"Too fat to fly?" This is the headline that splashed across newspapers and blogs across the world. Kevin Smith, director of several well known movies such as Chasing Amy and Dogma, was ejected from a Southwest flight due to his size.
We have to ask why this story caused so much interest and controversy? It was such a popular story that the Southwest computer system became overloaded and temporarily shut down by the volume of responses.
If you read blogs and responses to these articles, they drew very strong reactions from both sides of the debate. Some people were outraged that he was rejected from the flight, stating that this was discrimination and handled poorly. Why allow him onto the flight, sit down, buckle up and then change their mind? Celebrity or not, this was likely to be embarrassing for anyone. The question was posed whether the airline has specific guidelines that could have prevented the incident such as a BMI chart or specific rules outlining the limits.
On the other hand, bloggers expressed a need for Kevin to take this as a serious concern about his size and weight. The bloggers on this side of the debate did not think it was reasonable that a passenger's size should negatively impact someone next to them. When this happens, it is an issue of fairness, according to some.