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Kevin Smith Ejected From Southwest Airlines

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Miss Vickie

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Exactly, that gate agent dropped the ball in a very big way. I'm guessing its not too fun for her at work right now.
It sounded like he was booted because he was the last passenger on? Because they needed the seat for another passenger who'd bought a second seat? However, unless those two people he sat between were who'd bought the extra seat, how did booting him help that situation? If you read the follow up, he's talked with a rep, Linda, who said it had nothing to do with his size... except that apparently according to the one gate agent, it did. They really need to figure out what their story is and stick with it. They look like morons.

BTW, I'm glad you checked in on this issue. You can see things from both sides, which is usually helpful for us to understand it from the airline's perspective.

There are a couple of problems with enforcing this type of policy, one being that everyone views "too fat" in very different ways. I can pretty much guarantee that me and a coworker can look at the very same fat passenger and have two very different opinions about whether or not the 2nd seat policy needs to be enforced.
It does seem pretty subjective. Again, from the follow up, they claim that the women on either side of him were "leaning away" from him, but he claims they were already doing that (one was sleeping against the wall and the other was leaning into the aisle) before he sat down. Also, I routinely lean away from the middle person while they're getting settled because getting settled requires maneuvering and they -- even thin people -- need the extra room, usually. Is that an indictment on their size? No.

Have they ever considered having a mock up of a seat in a private area where people can test out the seats? That seems like it might solve some of the problems, for people who are borderline. Also, I wonder... will they ever make a body builder or football player buy a second seat because their bulky shoulders 'encroach'? I'm guessing not. But it's easy to pick on the fat person. :(

CS, I did listen to his smodcast - at least, the first 15 minutes or so.
Yeah, to really understand, you need to listen to the whole thing. The first 15 minutes are just him kvetching, not telling the whole story. It was a PITA -- kept buffering -- but I'm glad I listened to it because the whole thing is just so egregiously awful. I'm not a huge Kevin Smith fan (loved Dogma but that's about it) but his treatment was horrible, and what they did to the young lady was worse. But unfortunately, to get there you have to sit through a lot of silly stuff.

I'm not sure that Kevin Smith's outraged tweets -- especially as they went on and on -- is going to do a thing towards changing that perspective. I'm already naturally inclined to supporting a 'fat passenger bill of rights' and his behavior made me think nothing more than that he's a gigantic gaping a-hole.
I see your point. He isn't exactly the most... sympathetic ... poster boy for fat acceptance while flying, is he? But at least he's speaking out, which I think is good. There may be a backlash but the people who say negative shit would have done that anyway because either a) they hate Kevin Smith, b) they hate fat people, or c) both.

Speaking of size acceptance, have you seen his latest remarks? Something along the line of, "Ok, yeah, I'm a fatty but I'm not THAT fat." Oh really, Kevin? So if you were "one of those" fatties, getting ejected from your flight would have been just fine?
Nah, what he said was that if he needed two seats he'd have bought them. But that he felt that he wasn't *that* fat, meaning not fat enough to need two seats. He has bought two seats in the past for his own privacy, and because he has the money. Not because he's too fat and needs them. Clearly he hates being fat and isn't going to join Dimensions and sing fat kum bay yah, but he's outraged at another fat person being treated like shit for being fat which I think is pretty cool.
 

TraciJo67

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Yeah, to really understand, you need to listen to the whole thing. The first 15 minutes are just him kvetching, not telling the whole story. It was a PITA -- kept buffering -- but I'm glad I listened to it because the whole thing is just so egregiously awful. I'm not a huge Kevin Smith fan (loved Dogma but that's about it) but his treatment was horrible, and what they did to the young lady was worse. But unfortunately, to get there you have to sit through a lot of silly stuff.
Well, it's my lunch hour and I'm listening to it right now. I tried last night -- I really did, but damn, it bored me after 5 minutes and grew excruciating at the 15 minute mark.

