Has Southwest Airlines gotten better?

Ragen over at Dances With Fat reports a mostly good travel experience from Los Angeles to Austin. Could it be that SWA’s relatively new policy of providing free extra seats to those who need them is making a difference within the company? Ragen’s story is just one example, and so I think that it’s premature to draw general conclusions. It could be that flights out of Oakland, for example (the location where both Kevin Smith and Billie Joe Armstrong had problems, for different reasons), still have issues, while LA and Austin happen to be more fat positive. If anyone has recent experiences with SWA’s current policy, please share them here.

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6 thoughts on “Has Southwest Airlines gotten better?

  1. A second seat is not a solution to this problem. It doesn’t matter whether the second seat is free. In my experience, overlapping two seats is extremely uncomfortable. I would happily pay 50% more for a 50% wider seat, but no airline offers that option. Instead, airlines want to charge 300% more for seats that are maybe 30% wider.

    IMHO, the goal of fat activism in this area should not be free second seats, but being able to buy appropriately sized single seats at reasonable prices.

    • Thanks for your reply. I think we can agree that two seats can help some fatties, but not all. As for myself, I use my frequent flyer miles to upgrade to first class when I can, giving me wider seats and better treatment in general. That won’t work for everyone either, but it does work for some.

      • “I think we can agree that two seats can help some fatties, but not all.”

        Of course.

        My concern is that the airlines might adopt (or government might impose) second seats as *the* solution, and thus avoid dealing with the *real* problem (“the seats are too damn small!”). As you say, a second seat does help *some* fatties, and I worry that fat activists might “declare victory and go home” if the airlines provide free/cheap second seats.

  2. I don’t have any recent experience with Southwest, but I did live in Austin for several years, and it was one of the most fat-hating cities I’ve ever lived in. So, actually, Regan having a decent experience flying through Austin is even more significant.

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