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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
91.

Glenn Beckerhead    

Who the hell is Kevin Smith?

1619 days ago
92.

Doevam    

Hey Kevin - you should have handled this situation in the best way possible. YOU COULD HAVE EATEN THE PILOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who knows maybe then you could have had a flight attendant or two for dessert.

1619 days ago
93.

Bill    

Good for you Southwest. Someone has to be in charge and tell these people that - No they are not going to fly for the same fare as a fit person.
Someone has to tell these Fat people to stop F#$%@ eating because they are destroying our nation.

Why should I have to share half of my seat with a Fat slob1

1619 days ago
94.

sir nigel buttercrumpet    

MAYBE THE PILOT SHOULD BE GROUNDED FOR BEING AN IGNORANT A-HOLE...

1619 days ago
95.

jlen13    

this doesn't sound in one bit true.... I'm a flight attendant for Southwest and first of all the captain doesn't pull overweight people off the plane. and they are never deemed a "flight safty risk". if you don't fit in one seat then you are asked to purchase another and are refunded if the plane isn't full. You are a safty risk if you start pitching a fit and causing a scene and using bad language .... then we ask you to find another way to your destination...

1619 days ago
96.

ags    

sure...its not comfy sitting next to someone obese. its also annoying to be next to someone with halitosis, or body odour, or a screaming baby, or a drunk douchebag, etc. like it or not it is discrimination and a bad business move on the part of southwest. for those of you who don't like sitting next to fat people I suggest you fly private or move far away from america, perhaps japan, where people will most likely complain about you...

1619 days ago
97.

Better Than You    

I'll make a bet, that 99% of these fat-bashing comments, are actually coming from the most disgusting, blubber balls on the planet. Making nasty comments, while sitting their huge butts on their couches, with a laptop computer, and a big bowl of cheetoes. Too broke to afford one seat on an airplane, let alone two!

I don't think the issue is that a passenger was too fat, but how the airline handled the situation. And with that, I will side with Kevin Smith.

1619 days ago
98.

Tammy    

That's just AWFUL!!! And very, very cruel!!! :'( And a $100 voucher is just insulting!

1619 days ago
99.

Liz    

Just put the fork down & it'll be a lot easer to do most everything in life.

1619 days ago
100.

Adam    

F*** ALL OF YOU BASTARDS. SORRY NOT ALL OF US CAN BE "PERFECT" LIKE YOU. YOU "SKINNY" PEOPLE ON HERE ARE NOT GOD'S GIFT TO THE WORLD. IN FACT, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED FOR JUDGING PEOPLE ON THERE LOOKS AND NOT BY WHO THEY ARE. I AM OVERWEIGHT, AND HAVE SAT NEXT TO OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE ON PLANES. ITS NOT A PROBLEM. STOP BEING LITTLE BITCHES AND ASS*****.

1619 days ago
101.

tehheh    

The airline should have made this determination while the passenger was still in the ticketing area. If the airlines choose one's weight as a qualification to fly, this should be made clear as people purchase tickets -- not once they reach the airport. This is one more thing the airlines don't do well. People really need to stop flying so much and instead use other modes of transportation when feasible. It should be a big deal to get on a plane -- but not because of your size. Flying should only be for momentous occasions, such as vacations, long-distance trips and the like. People acting as if they're boarding a cross-town bus for a trip to the mall. The air system clearly can't handle it. That's why air travel sucks so bad. They'll install huge scales with huge numbers that everyone can see from a mile away. The industry always chooses the most uncomfortable and humiliating options for the passengers because it's the easiest and best options for them. Help train or bus operators when possible because we need these transportation to be the best possible forms of travel they can be. They also use less energy than air travel. And business travelers should stay at the home office more often -- that would mean you charging me less money for your goods and services. I don't like paying for you to go on business trips where you stay at nice hotels, eat steak dinners and spend big bucks on strippers and hookers.

1619 days ago
102.

lesdiggitydoo    

Southwest is providing a 'service'. It is not mandatory for anyone to fly to their destination, especially when it's within the same state.
Something was said to him this time.. think of all the other times when he was heavier and inconveniencing other passengers.. it was probably past due that he was made to be aware that he's overweight. If you don't like Southwest policies, don't fly them. period. very simple.
Bags Fly Free Bitches!!

1619 days ago
103.

lesdiggitydoo    

HELLOOOOOO!!!!!!!
THIS "INCIDENT" NEVER EVEN HAPPENED.. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD KEVIN SMITHS NAME ANYWHERE.. HE OBVIOUSLY HAS A NEW FILM OR SOMETHING COMING OUT & NEEDED THE PUBLICITY..

1619 days ago
104.

Iloura    

Since when is Kevin Smith too fat to fly? Exactly how fat is too fat to fly? Kevin Smith has a belly, that's it...I would say too fat to fly would have to be at least 350 pounds, to where they have mobility issues. Since the media started waging this war on obesity everything has gone out of whack. Size 12 and 14 is considered "plus size" when before 18 was the cut off. At barely over 200 pounds they're telling people they're "morbidly obese", and frankly that's total B.S..

It makes me sick how souless people are getting about it, I realize no one wants to pay for a seat and be uncomfortable because of odor or seat spillover; that doesn't mean you can talk about them afterwards like they're not a person inside!

1619 days ago
105.

Kathy Hernandez-Club Catalina-San Diego    

I think Southwest owes him a lot more than a $100 Voucher and an apology, Southwest is the last airline I would consider buying a ticket from right now and yes I’m telling all my friends of every size to take their business elsewhere. They need to get ready to see their ticket sales to down and hopefully another airline will learn from their mistake and let people of size know they are actually welcome to travel on their airline without being in fear of being humiliated and discriminated against while travelling. Kathy Hernandez-Club Catalina-San Diego

1619 days ago
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