Kevin Smith, too fat to fly?
Kevin Smith is an American film director. He burst on the the scene with the rather excellent “Clerks”. A film featuring a host of unknowns and funded by credit cards, which went down a storm at the Sundance Festival. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, directing such stars as Alan Rickman, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in “Dogma”, a film that solidly laid the boot in to the catholic church. Not content with carving out a career in writing and directing he has also made scene stealing cameos in such blockbusters as “Die Hard 4.0″, along with writing for Marvel Comics and one of the internet’s more popular sites (View Askew-inverse).
In short he is man who grasps new media and isn’t afraid to speak out.
Which makes him one person South West Airlines probably shouldn’t have upset by throwing him off one of their flights for being “too fat”. Now Kevin is not the slimmest person on the planet as he would be the first to admit, but being turfed off a flight when he was already sat down and belted in (without the belt extension) was too much. In a series of Tweets on Twitter he vented his spleen at SWA.
Dear @SouthwestAir, I flew out in one seat, but right after issuing me a standby ticket, Oakland Southwest attendant Suzanne (wouldn’t give last name) told me Captain Leysath deemed me a “safety risk”. Again: I’m way fat… But I’m not THERE just yet. But if I am, why wait til my bag is up, and I’m seated WITH ARM RESTS DOWN. In front of a packed plane with a bunch of folks who’d already I.d.ed me as “Silent Bob.”
(http://twitter.com/ThatKevinSmith/status/9079178737, http://twitter.com/ThatKevinSmith/status/9079250324, http://twitter.com/ThatKevinSmith/status/9079312329)
The Twitter rant continued in a vein those of you familiar with Smith’s work will appreciate, with considerable use of profanity. South West responded via Twitter, but to be honest there are very few people who could compete with Kevin Smith in full flight. Adding insult to injury, Smith has a habit of buying two tickets, just to avoid having to sit next to anyone else on the flight.
So what was Captain Leysath’s reason for treating Smith as a “safety risk”? Only he can answer that, but perhaps he didn’t like bad language, cult films or was simply sympathetic to the Catholic Church. Whatever the reason, SWA may be hoping that any publicity is good publicity.