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February 15th, 2010
08:43 AM ET

Size Matters

You may know him as “Silent Bob,” but Kevin Smith isn’t staying quiet about getting kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight.

The director and actor says a pilot ejected him because he didn’t fit properly in a single seat.

Smith wrote about the incident on his Twitter page Sunday saying, “I’m way fat, but I’m not there just yet,” and “if you look like me, you may be ejected from Southwest Air.”

After angry comments from Smith and his fans were posted online, the airline issued and apology and gave him a $100 voucher.

Southwest says its “customer of size” policy requires travelers to make other arrangements if they don’t fit safely and comfortably in one seat.

Both Smith and the airline acknowledge that Smith bought two seats for his original flight from Oakland but he was flying standby in order to catch an earlier flight and only one seat was available.

Smith insists he was still able to put both armrests down and buckle his seat belt, which is Southwest’s policy.

So what do you think? Should Smith have been kicked off the flight?

We’ll share some of your comments on the air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am — 1pm ET

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Silent Bob speaks out and he's right the airlines today are not built to seat present day passengers most people now day's have great big butt's and need great big seats the airlines are not keeping up with the trend .

    February 15, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  2. Carrie

    I say this, as a frequent flyer I am tired of being squeezed to death by people that are just to fat to fit in the seat. And what if there were an emergency that required an evacuation? Take a situation where the plane crashed and were on fire, what would be the chance that I could get or squeeze out? I applaud Southwest and any airline that has the courage to stand up for passage safety and comfort. BRAVO I say!

    I have rights and am entitled to comfort as well and need not to be subjected to hours of total discomfort, and unless you've been in that position before you have no idea how uncomfortable it is.

    If it's such a big deal maybe there's a opportunity here for someone like Sir Richard Branson to start up a new airline catering to the physically overwhelmed. But please, spare me the bleeding hearts; I don't need to be stuck sitting next to these people and subjected to their poor life choices. After all, did anybody give me a choice when I booked my seat? Was there a non-obese option when booking? NO!

    Southwest has at least set the industry standard in establishing the prerequisite and expected state of passenger comfort when it comes to passenger size and weight. That takes courage not just to write down but also to enforce. Good for them.

    February 15, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  3. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The airlines have known of this proublem for years and have done nothing to redesign there seats we have a bunch of flying sardine cans and the FAA needs to force a fix .

    February 15, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  4. Trey Johnson

    The airline issued AN apology and gave him a $100 voucher.

    February 15, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  5. Jasmine

    The truth is the Airlines do not care about obese people. Just look around the airports and airlines, if you see any overweight employees they are working on the ground.

    To be a cabin crew/flight attendent the airlines have a rule Fitness and Efficiency is their reason for their weight standards.
    To be on board you have to be between 5'2 -6'2 in height with weight in proportion.

    If any of the cabin crew becomes physically unfit the airlines can and will fire you. And whats sad is the courts are ruling in favor of the airlines paving the way for the firings.

    The airlines do have extended seatbelts they can give out on board for the plus size passengers only if you ask for one. But for the really obese people who needs to buy that extra ticket for the second seat they have no feelings for you.

    Airlines need to update their equipment for all plus size people to be able to ride and be comfortable and not having be squeezed in a seat for a long period of time.

    We pay for our tickets and some are not cheap so i think with our money we give to the airlines they can make the changes since we the passengers are paying for the change.

    If the Movie Theaters can replace their old slim seats with new larger seats I know the airlines should be able to.

    Work Hard and Make it happen.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  6. Kathy Ponds

    When younger (and smaller) I was a freqent Southwest Airlines passenger. With age, my size has grown, and SW would be the LAST airline I would take. Mr. Smith, I assume you are a frequent air traveler. Southwest offers excellent prices; however, the compromise is tiny seats.Stick to your guns and challenge the "fat prejudice" existing today. Silent Bob for president!!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  7. Brigita

    Totally agree with Carrie!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  8. Rod

    If the seat don't fit, you've got to git!!!!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  9. Juanita Williams

    I applaud Southwest Airlines. Smith should have either bought two seats, or left.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  10. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    I hope that other airlines follow Southwest and enforce this issue. A fat person should be required to purchase two seats. When I purchase a seat on a flight across country it is bad enough that the seat is narrow to begin with and uncomfortable. Then when a fat person sits next to me and thinks they can infringe on my area that is unfair. If I were to complain and the flight attendant thinks I'm a trouble maker I can get thrown off of the flight and fatso would stay on the flight. I applaud the Southwest pilot and I don't think they should have issued an apology or given a $100 voucher. Southwest should commend the pilot for enforcing company policy for his concern of the comfort of other passengers.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  11. Baron Roberts

    If an airline has a standard safety procedure and a passenger cannot or will not comply, he or she should be removed from the aircraft. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  12. mike

    I agree with the airline. I pay for my seat and I don't need to have someone hanging over mine. We are so politically correct they sent him a voucher. They should have sent him a stairmaster.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  13. Emma-Jane Hosch

    I think it's a terrible thing that Southwest Airlines did. It should be illegal not to supply seats that real people can fit in to. What length will the airlines go to to cut costs? Have us all standing up as in a subway train?

    February 15, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  14. Chase

    I'm a 2XL shirt kinda guy... Who the heck am I gonna fly with? I'm about to drop American because of all their stupid surcharges, and I may not even -start- flying Southwest because of the possibility I may look too fat to get the belt around me? How many more "passenger gets booted, then an apology" stories are we going to have to sit through before Southwest reverses this bad-PR policy?

