'Too Fat to Fly' Woman Sues Southwest
Overweight passenger wants airline to clarify policy
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2012 3:21 AM CDT
Tiggeman wants airlines to clarify when overweight passengers need to buy a second seat.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A woman who says a Southwest gate agent told her she was "too fat to fly" and needed to buy a second seat is suing the airline—not for money, but for an industry standard to be established for fliers who have to pay for an extra fare, reports ABC. Kenlie Tiggeman says she was humiliated by the gate agent's comments to her in front of other passengers last year, and she believes decisions about obese passengers should not be left to the discretion of gate attendants. She says she weighed "between 240 and 300" pounds at the time, although she has lost weight since.

"The problem I have with Southwest is not that they want me to purchase two seats," she writes in her blog. "It's that sometimes they want that, and other times they don't. I don't know about you, but I fly a lot. And paying double because a gate agent may or may not have something against overweight people is not realistic—nor should it be necessary."

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Showing 3 of 61 comments
ChevJames
May 15, 2012 9:52 PM CDT
Nothing is as bad as squalling babies! I listened to a baby in the row in front of me squall for three solid hours this last weekend. The parents made no attempt to shush the baby--just played with her and made her squall more. There should be a soundproof area on planes where parents with infants should be seated!
VonLmo
May 9, 2012 9:13 AM CDT
If you're a mega-slob, ride Megabus instead of flying Southwest.
ddhartma
May 5, 2012 7:37 PM CDT
It's amazing to me the amount of discrimination against someone based on their weight. Even when you don't know any more than the weight in pounds, you assume that it means that the individual is obese. As I stated below my son is one of those individuals (like all those NFL linebackers many of you support and claim to appreciate). He weighs 320 pounds (but is not obese) as he is also 6' 7" and is about 40" across the shoulders. He has lifted weights for years and has little in the way of body fat, but when people hear that he weighs over 300 pounds they immediately have this vision of someone that is obese. I was born 2 months premature and when I was a child (up to the age of 9) I was abused and bullied as the runt in school (de-pansed daily by a larger kid in class in front of my classmates). Then when I was a Junior/Senior in high school I was overweight and was bullied and called "fatso" and other demeaning names. And now, on this website, I see that even as adults the bullying never ends. You that have such perfect bodies, I hope that karma never comes around for you.