Southwest Airlines

Let Me Be Very Clear

I’m tired of talking about Southwest Airlines, but I have a little more to say.  The flight I took with my mother on Sunday night has consumed my mind for almost three days, and I’m doing my best this evening to forget what those jerks at Southwest thought of me – and to remember who I actually am – a healthier, better version of myself who fits into their seats comfortably enough to be left out of the next conversation who is still working toward my very big and rewarding goals.

But out of the hundreds of comments, emails and messages I’ve seen about my Southwest debacle on my blog, e-mail, twitter and Facebook, I’ve read two comments that would suggest that I want more than I deserve from Southwest.  So let me be clear for a moment…

I did not call Southwest Airlines.  A supervisor from their HQ called me after reading my blog post.

I did not ask for money…not a single dime.  The supervisor who called suggested that they refund our tickets which, of course, was appropriate given that we did not pay to be insulted by gate agents and/or other Southwest employees. 

I did not ask for vouchers.  The supervisor offered the Green Passes as a peace offering, and I suggested he double that because the next time I fly with Southwest (in May) will be riddled with so much anxiety that I certainly don’t think I’ll fully enjoy the experience the way the supervisor suggested that he wants me to. 

I asked for nothing except empathy and the understanding that they have hurt my mother and myself in a way that is deplorable and unacceptable.  I asked for the assurance that steps would be taken to ensure that sutuations like the one I faced Sunday night would not be a recurring theme at this airline. 

I asked for details about the sensitivity training as well as the reeducation of their policy to their employees, and I got lip service.  You can read my last post about Southwest for those details. 

I am angry with Southwest.  I am angry with myself for allowing the Southwest employees in Dallas to make me feel as though I’ve failed myself in only losing well over 100 pounds at this point.  I am angryBut I have not asked for money nor do I plan on asking for money. 

As I said yesterday, it is my belief that Mr. S did what he could to remedy a situation which cannot truly be remedied.  After suggestions from readers that I have them sponsor me at Fitbloggin’, I opened the question to those of you reading only to decide on my own that there’s no way I want to be associated with such a company in that manner.  That being said, I respect the voice of my readers enough to share their thoughts on the matter even if I disagree. 

As I said in the beginning of this post, I’m tired of talking about Southwest Airlines.  They knocked me down, but I will stand up.  And I will move on.  I would love to believe that changes will be made at Southwest, but I’m not completely naive.  And I know that their inability to share those private details means that I’ll never know if anything has changed or not.

And one last thing…I’m not sorry for talking about this so openly because if we all stay quiet during/after humiliating public experiences then they’ll surely continue, and that’s not okay.  I deserve the same level of respect as every other person in society.  This is my little corner of the interwebs – my space to express my thoughts and feelings on this journey just as I’ve been doing for the last two years, and I will continue to do just that. 

So to the two of you who have a problem with me and my expectations of Southwest, please know that I’m just trying to do my best to deal with something harsh that I shouldn’t have had to go through.  If you still don’t like then don’t read it. 

And to be clear once more,  it’s not about money.  I did not receive any money apart from the reimbursements of our airfare which I have not actually received yet.  Nor do I intend on pursuing  monetary compensation.  This issue is much bigger than a few hundred bucks. 

To the hundreds of you who have shown support through comments, e-mail, twitter and on your own blogs, thank you.  You’re the reason I’m here, and your support has made it easier to deal with tough situations like these.  I’m definitely looking forward to the day in which this is nothing more than an unfortunate memory. 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Miss S.
    April 28, 2011 at 2:45 am

    You should be able to voice your opinion-I never once thought you were "fleecing SW airlines." I think I missed the sensitivity training part of your post. All in all they whole situation sucks. Nothing is going to just erase what happened.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 28, 2011 at 2:50 am

    You should be entitled to capitalize on this as much as you want to. They messed you up and left you to fix it. No doubt you will. They should be giving you money and kissing your feet on national tv after treating you like royalty on your next flight.

  • Reply
    kristi
    April 28, 2011 at 3:13 am

    I think that if we don't stand up for ourselves, we will continue to be mistreated. I recently got into a huge argument with my mother in law and I said things I should have said over 10 years ago. It is about damn time I stood up for myself. And I am not sorry. You should not be either, you did nothing wrong.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 28, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Should you be sorry? Hell no!

  • Reply
    Kelty
    April 28, 2011 at 4:35 am

    This is definitely the place for you to voice your opinions! And that story was impactful, even if nothing had come out of it.

  • Reply
    Marissa
    April 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    You should be able to use your voice and I think you were humiliated and its NOT right…that's the bottom line. It's NOT right.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    April 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I say lets pass the word around on Facebook, Twitter and My Space. I still get fighting mad when I read your story. Tell them to kiss your arse… Hugs to you :).

  • Reply
    Ms. Chunky Chick
    April 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I think that putting a voice to the garbage put you through not only made is known that this is not acceptable for you nor any other person and that by making it known That they some how will be taught that this is BULLYING! and its not acceptable! And in reality they are trying to sweep up the bad publicity so I am sure they are throwing all kind of junk out of you. But in reality I think they should make a public apology. Because you were disgraced in public. And no amount of money can make up for that

  • Reply
    lanae
    April 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    You should be very proud of the way you handled yourself with this situation. It was obvious to me money was never the issue. As for those who think otherwise, well they should be so lucky to have such grace in a horrible situation.

  • Reply
    Chubby McGee
    April 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I never thought, for ONE second, that you were asking for money/vouchers. It's ridiculous that people thought that. Wow!!!

