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Kevin Smith

Southwest Thinks I'm Fat

2/14/2010 1:48 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0214_kevin_smith_twitter-1Kevin Smith was thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight yesterday for being a "safety risk" -- a polite way of saying he was deemed too fat to fly.

Smith was flying from Oakland to Burbank and was, according to his own tweets, already seated and ready to go when a Southwest attendant named Suzanne "told me Captain Leysath deemed me a 'safety risk.'"

He flew into Oakland on a SW flight, and tweeted later
(along with the photo on the right) that he eventually flew out on one as well.

Smith also received a $100 voucher for his trouble and a few apologetic tweets from SWA, but based on the number of four-letter words used on Smith's Twitter page ... we don't think the apology was accepted.

UPDATE: Southwest responded to Silent Bobgate on their blog.

UPDATE 2
: The SW site seems to be down. Read the blog entry by clicking below.

2/13 Flight 2394, Oakland-Burbank:
Many of you reached out to Southwest Airlines via Twitter last night (2/13) and today (2/14) regarding a situation a Customer Twittered about that occurred on a Southwest flight. It is unusual for us to handle individual Customer concerns in so public a forum, but with so many people involved in and aware of the situation, you also should be involved in the solution. First and foremost, to Mr. Smith: we would like to echo our Tweets and again offer our heartfelt apologies to you. We are sincerely sorry for your travel experience on Southwest Airlines.

As soon as we saw the first Tweet from Mr. Smith, we contacted him personally to apologize for his experience and to address his concerns on both Twitter and with a personal phone call last night and another call this afternoon (2/14). Since the situation has received a lot of public attention, we'd like to take the opportunity to address a few of the specifics here as well.

Mr. Smith originally purchased two Southwest seats on a flight from Oakland to Burbank – as he's been known to do when traveling on Southwest. He decided to change his plans and board an earlier flight to Burbank, which technically means flying standby. As you may know, airlines are not able to clear standby passengers until all Customers are boarded. When the time came to board Mr. Smith, we had only a single seat available for him to occupy. Our pilots are responsible for the Safety and comfort of all Customers on the aircraft and therefore, made the determination that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight. Our Employees explained why the decision was made, accommodated Mr. Smith on a later flight, and issued him a $100 Southwest travel voucher for his inconvenience.

You've read about these situations before. Southwest instituted our Customer of Size policy more than 25 years ago. The policy requires passengers who cannot fit safely and comfortably in one seat to purchase an additional seat while traveling. This policy is not unique to Southwest Airlines and it is not a revenue generator. Most, if not all, carriers have similar policies, but unique to Southwest is the refunding of the second seat purchased (if the flight does not oversell) which is greater than any revenue made (policy is available at www.southwest.com). The spirit of this policy is based solely on Customer comfort and Safety. As a Company committed to serving our Customers in Safety and comfort, we feel the definitive boundary between seats is the armrest. If a Customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat, a Customer seated adjacent would be very uncomfortable and a timely exit from the aircraft in the event of an emergency might be compromised if we allow a cramped, restricted seating arrangement.
327 COMMENTS

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1.

dude    

Way to go, Southwest. Sitting next to an obese encroaching on my already limited seat space for a multi-hour flight is unacceptable. I wish more airlines would take your stance.

And for those saying we should make seats bigger, you should also expect to pay quite a bit more for your ticket. Airlines' profit margins are razor thin (not long ago, Southwest was the one in the US actually making money), and to take seats out would cut that down even more.

1619 days ago
2.

garsny    

I always thought he was adorable. fat or not. i would sit next to him

1626 days ago
3.

dicedpeas    

YAY! A hundred dollar voucher! That makes up for everything! LOL How does this company run by idiots stay in business?

1626 days ago
4.

honesty    

I am so sick of this manure! An airline seat should be made to handle 95% of people. The fact is most Americans are bigger.
The Airlines have made the seats smaller(as we as americans have gotten bigger) will not hand out blankets, peanuts, water, unless you pay extra, and security is crazy.They keep people LOCKED on a plane for over 8 hours, with stopped up bathrooms. I actually saw them make an old white disabled woman with a limp, take off her shoes. The Airlines are not about service. They are not about making the customer happy. They picked on Kevin Smith, because they did not know who he was, until after they messed up.
The Airlines treat people like trash, and they get away with it.

1626 days ago
5.

roo    

well, sorry but I WAS seated next to someone who was too fat to fly and he was sitting on my lap. He was very polite about it but still - if you're in someone else's seat then you should have to pay for two seats, instead of sitting ON the other person. I mean, having someone on your lap for two or more hours is just very uncomfortable.

1626 days ago
6.

michaelacarterallen    

I WOULD SUE THE WINGS OFFA THAT PLANE....I AM A FORMER QUASI-FATTY AND DO NOT APPRECIATE THIS AT ALL!!!

1626 days ago
7.

Marketing $ociologist    

When pigs fly!

1626 days ago
8.

James    

I wonder if he was high/ drunk or acting like he was high/drunk. Given the the fact that Smith could have been acting like an a$$ and they threw him out.

Also Smith is overrated as an director. They guy has one type of movie getting stoned and getting laid. It was fun for the first three movies but not now.

1626 days ago
9.

SUN    

These airlines are out of control!!! They have used the whole 911 tragedy; to do whatever they want to people. Maybe some of the ugly people who work for the airlines should be considered a flight risk.. Now you have all these whiney passengers who want to complain about the slightest inconvience, and it all gets lumped into security flight-risk.

1626 days ago
10.

Allen Ridak    

There's nothing worse than sitting next to some fat tub of lard on a plane who thinks it's fat their right to intrude on my space. Southwest were right to kick the bloated pig off.
Buy a treadmill, fatboy!

1626 days ago
11.

damage3270    

never mind that he is fat...lets talk about why in the world they keep giving this guy a chance to prove himself...his movies suck they make NO money...plus he just isnt that funny...nor talented...I mean is movies make NO money...

1626 days ago
12.

argyle    

Yay Southwest! I have been stuck next to someone very overweight on a long flight. It is miserable! Overweight and obnoxious? I would beg to have him removed. They shouldn't have given him the voucher. They should have made him buy a second seat like they do everyone else who is too fat to fit.....or maybe he was just obnoxious and not too fat. In that case...no voucher either. No matter who you are.

1626 days ago
13.

knumbknuts    

Keep the faith, Southwest. There are a lot of non-obese passengers thanking you right now.

1626 days ago
14.

Machelle    


I wouldn't fly on Southwest
Airlines if it were free.
We call it
Southworst.
You might as well take a bus.

1626 days ago
15.

beth    

All of you who are complaining about the way SW treated a fat person, get in line to sit next to them on your next flight and let me have 100% of the seat I paid for.

Go Southwest! We who are not fat thank you!

1626 days ago
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