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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

No Avatar
241.

nico    

As an x flight attendant i can vouch it is an actual safety risk. On the subject of the obese : I smoke a freaking cigarette and everyone in the world has the right to criticize me - yet you eat yourself into a diabetic death blob and i am expected to have sympathy and respect for your lifestyle, NOPE.

I HATE THIS DOUBLE STANDARD! FAT PEOPLE SHOULD PAY DOUBLE INSURANCE AND FOR AS MANY SEATS THEY NEED TO SUPPORT THEIR GIRTH.

I NEVER eat what I want to. It is not possible to eat what you want and be healthy, give this country 20 more years to prove my point for me.

1711 days ago
242.

snickers    

The pilot should have just thrown him off the plane for making lousy movies; that's a fair reason. And forget the $100 gift card.

1711 days ago
243.

Observer    

SW has a very good policy. If you care to read it, you would understand.

1711 days ago
244.

Fox    

I think it's time we declare war on fatties! Have you seen Wall-E? We are nearly there!! Hundreds of years from now, history classes will teach how overindulgence led to our doom. A nation of Jabba the Huts is a nation of sitting ducks! They should have had that conversation in Clerks instead.

1711 days ago
245.

James Hunt    

Ive also been discriminated against with Southwest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDKlKSINd4U

1711 days ago
246.

AnnieSH    

All of you who are disgusted with everyone who is making nasty comments about fat people, or those of you who are taking offense because you are fat as well...

Now you know how smokers feel when people criticize them. Join the club.

Of course a smoker can quit immediately if they want. A fat person can't.

1711 days ago
247.

Shannon    

If you had bothered reading his tweets, he was in his seat with his armrests down - it wasn't like he was spilling into the other seats or crowding the person next to him. SWA screwed up - plain and simple.

1711 days ago
248.

Observer    

Kevin Smith needs to lose some weight. I would hate to sit next to him. He probably breathes all heavy and would make my flight uncomfortable. I am glad Southwest has this policy. I don't know how many times a fat person has made me feel uncomfortable in a seat I paid full price for. Lose weight or take greyhound.

1711 days ago
249.

MARKI    

I see how some "normal weight" people eat. You don't even have the concept of a take out box when dining out. In addition, you must have your alcohol and appetizers in addition to the main course. Then there is the chocolate cake that you just have to have. Just keep eating people. The fat will surely come your way too.

1711 days ago
250.

Fzzt    

I agree with the buy as many seats as you are wide policy however I wish they'd also use an odor detector as well as the bomb sniffing machine on passengers before letting them board the aircraft.
Sat next to too many stinky people and I'm not just talking about a little BO from running across the airport because they gave you a whopping 5 min to catch your next flight, I mean the people that smell like they have a dead cat in their coat or the human ashtrays.
P-you!

1711 days ago
251.

J C    

" Too Fat to Fly "
Starring
Kevin Smith and Michael Moore
A film about two whiny weak willed men
forced to come to terms with denial.

1711 days ago
252.

sick of whiners    

I'm so sick of whiners. It's not about Southwest Airlines. It's about people like Kevin Smith, desperately in need of a salad, being totally inconsiderate of other passengers. If you need two seats to get from point A to point B, PAY THE PRICE. Why should Southwest Airlines get bad press because of your big butt. Grow up and get on a treadmill.

1711 days ago
253.

Klick    

Hooray for Southwest!! I am tired of paying for a whole seat and having to share part of it with a space challenged passenger! I only wish the last two times I flew Southwest they had required these passengers to reserve enough room for the body they were clearly aware they possessed, and not forced me to surrender a part of my seat. This is good news for those of us who understand only two small carry-on rules on airplanes, and maximum 15 item lanes at the market. THANK YOU SOUTHWEST!!!

1711 days ago
254.

Jean    

I wouldn't want to have to sit next to this dude so shut your pie hole up (I love heavy people, pay for two tickets).

Southwest was looking out for the people next to him (Thank you Southwest). This big mouth needs to shut his fat trap.

I LOVE SOUTHWEST!!!!!

1711 days ago
255.

Bill    

Fat people cost all of us money, in the form of the extra tax dollars they use to treat the diabetes, heart disease and strokes they eat themselves into. And they are disgusting to be stuck next to on any transportation service. The hell with these whiny beasts, put them on a treadmill and tell them to stop bitching for once and to cut out the soda and french fries, etc.

1711 days ago
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