So I skipped through the initial "booted off" flight and am now listening to what happened on the 2nd flight. I have very mixed feelings about it, actually. His empathy for the woman who was "advised" to purchase another seat in the future is obvious, but I'm wondering if it's also a bit misplaced. I wonder how she would feel, hearing herself being described as he describes her, this pitiable girl with her vulnerabilities about her size written all over her poor face? Who wants to be described in that manner? I think he's assuming far too much about her. What the stewardess did to her was uncalled for, but we don't know that the underlying motivation was a "thin bitch telling some woman that she's fat just because she can" (which is what Kevin Smith assumes). Perhaps the stewardess misguidedly, ridiculously, assumed that she was being kind in forewarning the woman that she may have difficulty with future flights. At least she pulled the woman aside. There are some fat-phobic jackasses who wouldn't think twice about booting her off the plane immediately - or giving her the "you're too fat" speech in front of other passengers.

I've listened to the past half hour, and feel that it's a half hour of my life that I'll never get back, frankly :D Fuck fuck fuck fuck 'em, fuck 'em, fuck 'em, fuck 'em, fuckety fuckin' fuck 'em. Had he eliminated the gratuitous outrage (you know, contained it to 50 fuck 'ems instead of 500), he'd have cut the airtime by more than half.
 

superodalisque

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Well, it's my lunch hour and I'm listening to it right now. I tried last night -- I really did, but damn, it bored me after 5 minutes and grew excruciating at the 15 minute mark.

So I skipped through the initial "booted off" flight and am now listening to what happened on the 2nd flight. I have very mixed feelings about it, actually. His empathy for the woman who was "advised" to purchase another seat in the future is obvious, but I'm wondering if it's also a bit misplaced. I wonder how she would feel, hearing herself being described as he describes her, this pitiable girl with her vulnerabilities about her size written all over her poor face? Who wants to be described in that manner? I think he's assuming far too much about her. What the stewardess did to her was uncalled for, but we don't know that the underlying motivation was a "thin bitch telling some woman that she's fat just because she can" (which is what Kevin Smith assumes). Perhaps the stewardess misguidedly, ridiculously, assumed that she was being kind in forewarning the woman that she may have difficulty with future flights. At least she pulled the woman aside. There are some fat-phobic jackasses who wouldn't think twice about booting her off the plane immediately - or giving her the "you're too fat" speech in front of other passengers.

I've listened to the past half hour, and feel that it's a half hour of my life that I'll never get back, frankly :D Fuck fuck fuck fuck 'em, fuck 'em, fuck 'em, fuck 'em, fuckety fuckin' fuck 'em. Had he eliminated the gratuitous outrage (you know, contained it to 50 fuck 'ems instead of 500), he'd have cut the airtime by more than half.
yeah it was a waste of my time too. it only reinforced what i thought in the 1st place. he's flown before and he should know better. i could have understood if he was an inexpienced flier. i wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't the exact reason why they gave the fat woman a break. i hadn't known that southwest didn't have business and 1st class anymore. the last time i flew it did but that was ages ago. if you fly cut rate you're going to get cut rate service. if you fly standby and you're the last person on its also risky. add your size and that is another element. he should have been prepared to get off if he had to but instead he threw a media tantrum. he should have just taken 2 seats on the next flight. i do think the gate agent dropped the ball but thats bound to happen sometimes on standby. thats why its called standby--because you are taking a risk. its very common. i think he knew that but decided to make a big deal out of it for attention. if the airlines intended on being size discrimminatory why didn't they put off the woman and the other man he was speaking of?

i don't buy the "i felt sorrier for the fat woman routine either". i think it was all about him. if he was so caring once he got on and saw the situtation he would have gotten off himself since he was just standby. who knows maybe theyhad to use his seat to accommodate that woman or someone else. we can't be sure. and thats why when we are fat we need to be careful and thoughtful because maybe we could cause someone else to be booted from a plane. also he should have never tried for one seat when he usually required 2 by his own admission. the problem in the US is that we have lot of very rude people with bad manners. the airlines are rude but the customers are also very rude. people now could care less about the people they fly with. if they gave any serious thought to that before they flew there would be a lot fewer problems in general. just relying on policy for what is right doesn't make something right.
 

