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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
301.

Frequentflyer    

You betcha

I fly southwest all the time and if I cannot sit comfortably in my seat without the person sitting next to me having elbows, stomach and other parts pouring over the armrest into my space then I am going to be annoyed as hell - ever heard of personal space. Fit within the space you have paid for or buy extra space, just don't invade mine.

1708 days ago
302.

Lori    

I'd take a discount on my seat if I had a fat person spilling out over into mine....thinkin' outside the box! p.s. I love Southwest Airlines.

1708 days ago
303.

southernbelleorisitbellsouth    

I like Kevin Smith but if he needs to buy two seats then he should. The only reason Southwest is going out of their way to apologize is because he IS Kevin Smith. If he wasn't they would throw a bag of peanuts at him, charge him for them then kick his chunky monkey butt out anyway without blinking an eye. Sorry KS for that but I guess you will be buying two seats till you drop two seats. 37!!!

1708 days ago
304.

Frequent Flyer    

Anyone that thinks SW is just trying to generate money by being mean needs to look at their policies. No bag fees, no change of flight fees, drinks 3 dollars cheaper than anyone else, if you buy two seats for weight issues and the flight is not full you get a refund for the other seat. maybe he got unlucky, but SW has always gone above and beyond for me while delta, united, and Jblue treat me bad for no reason at all. I still love you SW.

1708 days ago
305.

rtrent    

Not only is he fat it appears that a lot of the fat is between his ears. Even if he fits between the armrests he still flows over into others space. Good for Southwest. Those that say they will not fly Southwest because I say the better off we are without them.

1708 days ago
306.

stellagetsit    

I'm really sorry for whatever embarrassment or hurt obese people sufffer. But why should other passengers be inconvienenced by someone elses obesity.
Mr. Smith will not come out and say how much he weighs. I say, measure him and weigh him. Then get two men exactly his height and weight. Put Mr Smith in the middle seat between the others and let him fly somewhere like that. Let's see how much he likes being sandwiched between two people that only need one seat each as he said he does.

1707 days ago
307.

Learn to read.    

Alright, from what I have read Kevin Smith did buy 2 tickets. But being switched to a earlier flight put him on standby.

So that Man himself already thought ahead. He knew the comfort level of Southwest Airlines. In the end, however, it was not his fault that the Airline only had 1 seat availible on his standby flight.

Also, stated by a previous poster, Kevin Smith produces alot more than the movies you've seen him star in. Maybe go on wikipedia.com and see that the new Bruce Wilis movie "Cop Out" is Directed by yours truely. Get your facts before you post next time.

And lastly. I myself hate flying. I myself didn't start flying until after tragic events that so called "changed everything!" about air flight. So what you don't get a pillow or blanket handed to you. They are still in the overhead compartments the last time I put a carry-on in one. The toilets on any transportion suck. Let me see you get an RV and say your precious load doesn't clog it. Oh, and if I checked last time, America's ecconomy is crap. Many Airlines had to cut back on workers, like any other place. So the normal person that used to clean everything is now the one who is your in flight help due to cut backs/layoffs.

Grow up everyone. Or have you forgotten the golden rule, much less learned it to begin with. People come in all shapes,sizes, and color. God himself made it that way. And for all those who are bashing anyone, you are not God. So get off your high horse and join a help line, a charity, all around community help instead of complaining about a three hour flight. ...you just might become a even better person!(Not that you were any kind of good person to begin with) =D

1707 days ago
308.

star    

This really is awful, how unhealthy is this guy. He really should not be surprised, he is a disgrace and needs to start looking after himself better. People who are healthy and look after themselves should not have to sit next to somebody who is half in their chair. If you cannot get it together, buy 2 bus tickets, drive EVEN better Walk Walk Walk to the destination!!

1707 days ago
309.

Mike    

Good for Southwest. We each pay for a seat and fat people are not entitled to sit in part of my seat because they are fat. They should buy 2 seats or pay the person sitting next to them for 1/2 their seat.

Screw this whinny clown.

1707 days ago
310.

Celia    

Southwest does have very small seats and aisles. The solution would be to have a first class section with one of two rows with more leg room and wider seats. Passengers would pay more for their seats so the profits would be the same for Southwest. This would be great for fat people, tall people, the handicapped, mothers with small babies, peope with small pets, persons with claustrophobia, the well know entertainment and sports stars and just regular people who want a little more space and room around them. This would be a very poistive solution for Southwest Airlines and would make everybody more comfortable and happier!

1706 days ago
311.

Not So Silent Bob    

This should have been handled outside at check in at the ticket gate. They have a bin that measures how big carry-on you may have What about a seat and the passenger should have to fit to qualigy and buckle there is NO standard it's based on personal opinion not an exact size or weight measurement as it should be. I don't disagree with requirements for especially coach passengers. The seats are small 17" most seats at sporting events are 18" at minimum and others aew 22"-24". What's the standard and what sixe should you fit it before being over. Airlines have messed up their customer service reputations and need to work hard to get it back . I see a successful lawsuit coming and soon.

1706 days ago
312.

DGW    

It's not fair to passengers sitting next to a very overweight person. Their oversized body usually overflows the armrests and their shoulders and arms crowd the person next to them. That becomes intrusive on the other paying passenger's space. If you are extremely overweight, be considerate of your fellow passengers and purchase two seats. If you can't afford to do this, then don't fly!
I agree with Southwest's decision.

1706 days ago
313.

Karyn    

It ISN'T a matter of size - for those of you who are talking about arm rests and people crowding your seat. I've sat next to very thin people who do the SAME thing. The arm rest excuse is B.S. Flight attendants don't look or even care about who is elbowing who in the next seat. How about kicking off the little kid who kicked my seat back for four hours straight? This is about discrimination pure and simple.

1706 days ago
314.

Karen    

You know what's worse than sitting next to someone heavy? Being the heavy person who has to fly to a funeral and the whole flight some immature jerk glares daggers at them simply for existing. How about that one. Why don't some of you try empathy on and see how it fits you.

Newsflash everyone has something about them that annoys someone else. Try being allergic to perfume and sitting next to - or even in the same plane as - someone who wears lots of it. Everyone should grow up and be nicer to each other.

1706 days ago
315.

Karen    

Raejean's comment deserves reposting. This was excellent:

"283. I will sit far more equitably and happily next to a "fattie" who is spilling into my space, than any slimmer person who is a smoker, has gum disease, too much cologne or perfume, too long since a bath or washed clothing, too weak a bladder, intestinal gas, someone with a toe-tapping or throat-clearing tic, a whiny, staring, or crying child, or someone who really thinks I want to strike up a relationship with them and learn everything about them, where they are going and why, in the course of our flight.

People don't realize how obnoxious and annoying they are when confined to close quarters, and you don't get the Good Housekeeping Seal of Social Approval from me just for being slender!

- Raejean"

1706 days ago
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