    February 15, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  15. Paul

    I will choose to fly Southwest Airlines because they did the right thing. I don't want to sit next to huge passengers. They should not be allowed to fly if they don't purchase two seats together. We should not suffer because of their lack of control.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  16. Kristi Trevizo

    Yes, he should have been removed from the flight. I would not want to sit next to him if he had stuffed himself into the seat with the armrests raised up like that. Southwest is tight enough on room as it is.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  17. dylan

    That isn't right people in the airline business should respect people how they are

    February 15, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  18. Glen

    A fat person should be required to buy two seats. I had to fly next to an overweight person recently and I was forced to stand up in the back of the plane most of flight. His fat was pushing against me giving me a back ache and he refused to open the aisle armrest. The worst part was while deplaning, I found out that his wife was aboard two rows up, and she was overwieght and chose not to sit next to him. They knew that whom ever sat next to him would be uncomfortable.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  19. John from Sacramento

    Tony, I understand people have to fly. No matter the weight but they should buy an extra seat if they are massive . I cant stand people oosing into my space. The cattle cars of today leave no room. I for one thank the SW attendant who made the call. It has to be a tough job. The Airline should keep a few seats free till all are loaded in the plane and look for potential problems. If you are that big you should have to inform the Airline before you fly.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  20. Heather

    No one should ever be asked to leave a plane because of their weight. It was the airline's choice to put smaller seats in the planes, they should have thought it through. I am a "healthy" weight and still feel cramped. They could put a few less seats on a plane and have a little bigger seats!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  21. Brandy Hagelstein

    Recipe for disaster:

    1. Ever increasing American waistlines
    2. Ever decreasing size of the typical airline seat

    Combine for disastrous outcome of PR Fail Proportions.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  22. Juanita Williams

    It cost less to take one passenger off of the plane than to enlarge the seats. A cost that will passed on to the customers. Great job Southwest.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  23. Richard

    Viva Southwest for not letting him fly.
    It is horrible to have to sit next to these "people of size"; they make the persons next to them very uncomfortable. Obviously the fat people don't care about others discomfort, only their own comfort; which is obvious from the attitude of Kevin Smith.
    Kick his fat ... off!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  24. Chris

    Tony – Great show... I fly about every other week. To answer your question.... Sorry but it is another question, Would you like to sit next to someone 'overflowing'? Hopefully the person was treated respectfully.... my same wishes go to the person that was seated next to him.



    February 15, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  25. Lynn

    I agree with Carrie, I am tired of being put out and put in danger because of other people's "rights". It was not long ago, that smokers had the right to force me to breathe smoke. We have come a long way. If the airlines lost business because of "thin" policies, only then will they make seats bigger. If you fly a discount airline, deal with it! And I am a big "Silent Bob" fan.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  26. Bob in Sewanee

    The problem is not with Southwest or any other airline. People are just letting themselves get too big, and they are "freight." A double-sized person costs more fuel and space to transport, not to mention the annoyance to all the other normal-sized folks. The airlines are even having to make seatbelt "extenders" to fit these whales.

    If a person is double-size, they should pay for the upgrade to have two seats. And the all-you-can-eat restaurants better watch out when it's dinnertime. Our overweight citizens and their overweight children have become a national disgrace and a healthcare burden, too.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  27. Cindy Kloosterman

    If I'm not mistaken he had purchased two seats due to his size but then decided to take an earlier flight that just had one seat available. If he could put the arm rests down and buckle the seat belt then I don't see the problem. I'm tired of people being discriminated against because they do not fit other peoples standards of perfection. I do NOT agree with Carrie. Yes, you do have a right to your own comfort and safety but I don't believe he is so large he would have compromised that. I am not a large person but I would rather sit next to a pleasant person who is large rather than a small person who is sanctimonious and judgemental. I also wouldn't want to sit next to a crying baby but they also have rights.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  28. Sean, Austin Tx.

    I fly Southwest Airlines at a minimum once a month. I've seen people twice as large as Kevin Smith get on with no problems. I'm not opposed to SWA's rules about weight but maybe they should re-vamp how they evaluate people. I think a $100.00 voucher is a little cheap of SWA for an apology. How bout upgrading him to "A list" and giving him a slew of free flights. I guess they should change their slogan to "Were your bags fly for free but your extra weight doesn't."

    February 15, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  29. mike

    I believe anyone that needs 2 seats should pay for 2 seats. I agree with Carrie. I am paying as much as a heavy person and because i am healthy I should not be penalized to be stuffed into a corner by a heavyweight.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  30. Bonnie

    Obesity is a handicap. Why aren't there seats especially for obese people on planes? Obese people have as much right to fly (comfortably) as anyone. It is outrageous for the flying world to demand otherwise. And for the record, I am not obese – 5'9", 150#.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  31. Nick

    I think that Mr. Smith is entitled to be in that flight but since he is morbadly obese I think that the airline should have given him the opportunity to pay for two seats instead of one. It is not fair for the argument to be discussed always from the obese stand of point. I know the majority needs to be understanding, sensitive of this condition but how about the obese people be understanding and sensitive of other people for the extreme discomfort which they cause? Instead of fighting for bigger seats how about for healthier people? This is the way, the argument should be discussed.

    Nick, NYC

    February 15, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  32. ken

    rules are rules. If you don't properly fit in the seat you don't fly. If you are fat you have three options: lose weight, go to another airline, or don't fly, take a taxi or limo.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  33. SassysOpinion

    I think large people have been around for a long time and ammendments should have made for them on airlines. Most don't need the width of two seats only one and a half seats. Larger seats should have been designed into the planes to begin with. All that is needed is about five per aircraft and then the charge should be the same. Just because a person is bigger doesn't mean they should have to pay more. The airlines are stingy people who try to cram as many people as possible into a sardine situation with no food except peanuts. All new seats are not necessary just change a few. This will not be that costly unless like the government they choose to pay more than necessary. I know a lot of people who would do it for next to nothing. We should not be in the air anyway as God did not design us to fly. Fall out of the sky and see what happens. Google my username and see that I am all over the internet and just getting started. Sassy Grace for president! That's me.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  34. Nick

    I think that Mr. Smith is entitled to be in that flight but since he is morbidly obese I think that the airline should have given him the opportunity to pay for two seats instead of one. It is not fair for the argument to be discussed always from the obese stand of point. I know the majority needs to be understanding, sensitive of this condition but how about the obese people be understanding and sensitive of other people for the extreme discomfort which they cause? Instead of fighting for bigger seats how about for healthier people? This is the way, the argument should be discussed.