Blackjack

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i wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't the exact reason why they gave the fat woman a break... if the airlines intended on being size discrimminatory why didn't they put off the woman and the other man he was speaking of?

i don't buy the "i felt sorrier for the fat woman routine either". i think it was all about him. if he was so caring once he got on and saw the situtation he would have gotten off himself since he was just standby. who knows maybe theyhad to use his seat to accommodate that woman or someone else.
If you're stating this, then it's obvious that you haven't listened to the Smodcast or what anyone here has said. The woman who was having the issue was on his original flight, not the one he was on standby for.

also he should have never tried for one seat when he usually required 2 by his own admission.
He doesn't require two, he prefers two for privacy and personal space reasons. He wanted to try and get an earlier flight because he arrived way early.
 

superodalisque

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If you're stating this, then it's obvious that you haven't listened to the Smodcast or what anyone here has said. The woman who was having the issue was on his original flight, not the one he was on standby for.



He doesn't require two, he prefers two for privacy and personal space reasons. He wanted to try and get an earlier flight because he arrived way early.
i have to admit i didn't hear that part becuase i was multi tasking as usual. i need to stop that;)
 

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Rowan

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Maybe the fat woman isn't a frequent flyer. Maybe it was her first flight ever and she just didn't know that she might be too wide to fit into one seat. The airlines do not make the second seat policy an easy thing to see. Usually you have to go looking for it in whatever their "know before you go" section is. It wasn't a full flight, so it would have been insanely easy for the agent to just kindly, and privately let the lady know about the airlines policy, making her aware for next time. She didn't need to be humiliated the way she was. I'm not a big fan of Kevin Smith, his type of humor isn't my cup of tea, but I admire what he is doing here. You know, even if its for the publicity its putting an issue out there for the airlines to deal with. I can imagine that because of all the press this is getting all the airlines policy makers are going to put their heads together to figure out a way to enforce this policy in the kindest way possible.

Technically once a passenger is seated on the airplane they can't be removed without denied passenger compensation, unless they are drunk or classified as a safety risk. I wonder if that safey risk line was just a way for SW to get out of paying the man.
I think that perhaps the woman may have also taken her chances with the flight not being full also...because I can guarantee, I'm not rich and I don't make a ton of money and therefore if I plan to fly somewhere, which I havent flown anywhere in many many years, I'm not going to just run right out and buy a second seat. I just can't afford to do that. I don't have that kind of money just laying around. So, it might be possible that the lady was in the same boat, that she couldnt afford to just run off and buy another seat as easy as some people make it sound, and so she took a chance on the flight not being full and making due with her one seat.

Just a guess. *shrug*
 

superodalisque

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yeah you know what happens though right? people say its okay to be nice and then later they mail the airlines to say how crowded they felt. i wouldn't be surprised if they were worried too that later the crowded in people would have said that a fat customer got preferential treatment because he was a celeb. actually in this situation almost anything the airlines had done would have looked bad to someone. but they should really have just made sure there were actually 2 seats available in the 1st place. if i had seen he had 2 seats for himself before i would have told him that there weren't 2 seats available on that flight and it would be better to wait. hey, but its not as if they didn't at least try to get him on an earlier flight.

this is why if your fat you just need to buy the two seats to avoid all of the freaking uneccessary drama. then work to change the situtation for everyone by getting all customers to push for roomier seats on all of the airlines in the first place. we had them in the 70s but people prefered the smaller seats and lower prices since in general people were much thinner then. then all of a sudden you had people used to riding the bus on planes and bringing bus manners to air travel--incuding the service. i really hate all of the carry on people keep banging you with and that takes forever for them to load. maybe people would be willing to pay a higher price and have decent seats overall again. i'll personally be glad when the US has rapid rail like other normal industrialized nations. we really need to spend more on infrastructure and provide more sound choices for people anyway like people have elsewhere. i'm amazed when i travel abroad how much easier and more civil everything is. i think we just need more inexpensive reasonable comfortable alternatives for people who really can't afford air travel in the first place.
 

