As a frequent flyer on Southwest (twice a week), I, like many other commuters from the Northeast to Baltimore/Washington really count on Southwest's many flights during Monday and Friday rush hours, its fare flexibility and pricing for my livelihood and to make my job possible, particularly in an area of the country that has suffered so much job loss. We are hopeful that this transition from low cost carrier to mega airline, together with the airline mergers in total that have reduced competition, will not jack up the fares that so many commuters around the country have grown to count on and that Southwest won't join the legacy airlines in its imposition of fees and restrictive behavior. That would choke many of the routes that it currently serves up and down the east and west coast.
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Seems like the comments are pretty even between those who thank SW for enforcing this policy and those who don't think SW went far enough to make up for the indignity of ousting an oversized person. I do agree with many of the comments before me chastizing the airline for apologizing so publicly only because the offended person happened to be famous. Like the banks, though they depend on the patronage of theaverage joe for their livelihood, American airlines by and large have forgotten who butters their bread.
That said, I fly SW every single week and if I had a penny for every oversized person who yes, managed to squeeze themselves into their seat but promptly overflowed over the armrest and into mine, I'd own the airline. I can't tell you how many times those flight attendants saw what was happening but, short of a loud complaint from me or another affected passenger, were too embarrassed or too afraid to ask the passenger to find a row of seats that would accomodate their body size, leaving me stuck with someone's arm or body part in half the seat that I paid for. When I try to politely mention something to the passenger, I get an angry comment or some sense of entitlement most of the time. I don't pass judgment on those who choose to eat themselves into oblivion or who may have metabolic problems affecting their size or weight that they can't help. But people, you KNOW if you are too large to fit into a particular space. You KNOW that your rear end won't fit into a 17 inch seat because it won't fit into a pair of jeans of like size. What right do you have to impose yourself on the traveling public or demand accomodation from a business for your lifestyle? Thinking selfishly, why would you want to put yourself through that discomfort? I realize that people have to get around but, you don't buy yourself a car that is too small for you to drive comfortably in, you don't demand that your friends buy a larger car to accomodate you as a passenger, why would you demand that an airline accomodate you? There was an anonymous post that discussed the indignity of feeling fat. I sympathize with that as some people really can't help it; too many of us can. Southwest, you did a good job and I hope that you continue to enforce this policy. From my experience, it isn't enforced enough.
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