Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Director Kevin Smith told he was 'too big' to fly

Kevin Smith
Smith directs the forthcoming Bruce Willis movie Cop Out

Clerks director Kevin Smith has revealed he was asked to get off a plane in the US because he was too big for the seats.

The 39-year-old claimed a pilot ejected him from the Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland to Burbank, California, saying he did not fit in a single seat.

Smith complained about the incident on his Twitter account saying: "I'm way fat, but I'm not there just yet."

Southwest issued an apology to the director via Twitter and its website.

In a statement titled Not So Silent Bob - a jovial jab at the Silent Bob character Smith plays in several of his films - the airline said: "We would like to echo our tweets and again offer our heartfelt apologies to you."

The statement continued: "Our pilots are responsible for the safety and comfort of all customers on the aircraft and therefore, made the determination that Mr Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight."

Airline challenge

It added it accommodated the director on a later flight, offered him a $100 (£64) voucher and apologised by phone.

The airline said its customer of size policy dictates that travellers must be able to fit safely and comfortably in one seat or must purchase an additional seat.

It noted that Smith had originally purchased two seats "as he's been known to do when travelling on Southwest", then changed his travel plans, leaving him on a flight with just one seat.

However, the director claimed this was statement misleading. He told fans he had bought two seats because he was "anti-social and didn't want to sit next to someone and possibly have to make [conversation]".

He also complained that the airline had written about his "personal travel details" without asking permission.

Smith insisted that, when he boarded his flight, he was able to put both armrests down and buckle his seat belt.

He challenged the airline to bring a row of their seats on to a US chat show so he could prove he fit into them.

"If I don't fit, I'll donate $10k (£6,380) to charity of your choice. But when I do (& buckle the belt as well)? 1) You admit you lied. 2) Change your policy, or at least re-train your staff to be a lot more human & a lot less corporate," he wrote.

Smith, who also directed the 1997 film Chasing Amy, directs the forthcoming Bruce Willis movie Cop Out.

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