Kevin Smith Kicked off Southwest For Being Too Fat
Actor/Director Kevin Smith was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight from San Francisco to Burbank yesterday because he was too fat. It's obvious the flight crew made a big PR mistake since the story is blowing up like his apparent weight problem. I was told by a Southwest executive that Mr. Smith had previously purchased two seats because he likes the extra room but he was trying to get on an earlier flight so he flew standby. Standby passengers are the last to board and when he did – there weren't two seats together. That's when the flight attendant told him he was going to have to wait for the next flight since he didn't fit safely into his seat. FYI: Normally, if a passenger is questionable in size Southwest will have them pre-board to see if they fit "safely" and "comfortably" into the seat with both armrests down.
Southwest isn't the only airline to have the customer of size policy but they are one of the more generous as they will reimburse those passengers the cost of the extra seat if the flight isn't full. The policy also isn't new for Southwest– it's been around for the past 29 years but they only recently started enforcing it. To be clear it doesn't matter how much a passenger weighs it all depends on if they can fit "comfortably" between the armrests. Apparently, Mr. Smith couldn't. Personally, I have a difficult time believing it because I met him a few years ago and he wasn't that large. But then again I don't the man's eating habits nor have I seen him recently. One thing is for sure was a great guy.
Have you ever had a "customer of size" sit next to you? I have and it wasn't a pleasant experience – I couldn't even put my tray table down because his belly was that huge. I felt bad especially if it was a disease issue and for those wondering why I didn't switch seats - the flight was full and was nowhere to go. It's a tough call and I see both the customer of size and airline's points of view. How about you?
Fine print: Here is Southwest Airlines customer of size policy.