Director Kevin Smith was pulled off of a Southwest Air flight when told he was a safety risk due to his girth. After he was thrown off, he immediately found a seat on a different airplane -- another Southwest Air flight.
Southwest Airlines has a policy wherein a passenger that cannot fit into a seat and cannot comfortably pull down the armrests must purchase an adjoining seat. Smith usually buys two seats at a time, but on this standby flight, he only purchased one.
Smith insists that he had no problem fitting into a Southwest seat. He tweeted, "But, by their own guidelines, I was not, in fact, 2 Fat 2 Fly: the armrests came down & I could buckle my seat belt w/o an extender. So...?"
There's been a lot of response to Smith's situation. EVERYTHING i've heard personally is negative -- basically, it's his fault, he's obese, he should lose some weight, and Southwest was fine to throw him off. i heard someone say, "fat people are always so sensitive about their weight." you think?
this is a hard one for me. it's sort of a non-issue if smith did, in fact, fit into the seat. if he's not making the person next to him uncomfortable, his seat belt is buckled and the armrest is down, there shouldn't be any problem.
but what if he could not fit easily and his body crowded the person next to him. i've been in this situation, in a middle seat, with my seatmate's weight minimizing my space (and i'm really claustrophic to begin with. if i can't get an aisle seat, i'm already sweating.)
should my neighbor have been forced to buy an extra seat? what if he couldn't afford it. are you not able to fly if you're fat unless you're rich?
i don't have any answer. i was a very heavy person who feared taking up extra space on my daily bus ride. i used to curl myself in as much as possible, so i wouldn't touch the people next to me. i'd picture them complaining bitterly to themselves that my fat body was making the ride unbearable.
like i said, i don't have any answers. it would be nice if airplane seats were wider, but that's not going to happen.
it would be nice if overweight people could be treated kindly, just like everyone should be. is that ever going to happen?