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Southwest Airlines Praised For “Customer Of Size” Policy That Gives Passengers Complimentary Seat

Southwest Airlines Praised For 'Customer Of Size' Policy That Gives Passengers Complimentary Seat

The passenger will be provided with an extra seat at no additional cost

Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines is being praised for its “passengers of size” policy, which allows overweight travellers to request a complimentary seat to ensure they are comfortable on flights. Southwest’s inclusion policy says that customers whose bodies “encroach” past the armrest are entitled to an extra seat. 

Southwest shared with Fox Business its policy, stating that passengers requiring additional space “can choose to buy a single seat initially and address their seating requirements with the Customer Service Agent at the departure gate. If it’s deemed necessary to have a second (or third) seat, the passenger will be provided with an extra seat at no additional cost.” Subsequently, the flight team will make efforts to arrange seating, possibly rearranging other passengers for the “unplanned accommodation.”

Alternatively, customers have the option to buy additional seats in advance and subsequently reach out to Southwest “for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel.”

The policy states, “Customers who encroach upon any part of the neighbouring seat(s) may proactively purchase the needed number of seats before travel to ensure the additional seat(s) is available… The purchase of additional seats serves as a notification of a special seating need and allows us to adequately plan for the number of occupied seats onboard.”

“It also helps us ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for unplanned accommodation. Most importantly, it ensures that all Customers onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating. You may contact us for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel,” the policy continues.

Plus size travel expert, Jae’lynn Chaney, told Fox News Digital it was an important move to include people in the “super fat” category. 

“Super fat is how we identify,” Chaney, business owner of Jae Bae Productions, said. “There’s a spectrum of fatness. And as a super fat individual, you start needing different accommodations… I just felt really happy that there was something like this for people.” 

“I hope to see more airlines implement customer-of-size policies. The Southwest customer size policy helps many travellers offset the disproportionate costs that we incur because of needing extra room. And so, it’s not just about physical accessibility. It’s also about financial accessibility.”

TikToker “Fat Solo Traveler” posted a video on the platform showing how she got a complimentary sear. 

Kimmy (@kimmystyled) went up to the airline booth and said, “Hello, I’m hoping to use your customer of size policy today.”

The Southwest employee then handed Kimmy another ticket at no cost for her extra seat, reported Fox Business.

“Southwest is the only airline that allows you a second seat at no extra cost even if the flight is fully booked… I’ve done this a dozen times and never had an issue or been denied,” she said. 

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