    As for voicing the incident: I LOVE IT. When Kevin Smith went through a strikingly similar ordeal, it brought light to something that is utterly humiliating. How many others out there have flown airlines and experienced something like that?! Not sure! Lots of people don't speak up. I'm proud of you for speaking up.

    I'm just VERY sorry that the whole thing happened and I hope that SWA learns from it and that it doesn't happen again. People should NEVER be humiliated like that. EVER.

  • Reply
    Misty
    April 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    *hugs* I admire you for your strength and determination. You did the right thing.

  • Reply
    safire
    April 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    It's your blog. You can say whatever you feel like. If people don't like it, DON'T READ IT!

    🙂 You have every right to voice your opinion!

  • Reply
    Jan
    April 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    This is your blog and you can say what you want. But your post did come off as asking for money from Southwest. A lot of people said a lot of things, like talk to an attorney and so on. But you chose to highlight just one "Should I ask ask SW to sponsor me for Fitbloggin" Even though you reconsidered later, after almost everyone commented it was a terrible idea, it appears that you have sold out.

    I understand that you have been humiliated by their employees, but Southwest instituted their Customer of Size policy more than 25 years ago. And whether is stupid or silly, it is their policy and you can choose not to fly with them.

    You cannot fix a problem until you admit you have one. There is nothing wrong is trying to get paid something after undergoing such pain. I mean you have undergone that and nothing is going to change it, so I guess you are trying to make the most of it. But again, it is about the money. Maybe if you donate the refunded money and the vouchers to a charity that fights obesity, I would be more inclined to believe that it really is not about the money

  • Reply
    Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia
    April 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Being that I had an incident last year with Spirit Airlines I know exactly what you mean. I decline their vouchers because I would NEVER fly with them, not even for free. What you did was stand up for your rights, and the rights of those that feel so humiliated they wont speak. THANK YOU!

  • Reply
    ♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥
    April 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    In truth, Jan, I fit into their seats and will happily prove that to anyone who would like to provide a seat for me to do so. And I would have agreed to demonstrate it Sunday evening too if I had been asked to do so in spite of their lack of understanding of their "customer of size" policy.

    You're welcome to think what you will of me even if I believe you're wrong.

  • Reply
    Sara
    April 29, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Hi Kenz — I always read your blog, never post but needed to speak up on this one. First, as a business Southwest and the employees that represent them screwed up big time with their horrendous treatment of you all (their customers).

    Secondly, Jan seems to be one of those people that like to sit at home and post crap on discussions to stir things up. That behavior speaks loudly to the type of person she is and the life she leads. Alas, my comment will probably get her going again but I wanted to tell you that I did not get any impression from your writings that this is about financial gain.

    The experience has obviously hurt you and you are, understandably, having a hard time letting it go. I'm so sorry that you had to have such an awful encounter. Nobody deserves to be treated with such disrespect. Southwest really should be ashamed and Jan just needs to shut it. Just my opinion…

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 29, 2011 at 2:47 am

    I think Jan's voice is fine in the mix. It's always good to have two sides to things. I think her points were relevant and reasonable.

    I just hope that you-Kenz-push on and don't let this unfortunate experience put more obstacles in front of achieving your goals. People say stupid things and are insenstive, that is a given.

    Just dust in the wind! Move past it, and continue on your journey.

  • Reply
    Ann
    April 29, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Jan is stating her opinion, but she's flat wrong! I did NOT get that impression, but even if I did it would be okay. You deserve a lot more than you got!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 29, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Hang in there Kenz! You deserve the best!

  • Reply
    Maria_NJ
    April 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    personally Kenz, (and I am not being facetious) I think you should take out a 1 page ad in the NY News…now that would get some attention…THEY WERE WRONG, PEOPLE, they need to fix what they wronged, its that simple…

    love ya girl, hang in there…

  • Reply
    Pretty Pauline
    April 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I just read up on the whole issue and cried. For you, for me, for your Mom, for Barbara, and every other fat person out there.

    As for SW Airlines, they are in a pickle. If their customer service was great everywhere else, sadly, all it takes is one employee who's a dink to ruin their impression for you forever. Ultimately they are to blame, yes, but I'm sure the CEO of the company was not the one to hire the yucky~know what I mean? None of this is not to say you are entitled to all of your feelings and thoughts and boycotts if you wanna! 🙂

    Anyway, I'm so sorry this happened. You are so strong! I would have my head buried in sand and struggle, struggle to rise above. Please don't be like me!!!!! Keep being an inspiration, because selfishly I need you to.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    May 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Kenz, I wouldn't worry a BIT about what these people say. You can bet your ass that if it were them in that situation, they would expect to be compensated somehow.
    Take comfort in the fact that I am more of a jerk than you were…I would have told them I wanted financial compensation because I would never fly their miserable airline again. There would have been NO making me happy.
    After all, MONEY talks and bullsh*t walks. That's the language businesses understand–it's all about the MONEY. Well, it's the same for me when a business that I have paid for a service treats me like crap. Show me the money, because I'm never coming back.
    I don't give a royal rip if their customer service every where else is OUTSTANDING…they picked the wrong girl to insult, period.
    So in short, hang in there. I think you handled everything beautifully.

  • Reply
    HillaryG W
    May 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I wanted to let you know that I'm from San Francisco, CA and this morning on my favorite radio show(Alice)97.3. Your story got brought up. You are making news everywhere. I love your blog. Please don't ever stop writing.

  • Reply
    HillaryG W
    May 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I wanted to let you know that I'm from San Francisco, CA and this morning on my favorite radio show(Alice)97.3. Your story got brought up. You are making news everywhere. I love your blog. Please don't ever stop writing.

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