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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.

: 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 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.

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Can everybody say "fatties on a plane"?

1687 days ago


I sat next to a very large man on a flight once. I was very tired and soon drifted off to sleep. I woke up and found myself nestled in the folds of his belly and drooling on his shirt. I apologized and he was very kind about it. It was the most comfy nap I've ever had on a plane. There are upsides to sitting next to a person of size.

1687 days ago


It's just not about people who are overweight. Every airline should take into account all shapes and sizes. Could you see a football player try to fit in a seat? What about people who are really tall? There Knees are so crushed they can't breath. We all need to remember God made everyone all different shapes and sizes. As long as it is handle with respect for that person then whatever the rules are that are set out should be followed. This shouldn't be about a character assination on what someone looks like on how they should be treated. Let's be Human.

1686 days ago


Good job for enforcing the rules! I am sick of flying next to people that spill over into my seat that I paid for. Fat people need to quit complaining about businesses not accomodating them. Most of you are the way you are because you can't put down your fork. For the miniority that have health issues that make them heavy, its unfortunate, but still not the problem of others to accomodate.

1686 days ago


The giveaway is that Kevin Smith puffs out his cheeks mimicking the obese and his face looks the same as before. He doesn't need to blow out his cheeks since that look comes naturally and effortlessly to him.

1680 days ago

FSF are fat.

1612 days ago


It's better way that, Kevin Smith is fat he need to take two seat.

1538 days ago


I am sure it is all of the overweight people crying about this...I mean really...all of us who have been crammed into a seat next to an obese person who takes up their seat, and part of yours, and you don't even get an armrest are grateful to SW for taking a stand....they are still the best! GO SOUTHWEST!!!

1533 days ago


I understand the concerns of people who don't wish to share there seat with someone of size. Just one question though, were you all raised to be rude? What would you parents say about you hateful comments? Would you tell your children it was ok to say the things you have said? How would your god feel about the way you treat others? You can make your point in a polite way...and not hurt other peoples feeling in the process. Think about how you would feel if somone made fun of you because your nose was to big, or you were bald, or for any other reason bullies pick on people. How would this make you feel? GROW UP AND ACT LIKE AN ADULT!

1530 days ago


I fully support your decision to consider the space of others. Another alternative would be to give a free round trip flight to the person who has his space overrun by another patron. I'm sure there would be some people on each flight who would endure an uncomfortable flight in order to get a free round trip flight!! :)

1528 days ago

r pickers    

I'm sure this was embarrassing to Mr. James, as it would be to me. I'm sure my knee-jerk reaction would be anger and retaliation. But on reflection, maybe this is a wake-up call that Mr. James is carrying around an unhealthy amount of weight which could cause him a lot of health problems and maybe take a funny and talented guy away from us before his time. I hope he will be a little more introspective now that some time has passed and perhaps become a little more fit - not for Southwest, but for his own well-being.

1500 days ago


I am fat. I totally admitt that. Here's the thing. I gained ALL of my weight on purpose because I was sexually assaulted and got Fd up in the head, and I thought that wouldnt' happen again if I was fat and unattractive. Now I regret that decision. But here's the thing, now that I am fat, I have to work extra hard to keep weight off. The weight gain itself slowed my metabolism and ruined my thyroid. So now I am living with consequences of my bad choice. But to have people be so awefully rude is unbelievable. If you have the gall to be this rude and judgemental to people you don't even know, then you must not feel very good about yourselves. It is YOU, not me, that I feel sorry for. I made my choices. I don't feel self pity at all, and I certainly don't complain. What I feel so sorry about is that people are so Fd up that they feel they have to put others down so that they can feel more important. Get help. Seriously

1388 days ago
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