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Southwest: "You're too fat to fly."

jonjuan

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http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/05/12/kenlie-tiggeman-too-fat-to-fly-on-southwest/?ncid=webmail

Kenlie Tiggeman 'Too Fat To Fly' On Southwest

Southwest Airlines is landing in hot water after they told a passenger that she was "too fat to fly."

During a layover in Dallas on Easter Sunday, Kenlie Tiggeman was told by a Southwest employee that she and her mother were "too fat to fly" when they asked what the weight restrictions were on the flight, according to MSNBC.

Tiggeman, who has lost 120 pounds in the last two years, told the news organization: "It doesn't matter how far I have come. I have a long way to go, but no one sees that. All they see is my exterior - someone who is fat."
'Customers of Size' in the Skies

Southwest's "Customers of Size" policy clearly states passengers who cannot fit between the 17-inch armrests must purchase a second seat.

According to Southwest they are usually discreet with their concerns and take customers into a private area to test out the seating before boarding. But Tiggeman and her mother, Joan Charpentier, said they had the 45-minute confrontation with a Southwest employee in front of roughly 100 people.

Tiggeman added: "I know that I have a lot of weight to lose but I am definitely not too fat to fly. I do it all the time, domestically and internationally, and I have never had anyone approach me and particularly in the way that they did. I was embarrassed, humiliated." Tiggeman wrote on her blog that she usually likes to fly JetBlue because "the jets feel more spacious and the customer service is consistently extraordinary."

The unidentified Southwest employee then told the ladies they could board the flight...if they sat with a third overweight woman in a row.

Tiggeman's mother told MSNBC: "Of course my daughter was okay with that. But I wasn't because the deal I made with Southwest when I left, I bought a ticket and it's open seating, and you can sit wherever you want."

After a supervisor intervened, the women were allowed to board the flight without purchasing extra seats, and were given vouchers and an apology, which Tiggeman recorded on her phone for good measure.

'Old Fears into New Nightmares'

When Tiggeman took to her blog to describe the ordeal in a post entitled "The Day Southwest Airlines Took My Old Fears Into a New Nightmare", a Southwest executive contacted her again to apologize and offer her additional free flights.

But Tiggeman stands firm in her position that she's not looking for free flights, just that Southwest's "sensitivity level needs to be different."

Tiggeman also wrote on her blog that she wanted to visit Richard Simmons' Beverly Hills weight loss studio--his videos were instrumental in her weight loss--and Simmons wrote back personally and asked her to workout with him.

This is not the first time someone has taken to criticizing Southwest for their policies. In February 2010, director Kevin Smith famously got into a public dispute with the airline after he was booted from a Burbank-bound flight. In July 2010, a thin passenger was kicked off a flight to Sacramento-bound flight to make room for an overweight passenger.
 

B727Driver

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So they ranked #1 in customer satisfaction. Buy 2 seats, problem solved. The second seat is sold at a discount.
 

DieselDragRacer

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Was she much bigger than the typical DAL International FA or the same size?
 

densoo

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Wow. This was resolved on the spot with an apology, which she recorded, and she still went to the media about it. What are we coming to?

You purchase a product which happens to be several square feet of space on a plane. If you need more than the several square feet, you need to buy more. Not sure why people don't get that.
 

Kharma Police

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Good for Southwest, why should a passenger with an ideal body weight suffer the discomfort when a fat person spills over into their seat?
 

Stifler's Mom

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Tiggeman also wrote on her blog that she wanted to visit Richard Simmons' Beverly Hills weight loss studio--his videos were instrumental in her weight loss--and Simmons wrote back personally and asked her to workout with him.

Ironically, she gets to workout with Richard Simmons for free....NO PFT HERE!!!!!!!
 

kf4amu

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HAHA I love how they wanted the 3 fat people to sit in the same row. That would have been absolutely fair! If they can "fit" in a seat, then all 3 can sit next to each other and see how us skinny people like it.
 

pilotgolfer

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When I first saw the title of the thread, I assumed it was somebodies rejection letter from their pilot interview.
 

thunderworm

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can a person who has to sit next to a person of size get a refund for part of their ticket since they only got a part of their seat? I had a 4hr fligth next to a guy that couldn't fit in a seat. I had to lean way out into the aisel and get hit by the fat FA's backside all day. If I wanted that I would have gone to the strip club by houston-hobby.
 

say again

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can a person who has to sit next to a person of size get a refund for part of their ticket since they only got a part of their seat? I had a 4hr fligth next to a guy that couldn't fit in a seat. I had to lean way out into the aisel and get hit by the fat FA's backside all day. If I wanted that I would have gone to the strip club by houston-hobby.

Which was worse?

:beer:
 

Mach92

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Good for Southwest, why should a passenger with an ideal body weight suffer the discomfort when a fat person spills over into their seat?

The black women who sat in the middle from HOU LAX 3 weeks ago needed to buy 2 seats. Guess who was on the isle?
 

ImbracableCrunk

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The black women who sat in the middle from HOU LAX 3 weeks ago needed to buy 2 seats. Guess who was on the isle?

Gilligan?
 

jtf

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They need an economy seat with the arm rests down at the gate. Either that or a really narrow door to the jet way. If you don't fit without spilling over the sides into the next passengers space you either buy another seat or you don't get on- just like the the carry on bag measuring boxes they are supposed to use that are right at the gate also.

Yes, I am bitter because I am a wale magnet when I ride in back.
 

Raoul Duke

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they should have made them purchase the extra seats. There is nothing worse than sitting next to a giant bag of goo that takes up all of their seats and most of yours.
 

say again

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They should place a mock seat next to the mock overbin at the ticket counter, just to make sure you fit before you head to the gate.
 

njcapt

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They need an economy seat with the arm rests down at the gate. Either that or a really narrow door to the jet way. If you don't fit without spilling over the sides into the next passengers space you either buy another seat or you don't get on- just like the the carry on bag measuring boxes they are supposed to use that are right at the gate also.

Yes, I am bitter because I am a wale magnet when I ride in back.

I am amazed by the wisdom and simplicity of this idea. Unfortunately, they would use the a$$ sizer as much as they use the bag sizer, which is to say - never.
 
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