Lack of adequate sleep, out of balance intestinal flora, hormone imbalances brought about by manmade substances in the environment, failure of the lymphatic system, side effects from some medicines, and even certain viruses and bacteria - - all are being demonstrated to cause people to becomer larger (which doesn't always mean fatter; it can mean swollen, and hence larger). So, until science can unravel the mysteries of increasing size and offer appropriate (successful!) solutions, society, including large corporations like yours, is just going to have to figure out how to deal with us; a little empathy could go a long way. As human beings, we are capable of such noble behavior. Here's hoping that your corporation is willing to demonstrate that.
Rick25
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The thing is Mr. Smith did purchase 2 seats, in accordance with SWA policy, so why did he have to get off the plane? There are some people on here who keep lauding you for your policy, which I agree is a good policy, but it sounds like he followed your policy. The policy is not the issue. Stop setting up a straw man characterization of his argument. He is not arguing against your policy. He is arguing that he followed your policy and you still screwed him. Why are you trying to make him look like the jerk when it is obvious that it is SWA that is wrong on this issue? Quit whining and admit you screwed the guy.
Chris_Mitchell
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The physical shape of Kevin Smith is well known and if he originally bought two seats but you contacted him because he was on standby when there was only one seat you have nobody to blame but yourself.
Anonymous3217
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I sure hope, for your sake, that it's true what they say -- "There's no such thing as bad publicity" because you folks have royally mishandled this entire fiasco...
Anonymous1954
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SW beats the crap out of Delta, US Airways, United, etc... Their planes are all run down and are falling apart. I'm not against large people, but why would I believe Smith anymore than the airlines. Fact is - he is big and needs "2" seats people. If two seats were available - then he flies - if not - then he doesn't! If you have ever had to sit crammed into a seat next to someone who "obviously" hangs over into your seat then you could understand the policy. There is nothing worse than being stuck on a flight and having to keep your shoulders squeezed into your chest because you can't have the space you paid for. The "mistake" here was not knowing he would take 2 seats and selling him 1 then letting him on the plane! I will still fly Southwest and have some consideration "ALSO" for the people around you - yeah - you two Mr/Mrs tell a stranger your life history (whether they want it or not) at 5 times the sound level of normal speech volume! If they ever start permitting cell phone usage on flights my family and I will be traveling by car only!
NOTSOFAT
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I have flown Southwest dozens of times and always had a pleasant experience. No other airline compares. Looking forward to them offering service in Pensacola. The gentleman apparently is very aware of their overweight policy and has complied with it in the past, Seems he just tried to circumvent it this time and got caught. Boo Hoo. Possibly he and the millions of other Morbidly Obese people could get on track for a far healthier, trimmer lifestyle and not cost all the rest of us in increased health care costs to pay for their frequent visits to doctors and hospitals, diabetic supplies, tons of medicines, etc. Not to mention lost time, aggravation, and all the frivolous laws in place designed to cater to the personally inflicted unhealthy.
City_of_Los_Ang
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How could revealing private information about a customer ("as he’s been known to do when traveling on Southwest") possibly help your position? It only serves to further the feeling that Southwest Airlines' PR department is desperately flailing about in this situation. While I find your company's original actions troubling, the follow-up is amazingly crude and ill-conceived. When you *truly* apologize for something, you don't follow it up with justifications. But you guys are acting like you're in the middle of a fight and have a chance at winning. Can't you see that you've already lost? I'm still looking for the "Southwest Is Being Unfairly Persecuted" article - and I'll bet this is the only site that ever takes that position. BOTTOM LINE: Huge huge HUGE mistakes have been made at SW over the last 24 hours. It's time for you to acknowledge that...and stop doing whatever it is that you're doing here and on Twitter. Frontier/Jet Blue/Virgin employees all thank you for the remarkable lack of professionalism. Enjoy the beating Smith will be handing you over the next two weeks during his press tour!
