Southwest Airlines sued over policy towards fat people

Discussion in 'Southwest Airlines | Rapid Rewards (w/ AirTran)' started by sobore, May 4, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.erentals.co.uk/news/southwest-airlines-sued-over-policy-towards-fat-people-182585.html

    An American woman who was told she would not be permitted onto a Southwest Airlines flight last year because of her weight has decided to sue the carrier. Kenlie Tiggeman from New Orleans claims that she is not taking the legal action for monetary gain but rather to force US airlines to come up with a single policy on how they treat passengers who are overweight.
    Tiggeman made the headlines after she was called too fat to fly by a Southwest employee and told that if she wanted to board the flight she would have to purchase an extra seat. She said that the gate agent started to ask her questions about how much she weighed and what size clothes she wore in front of a crowd of other passengers.

    Tiggeman said that the conversation ended with the official admitting he wasn’t sure about the airline’s policy towards larger passengers and calling a superior who was also confused as to the exact rules.
    She said that the experience was humiliating and that carriers needed to come up with a standard policy so that passengers know where they stand.
     
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  2. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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  3. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I agree employees should be familiar with the policy, but if one does not fit in a single seat...they need to either pay for another one or, if an extra seat is open, be seated next to it. I've given up 30% of my seat before to someone of size and was not happy about it.
     
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  4. nsx
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    nsx Silver Member

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    The following comment from the sfgate.com story reveals that the woman in question was fully aware of the rules:

    My guess: the Ops agent gives COSs a break if the flight is not full, which is most of the time. When the seat is needed on a full flight, this appears to the COS as inconsistent enforcement.

    Now consider what would happen if enforcement were consistent. The COS would board the plane and find plenty of empty seats. Guess what would happen next? Right: The COS would complain over being charged for a second seat when there were plenty of empties. More publicity hounds, more lawsuits: the works.

    Consistent enforcement or not, Southwest cannot win. Fortunately the current policy does a semi-reasonable job of protecting the rights of non-COS passengers on full flights. It could be better, but it's OK. As it is, the complaints to Southwest from non-COS passengers outnumber those from COSs ten to one.
     
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