    Nick, NYC

    February 15, 2010 at 11:31 am |

    Look Kevin,

    You are overweight, its not natural...they didn't make plane seats to fit people that are overweight..that's just how it is. I am sure that if you focus on loosing weight you could fit in to a seat comfortably...and to say that you fit in that seat comfortably is an understatement...because its darn near impossible to sit there comfortably. SO loose some weight home boy and get back in to so movies. If you need some help ill help you out...i have a program called the MMA Armor Program...Just Google It

    February 15, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  36. Kim

    I believe Smith was being conscientious in buying two seats on his planned flight. He and the airline were wrong the putting him on a earlier flight that only had one seat for him to spread out in. The opinion of the pilot that Smith did not fit the seat should take precedence over Smiths belief that he fit ok. I wonder what lead to the pilot being called on to make the decision.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  37. toni acock

    Puleese! Airlines in their attempt to create more wealth for themselves have re arranged their spaces for seats. What used to hold two relatively commodious seats now holds three.....I is interesting. While they are shrinking the seats to allow more passengers to get on board, they are also raising the fares. If that is not enough, I appreciate that people of size are offered seat belt extensions and realize like any thinking person would that some people of size are actually disabled and should be in a protected class. Carrie sounds fat phobic to me....that is her problem.
    WHat would Carrie do if a skinny person equipped with all sorts of apparatus and couldn't walk with out help were to fly with her? Would she panic and think she was going to die if the plain crashed because she couldn't get out? I think not. Most fat people who fly can walk and walk pretty darn well. They manage to keep up with the lines and the crowds. The very overweight do purchase extra seats what is the problem? The seats are smaller and smaller as the society gets larger and larger . I do not fully know the details of this latest class distinction but I do know that skinny or fat I wouldn't fly any airline that thinks this way.......

    February 15, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  38. Steve

    I am a big guy, 6'3" but not so big I droop over the sides of the arm rests.. Last year on a Continental flight I found my seat in the isle, where I prefer but next to a husband and wife that were so fat their bellies hung way over the arm rest into my seat. I refused to sit down. The flight attendant after a period of time finally found a seat for me behind a partition that also gave me some extra leg room.
    Then on my return trip the same thing happened. I couldn't believe it. They moved to another isle seat where the middle seat was empty until last minute an obese woman came aboard and sat in that middle seat and the crew said it was a booked flight and had no where else to move me.
    I applaud Southwest for kicking him off. If he wants to fly he can purchase 2 seats. Maybe the airlines should offer bigger seats in part of the plane but what people are going to admit they're FAT and purchase those seats in advance.
    I emailed Continental and complained but never heard anything back. Currently avoiding Continenal when at all possible.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  39. Silverstreak

    If Smith passed the "armrest test," then there was no reason to kick him off the plane, regardless of how he looks. SWA was completely out of line in this one.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  40. Jeff Vaught

    This is not a question of fat vs. non (or less) fat or necessarily of airplane design. I'm 6'3" tall and find it extremely difficult to fold myself into the leg space provided, especially when the passenger in front of me puts their site into full recline mode the minute the sit down. But as I say that is a different argument.

    What this is a question of is customer service and I it appears to me Southwest failed miserably. Everyone is in agreement that Mr. Smith originally paid for two seats, as per Southwests policy. However, like many of us who want to get where we are going sooner rather than later he was trying to get an earlier flight. When the flight became available, it was Southwest responsbility to determine whether or not this was a valid alternative for Mr. Smith. They could see that he had purchased two tickets for his previous flight. They could, presumably see him and they should have made the determination to offer or not offer the seats based upon the infomation that was available. Once they determined that it was possible for him to take the earlier flight and made the offer, the ball was in their court.

    To come back after the fact and claim anything different shows what lousy service they provided. It happens to everyone. One hand never knows what the other is doing at the airlines. The people at the counters don't talk to the people at the gate who don't talk to the flight crew. One tells you, its fine to carry on a bag but another takes it away after you failed to remove items that you needed but thought it would be accessable since you were not checking your bag. Service is terrible, but if you need to fly and they are going where you want to go and sometimes its the only direct flight you take it. The airlines feel that allows them to bother AT&T's old motto – "We don't care, we don't have to."

    February 15, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  41. Andrew Stewart Weir

    Regarding: Jeni Cook (CNN News Executive Producer), Filed under Tony Harris: "Kevin Smith isn’t staying quiet about getting kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight."

    Regardless of the Airline, increasing costs for travelling and minimizing services, a global standard should recognize the widening North American waist-line and stave away from policies, such as Southwest airlines 25 year old policy on client size and look at a greater reality that the industry has had 25 years to expanding their seating without comprising passenger capacity. Ergonomics would dictate arm-rest alteration and a give of 3 inches of width between seats by a slightly wider seat base. North American automobile manufacturers made that move in the 1990's, and other manufactures made the same move after the Big 3; it leaves only wondering why all airplanes aren't modified at less than a cost of a profit margin per airplane short haul commuter flight per plane to renovate existing planes. Ultimately building them with that in mind will take time, as airplane purchases are less likely as those retrofitted for changing of the times. Despite the want for American waist-line to decrease, all airlines need to provide proper service without question for those such as Mr. Kevin Smith; so that he (like others) can fly in comfort without prejustice.

