Southwest: Non-Stop Dumbness

Say it ain't so, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV  ) .

Once upon a time, you were the darling of the aircraft industry. The one company not only made a profit but also cared about your customers. Friend to Everyman, you didn't reserve seats, hewing to a first-come, first-served system. Unlike carriers such as Delta (NYSE: DAL  ) or Continental (NYSE: CAL  ) , you didn't charge for checking baggage -- and you had a sense of humor about it. Who could not love LUV?

Which made it all the more strange when you so unceremoniously escorted Generation-X's "biggest" hero, professional funnyman Kevin Smith, off a plane over the weekend. (We kid because we love, Kev.)

Southwest's big mistake
So here's the story. Booking a flight on Southwest Saturday, Smith adhered to company policy for persons of his girth, by buying two tickets on a particular flight. But Smith also put himself on the standby list for an earlier flight. He got "lucky" and snagged the seat, but after he took it, the pilot determined that Smith needed more than one seat to fly safely. Smith was therefore taken off the plane.

Oh, no!
Oh, yes. Southwest would have been better off banning Warren Buffett over fears he might break a hip, or denying Madonna a seat on suspicion of international baby-smuggling, than antagonizing Smith. Because this is when things got really ugly. Over the ensuing hours, Smith let loose a Twitter-borne tirade against the company, relentlessly needling the company over its "customers of size" policy.

Exit, stage wrong
Compounding its gaffe, Southwest offered Smith a $100 voucher to compensate him for his troubles.

That was, of course, the exact wrong tack to take with Smith. A smarter company, and one with a bit of personality -- one like ... well, the company we all thought Southwest was ­-- might have laughed the incident off. Offered Smith a jumbo-sized Whitman's Sampler and a Valentine's Day card: "Honey, I shrunk the seats. No hard feelings?"

Opportunity, lost
No such luck. Instead, Southwest's $100 offer bought itself a world of trouble. Before the weekend was out, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance was calling for a boycott of Southwest, and suggesting Smith's fans switch to a more accommodating carrier.

(Hey, AMR (NYSE: AMR  ) , UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA  ) , and US Airways (NYSE: LCC  ) . That's your cue.)

Driving the point home, Smith promptly tweeted: "Dear Other Airlines (including Oceanic, sans Flight 815): I'm in the market for a flight east this Thurs. Which one of you likes fat people?"

More importantly: Which of you hates PR disasters, and would like a chance to kick Southwest while it's down?

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy, and trial members of any Fool newsletter can fly free for 30 days.


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  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:21 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    So, the company has a stated policy, followed that stated policy, and Kevin Smith goes nuts. Well, good for him for being in a position to throw his weight around (no pun intended...really). But, I'm more inclined to fly Southwest. I've had nothing but good experiences thus far, and now I have the comfort of knowing I really won't be stuck next to some fat guy on a full flight.

    Southwest apologized to Smith, but they stand by their assertion that Smith needs more than one seat. And, having seen the guy recently, I stand by that assertion, too. Smith's defense? "I can buckle the seat belt"!

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:36 PM, Retired31B5M wrote:

    Have you ever had to sit next to an obese person who overflows into your seat? This happened to me and I spent four hours crammed to one side of my seat with fat pushing on me everywhere.

    It was nasty and disgusting. If Southwest bans these people - then they are going to be my first choice for all my future flights.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:40 PM, Retired31B5M wrote:

    I spent a four hour flight next to an obese person who was literally overflowing into my seat. I wound up being crammed into half of my seat and had to cross my left arm over to my right side.

    Combined with the armoa that obese people produce this has to have been the worst expierence of my life.

    If Southwest wants to ban obese people - then they will be my first choice for my future flights.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:45 PM, cowpower wrote:

    What did Southwest do wrong?

    Just as you state "Smith adhered to company policy for persons of his girth, by buying two tickets on a particular flight." So Smith knew the rules. When he could only get ONE seat on a standby, he expects the rules not to apply? Just what did he expect? He circumvented policy and wanted an exception, and is mad because he didn't get it.

    This is just a chance for an opportunistic media-seeking movie maker to level a convenient punching bag - an airline. He's a crybaby.

    And the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance? They're just a "victim" group exploiting overweight people. Go to their web site. I'm not surprised of their advocacy of equal rights for fat people. That's commendable. But there's not one mention of tips for healthy living (which being fat is not.) The assume all fat people cannot overcome their condition, which in truth is more difficult for some than others. But their lack of health resources exposes them as just an exploiter of fat people and willing to take their money.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:48 PM, Phelem123 wrote:

    Kevin new of Southwest's policy, that is why he bought a second seat on the flight of his choice, so when he was accepted on the earlier flight he knew their policy as well then and should have known he would not be able to fit in a single seat. Airline policies are made not only for the Airline, but for the consumer as well as to what to expect from that Airline. I still have sympathy for Kevin Smith, but I am on the side of the Airline. If the policy was not in place, then I would say he does have a gripe, but from what I can see, he is grandstanding for publicity.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:54 PM, Yourmommaqwe123 wrote:

    Is the author of this article related to Kevin Smith?

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:54 PM, ChannelDunlap wrote:

    Wow, the fat person hated in these comments is remarkable. I get it's uncomfortable, but damn, you're flying at hundreds of miles per hour through the air. Some compromise is to be expected.

    The fact they chose to over-enforce this policy (I'm plumper than Smith is and I've never had a problem flying) on someone who is more than willing to hit back is unfortunate. But at least it's been funny. I would love to see Smith take this to the limit by appearing in a rival airline's ad somewhere down the road.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 3:55 PM, mstienek wrote:

    Rich,

    You are certainly entitled your opinion but may I suggest you title your article: Motley Fool writer:Non-Stop Dumbness.

    FLY LUV… It's about time we stop this madness. People need to stop blaming a company or a product and take responsibility for their own issues/actions.

    Mr. Smith needs to grow up and either loose weight or fly another airline.

    Stop Whining !!!

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 4:08 PM, Cloudsurfer328 wrote:

    Sir have you ever had to sit beside a person of size on a long flight? Obviously not. Why do I have to suffer cause of someone Else's problem?

    I love Kevin Smiths movie's but he is in the wrong.

    He knew the policy from the start.

