Kevin Smith says Virgin America recently prohibited him from boarding a flight because he arrived at the gate too close to take-off time, marking the second plane mishap the "Clerks" director and actor has ranted about online.
The company, which operates lower fare flights in the United States, had no immediate comment. Smith said he, his wife and his friend Jason Mewes, who plays Jay opposite his Silent Bob character, reserved first class tickets on a flight going from New York to Los Angeles on Monday.
Smith, 40, said they used a concierge service recommended by Ben Affleck, who has starred in some of his comedy movies, to try and board last to avoid being stared at by passengers. Smith was booted off a flight operated by Southwest Airlines, another discount travel company, in February after officials said he was unable to fit into the seat.
"When you fly first, you board first, sit down? and then EVERYONE files past you," Smith said on his blog about the recent incident. "And when you're the Too Fat To Fly guy on a plane? Well, everyone stares. Then the whispering starts. A hundred people look right at you - when you're not on a stage. It kinda blows."
"But Affleck told me that when he flies, he uses a concierge service: a company that works with the airport and each airline," he said. "Essentially, you board last. The entire service is designed to get you to the plane door shortly before the door closes."
He said he and his party checked in more than an hour ahead of time, but when they arrived at the gate 10 minutes before departure, a male flight attendant closed the door in their face and ignored Mewes' pleas. Their luggage, which contained Smith's wife's medication, was already on the plane, the director said.
He added that an airline official told him that he had called over a loudspeaker for them to report to the gate. Smith said they did not hear their names being called. They were then offered to be booked on the next flight, which had no available first class seats, he said. Smith did not specify how the three arrived at their destination
Smith said that Virgin America has since apologized to him over email, gave him a refund and offered him free plane tickets.
"You are a great airline - but the wife and I will be avoiding you like the plague from now on," he said. "As will Mewes - who must've smoked an entire pack of cigarettes outside afterwards to calm down."