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It was an hour long flight. AN HOUR! If people felt the need to bitch that they had to be on a plane with a fattie for an hour...
 

superodalisque

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It was an hour long flight. AN HOUR! If people felt the need to bitch that they had to be on a plane with a fattie for an hour...
should they have to? its only maybe 45 minutes from atlanta to NY for me but if i was uncomfortable for reasons not my fault for any amount of time for the fees that the airlines charge i would be pissed too. who else do you pay for several hundred dollars an hour? and what do you expect to get for that?
 

Larry G

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I think it's sad how we always seem to attack our own kind, and that's why I see little hope in the fat acceptance movement overall.

I'm not really all that familiar with Kevin Smith, but I know he's a director and that he's outspoken. Perhaps he's not the most eloquent, but you and I both know that a lot of fat people face bigotry and discrimination on a daily basis and just greet it with a muffled sigh and don't say anything. By doing this we are telling the world that it's ok. Well it isn't.

And, if it take someone like Kevin Smith who's somewhat outspoken to raise his voice on this issue, he deserves my support and my admiration. :bow:

Also, one thing I haven't seen mentioned very often, is if you listen at his podcast, he was moved to speak out as much as he did because a young fat lady seated in his row was also talked to by the flight attendants on that plane, and he felt he HAD to do it because he had a daughter and was horrified about the possibility of something similar happening to her. This what he said motivated him.

Instead I see a lot of us just buying what will be the media hype: it was merely a publicity stunt and that maybe we need to watch our waistlines so that this doesn't happen to us.

Instead of fighting against the real growing crisis in the United States: bigotry and discrimination and the tolerance thereof.

Larry
 

Saoirse

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should they have to? its only maybe 45 minutes from atlanta to NY for me but if i was uncomfortable for reasons not my fault for any amount of time for the fees that the airlines charge i would be pissed too. who else do you pay for several hundred dollars an hour? and what do you expect to get for that?
My point is -and if you had listened to whole podcast- the women he was sitting with weren't uncomfortable. One woman said "It's only an hour flight."

Why are you so adamant the fatties just fucking deal with it? Should every airline just make a standard policy that all customers over 200lbs are mandated to buy to seats, regardless of the seat belt or armrests? I guess if they can afford all that food to shove in their fat faces, then they can afford to buy an extra seat, RIGHT?


jfc
 

TraciJo67

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should they have to? its only maybe 45 minutes from atlanta to NY for me but if i was uncomfortable for reasons not my fault for any amount of time for the fees that the airlines charge i would be pissed too. who else do you pay for several hundred dollars an hour? and what do you expect to get for that?
SuperO, this approach is a very weak one, to me, because it speaks to an entitlement mentality more than anything else.

I have sat by people who were excessively, annoyingly chatty ... I have been nudged and shouldered and rammed by fat and thin people who felt entitled to all of the almost non-existent elbow room, I have sat with children who pooped their pants, I've had my seatback kicked, I've sat with people who thought that dousing themselves in a dense fog of cheap perfume was a perfectly acceptable alternative to bathing. Fact is, unless we travel with a group of people, and pre-book our seats, we don't know what we're going to get. Nor should we feel entitled to a comfortable, clean, quiet passage. We can hope .. but to expect it? I'd demand it if I purchased a first-class seat, but otherwise ... I'm going to grit my teeth and bear it, whatever 'it' may happen to be, up to and including being smooshed next to a larger-than-average passenger. If Kevin Smith could fit into the seat, with both armrests down and the seatbelt buckled, then he clearly met the published guidelines. I don't like his whiny, unoriginal, completely unfunny ranting ... but I haven't missed that he has an actual point.
 

