Too Fat To Fly?
Director Kevin Smith was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight because of his weight.
Smith, who rose to fame with the low-budget flick Clerksand is also known for his turn as Silent Bob, was seated and ready to fly from Oakland to Burbank when a Southwest attendant advised him he was a "safety risk" and had to deplane.
After an unsuccessful argument, Smith left the flight and took to Twitter for a few jabs at the airline.
"Dear @SouthwestAir -- I know I'm fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?"
"Dear @SouthwestAir, I flew out in one seat, but right after issuing me a standby ticket, Oakland Southwest attendant Suzanne (wouldn't give last name) told me Captain Leysath deemed me a safety risk. Again: I'm way fat...But I'm not there just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I'm seated with arm rests down. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who'd already (noticed) me as Silent Bob."
"So, @SouthwestAir, go (expletive) yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no safety risk (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?). I was wrongly ejected from the flight (even Suzanne eventually agreed). And (expletive) your apologetic $100 voucher, @SouthwestAir. Thank God I don't embarrass easily (bless you, Jersey Girl training). But I don't sulk off either: so everyday, some new (expletive) you Tweets for @SouthwestAir."
Wanna tell me I'm too wide for the sky? Totally cool. But fair warning, folks: If you look like me, you may ejected from @southwestair."
So apparently Smith wasn't happy about the situation.
Southwest reached out to Smith via phone and Twitter, and blogged their apology. They also reiterated why the policy stands in the first place: safety and comfort of all passengers.
"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."
Smith insists he was seated comfortably with his girth kept in a single seat and a seatbelt fastened completely around his waist without an extender. One thing is for sure: Jay and Silent Bob won't be flying Southwest any time soon.
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