After being asked to exit a flight because he was too big to fit in one seat, the Twittersphere has railed against the Southwest Kevin Smith apology the airline later posted on their blog. The director immediately went to Twitter, unleashing an epic rant that fueled the fury of his followers.
Per Southwest, Kevin Smith was considered a safety risk. From their blog: “If a Customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat, a Customer seated adjacent would be very uncomfortable and a timely exit from the aircraft in the event of an emergency might be compromised if we allow a cramped, restricted seating arrangement.”
The Southwest Kevin Smith Apology Falls on Deaf Ears
1. Fat Shaming Backlash - As body positivity becomes more mainstream, companies need to be aware of how their policies and actions could be interpreted as fat shaming.
2. Social Media Customer Service - Companies should be prepared to handle customer complaints and backlash through social media channels in a timely and empathetic manner.
3. Airline Industry Reputation Management - Airlines must take proactive measures to manage their brand reputation, as a single incident can easily spiral out of control on social media and damage a company's image for years to come.
1. Hospitality Industry - Hotels, airlines, and other companies in the hospitality industry need to reassess their customer policies and ensure they are not inadvertently causing harm or discrimination against certain customers.
2. Social Media Industry - Social media platforms need to develop new tools and strategies to better manage customer complaints and distinguish between valid grievances and abusive behavior.
3. Crisis Management Industry - The need for effective and efficient crisis management strategies becomes increasingly important as more companies face reputational damage caused by social media backlash and negative publicity.