The whole blogoshpere is abuzz with the news that Southwest Air booted Kevin Smith from a flight… Why? Because Smith was “too fat!”
Now, my first reaction was, “Holy hell, if that guy is too fat, then I’ve been seated next to some folks who really, really, really should never have been allowed on the plane!”
Seriously, while Smith isn’t exactly svelte, he’s not gargantuan either. I’ve had the ah, charming experience of being wedged in the middle seat between a man who could have passed for William “The Refrigerator” Perry, and a person (sex indeterminate) who honestly looked like a beach ball with feet (note I did not say “with legs”) and who had to get a seat belt extender in order to buckle in safely.
Now, as I read it, anyone who cannot completely lower both armrests and buckle the standard (non-extended) seat belt is supposed to book two seats. Which means, no one should be sitting in the seat immediately next to them. Which means, on that particular flight, either the airline (Southwest, go figure) had either double booked that seat (is that legal?) or had not adhered to their own policies regarding people of size.
Whether Smith could fasten his seat belt or not, he had originally purchased two seats (heck, if they weren’t so expensive, I would too – just so I didn’t have to find myself wedged in like a sardine), but since he was also flying standby to attempt to get an earlier flight, there was only a single seat available.
My undying love and devotion for Southwest (hmm… where is the “Dripping With Sarcasm” font?) got a little boost from this story. Seriously, they didn’t think about the PR on this? Really?
Oh, wait. It’s Southwest. Duh. How could I have been so stupid! Of course they didn’t!
Just gives me the warm fuzzies, it does.