AIRLINE BOUNCES SMITH AS TOO FAT TO FLY

ksmith8Filmmaker and Red Bank toy retailer Kevin Smith was asked to get off a Southwest Airlines plane scheduled to fly from Oakland to Burbank, California Saturday because he was “too fat,” according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Mashable reports on Smith’s posts about the incident on his Twitter account, and the corresponding pledges by a Southwest Air rep to make the situation right on the airline’s Twitter feed.

From the Times:

“I’m way fat, but I’m not there just yet,” Smith wrote on his Twitter.com account after the incident, adding that he was able to lower both arm rests at his seat. “I broke no regulation.”

Southwest Airlines measures whether a customers too large to fly based on the passenger’s ability to lower both armrests while sitting on the plane. If the passenger cannot lower one or both armrests, the carrier typically requires the passenger to purchase an additional seat or make arrangements on other flights that may accommodate for extra space.

“Wanna tell me I’m too wide for the sky?” Smith inquired on his Twitter account. “Totally cool, but fair warning folks: If you look like me, you may be ejected from Southwest Air.”

The Southwest PR department appears to have gone into crisis control mode.

“Our pilots are responsible for the safety and comfort of all customers on the aircraft and therefore, made the determination that Mr Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight,” the airline said in a tweet. Yet it also apologized to him and gave him a $100 voucher toward his next ticket.

And somehow, Smith wasn’t deemed too fat to get on another Southwest flight that day, according to the BBC.

The corpulent director frequently pokes fun at himself about his weight when doing standup Q&A performances. In an interview at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, his Broad Street comic book/toy store, in August 2006 (prior to an appearance in Marine Park, above), Smith had this exchange with redbankgreen:

redbankgreen: What’s the one question you don’t want to hear tomorrow night?

Smith: ‘How much do you weigh?’ That’s never a fun one.

redbankgreen: How much do you weigh?

Smith: Too much.