Janice1
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My family loves Southwest and always trys to fly with them. However, we were not aware of the policy for large people. Some of our family members are large and we all sit together so no one is inconvenienced. According to Southwest's policy, sitting with family is not guarenteed so they would still refuse a large person from flying. Now that I know of this policy our family will look elsewhere to fly rather than having anxiety about being told we can't fly somewhere for our vacation. I am so dissappointed to realize this is happening. I have been sitted next to non large people who encroch into my space. Should I complain about them? How did people fly back in the day with large people. Perhaps the seats were larger and over the years in order to make more money the seat size has been reduced and now we discriminate and embarrass people wh are already self conscience about their appearance. I will be choosing other airlines to fly with my family.
Anonymous4382
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Um...did some of you not actually catch the fact that Kevin Smith ROUTINELY purchases two seats on his flights because he is well aware of his own size and the airlines' policies regarding overweight passengers? Why, then, would he be upset about the fact that he would not be able to get on an earlier flight as a standby passenger (HIS choice/decision in the first place, mind you) with only one seat available? Duh. He routinely buys two seats because of his size, hence he would need two seats if he chooses to try to fly standby on another flight. Again...duh. Southwest handled this matter the best way they could have, and Kevin just needs to stop with the childish temper-tantrum that doesn't even make any sense, considering he ROUTINELY BUYS TWO TICKETS BECAUSE OF HIS SIZE. Geez.
Anonymous4491
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"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." So after he was removed from the flight, he took a later flight on SWA? If this were a true case of horrible mistreatment, he wouldn't have been "accommodated ... on a later flight." Sorry, KS fans, point goes to SWA.
BobbyPauls
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The FACT is you wouldnt have even TRIED to contact said customer if he wasnt Silent Bob. If it were me or anyone else you wouldnt have called to apologize for the embarrassment. FACT is when the person is ON the plane? It is TOO late. Someone at the counter should have pulled the trigger WELL before all of this. Also, if you can put the NORMAL seat belt on, that is not too "FAT" to fly. However if you can not fit the extension around you then I would say at that moment you are a little too big. But again, at THAT point? It is too late. Also, apparently the people from Southwest really do NOT care because when there were 3 seats. Kevin Smith owning 2, and a woman slightly bigger then him in the 3rd. They tried to make the woman buy a second seat. Hence the TRUE reason he is upset. Listen to his SModcast on the subject. (http://www.smodcast.com) He clearly states he doesnt really care of then being a little embarrassed because people had recognized him on the flight before he was booted. The bottom line? I will NEVER fly Southwest again. I will also tell my friends to NEVER sly Southwest again. Your policies are BS!! As well, the constant lies are BS!! You are no better then the comment criminal who is not sorry because they committed the crime but because you got caught. If this werent Kevin Smith, how would you have handled it? I dont think a 100 dollar coucher would even have been offered.
Brendhan
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Southwest has a history of making bad decisions when it comes to how it treats it's passengers. The removal of Kevin Smith Kyla Ebbert for a skimpy outfit Pamela Root for her child being excited about the plane flight. Lorrie Heasley for a T-shirt that mock the bush administration Emily Gillette for breastfeeding Southwest is an airline that does not know how to deal with people. This has been shown time and time again.
Anonymous1219
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Less then 6 days ago, I was a full paying customer on a Southwest flight sharing half my seat with "a person of size". How I wish the steward (who by the way was tripped by the leg hanging out intp the aisle) had asked my fellow seat sharer to get off the plane. These people know ahead of time that they are too big for an airline seat. Instead of ignoring that fact, and making it about other people not accepting their size, buy yourself enough room, (ie. 2 seats) and leave my paid for seat alone!!
Proud_Southwest
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This is a very hard situation to deal with. Most customer service contact employees don't have to deal with this situation in particular. I feel bad for the single customer service employee who had to make the decision to either let Mr. Smith board stand-by with a single seat or not. As most people know Crew on board the aircraft have the final say with everything on their aircraft especially due to safety. I feel the mistake was made originally when the customer service employee let him board stand-by with one seat, but I feel southwest did the only thing they could do to help the situation by apologizing, giving a voucher, and explaining their policy. There is no measuring tape or sizing box to put you in so they have to use their best judgment. I back up southwest a 110% due to this topic being so sensitive and defiantly a safety issue. For those of you employees that dealt with this situation I apologize that you had to deal with this so publicly.
Anonymous2393
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Wow... You guys really screwed up. Kevin Smith did not require a seat belt extender and his armrests were down. That alone is enough information for me to decide who is in the right here. Interesting you didn't mention that in your post, despite sharing with the world that he normally buys two seats. Good luck digging yourselves out of this hole...