BigBeautifulMe

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Until this country pays fat people equally for the same work, it's going to be hard for us to afford to be able to buy two seats. Maybe if "society" wants there to be more two-seat buying happening, they need to end the bigotry and pay us what we're actually worth.

If that doesn't happen, there's going to continue to be in-flight too-fat-to-fly drama.
 

altered states

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I'm amazed at what the airlines get away with. They use "safety" as the excuse to mistreat their passengers, yet if anyone watched the PBS Frontline doc last week, they have no problem seriously compromising their customers' safety for a few shekels:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/flyingcheap/?utm_campaign=homepage&utm_medium=proglist&utm_source=proglist

Airlines are horrible, inefficient businesses, run by scum. They treat their workers like shit and as usual, this has a downhill snowball effect where gate agents, sky waiters, and everyone else don't see the need to treat customers humanely, much less with respect. Every adult who can bathe themselves and read and recite an airline safety card knows how to handle a situation like a too-fat passenger with decorum, which leads me to believe these SW employees consciously chose to take out their frustrations with their employers on the only people they could: customers. Classic bullies.

I'm honestly not sure where I stand on airlines' second seat policies, but I do know that this thing where they're able to suspend all civil liberties just because you've stepped onto an airplane has to end. If KS met the written criteria for being small enough to fly solo-seated, then that's it, end of story. A ticket is a contract and if he fulfilled his end of the contract -- he paid, and was small enough to squeeze himself in -- then they have to fulfill theirs. But instead they pulled the "safety" card and fucked him over.

Though possibly misapplied, I don't think the previous Rosa Parks post is totally off-base. Other passengers' comfort? I can guarantee you there were some bus passengers in Alabama back then who would have been very uncomfortable sitting next to a black woman. Should the supreme court have taken their rights as passengers into account? A jewish man was recently thrown off a plane in Minneapolis while performing a 5,000-year-old religious rite because it made some bunch of ignorants "uncomfortable." Similar situations have happened with turban-wearing Sikhs and other people who're just a little too dusky-skinned and long-nosed for red-state America's comfort. Yes, that's right, it's all about passenger comfort. (As any plane passenger of any size will tell you, airlines are all about comfort. That is, just short of making you comfortable.)

So where does it end? You're off because you're fat. You're off because you're famous. You're off because you're swarthy and remind people of 9-11. You're off because WE JUST DON'T LIKE YOU.
 

fat hiker

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SuperO, this approach is a very weak one, to me, because it speaks to an entitlement mentality more than anything else.

...
Nor should we feel entitled to a comfortable, clean, quiet passage. We can hope .. but to expect it? I'd demand it if I purchased a first-class seat, but otherwise ... I'm going to grit my teeth and bear it, whatever 'it' may happen to be, up to and including being smooshed next to a larger-than-average passenger.
Hear, hear! The 'entitlement' culture is one of the reasons America is going downhill....flying is not a right, folks. It used to be a luxury, and now, with the bargain airlines, it's a bus service in the air at best. If you want more, you have to pay for it - you don't buy a Hyundai Accent and expect to get a Mercedes S class, why should a $99 seat on Southwest entitle you to first class on British Airways???
 

Larry G

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Hear, hear! The 'entitlement' culture is one of the reasons America is going downhill....flying is not a right, folks. It used to be a luxury, and now, with the bargain airlines, it's a bus service in the air at best. If you want more, you have to pay for it - you don't buy a Hyundai Accent and expect to get a Mercedes S class, why should a $99 seat on Southwest entitle you to first class on British Airways???
There's one flaw in your argument. The fat person would accept the seat, but it's the AIRLINE that's enforcing buying a 2nd seat. That's not right. Accommodation for fat people in the air is the law in Canada and it should be the law elsewhere.

The other flaw in your argument is that this isn't 1960. Yes flying used to be a luxury, but in the old days we also had expansive passenger train and bus service, now this is more limited and the airlines have picked up the slack. The internet, also is a luxury. In the old days, our only choices were to spout off our opinions to the newspaper editor and hope against hope we were published. Funny how things change, eh?

Larry
 

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