    What about the person that would have had to sit beside him, what of their rights. You want acceptance, buy the second seat and save everyone the grief. Oh yea, Southwest refunds the cost of the second seat once you arrive at your destination. What a horrible company.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 4:10 PM, Cloudsurfer328 wrote:

    One other note, you make it seem that Southwest is the only airline to have this policy. I suggest you look at Continental and US Airways for they to have similar policies.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 4:32 PM, swmson wrote:

    I think Southwest should just let this one die and burn itself out. Kevin Smith is just a Michael Moore wannabe. If he is so special, why doesn't he go out and buy himself a private jet, configure it with one large barcalounger (properly placed for weight and balance of course) and he won't have to fly on the welfare airline???

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 4:49 PM, LadySiren wrote:

    Wow, amazing to see the level of bigotry and intolerance in the first few posts. If you'd take time to actually read what Kevin Smith is angry about and that he DID fit in the seat with the armrest down and the belt buckled without need for an extender, you might be less inclined to post such thoughtless invective. But then again, given the narrow-mindedness of your comments, I'm likely wrong.

    Good for Kevin Smith - I'm glad he called Southwest out for an asinine lack of customer service or empathy for a fellow human being.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 5:00 PM, dlflyguy wrote:

    this chucklehead smith is quoted as saying he consistently purchases two adjoining seats each time he flies because "i just dont like people" (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10453618-71.html) and wants his personal space! am i the only one that sees the obvious hypocrisy here?

    the policy is applied in situations where a large person,due to their size, would encroach upon another customers personal space..the very thing mr.smartass demands for himself. the policy also tries to avoid a loggerhead situation in the event of an emergency evac. (IE: a fat guy tweeting his way to an exit row)

    this guy needs to shut the hell up already.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 5:10 PM, jeffnrobin wrote:

    Have you seen this guy? I saw a picture recently and he is twice the size of the guy next to him in girth. Granted, it may have been handled better but the policy is for the safety of those seating next to him as well. Also, honestly, do you expect the people next to him to say they are uncomfortable when you ask them in public and in front of the person who is infringing in their space? The rule is designed to make sure it doesn't unnecessarily place those around him in the uncomfortable position of being the determining factor in having to deplane someone. Although it's an unfortunate situation, at least they are trying to be consistent in their policy no matter WHO you are or how important you feel you may be. Would all this attention be going if he wasn't a hollywood star? Sounds to me like they tried to handle this as if he was a regular person and he didn't like that. I've seen many people overlap into another persons seat and try to fit when it just shouldn't have been an option. I've also seen SWA accomodate people who were well over 400lbs and needed to be lifted by 4 people so you cannot say SWA is against people of size when they break their backs making sure everyone is given the best opportunity to fly. I travel quite often and SWA really is the airline that I've seen cares the most about everyone.

    Ok, let all the ranting at me begin.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 5:11 PM, royshurthammy wrote:

    hey cloudsurfer how right you are..Is it so hard for these people to do some research before they start blasting Southwest Airlines for following their policies..After just a few clicks online I found a article that showed witch Airlines charge and cha-ching Southwest isn't the only one..Delta, American, Jetblue, Midwest, United, Air France ALL have a policy in effect..And whats funny about Jetblue's is that even if that flight goes out with empty seats they won't refund that 2nd tickets like Southwest will...Jeez Mr. Smith looks like you should just go by a leer jet

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 5:25 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    LadySiren wrote:

    "If you'd take time to actually read what Kevin Smith is angry about and that he DID fit in the seat with the armrest down and the belt buckled without need for an extender, you might be less inclined to post such thoughtless invective. But then again, given the narrow-mindedness of your comments, I'm likely wrong."

    I took the time to read Kevin Smith's rants and raves. What you are missing here is that he had already ACCEPTED that he violates Southwest's policy on passengers of size. He bought two tickets because Southwest told him they can't accommodate his size in one seat. Then, Mr. Smith tried to sit in one seat. Southwest enforced their policy. Kevin Smith went nuts.

    Additionally, just being able to squeeze yourself between the armrests and stretch the buckle around your gut is not the sole factor in determining the safety of passengers of size. There is a difference between getting the armrests to go down and fitting in the seat.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 5:26 PM, willmpayne wrote:

    I applaud Southwest's consistency in applying their stated policy. Kevin Smith should have gone on the Standby list knowing that TWO seats would have to become available in order to accomodate him.

    His other option would have been to purchase a First Class seat on a carrier that offers it. He chose instead to test the system. Southwest is consistent about many things - it is one reason their customers choose to fly them repeatedly.

    Meanwhile, this article needed to be edited before being published. Ouch - it's as painful to read as it would have been to be squeezed in next to Kevin Smith!

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 7:10 PM, 1airlineworker wrote:

    hey kevin,.american airlines luv customers and just as important those who buy 2 seats and there still avail to your destination....we are no fools.....we take new customers , we know why u fly

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 7:15 PM, deliduk wrote:

    My only problem with SWA is that they don't fly where I want to go the most often.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 7:24 PM, dalflyguy wrote:

    As a flight attendant at one of the large airlines, I've seen many obese / customers-of-size fasten their seatbelt UNDER their fat. Yes, they literally lift their fat up and fasten the seatbelt under the "roll".

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 9:28 PM, cmbourne wrote:

    Are Hollywood bigshots tthe new aristocracy? We peasants are expected to stay in our place and follow the rules, but God help any business who offends one of the ruling class.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 10:56 PM, FuerteFunds wrote:

    Hey there let's lighten up, just flew Air Tran, big fat guy by the window, beautiful red head in the middle seat and lucky me in the aisle seat. It was great.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 11:04 PM, wrongagainrich wrote:

    This is a sensitive subject and no company wants to form or enforce such a policy, but, if SWA executed their stated policy correctly (and based on safety concerns, they may have)...then Rich...you missed the mark by a long shot on this one.

  • Report this Comment On February 16, 2010, at 11:30 PM, bulldung wrote:

    Remember when a Rapid Rewards coupon could be used anytime for any available seat? Like Skymiles they now limit rewards seats and require 2 coupons for a "Freedom" seat. More coupons for less LUV. This move really decreased my customer loyalty. SWA is no longer the first place I go when shopping for a flight. I hope they can restore the things that made them an excellent value and company.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 12:51 AM, ewrcap wrote:

    I have fought the battle of the bulge all of my life. I was a fat kid but I learned to exercise and eat properly and keep my weight in check. I fit easily in a normal airline seat. BTW, airline seats are the same width as they were in 1960. The people have gotten fatter.

