Houston woman: Southwest Airlines said I was 'too big' to fly


by Tiffany Craig / 11 News


Posted on June 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 8 at 7:28 PM

HOUSTON- A Southwest Airlines passenger said she was unfairly targeted for her size after trying to board a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Houston.

Connie Guillory said she has never been asked to pay for a second seat until the trip she took last week.

Guillory and her best friend, April Small, left on a girls’ trip to the Bahamas last Thursday.

"I’ve been there once before so I just like, I’m ready to go," said Guillory.

Guillory convinced Small to board a plane for the first time and promised to show her the ropes as they made their way to the Caribbean.

Small said she had all kinds of emotions as she boarded the flight on the first leg to Fort Lauderdale.

"I was trying to contain my butterflies," said Small. "I was ‘woo,’ you know? On the way back, it was another story."

After their fun in the sun, Guillory was stopped by a Southwest agent on their way back through Fort Lauderdale.

She said he wouldn’t let her board unless she bought a second seat.

"The way they said it, they were just like basically, ‘You can’t get on. You are too big,’" Guillory said.

"I guess because he’s a Florida man, and you see two-pieces all day on skinny women that you just wanna discriminate against a Texas woman or something. Everything in Texas is bigger. What, ya gonna ban the whole state?" Guillory added.

After some heated words, Guillory and Small managed to make it home without buying that second seat, but they said they feel cheated all the same.

Southwest officials said they have apologized to Guillory and gave her a $100 travel voucher. They also said their policy on second-seat purchases is not perfect, and but they try to be consistent.

Southwest promised to continue educating airline employees to prevent this from happening again.