    Thank you for your time,

    February 15, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  42. Riley

    Everybody should have the right to be able to fly on a plane. We all come in diferent sizes, shapes and sometimes disabilities. Airlines should know by now and should be prepared for this type of situations, rather than kick someone off a plane for being obese.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  43. Jerry Valdetero

    If I was as large as Kevin Smith and had his money I definetly would not be trying to fly standby on a commercial airline.I would have my own private jet with a large custom sofa and wetbar to make traveling as comfortable as possible.I personally feel that Kevin should not be slamming Southwest Airlines and acting like some poor man that cannot afford to purchase two seats for his big butt! This type of behavior shows just how cheap he really is

    February 15, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  44. Lewis Timothy

    Some think airlines should put in bigger seats. If they do, They will have to charge more per seat. It's just an economic fact of life. Planes don't fly cheap.That means everyone will pay more for that fat person. Being fat is a choice and Him, being a movie director, could well afford the price of two or even three seats. He is the cheapo in that situation. Come on Fat people, on a plane you really are a
    PAIN-IN-THE-B – – . For your own health and everyone elses comfort , SHED THOSE POUNDS.........

    February 15, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  45. Tanya

    If the airlines are going to charge a "fat fee" to match all of their other fees, then they should ask for the passenger's weight, height, and body mass index BEFORE they book the flight! I guess this would prompt the ACLU to claim discrimination? When you consider the amount of unemployed Americans, the shrinking salaries of the Americans that still have a job, and poor consumer confidence, the airline industry should be grateful for the customers that they have – FAT AND "AVERAGE" SIZED!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  46. vinnybarbin

    Pretty obvious to me. If you needed a two seat ticket to get there you are going to need a two seat ticket to get back.
    From my point of view, and I've been overweight before, if an airline required me to buy two seats becuause I could not safely fit into one seat it would definately be a wake up call for me. Lose some weight man!
    Kevin you need too take responsibility for yourself. You are not going to change the rules just to solve your own personal problems. Rules that are in place for your safety and the safety of others.

    So yes, I think they had every right to not allow you on that flight.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  47. Aaron

    Maybe this is the jolt america needs in order to get back in shape!

    At 6ft and 170lbs , I am pretty lean and the seats are comfortable, but, if I have some one pushing 200 or more in a middle seat, I think it is unfair that he or she is either uncomfortable or inconsiderate and making my life a living hell!

    Americans are so gung-ho about the focus on jobs, but not obesity. There is nothing wrong with being a healthy weight and height, in fact, you might live longer.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  48. Carlos Silva MD

    He needs to face it and loose weight, or else be prepared to buy two seats when he flies

    February 15, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  49. Vicki

    It's in the news, Americans are overweight. How come the airline industry hasn't started making seats wider to accommodate the overweight Americans who want to fly? Maybe they can put in a few rows of wider seats in each plane and there can be an upgrade charge to sit there.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  50. Kerry

    This is just a case of someone recognizing who Kevin Smith is, and making the conscious decision to "put him in his place". The feeling of power is a strong one. So is jealousy. He fit his seat, he buckled his belt, the armrests were down. It should have been over then. The ego of an employee was to blame here.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  51. sandra

    I feel Southwest was correct in their policy. We all have to pay for excess weight in our baggage, etc. and therefore anyone who exceeds a certain weight/size limit themselves should perhaps pay a surcharge on their ticket. Who knows, it may be an incentive to improve their health by losing a few pounds!

    February 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  52. Michael

    SWA pulled Kevin Smith off the plane after demonstrating that he indeed was not too large for the seat. He put down both armrests, buckled his seatbelt, and neither person next to him had any problem. SWA still pulled him off, after seating him.

    Second, SWA is latching on to Kevin buying two seats, which he has explained numerous times is because he likes having some room when he is on the plane, NOT because he is too large to fit into a single seat.

    They are trying to cover their behinds by lying about Kevin's.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  53. Wayne Pravitz

    Tony, Obesity is a national epidemic. Airlines should charge by the pound – lighter people pay less. baggage should also be by the pound. Kevin should be allowed to fly – just pay for the weight/space he requires.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  54. MCHarmon

    Apparently this was one person's decision. Since it was subjective and not based on actual "safety" (he was able to buckle his seatbelt) the airline was wrong. It is a dangerous road we are going down when laws, rules and ultimately taxes are being used to force people to live or be a certain way. Of course it is all being done as if they are really concerned about our health.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  55. p walker

    He knew when he requested to fly standby that he needs two seats so to be outraged when asked to de-plane is his fault. I used to get squeezed all the time until the airlines began to actually enforce this.

    It's uncomfortable being overweight but the airlines have no obligation to make you more comfortable because you are overweight. I've been overweight myself and knew that I had to sit on the outside seat and try to book when the flights weren't full.

    Be responsible folks and you won't get your feelings hurt.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  56. Ross

    I'm a big Kevin Smith fan, but I'm an even bigger fan of being comfortable on a long, already crowded flight. It's not the airlines fault some people can't fit into the seats. If you take up space for two people, you should pay for the space for two people.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  57. Fco

    Airlines should NOT change their seats. Granted, better leg room would be best but, there is no reason to make seats bigger. That reasoning would only promote an unhealthy way of life. We as Americans have gotten too lazy. People should start exercising more and shed that unhealthy weight. START LOSING WEIGHT PEOPLE, being FAT is not normal nor average.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  58. Oliver Clark

    I have been on flights with a big person seated next to me and it was uncomfortable for both of us. Either the seats need to be enlarged or extra seat charge of some sort should be in place. Safety should be the #1 issue and then comfort. There are many oversized people out there and something has to be done...