    I have had to sit next to morbidly obese people and it is disgusting to have their fat roll into MY personal space.

    What if you were sitting next to a thin person who decided that he could rest his arm or leg on your lap? Bet you wouldn't tolerate that for long!

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 1:38 AM, gymlock wrote:

    Put all the fat people next to each other on the plane. Then they'll see what it's like.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 7:26 AM, TMFBent wrote:

    Why's Kevin Smith flying Southwest standby in the first place?

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 9:32 AM, swaron wrote:

    Maybe the Fool should stick to investment talk. This story did two things : it showed the company stayed within their policy, which is really none of your business, it happens at other airlines btw, and it also brought Kevin Smith in the news which would not have happened otherwise and has not happened since Jersey Girl, which was not good news, trust me. Did anyone really know he was doing that Cop movie till this story? Didn't think so. Write about something useful please. This is desperate. And the writing is fairly childish too.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 9:50 AM, wasmick wrote:

    Smith was wrong here. He really had no business choosing to fly on the greyhound of airlines.

    Seriously, the bus is for people who are either too poor or too cheap to pay for quality and service. I don't know what that silly fat boy was thinking; it's akin to booking a room in the Motel 6 and then complaining about the accomodations.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 9:51 AM, Turfscape wrote:

    TMFBent wrote:

    "Why's Kevin Smith flying Southwest standby in the first place?"

    Well, he's not quite an 'A'-lister...so among the first-class crowd, he's on the bottom of the ladder. But, if he flies among the unwashed masses, his dim star shines brighter. There he becomes a sort of 'best-of-the-worst', and his minor celebrity becomes greater.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:03 AM, TMFKris wrote:

    I didn't read all the comments, b/c ... well, I don't want to. Fat people can be heatlhy, that's a proven fact, not anecdotal loathing that comes from who knows where. Losing weight is not as simple as willpower, also proven. After reading Dr. Kessler's book (The End of Overeating), it's clear that playing into it are: DNA, upbringing, socioeconomic class, brain chemicals, and the effect on our brains and bodies of all the high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar food that's so abundantly and cheaply available and presented free to people at every chance.

    You say Smith needed two seats to fly safely? Safely? Uh-huh.

    And, of course, I think we should ban crying babies, loud people, drunk people, smelly people, those eating yucky foods, those with too much carry-on luggage who argue with flight attendants, and any others with personal appearance that might make me uncomfortable to sit by them. (Oh, just kidding.)

    It's a problem that needs addressing. Does that involve selectively humiliating certain people. Ooops, too bad Kevin Smith wasn't as recognizable as Shaq or Roseanne. It's a matter of treating customers right -- fat and skinny and middling. And people not being afraid of fat. And maybe seats being larger. Do people buy transportation or X square feet on the plane?

    Kris (TMF copyeditor)

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:11 AM, TMFKris wrote:

    Southwest policy on its website says refuds on second seats are given:

    "As long as the flight does not oversell (having more confirmed Customers waiting to board an aircraft than seats on the aircraft"

    So you can have an empty seat for free if it was going to be empty anyway.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:13 AM, wrongagainrich wrote:

    Your answer is "people buy real estate on an aircraft". Just like UPS charges you for the weight and SIZE of a package. Airlines have designed their pricing based on ONE person in ONE seat flying so many miles. This takes into account labor, maintenance, fuel, etc. It is logical for someone taking up two seats (infringing on someone else's real estate) to PAY for two seats. As for value Wasmick, look at SWA over the past 30 years. It has consistently shown value in customer loyalty, on time performance, customer complaints, and profitability (30 years in fact). Then again, maybe you prefer paying to check your bags. Do you actually fly?

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:18 AM, Turfscape wrote:

    kris wrote:

    "And, of course, I think we should ban crying babies, loud people, drunk people, smelly people, those eating yucky foods, those with too much carry-on luggage who argue with flight attendants..."

    hmmm...drunk people are removed from flights frequently, and many times arrested. Smelly people have indeed been removed from flights after complaints. You can't bring outside food onto a plane anymore, so no yucky foods. Carry-on luggage is all but banned and arguing with the flight attendant tends to end in arrest by the TSA. And I personally witnessed a mother being asked to leave a flight because her baby wouldn't stop crying (personally, I think that was the most shameful moment I have ever witnessed). So, what's your issue?

    "Ooops, too bad Kevin Smith wasn't as recognizable as Shaq or Roseanne. "

    Uh, Smith believes he was kicked off BECAUSE he was recognized as Kevin Smith.

    "Do people buy transportation or X square feet on the plane?"

    They buy a space on a mode of transportation. Much like your luggage...there is a limit to what can be accommodated. If you'd prefer, I'm sure airlines could weigh the passenger along with their bag at check-in.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:27 AM, miketwa1 wrote:

    Ok, with all the fat bashing what about the customers such as me, who are overweight. I can still put the armrest down and dont need a seatbelt extender. I DO NOT CHOOSE TO BE FAT, as a lot people say. I am on 5 medications and every single one of them causes weight gain. I dont take the pills I dont live... I do work out everyday but its hell to keep the weight off... Also they say fat people are a safety hazer what about the customers in wheelchairs that cant get out of there seats without assistance??

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:40 AM, Terraxx56 wrote:

    So hordes of travelers are going to dump Southwest because they offended a fat whiny nobody for the comfort and safety of other passengers ? Really ?

    I'd actually expect a bump in business when travelers realize they might have a little elbow room on Southwest.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:58 AM, Melaschasm wrote:

    I congratulate SW Airlines for treating a celebrity passenger the same as everyone else is treated (by them and other airlines).

    Kevin's complaint is not about the rules, but rather that he, as a celebrity did not recieve special treatment.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 11:20 AM, Turfscape wrote:

    miketwa1 wrote:

    "Also they say fat people are a safety hazer what about the customers in wheelchairs that cant get out of there seats without assistance??"

    People who require special assistance such as that are typically required to purchase a premium seat (first class or first in the cabin) to be accommodated. Really no different than the passenger of size policy.

