So, do you employ any public relations professionals at all who are soundly advising you? Or just lawyers to make sure you're not taking responsibility?
Let me ask about these policies: Do you require elderly who cannot move as fast, use a cane or require wheelchair assistance to bring along help for safety reasons so that they don't slow down the exiting process in case of emergency? Do you charge them extra for the ability to use a wheelchair and get assistance from the airline crew? Do you require someone who is wearing a cast on his/her leg to purchase an extra seat for the comfort and safety of others? Do you allow people with mental disabilities who might be confused in an emergency situation to fly on your airline? Do you allow unaccompanied minors who cannot be expected to act in the same manor as an adult in an emergency situation to fly your airline? Furthermore, do you wait until these people have boarded and then publicly-humiliate them for their differences?
Basically, your response says you discriminate against people who are overweight, not people who may pose a safety risk for the other passengers in an emergency situation. Furthermore, your policy implies that being overweight is a choice. Are you sure you can prove that every time? Are you up on the latest medical research on this issue or are you still holding up policies based on medical research of 25 years ago?
And just because 'everyone else is doing it' doesn't make it right, ethical or moral. What a first grade answer! Are you going to be a follower on social policies or a leader? Your public relations says you're a follower, which is not good branding or positioning (PR 101).
I hope someone with the money and power to do so, like Kevin Smith, will challenge your very discriminatory practices. I hope that your airline will take this opportunity to really examine its policies of discrimination. As I recall, you also recently arbitrarily did not allow a young woman to board your flight because you found her clothing to be too provocative (a very subjective term). That is very sexist because it says that women are responsible for policing the behavior of others by not dressing in a way that will cause lust. Isn't that the Taliban's position too? Very forward-thinking of you!
Get it together, Southwest. There is nothing intelligent, redeeming or apologetic about this very ill-conceived response.
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