Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Southwest Airlines Removes Passenger From Plane For Being Too Fat

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Apr 24, 2013 06:04 PM EDT

Text Size: A A A

Southwest
Southwest was name the favorite airline among US travelers.(Photo : Reuters)

A Southwest Airlines passenger claims he was kicked off of a flight just because he was too fat.

Matthew Harper, of Kyle, Texas, says he was treated like a criminal like a flight from Chicago to Denver on April 21. A few minutes after boarding, a Southwest official told Harper that he had to get off of the flight, KDVR reports.

Harper was with his brother when he was taken off the plane in front of passengers who were trying to board the overbooked flight.

Share This Story

He says the official then asked if he knew about Southwest's policy for overweight passengers. "I said yes ma'am I do, and she said 'I just want to explain what I can and can't do. I can yank you off this plane right now.'"

Harper was eventually let back on the plane but the flight had to be delayed for 30 minutes.

"I'm 34 years old, and I've never been humiliated like this in my life. I mean, when I got back on the plane, only thing I could do was put my head down," Harper said.

Harper says that the company that he works for uses Southwest to fly him and other employees around the country. He often flies with the airlines but he never had to deal with this situation.

"I used to weigh 430 pounds, I've lost 100 pounds and when I was 430, I never had this issue."

According to Southwest's "Customer of Size" policy, a larger passenger is encouraged to pay for an extra seat "to ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight/aircraft for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation."

According to the airline, passengers should buy an extra seat if they can't fir between the armrests, which are typically 17 inches across.

Harper said he knew about the apology, but he believes he was singled out unfairly.

"What made it worse was there was two guys on there that was bigger than me, and they didn't get pulled off the plane," Harper said.

Southwest gave an apology for the incident.

"We sincerely regret Mr. Harper's unhappiness over his experience," said Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz.  "We have personally called Mr. Harper to offer him our apologies and better understand his concerns.  It's important to clarify that he did travel as scheduled-we did not deny him boarding.  Our Employee informed him of our policy, and he proceeded to travel as scheduled."

After the entire incident, Harper said that no one even sat between him, so he still had a free seat, despite the airline saying it was overbooked.

Harper said he complained to the airline and was offered $100 compensation, but he rejected the money. He's now seeking legal advice.

<script height="365px" width="650px" src="http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#pbid=47658b6fe4a043a48f5296392ce1db7f&ec=FyNmg1YjovMeHW0u2skdApR-w_QOoM6q"></script>

 

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Viktor Leonov docked on a Cuban wharf.

Kamchatka 43 Dead Trawler: Russian Trawler Sinks Off Kamchatka, 54 Confirmed Dead, What Cased Trawler To Sink?

Kamchatka 43 Dead Trawler – A Russian Trawler off the Kamchatka peninsula has reportedly sunk. The trawler reportedly had 132 people on board. 54 of the sailors are confirmed to have died. While 63 of the people have been rescued, 15 people are still missing.

Nepal Rhino Attacks Town in southern Nepal

Viral Video: Giant Rhino Chases Motorcycles, Injures 6 And Kills 1 In Nepal

Viral Video - Giant Rhino Chases Motorcycles – In Nepal, it is not surprising to see rhinoceros in and around the area. However, one surprising event was when one rhinoceros decided to stray from its natural habitat and started chasing motorcycles.

Man Hands Out $100 Bills To Hyannis Fast Food Workers

International Quit Your Crappy Job Day 2015: 5 Signs You Should Quit Your Job

For those who don’t know, March 31 is known as the International Quit Your Crappy Job Day 2015. All around the world, a number of employees – even bosses – feel unappreciated for their hard work. Some on the other hand simply feel that they are underpaid. So, if you are one of these people, is it high time to submit that resignation letter?

4-year-old Pennsylvania girl leaves home, alone at 3 a.m. just to get a slushie

4-Year-Old Girl Slushie: Pennsylvania Girl Shocks Passengers At 3 A.M., Left Home Searching For Slushie

4-Year-Old Girl Slushie – On Friday, a raincoat-clad 4-year-old girl from Pennsylvania shocked a driver and his passengers after she boarded a public bus alone at 3 a.m. in search of a slushie, according to transportation officials Sunday.

Father and his two sons, five daughters ranging from 6 to 15 years old died from carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Maryland: Neighbors Shocked By Tragic Death Of Father, 7 Kids, Electric Meter Removed?

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Maryland – Neighbors were shocked after carbon monoxide poisoning killed a father and his seven children in their one-story Maryland Eastern Shore home Monday. The 8 victims of the carbon monoxide poisoning Maryland were reportedly poisoned by accident in their sleep from a gas-powered generator after utility disconnected a stolen meter at their rental home, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Firefighter Falls Through Roof, Gets Intense Support Across US

Firefighter Falls Through Roof: Hospitalized, Gets Intense Support Across US

A firefighter falls through roof and is now in a critical condition after tackling a house fire in Fresno, California, according to the BBC. The firefighter falls through roof when the roof of the burning house gave way, engulfing the man in flames.

Turkish flight diverts to Casablanca due to second bomb threat in two days

Turkish Airlines Bomb Threat: Emergency Landing Made, Second Bomb Threat In Two Days?

Turkish Airlines Bomb Threat – A Turkish Airlines flight made an emergency landing Monday after finding a bomb threat, making this the second time in two days that a flight was diverted because of a Turkish Airlines bomb threat.

South Pacific nations of Tonga, Samoa rattled by strong earthquakes

South Pacific Earthquakes Rattle Several Nations, Small Tsunami Follows

South Pacific Earthquakes – A pair of strong earthquakes rattled the South Pacific nations of Tonga, Samoa and Papua New Guinea Monday. The South Pacific earthquakes resulted in a small tsunami, frightening locals near the epicentre. However, there had been no reports of damage or injuries so far, reports USA Today.

One person killed after two men dressed as women tried ramming a stolen SUV through the NSA gate

NSA Shooting: One Killed, Another Severely Injured, Two Men Dressed As Women Rams N.S.A. Security Gate, No Terrorism Involved

NSA Shooting – One man was been killed while another was severely injured and taken to a local hospital after a shooting occurred at one of the main gates to the US National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland. An NSA police officer who was injured during the NSA shooting was also taken to the hospital.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics