EDIT: I'm reposting this with some new links, including another SWA blog post, and Kevin Smith's reply.
While waiting for my connecting flight out of Atlanta last Tuesday (a rant of its own), I briefly spoke to a lovely young woman as we all tried to scout out the ever-elusive working outlet for our phones, laptops, etc. I say lovely because I thought she was pretty, and I really liked the shade of green she was wearing. Anyway, that's not important. What's important is she was heavy set. Once we boarded the plane I witnessed the following exchange:
Douchehat: Excuse me, flight attendant?
Flight Attendant: Yes?
Douchehat: Can I switch seats? The girl next to me is big. Really big.
Flight Attendant: Sorry, sir, you'll have to wait until the flight has boarded completely, and then you can switch seats if there is one available.
I must also note the flight attendant said this with her voice dripping
with irritation. She sounded just as shocked and offended and I probably looked. Oh, and he was referring to that same woman I'd spoken to at the gate. Also, he said all of this loud enough that the back half of the plane heard him.
The flight boarded, and there were a lot of empty seats (it was a late flight), and he ended up having the entire row right behind me to himself.
I almost wish I'd farted in his face.
So by now, you've probably all heard about Kevin Smith getting thrown off a Southwest Air flight on Saturday.
(Link goes to the round up and discussion on Shapely Prose.)
I managed to catch the beginnings of this in almost-real time that night, thanks to Twitter. I was absolutely AGOG at what was happening. It was kind of a thing of beauty.
Here's a few other links you may want to check out, if you're interested in the unfolding of this beautiful PR nightmare:
There's a lot of discussion to be had over a lot of the stuff being said by both parties. Kevin Smith doesn't apologize for being fat, but he'll often use misogynist or fat-shaming language in his ranting. But then he'll also go on to tell the story of the heavy woman on the flight he was allowed to stay on, who was sitting in his row. The flight attendant came by and tried to take the woman off the flight.
Hearing Kevin Smith's ire over that situation was amazing. He also acknowledged his privilege as a man, and a rich one at that. He acknowledged that the average fat woman experiences harassment and discrimination that a fat man never would.
I can't wait to see how Southwest weathers this. It sounds like a LOT of people are taking their business elsewhere.