    February 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  59. Charles

    If it were possible to seat fat flyers next to one another they
    would realize how the rest of us feel as their girth and heavy breathing overflow into the next passengers seat. It is only fair that the airlines require that they pay for two seats, if they are clearly taking up more than one.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  60. Shelli Quinteros

    Over weight people are verbaly abused on a daily basis isn't that enough torment for them? I have been fighting weight problems for awhile but now having to fight the airlines for a seat. They need to fix the seating on planes and get them updated they can update the size of the JUMBO jet why not the seats.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  61. Mike

    I was once on a Delta flight (window seat) when a very large women sat next to me. See was so large she "spilled over" into my seat and even pushed the arm rest into me. I ended up leaving the seat and took a center set (which I hate!) so that I could have some room

    What about my rights? I paid for a ticket and expect to be able to seat where I choew when I bought the ticket.

    You want to be fat, fine. But those of use who aren't shouldn't have to suffer your "largeness". You should have to buy two seats.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  62. Sick O It

    This is a personal issue for Mr Smith. It is not the responsibilty of a company or any individual for that matter to accomodate him. Stop blaming others for your situation. Two choices...lose weight or buy and airline. Until then stay off Twitter. Stay silent...Bob!

    February 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  63. Penny Ireland

    It would be interesting to know if the passenger in the adjoining seat had complained. I have flown next to very large folks who were not fat, just naturally of large build. I agree with the person who compared plane seating to flying sardine cans. The exiting seating dimensions need to be addressed by the FFA.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  64. mike

    no one with that weight fits in the seat comfortably

    February 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  65. Betsy Parker

    If you are too large to fit in one seat, then you should have pay for two seats! On a trip back to Nashville from Houston a few years ago, my husband and I got the last two seats in the airplane together. After we were seated, we noticed two extremely large women making their way down the aisle, looking for seats. Unfortunately, we didn't think quick enough and put down the arm rests between my husband and the remaining empty seat in our row. One of the women plopped herself down, her fat rolls oozing over my husband, and wedging me into a tight corner. We couldn't put the armrests down at that point – there was no room! It was a long, miserable flight, but one we have learned from!!

    February 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  66. Michael

    Airlines are missing another price point opportunity. Charge by the pound, the airlines already charge for luggage and charge for air cargo by the pound. A ticket might cost $3 per pound from LAX to JFK. Weigh each passenger with clothing and carry on. A 150 lb. person would pay $450 and a 300 lb. person would pay $900. Got 40 lbs. of carry-on, that would cost $120 (maybe it would be cheaper to check it). Instead of looking for flights by route and price, the flights would be listed as price per route per pound.

    As far as customer service, airlines are like cell phone companies. They all suck, try to find the one that sucks the least.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  67. Scott

    I constantly am seated next to people who spill over into my seat, so this is not just a problem affecting the obese. The airlines need to offer obese seating. Stop talking about what it would cost, and charge accordingly for the extra space. People need to get over themselves and start paying their weight, so to speak.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  68. Jan

    I avoid Southwest Airlines like the plague. Their policy on passenger weights is discriminatory and downright wrong. I have not flown Southwest due to this policy and their cattle car style of loading the plane. I recomment to my friends to avoid Southwest.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  69. Michele Burke

    I love Silent Bob, but Go Southwest. I am tired of being forced to share my seat with the person next to me. When your body encroaches into my limited space, it becomes less about you, and more about everyone else. If you don't like Southwest's policies, fly an airline that still offers first class.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  70. Ben

    We all have to pay for our luggage due to weight. To be fair we should include the weight of the passenger. The airlines nor other passengers should pay for those of us who are overweight.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  71. Jeramy

    Southwest should be able to do whatever they want. They are a business. They should, however, realize the PR consequences of their actions. Kevin Smith is a great director and could lead thousands if not millions to a boycott of their airline.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  72. Josh A

    If you're to big to fit in a seat on a plane, then you should not be allowed on the plane. The obesity in our country disgusts me. I have a plan; eat less, lose weight.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  73. Reject

    Well if you are too fat to even squeeze into a seat, how about some exercise? Lawn work and snow shoveling can be double benefits. How about joining a local gym? A good 3-4 day a week upper AND lower body exercise plan can come with many health benefits. Once the government figures this out it will be mandatory for all americans to have a mandatory gym membership to go along with our great new mandatory healthcare, to keep costs down.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  74. cynthia

    If you have ever been squeezed in a middle seat next to a grossly obese individual whose girth precluded using your seat tray, having one of the passenger's feet under your portion of the middle seat, losing all armrest space and not being able to retrieve personal items from under the seat, then you – as I – applaud Southwest and any other airline who makes the decision to deny boarding to a "customer of size".

    February 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  75. Brooke

    I believe that all businesses need to take a stand against obesity like Southwest. When our nation’s waistline is expanding and health is suffering because of it, we need to take drastic measures to ensure that people stop eating themselves into a life of medical problems and unhappiness. The debate on healthcare needs to focus on why health care prices are so expensive. When the majority of health care cost in the United States is linked to obesity, maybe FAT people should be denied coverage until they lose weight. Obesity is a choice, not a condition that is out of an individual’s control. Wake up and make the choice to be healthy and eat right!

    February 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  76. lupo tazler

    Americans just keep getting fatter and fatter, and those of us who are NOT fat pigs are supposed to put up with this so we don't hurt their feelings? Sorry. If you're too gluttonous to fit on a plane, then walk to your destination. You need the exercise.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  77. Paul Potter

    The companies that manufacture modern day airplanes could solve the problem. If they designed just ONE seat on each plane that would accomodate a large person then all planes would have that one seat and there would be plenty for everyone. If there are no heavy people for a certain flight then a regular person could use it. And don't tell me a larger seat would take away from another. There is a way it could be configured.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  78. Gregg

    I was a passenger in a similar situation. Just before the doors closed, additional passengers were allowed onboard to fill the remaining seats. The gentleman that sat next to me was a very large man, and apologetic. He fastened his seatbelt and fit between the armrests, but I flew cross country confined to two thirds of a seat, my seat, because of his size. Of course I couldn't ask to change seats as there were no others.
    Buying two seats on the first flight exhibits his awareness of the discomfort afforded to other passengers. Flying standby without requesting two seats was quite rude to other passengers especially since he knew the imposition.
    You may not be able to control your size, but you can control your manners. Be as considerate of others as you expect them to be of you.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  79. Ryan M

    It's not the airline's responsibility to cater to obese people. If they ask you to leave the plane, it's because:

    A) You don't fit in the seat; or
    B) You fit, but are affecting the comfort of passengers next to you.

