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Not So Silent Bob

cday
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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
Heckadad
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I am glad that I now know not to fly Southwest Airlines, they are really into safety though.
Nic_Schweitzer
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Even though I've never flown before, I can safely say I'll never fly southwest air because of this. And I have to fly to NY in a month. You just lost a customer.
HealthNut
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I don't like to sit next to obese people. I don't like to sit next to people who smell. I don't like to sit next to sick people. I don't like to sick next to people who have crying unruly babies. I don't like to sit next to strangers who want to talk to me. I don't like to sit next to people who have smokers cough. I don't like to sit next to people who smell like cigarette smoke. I don't like to sit next to people who fart. I don't like to sit next to or behind people who don't wash their hair. I don't like to sit next to people who look like terrorists. I don't like to sit next to people who wear funny hats due to their religious beliefs. With that said that's most of the people in the world. You and all the fat smelly unkept unhealthy Kevin Smiths can take a train, stay home or buy two tickets. In fact, buy all the seats so I don't have to sit next to you... Go Southwest! Keep up the good work and please use my post as future recommendations for telling people why they can't fly on your airlines so that I may enjoy my flight for a change. Interestly, I think this was intended as a publicity stunt for a second rate director promoting his new film, CopOut, which is due out on Feb. 26. Never knew who the fat**s was until today.
Annie_Bannie
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This is terrible, it's not an explanation nor an apology. You messed up with your inconsistent policies, and now your paying for it. Your 100 dollar voucher and your apology isn't helping the ton of other people who you've unfairly discriminated against or forced to buy extra unused seats when they CAN put down the armrests and buckle their seatbelts.
Anonymous2858
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THANK YOU SOUTHWEST I dont want to sit by a large man of his size. I just saw him on tv bad mouthing your airline, and the whole time all I was thinking was GOD I dont want him to sit by me!! just wondering if he was not a hollywood type would this be getting all of this press? I guess Hollywood fat people get special treatment!!! Suck it up FATTY IF YOU CAN !! O by the way call JENNY CRAIG!
Ben3
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This *apology* seems very insincere. Apologies don't come with excuses -- especially ones that demonstrate a lack of understanding of what the customer claimed happened. If Kevin fits in the seat with the armrests down, there was no need to remove him from the plane. It doesn't matter how many seats he has purchased in the past. If it was believed Kevin was too large to fit in the seat, he should not have been boarded on the plane. Furthermore, taking the woman next to him on the later flight aside to tell her she may need to purchase two seats was wrong. Even if she may need two seats there was no need to embarrass her in that way. If it is really necessary, how about finding a discrete way to talk to passengers about their size? I am a large man - both heavy and tall. I find airplane seats to be one of the most uncomfortable places I can be. I buy only one seat when I fly. I fit between the armrests. I don't need a seatbelt extender. When an option is available (on other airlines that offer it), I will upgrade to get more leg room. When I have options, the leg and head room on specific airlines and airplanes are things I consider when purchasing tickets. My point? I can fit in one seat but am close enough in size that I fear Southwest might decide to boot me from a plane. Based on this so-called *apology*, it seems that the way Kevin Smith was treated is standard operating procedure for Southwest. That being the case, I will not risk flying Southwest again. I do not care for Kevin Smith's foul language but believe he is more in the right here than Southwest Airlines. Look beyond the language and attitude to realize that Southwest handled this very poorly. The true measure of customer service is how a company handles things when mistakes are made. Southwest has failed.
Anonymous962
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TEAM SOUTHWEST! Good for you guys, and this is coming from an overweight person. Kevin Smith needs to chill the heck out, he's making a mountain out of a mole hill. Get over yourself buddy.
