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Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines

So unless you're living under a rock somewhere, you've likely heard something about Kevin Smith getting thrown off of a Southwest flight from Oakland to Burbank because he was too fat. Here's a report on the issue from Shapely Prose as well as coverage from ABC's Nightline. I have some conflicting thoughts surrounding this incident (for instance, I'm thrilled that someone is finally paying attention to complaints about the way fat people are treated on airplanes, but I'm frustrated that it took a celebrity to make them pay attention and I'm not altogether convinced it will change anything anyway) but I'd like to hear what you guys think.

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vesta44's picture
February 16th, 2010 | Link | I can't see that it's going

I can't see that it's going to change anything, airlines are all about cramming as many passengers as possible into the space they have to maximize profits. Comfort of passengers doesn't even enter that equation.
DH has a ship's reunion coming up in September, in Norfolk, VA and we really want to go, but in order to fly, we would have to buy three round-trip tickets (MN to VA) since neither of us is a small person. Personally, I think it's going to be cheaper, and much more comfortable, to drive my minivan. We won't be cramped, we can stop any time we like and get out and move around, get what we want to eat when we want it, and not have to deal with TSA (not to mention trying to figure out how to get my walker on the plane, or if they'll even let me take it on the plane). Fuck all that noise, I'll spend the extra time driving, thank you very much.

WLS - Sorry, not my preferred way of dying. *glares at doctor recommending it*

Kim69052 February 16th, 2010 | Link | walker

A walker is a medical device and they have to let it on the plane. Bring a Rx or letter from your doctor just in case, but it shouldn't even count as a carry on.

Bilt4Cmfrt's picture
February 16th, 2010 | Link | For me this is one of those

For me this is one of those BP raising issues [Thank Grud I don't have any BP problems although the Epipanic sez I MUST because, ya know, I'm DETH FATZ!11!].

Anyway, I've done the winged sardine can thing with my wife who's also a big gal and we've gotten away with leaning (or oozing in the current vernacular) on each other. Also, negotiation is what she does, while intimidation is more my specialty (Our 'Good Cop' / 'Bad Cop' is a thing-a-beauty). We've been pretty lucky so far. However, I fully expect some anal recursive gate keeper to throw this in our faces on some return trip FROM somewhere. After all, travel extortion is most effective when your victim has no CHOICE but to pay in order to get home as we've seen in numerous cases including Kevin Smith's.

The KS situation has turned out to be a pretty complex occurrence. KS himself, might not be the BEST representative for Fat Acceptance. His insistence that he's not 'That fat' (like those Super Fatty DETH FATZ!1!1 people who might NOT deserve to fly) and is determined to lose weight (KS=Good Fatty?) but he does represent a fairly good portion of people flying fat. And this is NOT a one sided situation.

All I hear, read, or see on any news piece concerning any Flying while Fat occurrence has ALWAYS defaulted to the POV of the people being 'inconvenienced' by fat. Whiney, petulant, snot dripping, diatribes about how uncomfortable THEY are and how THEY are being cheated / impinged / endangered (Really? ENDANGERED. Can we turn down the Drama please? This isn't Big Brother). Never ONCE do we hear from the fat PEOPLE they are talking about. Yes, these are fat PEOPLE we are talking about and, guess what? They are probably MORE uncomfortable than you and are flying at higher risk of being cheated out of MORE money than you.

I know most of these people really couldn't care less about anything but themselves. Such is the state of the world. But if I have to sit here and listen to you whine about how your flying experience sucks for you then you, damn sure, are gonna hear about how much it sucks for me. And perhaps somewhere along the line you might even figure out who's fault all this really is. Can't guess? Well, then get out your pencils 'cause here comes another Clue By Four Moment; Their initials are- SWA, NWA, UA, and AA amongst others. . . Ready? . . . BEGIN!

"there's one form of intolerance I'm willing to defend, and that's intolerance of intolerance."
-Carolyn Hax
The Washington Post

Sarahbear February 16th, 2010 | Link | I saw this when I signed on

I saw this when I signed on AOL to get my mail this afternoon, and I just about rolled my eyes out of my head. It seems that even if someone is willing and able to PAY for two seats, they'll still kick you off if you're too fat.

"A diet counselor once told me that all overweight people are angry with their mothers and channel their frustrations into overeating. So I guess that means all thin people are happy, calm, and have resolved their Oedipal entanglements."

rebelle February 17th, 2010 | Link | Who is talking about an

Who is talking about an infantile sense of entitlement, and can I get away with flinging poo at her, LOL?
As far as Kevin Smith is concerned, how is it "entitlement," when he obligingly paid for two seats AND could fit into the seat, with the armrests down, which is in keeping even with Southwest's "infantile" policy? Whatever he weighs, Kevin Smith DIDN'T GET WHAT HE PAID FOR. What is the weight bigots' answer to that one, praytell?

richie79's picture
February 18th, 2010 | Link | Better still Rebelle, get

Better still Rebelle, get Gillian McKeith to do it, given her obsession with the stuff Shocked Now there's a Celebrity Deathmatch I'd pay to watch.

BTW, Kevin Smith's telephone interview with his fat seatmate 'Natalie' is now up on his Smodcast page. She comes across as a very sweet and intelligent person who despite doing everything 'right' (including making sure she boarded before the crush and attempting to tuck herself out of the way of other passengers in a window seat near the back of the plane) has been subjected to an even more humiliating experience than Smith himself by these pathetic jobsworths. Oh but sorry, I forgot, none of that is relevant because she's a fatty Mcfatfatfat and therefore teh eeebil personified.

"A waist is a terrible thing to mind" - Tom Wilson

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