City_of_Los_Ang
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How could revealing private information about a customer ("as he’s been known to do when traveling on Southwest") possibly help your position? It only serves to further the feeling that Southwest Airlines' PR department is desperately flailing about in this situation. While I find your company's original actions troubling, the follow-up is amazingly crude and ill-conceived. When you *truly* apologize for something, you don't follow it up with justifications. But you guys are acting like you're in the middle of a fight and have a chance at winning. Can't you see that you've already lost? I'm still looking for the "Southwest Is Being Unfairly Persecuted" article - and I'll bet this is the only site that ever takes that position. BOTTOM LINE: Huge huge HUGE mistakes have been made at SW over the last 24 hours. It's time for you to acknowledge that...and stop doing whatever it is that you're doing here and on Twitter. Frontier/Jet Blue/Virgin employees all thank you for the remarkable lack of professionalism. Enjoy the beating Smith will be handing you over the next two weeks during his press tour!
SWA_sucks
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Wow, what a weak apology. Can you imagine the humiliation of being ALLOWED to board and be assigned a seat by those allowing you to board that we can only assume KNEW was directly next to a seat already occupied (these are the people paid to manage things like seating and flight logistics, right?) and then in front of an entire plane full of people, with arrival arrangements already made on the other side of a short hour long flight you are told to debark the plane because you are too fat!!! Unbelievable insensitivity. Not only inappropriate but completely unprofessional. You think we don't all know your big public show of apology is because Kevin Smiths twitters make news? Do you think we not all aware of how differently this would have gone for said "person of size" if they weren't in the least bit famous?? Yeah, we all know that your response to Mr. Smith is lacking and can't help but imagine how much worse it would have been for little old not famous us. Wow. A new low. Please, get it together over there.
Skinny_Jeff
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Rock on Southwest! Obesity is a personal problem and it is unfair for it to infringe on other passenger's rights and safety. You have just won my future business - which constitutes around 3 trips a month business-priority. Love you guys - keep fighting the haters.
benson402
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Keep up the good work! Stand on your principals and on your rules. Accomodations were made for the convenience of the standby passenger. He should have taken his original filght.
Matthew_Roberts
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I think you have an excellent policy Southwest. I don't think you should even need to refund the additional seatm, clearly you are an airline who takes pride in service. The comfort of other passengers should always be considered and sitting in just one seat can make a journey for another passenger unpleasant when that person is overweight. I have never flown with SWA but going forward it is an airline i will consider hugely.
mary_in_florida
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I have had to sit next to a "person of size" on a plane and had to turn sideways in order for both of us to travel in two seats. My back was messed up for days afterwards. What none of you people who have a problem with Southwest's travel policies consider is how it affects those of us who easily fit in our seat. I shouldn't have to accomodate you just because you are large. You should have to buy two seating tickets because you take up the space of two seats. I am so happy that Southwest removed this man from the plane.
Rebecca_Roady
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I'm now boycotting Southwest NOT because they ejected Kevin Smith, but because they apologized and rewarded him with $100 for being a fat jerk. I must pay $30 to check baggage that won't fit UNDER a seat. Why should Kevin Smith be entitled to bring flabbage that won't fit IN one? I've been stuck (twice) in an airline seat between two people so fat they had to wear "seatbelt extenders" and I couldn't lower armrests. No sympathy for director Kevin Smith whatsoever!
Nick_from_New_J
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>>Our pilots are responsible for the Safety and comfort of all Customers on the aircraft and therefore, made the determination 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. A policy change is in order. When Captain Terence Lee Leysath, the pilot-in-command of the aircraft, made the determination that Mr. Smith was too large to fly safely then Captain Leysath should've been the one to tell Mr. Smith of his decision. Not a middle man and certainly not Suzanne the gate agent. In addition, Southwest must find and apologize to the woman on Mr. Smith's final flight home who was pulled aside and advised that she might want to consider buying two seats on her next flight.