    You don't have a natural born right to fly on a particular plane or airline. If someone on the plane suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had an episode as the plane was leaving the gate, shouting and panicking, would all the fat passengers stand up to defend him? Would they all declare that it's not his fault, he can't help it?

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 11:54 AM, TMFKris wrote:

    @Turfscape

    Thanks for the info on who gets removed from planes. I usually take the train.

    I'd say that Kevin Smith believing he was kicked off b/c he was recognized,doesn't make it a fact. I think they'd have to measure people rather than weigh them before boarding because it's all about "spilling over" into the next seat, right?

    My issue is there must be a way to address this problem that doesn't involve shaming and punishing a group of people who have done nothing wrong. But no one wants to even think about that.

    Kris (TMF copyeditor)

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 12:39 PM, mantis1 wrote:

    I love Southwest. There's too much political correctness in this world at the expense of logic. If you can't fit in one seat, and will spill into someone else's seat, you have to pay for two. This makes all the sense in the world. Otherwise, some person pays for one seat and gets 0.7 seats.

    If you don't want to pay of two seats, lose some weight or don't fly southwest. EZ game.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 12:43 PM, TwentyBucks wrote:

    So, let's see ... Larry King now wants Kevin Smith to come on his show to talk about getting booted off a Southwest flight Saturday. Smith would rather go on Jon Stewart with a row of Southwest seats to prove, yeah, he can fit just fine, thanks. Meanwhile, the locally based airline is taking a pounding on its blog -- 841 comments and counting at last peek.

    ---------------------------

    www.topinvestingtips.com

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 1:01 PM, ztrain76 wrote:

    although I believe Southwest did the right thing, protecting the other customers on the flight I must say that this move might not have been for the best. as far as customers go an unhappy or disgruntled customer will tell 10 other people that their experience sucked. on average a happy or content customer will tell 4 other people. Look at the news, this blog is proof that a disgruntled customer can make or break a profit.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 1:06 PM, budgdad wrote:

    I applaud Southwest for having the guts follow through on a policy that makes sense. Why should some load get to hog two seats and only pay for one. More than once I've had a flight ruined by getting stuck next to somebody grossly overweight. If they don't like it, lose weight or take the bus.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 1:32 PM, allmymarbles wrote:

    Apparently the writer has never sat next to one of these oversized people whose arms and legs lap over on to you and squeeze you out of your own seat. My greatest horror on a flight is being squashed by obese flesh.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 2:45 PM, Superdrol wrote:

    The rules of the planes are what they are. Kevin Smith is clearly fat and if the company deems that to be a problem then it is what it is. It probably could have been went about in a better fashion, but being that Southwest is liable for the passengers using their services and being inside their planes, they are in a better position to make decisions on people's obesity and its regards to being a safety hazard than Kevin is.

    Kevin Smith, IMO, is being an idiot then goes off on a rant about people not liking his movies. Other than Jay and Silent Bob, I have no idea who he is as a 25 yr old young adult. The movie Jay and Silent Bob wasn't exactly oscar material either. He should just calm down, he's not Brad Pitt or anything like that.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 3:10 PM, TMFDitty wrote:

    If we can revisit the facts for a moment:

    1. Kevin Smith adhered to Southwest policy by purchasing two tickets on one flight.

    2. He then asked to be switched to an earlier flight if possible.

    3. Southwest seated him on that earlier flight.

    4. Soutwest then changed its mind, and removed him from that earlier flight.

    I've read a lot of polemics up above, about the unfairness of being forced to sit next to the girth-challenged. I've yet to see someone address the fairness of Southwest's action in reneging on its decision to seat Mr. Smith, and ignominiously booting him off the airplane. Seriously, that doesn't bother anyone?

    TMFDitty

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 3:11 PM, mvinc41492 wrote:

    On February 17, 2010, at 11:20 AM, Turfscape wrote: miketwa1 wrote:

    "Also they say fat people are a safety hazer what about the customers in wheelchairs that cant get out of there seats without assistance??"

    People who require special assistance such as that are typically required to purchase a premium seat (first class or first in the cabin) to be accommodated. Really no different than the passenger of size policy.

    You don't have a natural born right to fly on a particular plane or airline. If someone on the plane suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and had an episode as the plane was leaving the gate, shouting and panicking, would all the fat passengers stand up to defend him? Would they all declare that it's not his fault, he can't help it?

    You are so wrong on this... I worked for TWA for many years and we could not make a passanger who could barely move pay for a first class seat!! I was just on a Spirit Air flight last month and we had to older ladies behind us and when it was time to deplane they got up, but could not sit back down because they could barely move. They had to take baby steps. And they were told by the flight attendants to stay in your seat after we get to gate and wait for everyone to deplane. Now tell me how that isnt a disaster waiting to happen. If it was a true emergency they would have gotten up the first few rows would have been blocked by them. And also I would have no problem getting out of my seat and pouncing on a damn terrorist. At least you know he wouldnt get up.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 3:45 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    TMFDitty wrote:

    "1. Kevin Smith adhered to Southwest policy by purchasing two tickets on one flight.

    2. He then asked to be switched to an earlier flight if possible.

    3. Southwest seated him on that earlier flight.

    4. Soutwest then changed its mind, and removed him from that earlier flight."

    Well, you're close to correct. But, what really happened is that the person at check-in adhered to policy and got acceptance from Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith then tried to do an END AROUND that policy by changing flights at the gate (that's where the standby decision happens). The person at the gate may not have been aware that Mr. Smith already accepted his passenger of size requirement.

    The attendant realized that Mr. Smith should be adhering to the passenger of size requirement and reminded him that he needs two seats.

    Shame on Mr. Smith for trying to get around the rules.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 3:55 PM, wasmick wrote:

    "My only problem with SWA is that they don't fly where I want to go the most often."

    Count your blessings. As long as there are people who are too cheap to pay for service, there will always be a no frills, crappy discount alternative. Like I said before, it's not like flying a real airline but you get what you pay for.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 4:02 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    mvinc wrote:

    "You are so wrong on this... I worked for TWA for many years and we could not make a passanger who could barely move pay for a first class seat!!"

    Having never in my life flown TWA, I can't challenge you on that. But considering that they've been out of business for nearly TEN YEARS, I think it hardly matters.

