'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

(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."

Tiggeman wants airlines to clarify when overweight passengers need to buy a second seat.
Tiggeman wants airlines to clarify when overweight passengers need to buy a second seat.   (Getty Images)
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