‘Silent Bob’ Bashes Southwest: ‘I’m Too Wide for the Sky?’
February 15, 2010
(ChattahBox)—Film director Kevin Smith, known for his comical role as “Silent Bob,” and the movie “Clerks,” was thrown off a Southwest Air flight over the weekend for being a “safety risk” due to his weight. Although Smith says he was already seated on the flight from Oakland to Burbank, with his arm rests fully down and a seat belt on without an extender, the flight attendant was ordered by the pilot to eject the rather large Smith for safety reasons. The airline offered the furious Smith a $100 voucher for his trouble, but he was not placated and he took to Twitter to bash the airline in a series of expletive filled rants. His first tweet read: “Dear @SouthwestAir — I know I’m fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?” And that was just the beginning, as he capped off his tweet ranting with a Sunday evening podcast to take further jabs at the airline.
Southwest Air apologized to Smith after his colorful tweets made the news, by phone, Twitter and the company’s blog. But the airline also reiterated its policy for large passengers:
“Southwest instituted our Customer of Size policy more than 25 years ago. The policy requires passengers who cannot fit safely and comfortably in one seat to purchase an additional seat while traveling. This policy is not unique to Southwest Airlines and it is not a revenue generator. Most, if not all, carriers have similar policies, but unique to Southwest is the refunding of the second seat purchased (if the flight does not oversell) which is greater than any revenue made (policy is available at www.southwest.com). The spirit of this policy is based solely on customer comfort and safety. As a company committed to serving our customers in safety and comfort, we feel the definitive boundary between seats is the armrest. If a customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat, a customer seated adjacent would be very uncomfortable and a timely exit from the aircraft in the event of an emergency might be compromised if we allow a cramped, restricted seating arrangement.”
Smith insists that his armrests were properly lowered, and that per the airline’s own stated policy, he should have been allowed to fly.
Below are a few of Smith’s Tweets about the incident:
“Dear @SouthwestAir, I flew out in one seat, but right after issuing me a standby ticket, Oakland Southwest attendant Suzanne (wouldn’t give last name) told me Captain Leysath deemed me a safety risk. Again: I’m way fat…But I’m not there just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I’m seated with arm rests down. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who’d already (noticed) me as Silent Bob.”
“So, @SouthwestAir, go (expletive) yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no safety risk (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?). I was wrongly ejected from the flight (even Suzanne eventually agreed). And (expletive) your apologetic $100 voucher, @SouthwestAir. Thank God I don’t embarrass easily (bless you, Jersey Girl training). But I don’t sulk off either: so everyday, some new (expletive) you Tweets for @SouthwestAir.”
“Wanna tell me I’m too wide for the sky? Totally cool. But fair warning, folks: If you look like me, you may ejected from @southwestair.”
Smith eventually boarded another flight and safely landed in Burbank.
Source: LA Times