    I can assure you, though, that people who require special assistance also have special restrictions. This includes pregnant women, children, physically disabled, blind and others. Airlines are not required by law to provide special services (other than making safety information accessible to both blind and/or hearing impaired persons). Any such services can and most often do incur special charges. The only legal requirement is that those charges be reasonable and applied without discrimination.

    Aside from that, all the airlines are required to do is make the lavatories accessible on wide body aircraft.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 4:04 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    wasmick wrote:

    "Count your blessings. As long as there are people who are too cheap to pay for service, there will always be a no frills, crappy discount alternative."

    Hmmm...I found them to be a much better service than American Airlines, Midwest Airlines, United, and Delta.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 5:29 PM, wasmick wrote:

    "Hmmm...I found them to be a much better service than American Airlines, Midwest Airlines, United, and Delta."

    Now you're just damning them with faint praise.

    I've flown all of those airlines except Midwest, and while I agree none of them are anything special I certainly didn't find SWA to be any better let alone much better. Subtract points for their down market first come first sit policy and like I said....you get what you pay for.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 5:30 PM, redfive75 wrote:

    Southwest should never had to have apologized. Every person who flies purchases a "right of space" that they should be reasonably entitled to. This is not a PR nightmare for Southwest. It's a wake up call for Kevin Smith to address his physical condition. Southwest has the right to enfocee the comfort of other passengers regardless of who Kevin Smith is.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 5:38 PM, Turfscape wrote:

    wasmick wrote:

    "Subtract points for their down market first come first sit policy and like I said....you get what you pay for."

    But the standard "Rows 13 thru 25 may now board" is just as bad. You still spend all that time standing in line to get on the plane like cattle going to slaughter. The only difference is that Southwest's method actually decreases boarding time. I don't see the benefit of reserving a particular seat on a plane. Except for the exit rows (leg room), all seats are the same.

    My goal with flight is to spend as little time as possible on the plane. While I'm on the plane, I prefer to not be treated like livestock. Everything else is gravy.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 7:05 PM, stockclock wrote:

    Actually, this was just an unforeseen problem probably caused by a programming error. If a person has purchased two seats for this purpose, then the stand by list should have indicated this and two seats should have been together before the passenger was allowed to board. Buying two seats on either the original or the stand by flight doesn't solve the problem unless they are together. Southwest messed up. And being asked to get off the plane is embarrassing. But hey, these things happen. Apologize and then fix the software.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 8:00 PM, tkell31 wrote:

    I now know three things.

    1. Rich Smith is fat.

    2. My respect for Southwest just went up.

    3. Kevin Smith, whoever he is, is a jerk as well as a blimp.

    oh, and if fat people do boycott Southwest I will always fly it.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 8:11 PM, Glycomix wrote:

    Rich Smith's comment about celebrity Kevin Smith reminds me of George Orwell's words in Animal House:

    "All people are equal, but some are more equal than others."

    If a Celebrity is held accountable,

    Their fans, Rich Smith(?), have a grand-mal seizure.

    He was taking up more than one seat, but didn't want to pay? He should be thrown off!

    I've been squashed between some oversized persons for hours ...

    because no one cared about the average passenger.

    This guy starts a rucus and

    he does NOT get arrested!!!

    I and the other persons here would be arrested

    if we threw a fit in an airplane.

    THANK GOD FOR SOUTHWEST AIRLINES!!!

    I'm glad that they are even handed!

    Entertainment Tonight made a federal case about

    - the Kevin Smith case on 15 February 2010.

    Now Rich Smith wants

    the FAA to pamper people

    who always get their way??

    Shame on you Rich Smith, and

    Shame on your namesake Kevin Smith.

    Are you related??

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 8:44 PM, Glycomix wrote:

    Orwell said in Animal House,

    "Everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others." .... Celebrities

    They don't have to abide by rules?

    - some, like OJ, get away with murder.

    If they embarrass themselves...

    their disciples, like Rich, cause a stench.

    Apparently, Southwest Airlines was concerned

    that a NONcelebrity passenger wasn't squashed .

    - Mr. Kevin Smith had a tantrum and was removed

    but not arrested, as we would have been.

    Why do opinion mavens, Rich Smith,

    feel compelled to pass off adjulation

    as sound advice?

    If I pay a premium,

    I expect a better meal than tripe.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:03 PM, PaintItBlue wrote:

    I wonder why they put him on the early flight with only one seat, when he'd gotten two for the later one. Is that what they'd have done with a mom & baby or musician & cello?

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:18 PM, Viking70 wrote:

    Heaven forbid that someone actually stands up and does what they are supposed to do like the plot did. It seems that it is becoming the norm to give-in.

    To attack the pilot (even indirectly) in your article, you have joined theanks of "don't offend the spoiled, famous people".

    Next ou'll be saying that obese people should not pay higher health insurance premiums than people who maintain their weight and are healthy. Or are you already there?

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 10:25 PM, TMFDitty wrote:

    >>Are you related??<<

    It's a pretty singular surname, Glycomix, so I can understand how you might suspect that. But no, I have no known relation to Kevin Smith.

    And the book is _Animal Farm_.

    And the quote is: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

    Foolish best,

    Rich Smith (TMFDitty)

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 3:01 AM, jaagu wrote:

    I once had to sit next to an obese person who overflowed into my seat. I spent 3 hours crammed to one side of my seat. Whenever, I tried to move a little, the woman would say I am sorry.

    It was very uncomfortable. Fat people need to buy 2 tickets or go first class. Airlines should ban fat people from using a single coach seat.

    From now on I will ask to be taken off a flight if I must sit next to a fat person.

    Airlines that ban fat people from using one coach seat are going to be my first choice for all my future flights.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 7:48 AM, Joelshann wrote:

    I think sitting next to those greater endowed persons is a safety benefit.

    In case of crash, their bodies function like an airbag.

    I'll sit on your left, Mr Smith!

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 9:20 AM, noryakerson wrote:

    Kevin Smith is gen-x's "biggest" hero?! Yikes! Except for for the movie "Clerks", his movies are nothing but pseudo-cerebral crap. I caught five minutes of one of his stand-up routines and couldn't believe how un-funny he was. What he seems to be good at is throwing up a torrent of f-bombs and getting gross-out humor onto the screen. I've got to back Southwest on this one, and pray for the gen-xers. Really, he's a hero?!