    It's also dangerous for those around the fat person in an emergency since it's difficult (or impossible) to get around them.

    If you want the airlines to start catering to obese people, expect to pay more for your ticket than airlines that don't. If the airlines started putting in "fat seats" then they wouldn't be able to get as many passengers on the plane.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  80. Tom Donohue


    I was a flight attendant for Piedmont Airlines which operates for US Airways in the Northeast.

    This is a very serious issue – let’s take for instance the flight which went down in the Hudson. If a person of larger size had an issue getting off of the seat, had tripped and fell do you think all those people would have gotten out in a timely manor?
    The Flight Attendants felt it a risk – I assure you they had nothing against a larger sized person; they were just making sure that everyone was safe.

    This guy needs to tweet to his folks about how the crew was doing their jobs and his followers need to write him back and thank him for getting off the flight as the crew apparently thought it was a safety risk more than anything.

    The crew never wants to do anything like this – it’s uncomfortable for everyone – the crew who had to approach him, the passenger and those around the situation. Plus I guarantee this flight probably did not take off on time because of it – something the crew does not like – we want to get home or to our hotel room on time – no one wants a delay trust me.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  81. Larry Morin

    I have worked for a major airline and am now retired. Our standard procedure in the case of an obese passenger was to accomodate them with the option of buying an adjacent center seat for 50% of the one-way fare. This is possible only when the aircraft seating options removable armrests.....I'm not sure if the 737 flown by Southwest permits this.... But things could have been handled a little smoother if we were still in the gentile age of commercial aviation. Today passnger service is everything to the flying public.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  82. Sue Christianson

    If anyone is able to pass the test ie fasten the seat belt and pull down the arm rests, that should be enough. You either pass the test or you don't. I have sat next to a very heavy person on a flight, we all did just fine.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  83. Pat

    If you are too BIG to fit into one seat then you need to buy two of them. One seat for each cheek. You know if you are too BIG so quit pretending. It's not the crowded person next to you or the airlines that caused the weight/space issue so they should not be penalized for it either. It takes more fuel to carry more weight and the FAA says the average adult passenger should weight 170 lbs. The only time I will lift the armrest between seats is with somebody I am traveling with. Don't even think about asking to lift it so you can crowd my space that I paid for.

    I have no problem with the airlines charging extra for people with extra weight. I would even be ok with weight being a factor for ticket price. It would be paying for what you use just like with utility bills.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  84. Betsy L. Sherer

    I am a 5'1" woman at 135lbs who was wedged between 2 large men on a flight from Detroit to LAX.. The man in the window seat had the arm rest up and his arm and leg was over into my seat. His thigh was pressed against my leg for the whole flight, and I had no room to move. The man to the right of me was not overweight just large, he at least tried to keep in his own space. I , however, felt cramped and violated having a strange man's leg against mine for the whole trip. I considered asking the stewards to move me but the flight had no extra seats.
    I think that airlines need to make larger seats to accomodate people who can't fit into standard seats. I understand their right to fly, but shouldn't I have some rights too.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  85. Steve

    This is long over due. Airline seats are fitted for the normal size passenger. The airlines require passengers who are carrying larger musical instrument to purchase a second seat to set the instrument in. Airlines check the size and weight of carry on bags This too must apply to obese passengers When a larger passenger choose to fly, yes flying is a choose not a right, it is incumbent on the larger passenger to take in to account their size and purchase 2 seats. If an obese passenger will not take responsibility for themselves, the FAA should require they purchase a second side by side seat for everyone’s comfort In addition, for safety reasons obese passengers should not be seated in a Emergency Exit row The FAA must step in and set requirements. No longer should fellow passengers have to share their seats with the obese passengers.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  86. Nancy

    ARE YOU KIDDING? I would have pushed some old lady over to sit next to Kevin Smith or at least bribed some kid with candy to sit somewhere else.

    Secondly, Southwest Airlines had no business asking him off the plane. If they didn't have the orginal purchase assignment to honor, they shouldn't have called him to the counter. AND if they said, "we don't have both seats, but we do have one. Are you willing to take it?" They should have been prepared to DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.

    If it is a matter of passenger safety, then they need to ask every crying child, gaseous elder, overly perfumed woman, and chatty Kathy to walk off as well. Any of those things would certainly compromise the safety of MY flight. Surrounded by any or all of those things would send me into a fit of CABIN RAGE!

    that's all, thank you.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  87. Alex Jones

    Americans just keep getting fatter and fatter, and those of us who are NOT gluttonous pigs are expected to put up with this so we don't hurt their feelings. If you're too fat to fit in a plane seat, it's not up to the airlines to build more fat-friendly planes. Maybe you should walk to your destination. The exercise would do you good.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  88. Jim Little

    I beleive they should force overweight people to buy two or more seats or keep them off flights. One its a safety issue in the event of an evacuation there is no way they can possible mover as fast as a thinner person, second no matter if they fit into the seat or not they overhang in the persons space next to them, third you have to pay more for your ticket to cover their extra weight, its no different then extra baggage. I've flown over 2M miiles and have had issues with obese passengers dozens of times,

    February 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  89. Jayne

    I am a small person.I am often squished by too large a passenger who can fit within the seat arms, but their legs,arms and body parts fall over into my seat. Why should I get half of the seat that I pay for? I agree with southwest policy. It is also unsafe for a large person to block emergency exits.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  90. Michael

    Re; Paul Potter February 15th, 2010 12:13 pm ET – "If they designed just ONE seat on each plane that would accomodate a large person then all planes would have that one seat and there would be plenty for everyone."