Anonymous3579
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To all those criticising Kevin Smith, READ HIS TWITTER BEFORE COMMENTING. SWA are lying - Kev does not USUALLY purchase two seats, and is not large enough to feel he has to - he just likes to have SPACE on an airplane, and can afford to. He says he can always put the armrest down and does not need an extender on the seatbelt. From his Twitter: "bring that same row of seats to the DailyShow, and I'll sit in 'em for all to see on TV. If I don't fit, I'll donate $10k to charity of your choice. But when I do (& buckle the belt as well)? 1) You admit you lied. 2) Change your policy, or at least re-train your staff to be a lot more human & a lot less corporate." I think that's a pretty clear way of resolving the matter, ball's in SWA's court. They can grow some nuts and apologise SINCERELY, or continue to cover-up and make themselves look like idiots. I will never fly SWA.
Matt_from_Cincy
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PLEASE come to CVG, we need a REAL airline there!!!!
Ruben
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SWA did the right thing. Kevin Smith wants special treatment because he is famous. I fly OAK-BUR all the time.
Kevin_D
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Southwest has always tried to pass the kool-aid and convince people that it is a 'customer service organization which just happens to be in the airline business". Well, congratulations. Both your inflight crew and your blog person have managed to put the lie to that propaganda/sales piece in very short order. Your blog author claims that you have apologized to Smith. Does your company understand what an apology is? Apparently not. You don't get to claim a 'heartfelt apology' was given when you say sorry.. but we did nothing wrong. Sorry, but we were right. Sorry, but we were just protecting everyone else from this mythical danger our flight crew dreamed up. Whether you have had a 'persons of size' policy for 25 years or not is not the issue. Whether Smith had previously bought two seats or not is not the issue. Either you are sorry for the incident or you are not, and you are clearly not.. You've managed to show clearly that your company has no conception of what a customer service organization isor how a customer-centric organization behaves. You are clearly nothing but a cheap little discounter who, like Ryan Air would try and make people pay to use the toilets if you could. That's why I continue to vote with my feet and will never stop at your counter of fly your airline, no matter how much advertising spin and bs you pump out.
Anonymous2617
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This news made it all the way down under. I'm due to fly out to the states later on this year and was going to consider flying southwest on a few of the legs. Not so anymore. I'm far from fat, but I don't agree with lying and treating people this way. If Kevin Smith had been a regular person there would be NO BLOG POST AT ALL!
Dave45
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Dear Southwest, You are practicing discrimination pure and simple. The public is not as ignorant as you assume. Is there any qualitative or quantitative way that you classify someone as “to big to fly in one seat”? Is there a specific weight or hip measurement? You have left it up to the folks at the ticket counter to make a “judgment call”. The very fact that you require some specific passengers to purchase an extra ticket proves your discriminating. Do you ask those who don’t wear body deodorant to purchase an extra seat so that others are not bothered by the odor? I think not, that would be too obvious…and of course, that does not make you more money. Let me see if I have this straight. The overall cost to deliver passengers from point A to point B includes several factors or variables. One of those variables is how much fuel is used. One of the factors of fuel usage is the weight of the plan and load. If you are losing money due to the weight of the passengers, I guess it makes sense to try to make it up by charging them extra. Oops.. hand now caught in the cookie jar. Since the majority of Americas are large, it seems you have a profitable business opportunity, but at the expense of the fat people. And if you drive those passengers off, not a problem.. fuel cost saved… it’s a win-win. I will not fly your airline again unless you change this practice.
Eliza_in_NH
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Mr. Smith is using his celebrity status to promote HIS side of this situation apparently to gain fame. By purchasing two seats up front, he clearly is aware of his size. Look at the man. He obviously cannot fit into one airplane seat without squishing the passenger sitting next to him. How would you like to be that passenger who has paid for a full seat but loses one-half of your seat to the huge person sitting next to you? If you occupy two seats, then you should buy two seats. Simple. Kudos to Southwest for enforcing their policy. And its generous of Southwest to refund the purchase of a second seat if the flight ends up going out with unoccupied seats.
Ruben
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SWA did the right thing. Kevin Smith wanted special treatment because he is famous. If you are so important, fly first class on another airline. Those seats are larger. I fly OAK-BUR all the time.
