Weight-Loss Blogger Harassed by Southwest for Being “Too Big to Fly”

Travel News — By christinegarvin on May 25, 2011 at 8:47 am

They did it again.

Southwest, that is.

Less than a year and a half after Kevin Smith unceremoniously got kicked off a Southwest flight heading to Dallas for being “too fat”, a weight-loss blogger (yes, a weight-loss blogger) and her mother were also given the boot by the airline.

Apparently not knowing the exact weight restrictions that the airline imposes, a Southwest attendant still decided to tell Kenlie Tiggeman, her mother, and another female passenger that they wouldn’t be flying with them that day.

Tiggeman argued that there hadn’t been an issue on her initial Southwest flight, so why was her weight suddenly a complication on the return flight?

Southwest certainly knows how to pick ’em. Not only does Tiggeman blog about her recent 120 pound weight loss at her blog, All the Weigh, but she is also a political strategist. They are rarely known for holding back.

Image: Kevin Dooley/Flickr

Weight restrictions on airlines have increased over the last several years, but Southwest was one of the first to implement them back in 2002. United Airlines followed suit in 2009 by stating overweight passengers must purchase a second seat.

The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination argues that airline seating is too narrow for most of the population, and that seats and the area around them has gotten smaller over the years instead of larger like bus, movie theaters, and sports stadium seating. Trains have always had larger seating.

Similar to when Smith was asked (ahem, told) not to board the plane, Tiggeman’s plight has hit the media big-time, and Southwest apologized (she and her mother were eventually let on the flight). They were also offered a Coke, which did not ease the situation.

If we worked PR for Southwest, we would beg flight attendants to ask their passengers what they do for a living before denying them the right to fly.

Tags: Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, small plane seats, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, weight restrictions on flights

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