    Most airlines have several of those seats, they are in the front of the plane and referred to as first class.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  91. wordgossip

    I do not feel sorry for Kevin Smith. What they didn't report was that you were probably wearing sweat pants to accommodate your girth.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  92. ChadIdaho

    I have tremendous respect for "fat" people, but, if I have to spend my life savings on a flight and then have to sit next to someone that is taking half my seat... well that isn't fair.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  93. Larry


    I defend SW Airlines. I retired from there and I admit many employees do not know how to deal with this and the rule is not evenly applied through out the airline. Yes seats can be bigger, however an airline will raise all fares to make up for lost seats. So we have to decide a. larger seats higher fares, b. just let persons of size squeese in and others share half of their seat with the person of size or require that the person purchase two seats. If two seats are not available they will have to wait. I had the job of pulling some of these folks off, it is not a fun thing to do.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  94. Brooke

    Today's normal is FAT! That is really sad. People need to get off their fat asses and lose weight. Companies make vanity sizes to make fat people feel better about themselves. Wake up and loose weight!

    February 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  95. Jeramy

    I see a business oportunity here, or at least a Kevin Smith Movie... "FAT AIR"

    February 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  96. Brooke

    Why should a company have to make modifications to their planes to accommodate fat people who refuse to lose weight? SWA is doing what more companies should do. If you're fat and you don't like the regulations, lose weight!

    February 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  97. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Lets face it people its time for the airlines to make a fat class seating .

    February 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  98. jason

    i'd pay extra to sit next to kevin smith on an airplane!!!

    February 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  99. Jean

    Smith's dilemma with Southwest and vice versa. Considering that he was on standby (reduced fare no doubt) and If he was not able to sit comfortably and for airline safety purposes, then, the airline is within its rights to ask him to leave the plane.
    People tend to use words as "kicked-out", etc., which do not reflect the true situation. Let us utilize proper words, proper language and English. From what I heard on CNN and through other local Media, he was told or asked to leave. To be precise, we need to know the exact words which were used to Smith.
    We reside in an era that some people are obese. The previous word which was utilized was "over-weight". Whichever words we utilize, Smith is obese. People should not be sensitive about this. They know that they are and it is visible to everyone.
    There are those who eat, non-nutritious and fatty foods and who drink too much, the latter, be it soft drinks which are better known as "pop" or that the person may have a glandular or other problem. I do think that this man should do his utmost to lose some weight. This weight is unhealthy for him anyway and obviously inhibits his freedom of movement and sitting comfortably.
    In any case why should airlines have to spend money to accommodate people, create special seats for those who will not lose weight and refuse to do so and who continue to eat and drink to their hearts' content. The airlines will obviously have to increase passenger fares which affect all passengers.
    Millions of supposedly normal passengers are paying for what which they are not responsible for. It is like holding them hostage for thhe faults of others. Likewise in their private lives, paying business enterprises for what which they do not use and may never use. All of us pay for it which is not fair to us.

    February 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
  100. Joe

    Anyone want to become a sardine?

    February 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  101. christa

    Being on flights with overweight people sitting next to you, is not fair to the people sitting next to them. Their flab spills onto your seat and the heat from their bodies is unfair to other travelers. Mr. Smith is a rich enough guy, to afford a seat in first class, if he does not like it, he should have waited for the flight he had booked two seats . When I saw his picture I said "Oh my God am I glad you were not sitting next to me", because they would have to give me a free ticket to fly and having my seat to share with him would have been no option. Mr. Smith has the money to hire a personal trainer, he should walk instead of tweeting, that will decrease his bodyweight. I have nothing against big people, except I do not like to be seated next to them on a plane. Maybe he should look at himself and say, I am so young, why do I want to die this young, because he will. Obese people should make an effort to lose weight. Just wonder how many calories you have to eat, to be this fat.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  102. Ryan

    It's also about respect for other passenger's. If he's flying standby, he really has no more right to the seat than another standby passenger anyway.

    Too bad, but frankly, it might be better for our society if we have salient short-term examples of restrictions your weight can have on your enjoyment of life. Few people will tell you they would give you a job, date you, initiate a business relationship, etc if you weren't overweight. It's also hard to understand long-term consequences of obesity. These short-term stings are certainly much less severe than the long-term reality of obesity.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  103. Alyssa

    I love Kevin smith and those southwest seats are small. I must say its absolutely crazy that he got kicked off the airline if he could still buckle the belt.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  104. Heather Elaine

    Just like cars are getting bigger to accommodate larger people, so do airlines.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  105. Clyde

    It seems that prejudice and bigotry are back in style again and the airlines seem to be leading the pack. Every day you read about another price hike and now this. I think we need some congressional hearings on why the airlines are allowed to get away with the terrible service and rate hikes they force on the flying public daily,

    February 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  106. Sandra Danielson

    I would not like to sit next to someone that can hardly fit in the seat!

    February 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  107. SassysOpinion

    Christa and Ryan are making this Kevin's fault. As if the people who let him on the plan couldn't see that he was overweight and might not fit in one seat. They are solely at fault here for this problem! Get over yourselves, your egos are showing.

    February 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  108. Carla

    GOD! You people have it ALL wrong. It really irritates me when people hear one side of the story and assume that they KNOW EVERYTHING. Kevin Smith buys two seats when he flies with his wife so that they can sit on one row by themselves and won't have to be bothered by fans. Really, if you were a celebrity, as much as you adore your fans, if you're seated next to a rather excitable one for hours, one would get tired of that. ALSO, Kevin Smith DID pass the armrest and seatbelt (no extender) test. He was seated between two women who had no problem sitting next to Mr. Smith. (His wife wasn't able to make the flight with Kevin Smith, which is why he flew alone on an earlier flight which upon he was told only one seat was available, not the two he had bought.) He was OFFERED a voucher, he did not accept it.

