He was able to get his buckle done, but he couldn’t put the armrest down beside him, so the pilot said no go.
He’s a big dude, but he’s not like, Richard-Simmons-Crying-in-Patriotic-Hot-Pants big. He’s about 5’8″ -5’9″ and looks what, maybe 250-300?
That is not the sort of big that I associate with getting kicked off commercial flights.
I was told 5:20 flight was packed, but I could go Standby. They sent me to gate. Told lady whole story, and she said there wouldn’t be two seats on that earlier flight. I said I only needed one seat & that I didn’t buy an extra seat because I’m fat (which I am), but because I’m anti-social and didn’t want to sit next to someone & possibly have to make convo (in person, I’m very shy). She said she understood. I was issued the solo ticket. I get on the plane: open seat in the front row. Put my bag away, the sit between two ladies. As I’m about to buckle my extender-less seatbelt, the woman who issued the ticket to me appeared in the doorway of the plane, came over to me and said the Captain said I wasn’t going to be allowed to sit there because I was a safety risk. I asked for clarification and was given none (also asked “Please don’t do this” but that, too, fell on deaf ears.
Ladies on either side said I wasn’t a problem. SWA-lady said arm-rests the decider. Arm-rests come down, and voila! I’m legit! I’ve passed the stinkin’ arm-rest-test. And still, the lady asks me to get up and come with her off the plane. I get up without a fuss at all, quietly grab my bag, make eye contact with a fellow Fatty who was praying he’d pass, and leave. You think I wanna f— around on an airplane? I was right: I fit in that seat. But I can’t risk not complying: I’m more afraid of AirFeds. (via Twitter)
I can’t even tell you the anxiety I got when I read that. I don’t fly much, because I much prefer driving (your pal Plummy here loves nothing more than Seeing America. I’m totally that person who, if I was your dad, would make you stop at The World’s Largest Collection of Ear Wax Scupltures In The Shape of Abe Lincoln) but when I was doing quite a bit of air travel, I would always pray and magically think myself thin enough to fit in the seat.
As I’ve said before, I’m 5’10 and a size 20/22. That’s big, but again, not the sort of big I’d associate with getting kicked off planes.
Also, I’m curious as to what exact safety risk not being able to put your armrest down entails. I’m serious. Will your little mask thing not drop down? Will your under-seat flotation device not dislodge? I really want to know.
I never flew Southwest that often to begin with but you can damn well be sure that Southwest won’t get the chance to do to me what they did to Kevin Smith (who, fun story, burned a hole in the carpet of my first apartment in 1997). The only money they’ll EVER get from me is the cost of a postage stamp because I’ve got a nice letter brewing.
Perhaps you’d like the address too?
P.O. Box 36647 – 1CR
Dallas, Texas 75235-1647