Bags fly free, but fat people pay double

In the corporate fopah of the week, Southwest Airlines threw director Kevin Smith off an airplane for being too fat.

Smith, 39, originally purchased two tickets “as he’s been known to do when traveling Southwest,” the airline noted, but when he decided to fly standby on an earlier flight, only one seat remained. Although he had been seated, he was asked to leave.

Not only was Smith booted from the plane, on his eventual flight he sat next to a woman who was also told to purchase two tickets, so it looks like this is corporate policy this week. Apparently their plan to make up for not charging for bags is to charge fat people double for their flights. Who knows, might work.

It’s understandable that Southwest would want to protect the safety and comfort of their other customers, and it’s possible that Mr. Smith was too large to sit in his seat, but his experience was inexcusable. If airlines are going to make these kind of decisions about the size of their customers, there needs to be some standard of measurement, and there has to be a better way to handle the issue outside of embarrassing a person in front of a planeload of people.

Southwests’ ads promoting that Bags Fly Free! ask other airlines why they hate bags. Maybe someone should ask Southwest why they hate their customers.