Woman Sues Southwest After Airline Tells Her She Is ‘Too Fat To Fly’

DALLAS (CBS Houston) — A New Orleans woman is suing Southwest Airlines after she says she was told she was “too fat to fly.”

Kenlie Tiggeman, who currently weighs nearly 300 pounds after losing 100 pounds in the past three years, was initially told last May by Southwest Airlines that she would not be allowed to fly due to her weight. Southwest apologized to her and gave her free flight vouchers which she used. She was then told once again during Thanksgiving that she would not be allowed to fly on Southwest due to her weight..

“The [employee’s] words were, ‘Well, look at you. Obviously you need two seats,’” Tiggeman wrote on her blog.

The airline’s “Customers of Size” policy states that “customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s) should proactively book the needed number of seats prior to travel,” with the armrests being the definitive boundary between seats at 17 inches in width.

Tiggeman says the airline needs to do a better job with its definition of the rules at the point of purchase.

“We need to know what the rules are,” Tiggeman told WDSU-TV. “We need to know if we need one seat or two, because this eyeballing happening at the gate is incredibly discriminatory, and it’s so unnecessary.”

She has filed a Pro Se lawsuit and is not seeking any sort of monetary damages from Southwest.

”[W]hen this is over Southwest will (hopefully) owe overweight and obese Americans a clear definition of their rules at the point of purchase,” Tiggeman said on her blog.

CBS Houston has reached out to Southwest Airlines for comment.

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