HealthNut
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I don't like to sit next to obese people. I don't like to sit next to people who smell. I don't like to sit next to sick people. I don't like to sick next to people who have crying unruly babies. I don't like to sit next to strangers who want to talk to me. I don't like to sit next to people who have smokers cough. I don't like to sit next to people who smell like cigarette smoke. I don't like to sit next to people who fart. I don't like to sit next to or behind people who don't wash their hair. I don't like to sit next to people who look like terrorists. I don't like to sit next to people who wear funny hats due to their religious beliefs. With that said that's most of the people in the world. You and all the fat smelly unkept unhealthy Kevin Smiths can take a train, stay home or buy two tickets. In fact, buy all the seats so I don't have to sit next to you... Go Southwest! Keep up the good work and please use my post as future recommendations for telling people why they can't fly on your airlines so that I may enjoy my flight for a change. Interestingly, I think this was intended as a publicity stunt for a second rate director promoting his new film, CopOut, which is due out on Feb. 26. Never knew who the fat**s was until today.
Salembabie
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What a crock of crap! You people got caught treating paying customers like garbage. How many customers did you treat like garbage before you got caught?? I will never fly SWA. You say "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." As soon as you saw the first tweet you realized you had been caught treating a "famous" paying customer like garbage.... if the customer wasn't famous and just a regular Joe would they get an apology? Did you apologize to the young lady that you embarrassed on Mr. Smith's later flight? I think not......
Anonymous2858
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THANK YOU SOUTHWEST I dont want to sit by a large man of his size. I just saw him on tv bad mouthing your airline, and the whole time all I was thinking was GOD I dont want him to sit by me!! just wondering if he was not a hollywood type would this be getting all of this press? I guess Hollywood fat people get special treatment!!!
Anonymous1632
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Southwest Airlines: This is not the first incident that you have insulted people and thrown people off of a flight. And you tell them you're sorry...but continue this horrible prejudice. This practice of profiling is in ripe for a lawsuit. I hope you get your "bottom line" sued. In that I do not wish to be insulted nor thrown off one of your flights. I have vowed to never fly your airline, even if it means I must drive thousands of miles. However, I have chosen to fly 275,000 (actual miles) per year on other carriers. While Southwest has been deemed successful by watching the "bottom line", this one is way over the line. I for one of influence, will never stand "in line" for one of your flights. You will save a lot of money in fuel costs with millions of people choosing other airlines. Oh yeah, heads-up...half of America is overweight...I've seen them on other airlines with skinny people...they get along just fine.
Edward_Brennan
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If Mr. Smith can fit between the armrests and can fasten his seatbelt, I find it hard to understand Southwest Airlines policy. Is this a question of if you are in any way unsure that you shouldn't choose Southwest? Buying an extra seat does not apparently Mr. Smith had done this in the past and when buying for his most recent travel arrangements. (Though he does state that he buys more space for other reasons. If had his celebrity profile and could afford it I would probably do likewise.) Maybe southwest should have realized that they were unable to seat his entire party before offering standby. Shouldn't Southwest make those decisions before someone boards the plane where the confrontation, even if justified, will be horribly embarassing for the person involved. Most airlines can figure out baggage, It seems that a weight or maybe waistline standard that is known beforehand might be in order- Since fitting the ability to put the armrests are down or buckleing the seatbelt plays any part. It seems to be a more subjective one on the part of Southwest employees, and a standard that in Mr Smith' s experiences does not seem to be consistantly applied. Kevin Smith states he is fat, but not that fat. Southwest Airlines apparently believes that, sometimes, he is. Anyone on a plane has a right to the space they have paid for, including the people sitting next to people who can not fit in one seat. But there are more humanly decent ways to handle this I am sure. Through better policy, customer service that treats people with decency in a situation that I am sure anyone would find stressful and embarassing. Southwest might have considered this. In coming to their blog I hoped to know more about Southwest's side of the story. But looking at Southwest's response here I doubt that this is an airline that will consider, let alone read any of the above. You don't apologize for an embarassing and at the very least poorly handled situation with a Joke based on the work of the customer. (The title of the response/not quite apology) He was removed from your airplane for being to fat for one seat. This is not humourous. It is not a humourous situation. Kevin Smith might chose to deal with an embarassing situation through humor, or even cursing. He is a customer who through your actions can now be another fat joke in late night comedy. Southwest might find this sort of situation funny. I find this snide. I think that this shows a shallow PR contriteness with which Southwest views a customer service issue. To show pride in these policies says more about Southwest than any Kevin Smith tweet.
