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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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46.

gerster    

Kevin - close your pie hole and stop complaining. If you would exercise as much as you tweet then this issue would be a moot point. Kudos Southwest

1622 days ago
47.

Edd    

Too fat to fly? Maybe his Ego was just super inflated?
Or maybe, more likely, they had seen his films and knew they did not want to bore the hell out of all the other passengers with just having his presence aboard!

1622 days ago
48.

Kevin    

Of course, now, many, many, many, overweight people will not buy tickets on SW. Won't hurt their business any, might actually be a good advertising point. Certain other airlines will then cater to this market, and we'll end up with a de facto segregation.

Sure, fat people have the Right to fly, just go fly on fatty air....LMAO

1622 days ago
49.

Happy    

Shame on Southwest! Kevin we love you and will not fly Southwest until they apologize AND change their discriminatory policies.

1622 days ago
50.

UGGGGHHH    

Thats why obama wants to pass the HEALTH CARE BILL because. The FAT A$$ people just EAT AND EAT AND EAT and you will have to PAY ,PAY PAY for those FAT PEOPLE in more TAXES.

LET THE FAT A$$ PEOPLE PAY THEIR OWN HEALTH BILL.

FAT PEOPLE ARE DISGUSTING

1622 days ago
51.

UGGGGHHH    

DON'T PASS THE HEALTH CARE BILL.

1622 days ago
52.

What the Hell?    

Sooner or later the Airlines will weigh people before boarding the plane-kind of like, part of the screening process!
Then they will pay extra for a seat and/or their own body weight-if it's over a certain weight limit!
This is one fee I'm surprised they haven't jumped on for more $.

by: How much will you be charged, and are you willing to pay$

1622 days ago
53.

Nameless    

Maybe its time airlines created Big and Tall class seating along with Business and First Class.

Of course you would have to pay more for your seat but since you don't mind paying more for your large portioned meals; paying for more a bigger seat should not be an issue.

1622 days ago
54.

lesdiggitydoo    

"ohhhh.. he's famous AND fat.. please take up half my seat, thank you".. "maybe he'll cast me in the next 'Silent Bob' movie or just say funny stuff to me the whole flight"

1622 days ago
55.

Annemarie    

For all those complaining about being sat on... according to his tweets this was not the case for him. The armrests were able to go down just fine nor is he big enough to need a seat belt extender... throwing him off was unwarranted and he has a right to bitch about it haha. http://twitter.com/ThatKevinSmith

1622 days ago
56.

Judy Smith    

I wouldn't fly on Southwest. Alter i will take a bus. Anyway.
Here i got absolutely free domain for lifetime as well as cheap web hosting space. They also provide free Cpanel and ensure 99% uptime in hosting. Email Account also available for free........
So get your own domain now. http://con.tl

1622 days ago
57.

lesdiggitydoo    

this is what you have to deal with when two-tons of fun boards the plane.. and sits next to YOU.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/04/obese-man-on-american-air_n_379979.html

1622 days ago
58.

Amazed    

I love Southwest and this has made me even more loyal. I've sat next to fat people on planes before. One woman took up her seat and half of mine and it was a 3 hour flight. It was the most miserable flight I've ever been on. And at no time did she apologize or think her encroaching on MY seat that I PAID for was wrong. I've been overweight and lost 60 pounds and so I know how hard it is but it is possible. We are a nation of overweight and unhealthy people and we need to get our acts together.

1622 days ago
59.

PhillipP    

Good for Southwest! I hate it when I am stuck sitting next to some fatso. They always have to go to the bathroom every five minutes and when they arent in the bathroom they are farting and smelly. I have no patience for fat people. Stop with the genetics and metabolism BS. Just stop stuffing your pie hole.

1622 days ago
60.

Jeanette    

My goodness, there's a lot of anger in this room. People, I hope you realize before you continue to harshly judge others, that many individuals are overweight through no fault of their own. Often it's a glandular medical problem, no matter how few calories they ingest.

Those that cast the first stone . . .

1622 days ago
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