Dave45
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Dear Southwest, You are practicing discrimination pure and simple. The public is not as ignorant as you assume. Is there any qualitative or quantitative way that you classify someone as “to big to fly in one seat”? Is there a specific weight or hip measurement? You have left it up to the folks at the ticket counter to make a “judgment call”. The very fact that you require some specific passengers to purchase an extra ticket proves your discriminating. Do you ask those who don’t wear body deodorant to purchase an extra seat so that others are not bothered by the odor? I think not, that would be too obvious…and of course, that does not make you more money. Let me see if I have this straight. The overall cost to deliver passengers from point A to point B includes several factors or variables. One of those variables is how much fuel is used. One of the factors of fuel usage is the weight of the plan and load. If you are losing money due to the weight of the passengers, I guess it makes sense to try to make it up by charging them extra. Oops.. hand now caught in the cookie jar. Since the majority of Americas are large, it seems you have a profitable business opportunity, but at the expense of the fat people. And if you drive those passengers off, not a problem.. fuel cost saved… it’s a win-win. I will not fly your airline again unless you change this practice.
Steve_Gross
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I am glad that you exercise your policy Many times I have been stuck between or along side A person who need two seats and they dont care that they are taking up some of your space. Mr. Smith accepts your policy because he purchased two tickets on his original flight , so he should of accepted the rule and removed him self as a good gesture for his fellow fliers. I really hope he realizes he is in the wrong, But if not I really hope he gets stuck in the middle of two Sumo wrestlers. Happy aviating
Anonymous912
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Looks like I'll be taking another airline on my Orlando and San Francisco trips. This kind of treatment is really uncalled for.
Steve_Thompson
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Congrats to Southwest for following its procedures without fear or favor. Smith has a weight problem and has to expect it may cause embarrassment or inconvenience. This is not some disability rather a lifestyle choice on Smith's part. Having endured far too many flights (on other airlines) with an obese passenger taking up part of my seat, I can only commend Southwest and wish all airlines would follow its lead.
Rachel_Nishimur
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Weak sauce apology. I am flying with American Airlines from now on.
Ridiculous_
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First, I'd find it a pleasure to sit next to Kevin Smith. The man is humorous and fascinating. He never stops promoting himself and I bet even on a plane infringing on my space I'd have a great time. Second, I've flown SouthWest before and I was asked to buy a second seat. I was sitting next to my sister who said she didn't mind. I was told to buy a second seat or leave. I still sat next to my sister. In the same exact seat, despite being forced to pay for another ticket. It is BS. I too as well could buckle my belt and sit comfortably within the armrest.
flyingphotog
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Kevin Smith's profane verbal tirade on Twitter only goes to show he's unwilling to resolve the situation like an adult. His followers are OH SO BRAVE to come and make anonymous attacks toward Christi and SWA from the behind the safety of their computer monitors.
Anonymous2190
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Maybe I missed this lesson in how to handle a negative PR situation but the last I checked, it's not a great idea to release private customer information and then publicly mock the person who had a bad experience. SWA has no idea why Mr. Smith occasionally chooses to purchase 2 seats but as someone who is regular sized, I know that I would do it if I could afford it, simply for comfort and privacy reasons. Releasing that information as though it is indicative of anything or absolves SWA of its poor conduct in this situation is patently self-serving and reprehensible. Rather than defending itself and seeking to discredit Mr. Smith, SWA would be better served by admitting that their employees made a mistake, treated him badly, and will commit to making sure the 2 seat policy is conducted in a respectful, consistent manner. At this point, I'm so disgusted by the response that has been made that I will rethink any future decisions to use your airline.
Anonymous2190
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Maybe I missed this lesson in how to handle a negative PR situation but the last I checked, it's not a great idea to release private customer information and then publicly mock the person who had a bad experience. SWA has no idea why Mr. Smith occasionally chooses to purchase 2 seats but as someone who is regular sized, I know that I would do it if I could afford it, simply for comfort and privacy reasons. Releasing that information as though it is indicative of anything or absolves SWA of its poor conduct in this situation is patently self-serving and reprehensible. Rather than defending itself and seeking to discredit Mr. Smith, SWA would be better served by admitting that their employees made a mistake, treated him badly, and will commit to making sure the 2 seat policy is conducted in a respectful, consistent manner. At this point, I'm so disgusted by the response that has been made that I will rethink any future decisions to use your airline.