You may have heard about the ‘turbulence’ caused when film director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Cop Out) was removed from a Southwest Airline flight for being too large to fit in a seat. The resulting Twitter rants and press slams has drawn attention to the fact that airlines have recently clarified their seating rules.
Smith, 39, had purchased two tickets to comply with Southwest Airlines policy that requires larger passengers to buy two seats. He then decided to go standby for an earlier flight and was seated on a plane on which there was only one seat left. From there, he was ejected from the plane.
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He wrote: “I know I’m fat, but was Captain Leysath really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated? “I broke no regulation, offered no ‘safety risk’ (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?).”
Smith insisted that he was able to put both arm rests down and buckle his seat belt – Southwest’s standard. The director refused to accept a $100 (£60) voucher from the airline. After getting on another Southwest flight he took a photograph of himself and posted it on Twitter with the caption: “Look how fat I am on your plane! Quick! Throw me off!” After his flight from Oakland landed in Los Angeles he said: “Don’t worry: wall of the plane was opened and I was airlifted out.”
Inspired by this story, we thought we’d do a little research into actually how fat you have to be to be told you cannot board the flat unless you buy two seats (click the image to enlarge it, turns out it was ‘too fat to fit on out Blog’):