We fly CONSTANTLY (several times a month, and have for the last 10+ years). I am also tall (6'1") for a woman, overweight AND in a wheelchair (due to a car wreck several years ago). My husband is 6'5" and overweight. He flies with me (we work for the same company).
A few years ago we happened to have our company book us on a Southwest Flight. Upon arrival at the airport we were "lectured" about our size by Southwest staff at the ticket desk and were told that we would HAVE to purchase another seat. We assured them that we were able to fit within the armrests (without lapping over into the adjoining seat) and fasten our seat belts, and therefore were refusing to purchase another seat.. Upon arrival at the gate we got the same lecture, and we offered the same explanation. At the door of the plane, we got the same lecture (and I offered the same explanation). When everyone was seated on the flight, I asked the man sitting next to me (I was in the middle) if he had enough room, and he stated he was fine. Coming home from our trip, we went through the same BS. I, again, asked the person next to me if I was invading his space... he said, "Honey, you're fine!" and we chatted for the whole trip back.
After that trip, we told the company to NEVER book us on Southwest again. After hearing what happened, they said they wouldn't book ANY of the employees on Southwest.
Southwest says that "all" companies have a similar policy in place regarding their fat passengers... but I've NEVER, EVER, had another airline (and I've flown on most all that service destinations inside the US) treat me like Southwest did. And, honestly, If I'm (as a fatty... a handicapped fatty at that) so offensive to everyone... why aren't folks that refuse to shower (or take a bath in cologne), brush their teeth, etc. offensive? For those of us that do bathe (and don't stink), the stench is offensive. I don't complain, though.
Southwest lost our business a few years ago (we tend to fly on either American or AirTran), and I thought that the treatment we received from Southwest was reserved for us; I take comfort in knowing that it doesn't matter WHO you are, Southwest is going to treat you like crap if you're a "fatty".
I'm glad I have a policy about not dealing with bigots!
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