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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
121.

Charles Almon    

The idiot posters who talk about airlines putting in larger seats forget THESE ARE PLANES and they have weight requirements to, you know,
GET AND KEEP THE PLANE SAFELY IN THE AIR.
It's not the airlines fault that 100 American today weight 5 TONS more than Americans 50 years ago.
Schmucks.

1678 days ago
122.

matt    

SOUTHWEST totaly missed the point - The People doing the Boarding and The flight Attendants did not believe that Mr.Smith was "Fat" Beyond SW standard policy and allowed him to board the plane and be seated.

1678 days ago
123.

asdf    

Forget fat people, I'll sit next to them all year long....they need to do something about these stinky ass people. Seriously, if it isn't Rico Suave downed in a cheap ass bottle of Axe it's Boney Honey with crotch rot in need of a summer's eve. I'll take a well bathed fat ass sitting on my lap any day over those olfactory offending stink bombs. Your held hostage in a small area for hours smelling their stink....charge them more, where's the stinky ass surcharge.

1678 days ago
124.

FABIO    

Kevin Smith owes all of the non-fat people on that flight a bunch of carbon credits.

Pay up, you fat slob!

1678 days ago
125.

Manny    

You FAT SLOB! You are blaming the airlines...give me a break!..why don't you blame your hand for shoving big macs and taco bell into your fat mouth, down your greasy gullet into that lard dome you call a stomach. Aren't you embarrassed how disgusting you are? Apparently not, you seem to want to tweet to the world about the Fat Chronicles of Lardia". What a pathetic human pizza pop!

1678 days ago
126.

RKB    

Southwest comments sounded like a bunch of bull

1678 days ago
127.

Mark    

I am sorry but the airlines should have seats that fit all people. For the heavier people they should have a little wider seat and charge maybe $30.00 more.

Everyone is different you have some people that are tall, and some people with medical issues but they should not pay more becasue there not the avarage person.

This is plan and simple discrimination.

This is 2010 and not everyone is 5'6 110lbs.

1678 days ago
128.

Boredsh*tless    

Listen to all you non-fat people! I would rather pay for two seats so as to avoid sitting next to a$$ holes like you! People who are naturally slim have such a condescending attitude towards people who are not! Telling people to "lose weight" is the equivalent of telling an alcoholic to just quit. It's not that simple. You people act as if fat people were put on the planet just to deliberately annoy you and sit next to you on a plane. Trust me, you're not that important. I do understand the airline's concerns and don't really fault them for this, however, people's attitudes towards overweight people is disconcerting. It's ok to feel what your feeling, but why must you be so unbelieveably rude? Tell me what it feels like to be so perfect. It must be nice.

1678 days ago
129.

Dave    

What makes him special? Just imagine if EVERYONE on the plane were the same size as him. What gives him the right to spill his blubber halfway into my seat space? Sorry if you fatties are offended, but Southwest is OBLIGATED to make the flight comfortable for the MAJORITY of their passengers and not subjecting them to a miserable experience to satisfy A FEW people with personal problems.

1678 days ago
130.

JackieMichele    

I'm fat by my own standards. Apparently not by Southwest's standards. My only issue is their blatant sizist attitude they have. I'm not saying that the seats should be bigger but everyone knows that there are as many seats as possible jammed on these flights so that they can make a profit. As such, the passengers are crammed onto the airplanes like sardines.
I am over six feet tall with my shoes and when I sit down on an airplane my knees touch the back of the seat in front of me. Will I be required to purchase the seat in front of me for a customer's comfort? As a result, I already upgrade to first class half the time I travel. I personally believe I shouldn't have to. There should be plenty of leg room and butt room for EVERYONE. Skinny people have big hips sometimes and long legs.
The fact remains that by squishing as many seats as possible on a plane, it is uncomfortable for passengers regardless of their BMI.

1678 days ago
131.

homer    

No kidding Nicole!!! If I smell one more guy bathed in that cheap crap Axe...contrary to the commercials men, women will not be swarming around you and want to rip your clothes off.

1678 days ago
132.

Ben    

Lose some weight chubbas and you won't need to complain about it

1678 days ago
133.

jenn    

maybe if airlines were not so concerned with money and a bit more concerned with the quality of flight, they would make the seats a little bigger. i am not large but find airplane seats extremely uncomfortable with very little room to even adjust your feet.

1678 days ago
134.

Dreamer07    

I am tired of fatties whining about their inability to exercise or eat right. Airplanes have weight limits and I am surprised the airlines don't require weights on people and their luggage before taking off. Having a 300 lb fattie sitting next to me, taking over my seat that I paid for and can fit into, is beyond annoying. If you are that fat buy two tickets and stop complaining that you cannot lose weight and it is not your fault you are fat.

Airlines should charge fat people more, clothing companies should charge fat people more, and fattening foods should be the most expensive item on a menu in restaurants.

1678 days ago
135.

tony    

the whole safety risk is just poltical correctness gone wild.

its a hypotheticle situation they are freaking about which has no basis in fact.

highschool style cruel meanspiritedness has somehow become official policy at this airline. he has perfect right to be mad.
they took his dignity away by making him look like a freak.
and he had to leave in front of other passengers who probably heard.

the policy of political correctness whether it be kicking people off flights who are overweight, or frisking white 80 year old ladies at airport secruity checkpoints needs to stop.

who's next? too tall people a risk on flights? how about people who look like they might have a cold?




1678 days ago
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