Department of the Navy does not allow commercial travel in and routine service or working uniforms. This policy was put into place after a Navy diver was singled out during a hijacking. SWA has a policy that effectively excludes Sailors and Marines. it is embarrassing calling for “uniformed personnel” on official business for boarding only to be turned away because I’m not in a uniform. The term “uniformed personnel” includes the military, Public Health Service and National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration folks both in and out of a uniform.
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Logically, one might think that the middle would be the worst case scenario. But when it happened to me I was on the aisle. Leaning into the aisle to accomodate the bulk of the other person (it really wasn't their fault - their size was larger than the seat) was all I could do at the time. But it caused me physical pain because you cannot sit leaning sideways for extended periods of time without damage, at least not when you're in your sixties. I suffered for awhile as a result. It's too bad large people don't follow SWA policy on oversized persons. If they reserve ahead, then that overbooked situation would have been less likely and there would have been enough room. (overbooked because of the need for two rather than one seats) Southwest doesn't even charge for the extra seat. They refund the fee for the space. If there is plenty of room on the plane, the large persons can request the reserved extra seat at no charge the day of the flight by approaching the staff at boarding. Good to know. Pass in on to the "large-and-in-charge" in your life.
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