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Sunday, February 14, 2010

If your hips are more than 17" wide from hipbone to hipbone, forget about flying Southwest
Posted by Jill | 3:57 PM
I guess Southwest doesn't want anyone who isn't anorexic to fly with them, because 17" really isn't all that wide a seat for even a moderately-sized person. As noted in the link, New York City subway seats are wider than that.

But now Southwest's "Fatties Buy Two Seats" rule has snagged a famous person -- one who knows very well how to use the intart00bz to make things go viral:
Filmmaker Kevin Smith, fresh from delivering a speech at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, unleashed his fury on Southwest Airlines after the pilot on Smith's flight from Oakland to Burbank ejected him for being "too fat to fly" Saturday evening.

"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."

Most of us have sat next to people who "spill over"; and you don't have to be all that big to do that in an airline seat. As airlines pack more seats into their planes, making them ever-smaller in an effort to squeeze in more paying customers, it's ridiculous to make a seat in which only an anorexic fashion model can fit comfortably and then tell everyone else they have to buy two tickets.

It's really a shame, too. I have family in North Carolina, and my non-driving options are dwindling. I won't fly Continental down there anymore because their Newark-to-Raleigh route is run by Colgan Air -- those wonderful people who paid their pilot on that infamous Newark-to-Buffalo plane that crashed last year $25,000 a year and the co-pilot $15,000. No one else flies nonstop. I'd planned to take Southwest out of Philadelphia next time, but now I'll be damned if I give them a nickel of my money. So now the choice has dwindled down to Amtrak, which means I have to be in downtown Newark at 7 AM, or driving either our seven-year-old Corolla or our nine-year-old Civic.

Or just stay home, which is turning into the best option.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm far from anorexic, but I cannot stand sitting next to someone who is spilling over in to my seat. It's a horrible way to travel for hours upon end. In a confining space like a coach airline seat, I need all the room I buy. After all, I paid good money for the seat and don't want to share it. Saying that, I agree airline seats should be bigger.

Anonymous tata said...
Airline seats should be bigger. As adult mammals go, I'm really small and the seats pinch. Once, the fit was so tight I looked around and wondered how average size people fit for hours on end.

Blogger casey said...
Hello Jill,

The airlines are doing all they can to avoid bankruptcy but they are just delaying the inevitable. What eventually will be left will be similar to the industry in the beginning of commercial flight. Only the wealthy can afford to fly. Planes will be smaller, few airlines and airports will downsize due to economic necessity. Other means of transport will be used to get us to our destination.

Anonymous Georgette Orwell said...
Please take Amtrak. The only way we'll ever have better rail service in this country is if people do begin to use it more.

Blogger Thursday's Child said...
Maybe this kind of thing will inspire Amtrak to /widen service/ and add more Acela high-speed routes. Taking the train is /so much more pleasant/ than flying. Even in coach.

Anonymous Charlie O said...
I'd love to take Amtrak more. I lived in Japan for many years and am a HUGE advocate of rail. However, I recently looked into taking the train from Baltimore to Cleveland. 12 and half friggin' hours. That's ridiculous. I could probably hitchhike faster than that.

Anonymous mandt said...
Isn't America great? I mean---a butt tax. How cool is that?

Blogger Chief said...
I have designed my life so I never have to go to an airport or ride a train.

If I cannot drive, I don't go.

I have flown twice (2 round trips) and my employer bought the tickets.

I can see no reason to fly.

Blogger Barry said...
If your hips are more than 17" wide

LOL, my thighs are bigger than that!