Kevin Smith – filmmaker, blogger, and self-professed “big fat-ass” – missed his Monday flight on Virgin America, prompting him to go online with more airline troubles. Smith was famously removed from a Southwest flight earlier this year for allegedly being “too fat to fly.”
In this case, Smith says on his blog (the post has the tacky title “Virgin shuts its legs, I shut my wallet”) that he had first-class tickets, arrived at JFK with his wife an hour early, and had a concierge to escort them to the gate when it was time to board. Still, the Virgin America gate agent denied Smith and his wife entry to the plane.
Ultimately, he praises Virgin America for taking quick action to resolve the matter.
But in reading about some of these customer service cases, it’s clear there’s a miscommunication between what airline corporate policymakers intend when they come up with their various rules and how that’s being interpreted by the agents on the ground who have to come face-to-face with the stressed, inspected, nickel-and-dimed traveling public. Airlines need to do more to ensure that the staff members fully understand why some rules are in place so they can enforce them properly.