Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Too fat to fly?

Over the weekend, actor and director Kevin Smith raised a ruckus online due to the fact that he was essentially escorted off of a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland, CA to Burbank, CA for being too fat. The only problem is that he passed their "fat test". He was able to sit in his seat with the arm rests down. He raised a stink about his removal from the flight and he was right for doing so.

Or was he?

I love most everything Kevin Smith has done theatrically speaking. I don't claim to know how much Smith weighs but he is just big. He doesn't appear to be anything near morbidly obese. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say he tips the scales around 280 lbs. Not exactly fit as a fiddle but not to the point of needing a motorized cart at Walmart. He could probably stand to substitute a salad every now and then but most every one of us Americans could do that as well.

So he bought his ticket and got in to his seat.

It's something a friend of mine does on a regular basis. The friend I'm speaking of travels a decent amount of the time for work and he's a big guy as well. He tips the scales at a bit over 300 lbs. He carried it well by being rather barrel chested and I think it's a safe bet to say that he flies coach when he travels because there aren't many employers willing to foot the bill for a first class ticket.

Now if my good buddy can fit in to a coach seat all the time, why was there such a ruckus about Kevin Smith? Did Smith raise such a huge stink over the situation to make an example out of the airlines in America? I'd like to think that his reasoning was just that. I'd love for Kevin Smith to be a vigilante for plus-sized Americans who fly but I think he used his celebrity status to prove a point. His point being that weight discrimination knows no boundaries. He has proven himself to be hugely successful without his weight being a hindrance until that one day when, on his return flight, he was suddenly deemed too fat to fly - even though he was fully seated with the seat's armrests down.

In a perfect world, every guy in America would be a svelt 180 lbs. and this kind of shit wouldn't happen. I would have to be the guy stuck between two large fellas on a flight to Atlanta but, in case you haven't noticed, the world is about as far from perfect as you can get. And if you can get your armrests down, I'll just have to deal with my cursed middle seat.

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spleeness said...

The first thing I thought when I saw the headlines was "you're kidding - the guy next to me on a flight last year was way heavier." That dude really did need, AND use, the middle seat. Good thing it was empty. That was a Southwest flight too. Sheesh.

Michelle Ann said...

It almost seemed like a Michael Moore kind of ruckus if you ask me...

Whiskeymarie said...

I've been on jam-packed Southwest flights with people WAY bigger than him on them, so why they chose to boot him from the flight makes no sense at all to me.