The most entertaining reading of the weekend wasn’t, surprisingly enough, the continued overblown response to Captain America #602 but rather Kevin Smith’s Twitter crusade against Southwest Airlines after he was removed from a flight for, well, being too fat.
It all started on Saturday after the filmmaker and comics writer, who according to the airline had purchased two seats for a flight from Oakland to Burbank, California, changed his plans, opting for an earlier flight. That meant Smith was flying standby on a plane that, by the time he boarded, had only one seat available.
Shortly thereafter is when the problem, and the subsequent public-relations headache, began. Let’s mark the starting time at 7:52 p.m. Pacific on Saturday, when Smith fired the first volley: “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?”
“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,'” Smith continued. “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 I.d.ed me as ‘Silent Bob.’ So, @SouthwestAir, go fuck 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 fuck 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 fuck-you Tweets for @SouthwestAir.”
But that, of course, was only the beginning.
Smith boarded another Southwest flight, where he took the above photo: “Look how fat I am on your plane! Quick! Throw me off!” And after his flight landed: “I’ve landed in Burbank. Don’t worry: wall of the plane was opened & I was airlifted out while Richard Simmons supervised.”
Southwest, or rather the poor person assigned to weekend PR/customer-relations duties, responded both on Twitter and on its Nuts About Southwest blog, whose server was bogged down by traffic from the dust-up.
“First and foremost, to Mr. Smith; we would like to echo our Tweets and again offer our heartfelt apologies to you,” Southwest’s Christi Day wrote. “We are sincerely sorry for your travel experience on Southwest Airlines.”
Day went on to explain that Smith was ejected by the pilot under the airline’s decades-old “Customers of Size” policy: “Our pilots are responsible for the Safety and comfort of all Customers on the aircraft and therefore, made the determination that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight. Our Employees explained why the decision was made, accommodated Mr. Smith on a later flight, and issued him a $100 Southwest travel voucher for his inconvenience.”
Smith, though, doesn’t seem interested in an apology: “Hey @SouthwestAir? Fuck making it right for me just ’cause I have a platform. I sat next to a big girl who was chastised for not buying an extra ticket because ‘all passengers deserve their space.’ Fucking flight wasn’t even full! Fuck your size-ist policy. Rude …”
The filmmaker also addressed the voucher: “Articles say I was given $100 @SouthwestAir voucher. It was OFFERED: the way a john tosses a hooker a c-note after a hate-fucking. Said no.”
And so the crusade continues …