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 9:22 AM, wasmick wrote:

    "But the standard "Rows 13 thru 25 may now board" is just as bad. You still spend all that time standing in line to get on the plane like cattle going to slaughter. The only difference is that Southwest's method actually decreases boarding time. I don't see the benefit of reserving a particular seat on a plane. Except for the exit rows (leg room), all seats are the same.

    My goal with flight is to spend as little time as possible on the plane. While I'm on the plane, I prefer to not be treated like livestock. Everything else is gravy."

    I disagree. I find SWA's process to be much more livestock-like. The passive aggressive maneuvering

    to get a better shot at a window or aisle seat - in my opinion - does not make the process or experience better. It makes it significantly worse.

    In addition, I have noticed absolutely no difference whatsoever in efficiency of on boarding or deplaning between SWA and other carriers.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 11:15 AM, TMFDitty wrote:

    noryakerson --

    >>Kevin Smith is gen-x's "biggest" hero?! <<

    In all honesty, I was just looking to get a "big" reference into the article up top.

    And I agree that it's been pretty much downhill since "Clerks" -- with one major exception. Check out "An Evening with Kevin Smith" and its several sequels. If anything, his monologues are better than "Clerks" -- no need to waste time and effort setting up a plot. You get right to the good stuff.

    And -- spoiler alert -- I can pretty much guarantee that this Southwest fiasco will come back to bite the company again, as the chances of Smith discussing this incident in whatever sequel comes next approach 100%.

    --Rich (TMFDitty)

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 12:15 PM, desertjedi wrote:

    Kudos to America's best airline for trying to stick to their policy...a policy which, by its very nature, often makes for PR disasters no matter what the airline does. This is the classic, often played out scenario of "stick to safety rules but piss off a particular class of people that already has to deal with a good share of crap from the general population." The results are usually predictable.

    Not sure what the author's angle is here. Would this have played out differently on other airlines? Absolutely not. What if this was Northwest Airlines? One can only imagine.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 12:16 PM, markobmf wrote:

    This article is ridiculous. First of all, people of an average weight end up subsidizing the fuel consumption of those larger folks. Second, if you pay for a seat you would expect to have full use of it rather than someone seated next to you spilling into your space. I once had to stand up to the flight crew of a Cathay Pacific 14 hour long haul not to be seated next to an extremely large passenger. We need to apply common sense here. If one McDonalds extra value meal won't satisfy someone's hunger than they need to pay for two and not expect the second one gladly provided at no cost.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 3:38 PM, tkell31 wrote:

    I'm guessing the author of this article has some significant tonnage himself so wants to make Southwest look like the bad guys when in reality 90% of the travelling public doesnt want to be on a flight next to a fat slob. I've had the "pleasure" of sitting next to a guy who was easily 3 bills and probably closer to 4 and it sucked. I drew the line when the guy tried to raise the armrest and just jammed it back down to at least keep part of his belly in his seat.

    As for the "bad" publicity, Rich, as the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity. You might want to stick to investing advice and leave the marketing to others. Do you really think travellers are going to be on Smith's side? Let this idiot keep tweeting about how unfarily he was treated and the normal people will flock to southwest knowing they care enough about their customers to do the right thing. Actually Southwest should use it as a spring board for an advertising campaign...I have no doubt they could make a lot of money off it since no one, well other then fat people, cares that he was required to buy two seats. Once again, good for Southwest.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 6:18 PM, rfaramir wrote:

    Good on ya, Southwest!

    Only one problem: when a customer needs two seats, don't let them on when only one is open, duh. A 'big' error, we can all agree. If the victim-wannabe had never been mistakenly told he could get on, he couldn't've complained about being made to get off.

    If this brings LUV down a bit, I may finally invest in some. They've been a first class airline for so long, but their stock has shown it; no opportunity to get in on it. A lot like my Apple stock; if I ever let it go, I don't see it ever coming back down to where I'd dare to get back in.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 9:51 PM, sbehel wrote:

    Fly Southwest!! ... 'Just Get There'!

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 9:52 PM, sbehel wrote:

    Fly Southwest!! ... 'Just Get There'!

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 9:49 AM, Turfscape wrote:
  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 9:50 AM, Turfscape wrote:

    Where is Kevin Smith to stand up for the rights of the stinky?

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 11:45 AM, caltex1nomad wrote:

    I love it! Go ahead and boycott Southwest all you Width Challenged People. Gives the rest of us more room and we will use less fuel.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 11:56 AM, NeoMeister wrote:

    As usual the comments section is more interesting and written by better informed people than the article itself!!

    Of course no one is going to feel any sympathy for the rotund Smith. He should actually be thanking his lucky stars he is making a good deal of money with such minimal, er "talent" All of Hollywood should for that matter; if they had any honor whatsoever they'd give 80% of their salary to the computer animators and FX teams that usually compose of any real talent nowadays.

    Once upon a time with movies like "Citizen Kane", "Ben Hur", or "On the Waterfront" one could convice me of the talent in Hollywood but now it's all sorry remakes that don't live up to the originals made 30+ years ago or such bad acting/writing/directing it's hard to imagine literate adults actually made them.

    "And -- spoiler alert -- I can pretty much guarantee that this Southwest fiasco will come back to bite the company again, as the chances of Smith discussing this incident in whatever sequel comes next approach 100%."

    And - reality check alert - no one will care about Kevin Smith's lame movies.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 11:58 AM, NeoMeister wrote:

    "I'm guessing the author of this article has some significant tonnage himself so wants to make Southwest look like the bad guys when in reality 90% of the travelling public doesnt want to be on a flight next to a fat slob."

    Hear Hear!!

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 12:01 PM, NeoMeister wrote:

    "And, of course, I think we should ban crying babies, loud people, drunk people, smelly people, those eating yucky foods, those with too much carry-on luggage who argue with flight attendants..."

    hmmm...drunk people are removed from flights frequently, and many times arrested. Smelly people have indeed been removed from flights after complaints. You can't bring outside food onto a plane anymore, so no yucky foods. Carry-on luggage is all but banned and arguing with the flight attendant tends to end in arrest by the TSA. And I personally witnessed a mother being asked to leave a flight because her baby wouldn't stop crying (personally, I think that was the most shameful moment I have ever witnessed). So, what's your issue?"

