Jim: I agree with you 100%. We have something called the Americans With Disabilities Act -- a Federal law, and there is certainly an issue here inder this Act. Obesity is a medically recognized disability that has been getting a lot of "press coverage" lately. If this law applies to this situation, SW Airlines would be ordered to accomodate this disability, not charge for it.
Clearly, coach seats are too narrow. And SW Airlines has the least legroom in the industry. Further, all their planes are 737's, which are the most cramped and crowded plane in the skies! (The flying sardine can!) Normally, I don't like government regulation of business. But in the case of the airlines, it's clear that deregulation was a very bad idea. Under the pre-deregulation system, there would be a real "adequacy of service" question over coach seating, which has shrunk since deregulation. Now, all we have is the free market remedy of selecting another airline --- which isn't such a bad idea. Even for those of us who are not particularly obese -- or tall or just plain big -- those SW coach seats are downright painful anyway.