Some things just don’t fly with Southwest

What’s more likely to damage a budget airline’s image: its policy against body fat, or its policy against body baring?

And not even a...

What’s more likely to damage a budget airline’s image: its policy against body fat, or its policy against body baring?

And not even a lot of body, as anyone who’s seen clips of disgruntled Southwest Airline passenger Kyla Ebbert on Friday’s Today show can attest.

Though the San Diego college co-ed/Hooters waitress’ ensemble admittedly screamed summer-casual -- tight top, tiny skirt, stacked sandals – it was hardly revealing by college co-ed/Hooters waitress standards. So Ebbert was embarrassed and shocked when a male flight attendant demanded that she get off the flight because of her outfit's provocative, inappropriate nature.

“This is a family airline,” the attendant explained.

After an altercation that was probably more disruptive to fellow passengers than Ebbert’s attire, she was eventually allowed to remain onboard … but quietly wept in shame all the way to Phoenix. Later, Southwest responded not with an apology, but with a statement noting that “when a concern is brought to our employees' attention, we address that situation ... in a discreet and professional manner.”

It’s reminiscent of the times Southwest employees have escorted heavyset fliers from planes, when said fliers decline "offers" to purchase second seats. The airline’s “customer of size” policy has triggered lawsuits from plus-sized passengers; more than that, though, it’s sparked their anger, humiliation, and tears.

Will these Southwest-sanctioned judgment calls make potential passengers re-think their travel plans? Probably not. But it is difficult to believe these sorts of situations are occurring on Southwest – of all airlines, the one famous for LUV-ing its passengers, and incorporating both sexy hotpants and heels (‘70s) and frumpy khakis and happy-heart sweats (‘90s) in attendant-uniform design.

And let’s not even start on the items worn, eaten, and drank by Southwest passengers that have gone unnoticed by airline staffers over the years. (We've all seen them.) That could make for an entire sweeps week of Today shows.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.