    Wowsers! Rarely have I seen a MF writer get pwned this badly!

    If the FOOL had any sense they'd hire Turfscape as their writer for the aerospace industry as it's clear the current writers are absolutely clueless.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 12:17 PM, TMFDitty wrote:

    [TMFDitty declines to comment on the irony of a self-proclaimed "10bagger" reveling in the troubles of the overweight.]

    [TMFDitty would respond to Turfscape's last post, but is currently ROFL.]

    [Catching breath...]

    Hilarious link, Turfscape. Touche!

    TMFDitty

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 12:35 PM, ramblinone wrote:

    This article was a complete waste of time and space... something which Kevin and Rich Smith apparently both possess in abundance.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 12:43 PM, TMFKris wrote:

    @10baggerbob

    You say "As usual the comments section is ... written by better informed people than the article itself!!"

    Many commentors have actually shown their ignorance, silliness, selfishness, childishness, and misplaced loathing.

    That response about who gets removed from planes was to me, and I'm not the writer of this article. And whatever pwned means, please see my second response where I answer turfscape's question about what my issue is.

    It's nice that you have nothing to make you different from the body type that the media and the government would like to impose on all of us. May you continue to enjoy good health and your good genes.

    Can you not even see that this is about a business needing to serve its customers in a fair and helpful way? There is indeed a lack of space on planes that can make flying uncomfortable for passengers of all sizes. People should not be unduly squished. Yeah, I got it.

    If anyone is so scared of touching someone else on a plane, perhaps they should buy two tickets.

    Kris (TMF copyeditor)

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 2:04 PM, MyDonkey wrote:

    I'd like to suggest a definition of a bad article at TMF, based solely on reader response:

    "A bad article is one that generates more comments than recs."

    At 81 comments and 24 recs, this article is currently a 3 bagger on the bad side.

    Conversely, here's an article that's almost a 5 bagger on the good side:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2009/01/29/hundreds-sh...

    And to round out the three general kinds of articles (The Good, The Bad, and The Failed), here's an example of the last kind:

    http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/general/2006/05/31/my-s...

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 2:42 PM, JB90815 wrote:

    First Things First: The whole reaction was in response to the way that Southwest handled the situation. Southwest called him onto the plane as a stand-by, he sat down and buckled himself into the seat, AND THEN Southwest decided that they did not want him on that plane. Southwest made the bad situation and deserve to be called out for it.

    Most airlines including Southwest OVERBOOK their flights and that is WRONG. What would Southwest do on the flight that Smith booked two seats? Leave a seat empty if they had a passenger to fill it even though Smith paid for the extra seat? I would like to see how Southwest would have handled that situation, I bet it would have been different.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 3:18 PM, IDJim90 wrote:

    I also pay for my ticket & don't want someone invading my seat. Kevin is wrong for whining about only getting one seat; SWA is right. Way to go SWA.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 3:28 PM, bluffguy wrote:

    Maybe the obese people will boycott SW and I won't have to sit next to them again ! I think SW is doing a great job and I fly them whenever I have a choice. Perhaps they should put one of those measuring things like they have for carryone sizing at the gate, if your butt can't fit through then you either need to buy another seat or fly some other airline that has first class. I fell badly for the heavy people, but I should not have to subsidize them in fare or in comfort.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 4:04 PM, Bonefish100 wrote:

    Hooray for Southwest. I love 'em even more now. I hope fat people DO boycott Southwest; I'll help promote the airline myself!

    Kevin Smith is probably the type of man who will drive around a grocery outlet parking lot for 15 minutes looking for a parking place close to the front door, rather than walking an additional 50 paces, which would help his overall health.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 5:25 PM, Quback wrote:

    Southwest did the right thing. Kevin Smith and other overweight people have no right in impose on the rest of us. Go Southwest. They deserve are respect

    and support. I just flew them last week. 100% professional and smooth.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 8:01 PM, thedofca100 wrote:

    It looks as if most people agree on this. I had to sit between two porkers on a flight once. That will never happen again. The airline can give me the $100 and free tickets. If they have a stated policy isn't this saying to every other person of girth, "If you don't book two seats we will give you $100 and an apology"? Rather than saying, "That's the policy. Sorry you're famous but no exceptions." I think it was badly mishandled by Southwest. They should have stuck to their guns. Two seats or off.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 8:21 PM, carolsmithhsa wrote:

    I have chosen the last three years to favor Southwest for all my very frequent flying for both business an dpleasure precisely because of their no nonsense boarding method, baggage-free philosophy and treatment of excessively large customers. Being a large woman myself, who can get the arm rest down and do not need an extender, I empathize with the policy SWA is trying to enforce. It makes me want to fly them all the MORE! This article calling Southwest stupid makes me wonder about the author.

  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2010, at 9:09 PM, JesFoolin wrote:

    Who's Kevin Smith?

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 2:03 AM, olee100 wrote:

    Indeed, who is Kevin Smith? Never heard of him and I'm fairly up-to-date. The only thing Southwest did wrong was the apology. I fly my LUV a couple of times a week. As a shareholder, I wish they made more money!

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 6:29 AM, usc76a wrote:

    SW is a great airline. The policy is fair as so many have pointed out, Buy two seats and shut up if you r obese. I feel sorry for the over sized person, but why does anyone else have to be inconvenienced to accommodate them. Also, Airline safety is made more dangerous by someone who is infirm, or obese. There is a true danger to everyone on that aircraft if an emergency evacuation has to take place and these people block the aisle. But then, I think my comments are moot as seldom do many survive an airline crash.

    Fly SW - it's the best. I travel a lot and I have flown other carriers. The load time is a pain unless u fly first class with the other carriers. At least with SW you have an opportunity to board early if you get your boarding pass early. There were a lot of laughs in reading the comments in this article, but I have to agree, what in the hell is the author doing beating up on SW instead of providing investment advice. Maybe he didn't have anything worth discussing today.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 6:31 AM, usc76a wrote:

    Oh by the way- who is Kevin Smith. Although I have never seen one of his movies, if sounds as though they are not worth the time and effort to view them. Most movies as someone pointed out are not worth the time it takes to view them now days.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 11:48 AM, Physics309 wrote:

    I am 100% with Southwest. If someone is so fat that they can't fit in their seat, why should the people around them suffer? Anyone that has been stuck in this situation knows how unbearable it is. I am glad to hear about an airline that sets a policy and is willing to stick to it. I fly Southwest exclusively when ever I can and this is just one more reason to do so.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 12:49 PM, Xfactor3 wrote:

    Who's Kevin Smith?

