Kevin Smith Too Fat to Fly!
updated 03/01/2010 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/01/2010 AT 01:00 AM EST
Southwest first responded by offering Smith a $100 travel voucher (which he refused) and a statement that "our pilots are responsible for the safety and comfort of all customers . . . and therefore made the determination that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight." The airline's policy says passengers must be able to lower their armrests; Smith says he could.
By the evening of Feb. 15, Smith wrote online that he received in a phone call "a serious mea culpa . . . from an actual individual," a Southwest VP of communications, Linda Rutherford. "Linda told me that, before I got anywhere near the plane . . . they were having a space issue onboard with another passenger who'd purchased two seats." But by now Smith saw the problem as bigger than just his ejection. On the flight that finally took him home, Smith settled into a window seat (next to an empty seat he'd purchased). He watched as a flight attendant told a heavy woman to consider buying two seats in the future. "My heart broke for her. This ain't about me anymore. Do you know how much it sucks to be fat? There's no reason to make that person's burden worse. I just want them to change their policy. And stop insulting people."