Short synopsis of SModcast 106
Kevin flies from Burbank to Oakland and back with no issue. Days later, he flies again to Oakland without issue. The ride home, however, is much more eventful. He is pulled from his standby flight deemed a “safety risk”. They refuse to admit that he was profiled because of his size. He admittedly gets heated and proceeds to tweet his frustration. Shortly after, he is apologized to and is finally seated on another flight. He sits next to a woman who is large and she is pulled aside and spoken to about buying a second seat in the future.
For the full story from the dirty mouth (and I’m saying this as a fan of the dirtiness of ALL of the SModcasts… Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m a fan of foul language.) of he who experienced it, visit www.smodcast.com and have a listen to Episode 106.
Enter blogging from Ali’s POV:
I guarantee you this. If you exist in the world today, you either are or know someone who is considered overweight. If not, you now know me.
In September 2009, I underwent a gastric bypass. I started the process as a 5’8” size 26/28 at 295lbs. Before my surgery, I was always nervous when flying. It had nothing to do with the plane going down or anything like that. It was always the embarrassment that I felt for asking for a seatbelt extender. I have always felt bad for the people that would have to share a row with me. Even though I could fit in between the armrests, it was still pretty snug. Chalk it up to my Polish hips. I’m a pear-shaped girl that can knock something down just by turning.
Every flight I took brought out the inner asshole in myself that berated me for my size and blamed me for the discomfort of the people sharing the row. I didn’t need someone to tell me I was overweight. Trust me, every time I squeezed in between the armrests I knew. In addition to having hips that could take down a wall, I have long legs.
Every flight for me is uncomfortable, regardless of what ass cheek the majority of my weight sits on. To be honest, I was afraid to fly alone, because I didn’t want to experience the embarrassment of being told I was too fat to fly. I thought that having someone with me would soften the blow.
Listening to the SModcast broke my heart.
Yes, Kevin’s experience was a bag of suck, but the thing that made me shed tears was the short snippet of experience from the girl that shared his final voyage on SouthWest. She was pulled aside and told that she should consider buying a second seat. The seat in between the two of them had already been purchased by Kevin, but the thin flight attendant felt the need to “educate” this poor girl about company policy.
That makes me fucking laugh. Company policy? Yeah. Someone can stand there and quote company policy, but in the end… that person talking to you is the judge of what is “too fat” and obviously they felt you were it. Alternately, the fact that they can stand under the umbrella of SouthWest to call someone out on their obesity makes me think that the airline has given their employees too much fucking power.
Apparently the “two seat” rule is determined by whether or not you fit between the arm rest. Kevin did. The woman did. The fact that someone was having a shitty self image day and needed to bring that woman down a peg should have never come into play. If a flight isn’t full, there should be no reason to pull someone aside to tell them that they should consider buying another seat. Fuck you lady.
I’m not blowing any fucking whistles here but… Most fat people have low self-esteem anyways. To approach someone like a schoolteacher chastising someone for getting an F on a pop quiz doesn’t make you special. In fact, it makes you a cunt. (Yes ma, I said it. Sorry.)
Okay, and uh… “safety risk”? What the fuck? Did you think he was hiding dynamite under his clothing? I’m just gonna lay it out for you. Fat people can’t be terrorists. Not only are we known for being stereotypically jolly, but we stand out like… well… fat people. If you’re looking for a safety risk, don’t look for someone large. Look for someone nondescript.
The worst part about this is that you can’t confront someone in the industry because of all of the “safety risk” bullshit and “heightened security measures” in place for the safety of the general public. Guess what? The majority of the general public is overweight.
The point SouthWest, is simply this: This person was wearing your company uniform and providing poor customer service. They were YOUR ambassador to YOUR clients and they took YOUR “policy” as a right to fuck with those who shouldn’t have been fucked with.
I bet SouthWest PR is shitting themselves now that a policy they’ve had for quite some time has caught the attention of someone that actually has a platform of loyal followers that will listen. If we’re going by Twitter, Kevin’s follower count at the time of this being published is 1,652,222 not to mention SModcast followers, forum go-ers on viewaskew.com, fans of the movies he’s written/directed…
SouthWest sent an “apology” that was little more than a “fuck you” by stating their policy. But, wait a second… Kevin adhered to the rules set forth in said policy… Ugh… Just… fucking… Ugh.
Some people on twitter have said to Kevin “You’re rich, just suck it up and buy a second seat.” Kevin addresses one such comment here http://silentbobspeaks.com/?p=392
You know what? Not everyone can afford two seats. Typically, if you’re flying on SouthWest… You don’t have that much money. They’re cheap ass flights, but they cram as many people as possible into one fucking plane, so they make their money there. You’d never know that they do as they apparently don’t spend it on training their employees on the proper way to talk to paying customers.
With all of the money problems and companies going belly up, you’d think that there would be more of an emphasis on improved customer service.
So fuck you SouthWest. Fuck you.