    LOL Perfect response to this article~!

    It's hilarious how the silly author of the article tried to get on the populist bandwagon against a great company like Southwest and how that has COMPLETELY backfired in truly EPIC fashion here!

    I agree with the strong majority that banning fat people would only make me MORE likely to fly Southwest not less!

    No, you do NOT have a right to fly on a private airline! You abide by their rules and if you don't like, simply find a different means of transportation.

    Life ain't fair and the less political correctness and more common sense realism the better this world will be.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 1:03 PM, damdam1 wrote:

    I OFTEN FLY SW COAST TO COAST AND I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND THEM TO BE A SAFE PLEASENT COMPANY TO USE. IF A PERSON CAN NOT FIT IN OMNE SEAT THEY SHOULD HAVE TO BUY TWO. UAL OUT OF CHICAGO DID THIS TO A HUGE MAN WHO WAS TRAVEKING WITH HIS WIFE AND HE WOULD NOT BHUY THE EXTRA SEAT. THEY HAD TWO SEATS BUT THE WIFE WAS CONFINED TO A HALF OF HER SEAT FOR THE TRIP. I WONDER IF THEY ARE STILL TOGETHER?? GOOD WORK SW. DAMDAM1 IN SACRAMENTO.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 2:22 PM, bobmeinet wrote:

    Hooray for LUV.

    I have had large people sit beside me and they ended up using half my seat too. What right do they have to demand the right to occupy twice the space for the same price?

    A larger apartment rents for a higher price, a bigger house sells for a higher price, thus, it makes sense that a wider seat should cost more.

    All this clambor for "treat fat people fairly" is misleading. What about the rights of thin people to occupy the entire seat that they paid to rent?

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2010, at 8:08 PM, welstand wrote:

    Southwest's customer focued, no extra $ for anything, and simplicity of transaction approach will leave any dumb PR bruhaha in the dust. I wish more airlines would enforce their passenger behavior policies instead of cowering to PC concerns.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2010, at 3:54 PM, maxmattnyc wrote:

    i must side with the airline and agree with all the other comments asking why he can't afford business class.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2010, at 10:31 PM, FleaBagger wrote:

    Seriously, if Smith takes up his seat and mine, he should pay for my seat, too. Go Southwest! Fat people shouldn't expect us to pay for their lifestyle, either in Medicare or in the loss of half of the seat we paid for on an airplane.

  • Report this Comment On February 21, 2010, at 11:03 PM, RPenCo wrote:

    Hey, I'm all for Kevin Smith. If he is unsettled about the only airline that really cares, he can take his business elsewhere and encourage more of his friends to do likewise. After all that leaves more room for the rest of us who care about being treated fairly.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2010, at 6:59 AM, jaketen2001 wrote:

    Look,

    If you would be unable to sit next to yourself, why would you ask a stranger to?

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2010, at 9:35 AM, dlomax77 wrote:

    Southwest knew Kevin Smith needed two seats and they knew they only had one available on his standby flight. Allowing him to board the plane and subsequently kicking him off is inexcusable.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2010, at 9:58 AM, ChannelDunlap wrote:

    I'm so glad this article is still on the front page. I mean, there isn't even a point to it anymore. It's just a bunch of people bitching about fat people. And thats what I look for in a TMF article.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2010, at 4:37 PM, PSU69 wrote:

    Get the FAT FOLK out of the airplanes please. Put them on a bus. Let them stop at every fast food place as they slowly make their way to the next destination. Airlines will save fuel. People willl be happier. The world will be a better place.

  • Report this Comment On February 22, 2010, at 4:52 PM, superratus wrote:

    I commend Southwest for their policy. That is one of the reasons I fly Southwest. It is so nice to share your seat with someone who cannot fit in their seat. The other airlines should take a cue from Southwest, it they cared about their passengars.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2010, at 10:47 AM, trebor95 wrote:

    If Kevin Smith wants to fly standby....I hear that Andrew Stack has some room on his plane...no seats...just need to hold onto that 55 gal drum of fuel.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2010, at 12:22 PM, vegasbob222 wrote:

    I am so glad SWair told the man with the fat ass(ets) to get off the plane so other passengers who somehow manage to fit into a standard seat can flyy with having to smell the tuna breath and other excretions of body systems that are all out of whack. Stray off SW if you don't like it. You will be thrilled with AA, DL, US Air, Cont, etc.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2010, at 3:02 PM, chf2258 wrote:

    I didn't have time to read all of the comments but did the author respond to the question about what exactly LUV did wrong?

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2010, at 5:36 PM, chf2258 wrote:

    I also feel compelled to add/ask; is this supposed to be journalism? (Please know that I don't expect to enjoy and/or agree with all that I read. I will, however, scrutinize any criticism of a company that offers value and handily beats the masters at their own game) What I am reading is that LUV made the following mistakes; 1) Gave an XXXL person a chance to get on an earlier flight without having to buy a 2nd seat. When said Trip-X did meet the specs, LUV had the passenger fly on original flight. 2) Offered K-Phat $100 for the inconvenience (still not sure why that was a mistake)

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2010, at 5:43 PM, readyever123 wrote:

    I'm sorry but I feel they did the right thing.. I flew back with some 400 pounder next to me and after 30 minutes I couldn't take it.. Why should they make you happy by making someone else unhappy. No way.. I think maybe next time they can have a volunteer system.. Who wants to sit next to this guy for the next few hours.. If they have takers let him sit. If not.. Kickem out.

  • Report this Comment On February 23, 2010, at 6:56 PM, Howard1ii wrote:

    Remind me to never go to a Kevin Smith movie.

    This stinks of a "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" moment. NO, I do not know who you are, and I really do NOT care.

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2010, at 7:19 PM, Daveoffv wrote:

    What a wonderful bunch of human beings. You should be thankful you have your health instead of complaining about people in wheel chairs and slow old people

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