Thursday, February 18, 2010

Southwest: No Fatties

Southwest Airlines kicked off a passenger because they claimed that he was too fat to fit into his seat and fly. I’m sure that this has happened before, but this is the first time it has been known to happen to a celebrity, the director Kevin Smith.

I hate when I hear a celebrity say, “Do you know who I am?” because it appears that the celebrity wants extra special treatment. In this case, if I was Kevin Smith, I would say it to warn them that throwing off a celebrity is a bad idea. In this case, it was a very bad idea for Southwest. Customers now have the message that Southwest is even willing to throw a celebrity off the plane if they feel that he weighs too much.

Southwest has already issued a public apology, but the real question is, “What are you going to do in the future?” I’m not a skinny guy, but I also don’t think that I’m too fat to fly. At the same time, it makes me wonder if I could be given the Kevin Smith treatment in the future. I think it would be nice if Airlines can have some kind of standard that would help a customer avoid walking onto a plane and then being escorted off. That must be humiliating. Everyone watches the fat guy being pulled off the plane… and they will all know it’s because he’s fat.

I guess I’m also wondering why Kevin Smith was flying on Southwest in the first place. They are known as the discount airliner. He’s rich. He can easily afford a first-class ticket and those seats are big enough that no one would question his weight. But he also has the right to fly on cheaper airliners if he chooses to and spend the money that he saves on whatever he wants.

I think that Southwest has just entered a public relations nightmare of their own making. It was also so avoidable. Kevin Smith is a celebrity. The crew on the flight probably could have asked one skinny teenager, “Hey, would you like to sit with the director of Clerks, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?” I bet that there were people on the flight who would have loved to have sat with a celebrity.

Southwest should be prepared because I am guessing that Kevin Smith will make fun of them in his next movie. For what they did to him, they deserve what they are going to get.


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