SarahK
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@Tony Burkhart, Willy Wonka reference FTW! @Southwest, this is pretty ridiculous. If you think someone doesn't fit in a seat as per your policy, and they demonstrate to you that they DO, the correct response is "I see that I was mistaken, thank you for your cooperation sir, have a nice flight," not "I must pretend I was not wrong to avoid losing face, because it's more important to me that I demonstrate my power to force other people to do what I say than to behave in a professional or ethical manner." Was it really worth it?
Jen_Vargas
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I would LOVE to see SWA PR respond to the brunt of comments listed here! What a MESS they've gotten themselves into! To use a "25 year old" policy to defend your company against a passenger who came to you genuinely upset about a situation is not only an act of cowardice, it's just BAD BUSINESS. I know the adage (and business cornerstone to most), "the customer is always right," may be dated or not apply to the airline industry but I'm absolutely positive it's MUCH older than your "25 year old Customer of Size policy." ONE WOULD NEVER SEE JETBLUE (@jetblue on Twitter) stoop to this level of humiliation. A level that, I'm sure, has followed Mr. Smith (and the passengers around him) home from the airport. Attempting to use your blog to try and "smooth" things over just makes your airline look worse. Even the title of this blog is disingenuous -- how shameful! I have never had the problem that Mr. Smith and others have encountered with you, but I will be sure to NOT consider your airline in my future travels. I will be sure to urge the many companies and clients I work with to follow suit. Also, to all the negative "Anonymous" commenters out there who freely throw derogatory terms around. Whether you're plants for this company or not, at least have the chutzpah to identify yourself, since you're so quick judge everyone else in the world. Even if you use a fake name (which I'm sure any other spineless, hiding-safely-behind-a-keyboard jerk would do).
Brad3
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I didn't read all of the posts, but I think what SW is doing is fine. I am so tired of overweight people taking a victims stance. Take control of your life, lose weight, and save us all money and trouble.
Anonymous987
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I doubt few people will read this amid the mob scene that appears to be going on within this blog, but I have a confession to make---and it's that at age 55, I'm not the same size as I was when I was 20---and as a result, I no longer fit the volume size of an average airline seat. There are those (and plenty of them can be seen here on this blog, as well as others) that would make the snap, default judgement that I'm at my current girth as a direct result of scarfing a few dozen Twinkies per day, but whether its from from that or less obvious and private causes like medical and other related issues, it's really immaterial to the "debate" that's raging. Before my personal expansion, I wouldn't have appreciated a large seatmate violating the territorial airspace and personal space of my own airline seat. Now that I'm one of those larger folks myself, I not only fully respect the right of a potential seatmate to enjoy the seat space that they paid for, but I also respect Southwest's (or any airline's) right to ensure that they get it. It's basic Golden Rule stuff folks; have we managed to forget all that? All these opinions relating to why large passengers are large is just cruel commentary from insensitive folks who don't have anything better to do with their time than to judge folks, and doing so based on their own predjudices. It's a really sad commentary on some in our society. It can be tough for some folks to concede that they've become larger in size to the point that they now need two seats, and given Kevin Smith's having reserved two seats on his many previous SWA flights, that fact tends to blow his contention that he was removed from the flight and discriminated against for being fat. I think, to anyone with more than 2-3 functioning brain cells, he was removed because someone goofed by allowing him to board the earlier flight that only had a single open seat, versus the two he'd reserved on his scheduled flight. Someone else caught the error, and he was removed---it's as simple of that, yet we now have this molehill that's been turned into a mountain. Why is that? Has anyone noticed that when one goes to Smith's Twitter page, it's covered with advertisements for a movie he has coming out in a few days? Is it any wonder that, in addition to the gazillion Twitter hits he's had, he's now also "volunteering" to appear on "Oprah" and "The Daily Show" to "settle" all the controversy? Good grief, this "story" has been picked up my various national media outlets. As I said earlier, my having now become the size where I now need two seats, I'm not insensitive to how cruel and judgemental some folks can be, but Smith's motives and actions appear to be nothing more than a guerilla marketing campaign to draw attention to and otherwise promote his upcoming movie. To the extent that that's indeed the case, as I suspect it is, how ironic it is that he's insensitively "using" the very people he's purporting to "stand up for". His new move is called "Cop Out", and the additional irony is that Smith is doing just that himself....
Cptpost
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I'm really glad i know who NOT to fly with now, Southwest = Tools
Anonymous741
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I will never fly SWA unless I have absolutely no choice. How will I know the individual criteria of a particular crew? I will drive to Milwaukee and skip Chicago Midway altogether. I am disgusted that this blog fails to admit that Kevin Smith FITS IN ONE SEAT with arms down and with belt extender!
Cptpost
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I'm really glad i know who NOT to fly with now, Southwest = Tools
Anthony_-25yr_f
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If you cant fit in one seat you need to buy two. I paid for my seat and dont want sombody hanging over into my space. The agent dropped the ball by allowing this fatty (his words) on-board with only one seat. Buy two seats and get out of my space. Also, if you cant fit through an overwing window exit, dont sit there and block my exit. Emergencies do happen and we have to always be prepared.
Anthony_-25yr_f
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If you cant fit in one seat you need to buy two. I paid for my seat and dont want sombody hanging over into my space. The agent dropped the ball by allowing this fatty (his words) on-board with only one seat. Buy two seats and get out of my space. Also, if you cant fit through an overwing window exit, dont sit there and block my exit. Emergencies do happen and we have to always be prepared.
Summer
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What I think is most humorous is that all of you jumping to Mr. Smith's defense and crying foul would be the FIRST to complain if someone was taking up part of the seat you purchased. Just saying.
Holly4
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You are some arrogant people at Southwest. But, luckily, I suspect you will pay for this mistake. And the comments, well, they range from sane to sad. I am a person of size - yes, I admit it - and I roll over the side of my seats because they are too small for normal sized people. I am also over six feet tall so my knees end up in the aisle or in the back of the person in front of me! I love to fly - not. So, instead of making an airline that is tolerant of the fact that I am just as uncomfortable as the next guy, you make this my issue. I don't mind purchasing two seats but how dare you suggest it, when you don't make a 6 foot 8 athlete purchase two seats. He is causing just as much trouble by shoving his knees into my back until he can finally stretch them down the aisle next to me. And can you muzzle the screaming kids, the lady who wants me to pray with her, or the stewardess who knows my knees are in the aisle but continues to bang into them. Oh wait, you can't justify kicking me off the plane because I am tall, can you. Or the screaming children.. because they are just kids.. poor little things. Nobody would understand that.... but being ugly to fat people is ok. You are just starting to fly in my area - good luck with that. Holly
Anonymous229
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This is a PR nightmare. Good luck with this.
Anonymous2895
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I will never fly Southwest again. This is just one more step in your failure to view your customers as human beings. Bags fly free? I'd rather fly an airline where I have to pay for my bags and where everyone is treated with respect than to give another dime of my money to your company.
Summer
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Also, I'd be willing to bet a lot that the majority of you vowing to "never fly Southwest again" will fly Southwest again. The reason? In the end, your pocketbook matters more than your righteous indignation.
Anonymous3589
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I've read both sides of this story and have made the decision not to fly SWA ever again. This combined with other claims of discrimination disgust me and I refuse to give SWA my hard earned money.
Kevin_Smith_Fan
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Kevin Smith has said several times he never buys 2 seats from you or any other airline. So there is your first lie. He also says he fits into your seats by YOUR standards with no extensions or extra seat purchases. There is lie number 2. He also says he never received an e-mail or phone call apology from you. Lie number 3. If you would lie about someone who has the power and money to discredit what you have said, how can us regular Joe's trust you at all? I will never fly Southwest because your customer service skills suck. BOYCOTT SOUTHWEST!!!!
Anonymous3646
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I love southwest. And one time I had to sit next to this one HUGE FAT LADY and I hated it. I was so uncomfortable. she just took up too much space. I didn't know this rule was in place or else I would have said something to get her off the flight or into another seat. I am glad southwest has this rule. FAT People should just not be allowed to make us more slender folks uncomfortable in our seats because they don't exercise and eat too much. SouthWest, keep up the great job y'all do.
Anonymous1296
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I guess this is one of those things where people would say 'only in america'. Prepare for more red tape and useless protocol like the guy who was upset after he burned his mouth on his McD's coffee. But GJ Southwest, take a stand!
Tracy_Jordan
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I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. Scarface Free Kevin Smith. NBC will never fLy southwest again. ooobye monetary sums!
Anonymous3563
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I'm tired of this argument. The POS policy has always been a matter of "safe" harassment. Who cares how THOSE people are treated. They obviously have no feelings as they frankly have no self-esteem...Safety? So why seat the mommy with attachments on the aisle when it is clear that in an emergency she will refuse to move until she has her darlings in tow. Or the aged couple who creak when they move; want to guess just how quickly they will respond in an emergency? How is that "safer" than the chance a fat person can't move quickly enough? Now comfort and convenience of other passengers while sounding much less politically correct comes much closer to the truth. People don't want their seatrng area encroached upon. Fine, then while we are at it, I'm an asthma sufferer. Do you know how many times I havegasped my way through a flight owing to my seat mate's love of heavy fragrance? Some how I'm expected to tolerate that. No one is worried about my actual safety in that situation. I'll fly Southwest again when they honor the comfort of all passengers and include people who pollute my air along with the "fatties" they seem so willing to disrespect. What ever happened to civilized behavior, cooperation and tolerance? Oh yeah, our me first, last, and only society!
Livia1
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Here's the thing. I've been flying Southwest Airlines, and preferring them to all other airlines for about 15 years now. On my very first flight, there were even freshly baked cookies. And I'm fat. The smallest I could have been for any of my flights would have been around 220lbs, but more likely most were in the 300lb range - including flights where I required a seat belt extender. And I'm pretty sure that Kevin Smith is smaller than I am/have been. So it sounds like the enforcement of your policy has changed because barriers to discrimination against fat people have been lowered. And I'm torn, too, because Southwest is one of the few American carriers to still not charge a fee for checked baggage (which makes the flight experience to much better because you don't have the eternal wait on boarding and deplaning while people try to stow and retrieve everything they'll need to a week's vacation from the overhead compartments). Seriously, I've gone around and recommended the company. Even though you didn't show up on my friend's search of low fares on Travelocity and then Kayak, I still double checked your official site and found him a better fare through you. I really liked you guys. But if I can sit in a seat, lower the armrests, and buckle the belt, I want to know that I'll be able to get to my destination for the pre-negotiated price. I budget out and plan my vacations 6 months to two years ahead. And surprise doubling of my transportation costs is not acceptable -- and doubly not when I fit your published guidelines but might provoke discrimination anyway by being fat.
Anonymous4635
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thank you SouthWest! Keep on enforcing the policy!
Anonymous266
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Southwest, how exactly did the Pilot see Kevin Smith? Was the Pilot already done with his preflight check and inspection and felt the need to inspect the passengers?
Anonymous4292
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I fight my weight all the time so I can appreciate it when I sit next to someone that is much leaner than me. Because I don't want to make the person next to me uncomfortable I try my best to make sure that I don't interfere in "their space"...... to my inconvenience. So......I do appreciate your policy Southwest. It is NOT FAIR to others (that pay for their space) to be inconvenienced by someone much larger (especially for someone that buys 2 seats for himself). Your service is good. Your prices are good. Keep up the good work though it may get others a bit upset. Some folks are heavy by choice, so it becomes their problem.....not yours.
Anonymous266
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Southwest, how exactly did the Pilot see Kevin Smith? Was the Pilot already done with his preflight check and inspection and felt the need to inspect the passengers?
Anonymous4292
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I fight my weight all the time so I can appreciate it when I sit next to someone that is much leaner than me. Because I don't want to make the person next to me uncomfortable I try my best to make sure that I don't interfere in "their space"...... to my inconvenience. So......I do appreciate your policy Southwest. It is NOT FAIR to others (that pay for their space) to be inconvenienced by someone much larger (especially for someone that buys 2 seats for himself). Your service is good. Your prices are good. Keep up the good work though it may get others a bit upset. Some folks are heavy by choice, so it becomes their problem.....not yours.
Keep_fat_rights
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SOOOO good to see MANY sticking up and outaraged at this PREJUDICE against overweight people it's ABOUT TIME!!! Never again SW-- there are plenty of flights elsewhere!
Anonymous3563
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I'm tired of this argument. The POS policy has always been a matter of "safe" harassment. Who cares how THOSE people are treated. They obviously have no feelings as they frankly have no self-esteem...Safety? So why seat the mommy with attachments on the aisle when it is clear that in an emergency she will refuse to move until she has her darlings in tow. Or the aged couple who creak when they move; want to guess just how quickly they will respond in an emergency? How is that "safer" than the chance a fat person can't move quickly enough? Now comfort and convenience of other passengers while sounding much less politically correct comes much closer to the truth. People don't want their seatrng area encroached upon. Fine, then while we are at it, I'm an asthma sufferer. Do you know how many times I have gasped my way through a flight owing to my seat mate's love of heavy fragrance? Some how I'm expected to tolerate that. No one is worried about my actual safety in that situation. I'll fly Southwest again when they honor the comfort of all passengers and include people who pollute my air along with the "fatties" they seem so willing to disrespect. What ever happened to civilized behavior, cooperation and tolerance? Oh yeah, our "me first, last, and only" society! Every citizen a Prima Donna (except those fatties of course.)
Anonymously_Ann
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You have NEVER explained EXACTLY HOW he posed a "safety risk/issue", Southwest. And I don't give a crap if every airline carrier has this policy - saying "excuse me, but you are too fat to be on a plane" (which IS what you implied and meant, forget about being sued for calling somebody "fat", the fact that you regularly THROW PEOPLE OFF OF PLANES because they are deemed "too fat" by some outdated ridiculous standard) is wrong. I'm big myself, but not big enough for that. And I *dare* anyone tell me I'm too fat to do something. Fat people endure enough scrutiny and judgement as it is...and most of them are NOT like Kevin Smith. They have the same emotional fortitude your average person does. They go and cry in a bowl of ice cream when people make fun of them, just like everyone else. And how is that conducive to anything - the airline carriers are just contributing to the problem! Is it going to become such a safety issue that only those who are deemed to be "average" will be able to fly? What about buses, trains, rental cars - are they next? Are people who are afraid they're too fat just supposed to stay at home and not go anywhere? Because THAT is where this is headed. Southwest, you have an opportunity to stop this nonsense NOW. Maybe this is the kick in butt you need to be a force of change.
Amanda19
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Lesson in apologies... you say I'm sorry that I did THING X. Doing THING X was inappropriate and incorrect for the situation. Please accept my apologies. You do not say I'm sorry that I did THING X, but you should've known this was coming and you're wrong. Also, I'm going to release personal information about you. And I'm going to end this with a restatement of my policy on this matter so that it looks like you're an idiot, even though we're the ones who ignored our own policy. Are we clear?
Anonymous266
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SW I love the peanuts along the side of the blog page.. I guess that's all you expect your passengers to eat so they can sit in your seats.
BF
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While I understand the need for some customers to need more then one seat. I honestly don't understand why there is such a need to jam so many customers in a single aircraft thus creating smaller seating situations. I am a fairly tall guy, not obese like some people, I could lose a few lbs like mos Americans out there. I would not consider Kevin Smith to be grossly overweight either. I had to sit next to a very large lady on a southwest flight once and I just sucked it up knowing that she bought a ticket just as I did, and she spent her hard earned money to travel somewhere with the airline. If you want to refuse service to a customer that is the right of any business, but do so before they get to the airport and or in their seat. Millions of Americans depend on airline service everyday. To be stranded because of being to big and to miss important events because of an issue like this is not right. Why don't airlines provide larger seating? Seriously its because of GREED, they want to fit as many customers into an aircraft that is legally possible according to FAA regulations. Airlines have forgotten that if you provide good comfortable service that you will make more money in the long run as you will have customers coming back to you over and over again. I am 6'10" and when I fly airlines like Southwest and Airtran I never get asked if I would like to move up to the emergency exit which provides much more leg room. When I fly Airlines that focus on customer comfort such as Midwest, Fronter, and others I always get asked before I even board the plane if I would be more comfortable in an exit row seat. I think we all need to presure our congressmen to set new regulations for airlines in the US. Personally I think we need airlines that don't push ya into the plane like cattle, and airlines that are more sensitive and non-discriminate against our fellow Americans regardless of what size they are!
Gary1
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This is being handled in a totally outrageous manner. Firstly, the man, in this case, Kevin Smith, was trying to get an earlier flight than the one(s) he bought. In order to exchange the ticket, the ticket agent (a southwest employee) would have had to have visually seen Mr. Smith, and if this "fat" policy is enforced so well, then why didn't this get handled at that point. I suppose the agent was blind? Instead, it was an embarrassment for Mr. Smith on the plane in front of a plane full of passengers. Ultimately, it is the pilots decision, so come on SW, put the blame where it is deserved and stop hym hahhing about this. You're just digging your grave deeper and deeper. You should be handling this with Mr. Smith and not with the public on a blog that was titled with the maturity of a jeolous school girl. I would put a lot of people on the chopping block for this fiasco. Entertainment-wise, it's just getting better and better, but is the price worth it? I won't fly SW anymore, and I know for a fact you lost a bundle of dough by losing Mr. Smith as a customer. If this was my company, HEADS WOULD ROLL and examples would be made. I'm afraid the damage is done for you at this point. Too bad...I used to like SW. Goodbye!
Anonymous4265
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WOW i am so glad these people arent flying South west any more, now my skinny butt will be very comfortable again! and Wow think of all the deals Southwest will cut on Airfare just to make this go away! Thanks Kevin Smith you're MY HERO!
Jerry
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If you're going to enforce Too Fat To Fly you need to have more objective guidelines than be able to put the armrests down. Have a height/weight sign-off during checkin and discreetly weigh people who are questionable. Also please use the same check when hiring stewardess. Stewardesses have to be able to walk down the aisle without molesting the people with aisle seats.
Anonymous2628
Not applicable
I've seen this kind of thing before. Wherever you see "I'll never fly Southwest again!" in these comments, you should read it as: "Next time I fly, if I can get a cheaper ticket elsewhere, and it's at more convenient times or airports, then I'll definitely avoid Southwest and tell everyone who will listen how I'm taking a stand on an important issue that really matters to me!" C'mon people, is this really such a big deal? So 1 person got delayed on 1 flight because of some set of circumstances that obviously didn't occur the dozens (hundreds?) of other times that person flew on Southwest. Hardly a trend, much less a terrible company policy. I'm very sympathetic to pilots and flight crews who have jobs that involve public safety and are clearly very stressful and mostly thankless.
Wern
Not applicable
Hey Kevin! I've got a great comic book / script I want to talk with you about! And a Dogma II movie idea! Also, what is being lost here is that they allowed him on the plane then removed him. It's not like he grew while bording the flight. And I've seen many MANY larger individuals on Southwest flights. My guess is, the pilot was picking a battle. And lastly, when you buy two tickets, what does SW do to ensure you have two together? Since it is first come first serve and all.
Former_Customer
Not applicable
Really? Some apology: "We're very sorry that you were offended, but we were right." Furthermore, even though I fit between the seats, I will never fly Southwest again because I would not want to risk the embarrassment resulting from *your own staff not following your polices* and being arbitrary about who they kick off the plane. This could not be a more clear case of yet another instance of airline staff abusing their power.