    Southwest, in my opinion was very rude. Why did they wait until he was already SEATED on the plane and remove him PUBLICLY? I would be absolutely mortified if that happened to me. Yes, I know, I'm fat, I hate it, I'm trying to do something about it. Society ridicules me enough, do I have to endure public humiliation aboard a plane too if I decided to fly?

    February 15, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  109. Cappelli

    Just give it up Kevin Smith.

    February 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  110. Kathy Manizza

    Hurray for Southwest Air! I think it is about time that obese people are singled out in some way. Obesity has become one of the leading causes of death in our country. It has overtaken cigarette smoking as a health risk. I do not see why I should have to have half my seat taken up by someone who can't fit in his or her own seat. To me there is no difference in this and sitting next to someone who is smoking. Overweight people must start taking some responsiblity for themselves and the fact that their health risk causes all our insurance premiums to rise.

    February 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  111. cah5156

    @Carrie: If you have a right to comfort then so do fat people. We find comfort in eating. Deal with it. If you don't want to sit "uncomfortably" next to a fat dude then catch the next flight.

    February 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  112. Ron

    Kevin Smith may be angry, but the rest of us who fly have a right to be angry as well when our space is partially taken up by the obese person seated next to us and who is spilling over into our space. Airlines have tried to accomodate both sides by requiring obese persons to buy two seats, consequently not overcrowding the person next to them. It is standard safety procedure for the airlines. When the safety procedure cannot be accomodated, the obese person isn't allowed to fly. So in this regard, Kevin Smith may be angry, but the airlines were responsible and upheld the safety procedure.
    However, SW is at fault, too, for caving to a celebrity and issuing the apoligy and voucher. That would not happen to the average obese flyer. Too many celebrities have grand illusions of their importance!

    February 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm |
  113. Jesse

    I for one am a very skinny person, and have had horrible flights (international) where I am sandwhiched between two huge people for a 12-hour flight. That is utter hell. I think it is irresponsible to not get a second seat if you can't fit in one. It is not fair to the people who paid for a seat thats very small anyway and have it be even smaller because your spilling onto it.

    However, Kevin is really not that far in my opinion, or maybe I just haven't seen him in a while. I think that if he can put both armrests down and buckle the seatbelt it was unfair to kick him off. Also, yeah, southwest sucks.

    February 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  114. aconstantgardener

    I think he should lose some weight.

    He was such a sexy guy way back in the nineties. He made us believe that nerds and geeks could have sex appeal. He gave me hope during my teenage years and I've to thank him for that.

    O.k.,now he is a married man, he has a daughter and he has written all the main characters from the comic book industry, he has nothing left to prove, but that is no excuse for negleting its exercise. Just look up for Stan Lee, almost Eighty and still a Foxy Guy.

    C'mon Mr.Smith do some push ups like Daredevil and give those Airplane guys a taste of revenge.

    February 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  115. Steve Maxwell (Nebraska)

    When you were 10 years old and under 48" tall, you couldn't ride roller coasters. Now that you are 40 years old and can't fit in a single seat on a plane, you can't fly in planes. Tough. You grew out of the first; the same solution won't work for the latter.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  116. Steve

    How about Michael buys himself a first class seat or two seats. Problem sovled Ok, SWA does not have first class, so he should travel on some an airline that provides first class seats.

    No one, should have to share their seat because their seat/row mate is large. The airline should not have to provide for obese people. Obese people should provide for themselves, purchase either two seats or first class. Stop blaming others for their size, take responsibility and make good decisions demonstrating self-awareness and courtesy towards those around them.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  117. Cynthia

    Thanks Southwest for trying to make the rest of us comfortable. It's miserable sitting next to huge people! Yes, many are nice, but it still makes our flight miserable!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 16, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  118. Joseph

    Maybe the reason this is news is because Smith is somewhat famous.

    That is all I can comment on because I wasn't on that flight. Was Smith beligerent? Did flight attendants provoke him?

    It seems like you have to do a ton of stuff wrong to get kicked off a flight... or you have to request it.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  119. Kev

    Although I feel a little sorry for Kevin Smith, what is the point in having a safety drill before flying if he can't get out of his seat in a hurry.
    I too have had a 'large' passenger next to me on a flight. I could not use the armrest as it had disappeared because the guys body was half in my seat. I at no time remember him paying for half my seat so why should he be allowed to 'share' it with me.
    Perhaps airlines should put a couple of large seats in the back row and the largest two people on the plane be told to use them. That way other passengers could get out in an emergency.

    February 16, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  120. Kathy Ponds

    Ron, it is SW's policy to issue vouchers in cases where someone is bumped. That goes for you, too. Where SW failed was in allowing him to get on the plane in the first place. He was flying standby, so why not just skip over him? That's where they fell over themselves trying to please a celebrity. Then they embarrass Kevin and SW by publicly removing him from the plane. I am alarmed at the number of haters in this blog. To the person who suggested fat people should sit at the back so that the rest of us can get off in an emergency? I would love to have a fat person next to me. I can step ON him or her when making a hasty retreat. Or hide behind the larger person while running through fire. How about that?

    February 16, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  121. Dan from Santa Barbara, Ca

    The airlines already charge too much for an inferior product and customer service does not seem to be in their employee training manual. I have taken international flights and there is a stark difference in the way other countries try to accommodate their passengers and the way that we do not!

    February 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  122. Han G Thesobs

    Personally, I hate having people "spill over" into MY seat area. But Kevin? I'd make do just to pick his brain.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  123. Bob Upton

    Congratulations to Southwest, my favorite carrier now that I am protected from these over-stuffed walruses who need two seat much of the time!!! It costs the airline twice the fuel along with twice the space, so why shouldn't they pay for two seats? This is a matter of economics as well as personal space! Hats off to the airline. More need to do this!

    February 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm |