The skies are not friendly to Kevin Smith.
For the second time, an airline—but Virgin America instead of Southwest—the Clerks director was denied boarding by an airline.
Unlike the budget airline, Virgin didn't bounce Smith for being fat.
So what did he do now?
He was late to the gate.
Monday at JFK, Virgin America personnel prevented Smith, his wife, and on- and offscreen pal Jason Mewes—who all had first-class tickets—from boarding an early-morning flight because they arrived less than 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
This didn't sit well with Smith, who posted an online screed Monday bashing Virgin America's customer service.
"We pleaded with Manny (the unfriendly face of Virgin America JFK working the gate), pointing out the remaining time (there were still 8 minutes before scheduled departure), and pointing out that the jetway was still attached to the plane," wrote Smith on his website. "As we tried to get Manny to realize our bags were under the plane and we'd been checked in for an hour, the jetway stayed in place. The plane wouldn't pull back from the gate for another 15 minutes."
When Manny, the gate agent, and a supervisor claimed that the trio's names were called over a P.A. system, the erstwhile Silent Bob harnessed his inner Yoda and calmly explained that his party were in a preboarding lounge and had hired an airport concierge whose job is to get travelers to their planes on time. But he expressed skepticism their names were ever called.
"He said he'd called for us over the p.a. system, but my wife's name is SCHWALBACH—you say a name THAT distinctive over a loudspeaker, at least two people in an airport are gonna turn their heads: me & Jen Schwalbach," opined Smith. "Well, without calling anybody a liar, it's just REALLY hard to believe that p.a. call was actually made."
Not happy about the "petty per-hour tyrants" holding them up, the filmmaker complained that they needed to at least get his missus' luggage off the plane, since it contained medication she needed to take every eight hours. The gate agents refused to help, and making matters worse, could only book them on another Virgin flight that would get them in much later.
"F--- the free wi-fi," he concluded.
The trio eventually caught another flight. And the Mall Rats mastermind did get a mea culpa from Virgin higher-ups in the form of a full refund and free tickets, which he appreciated.
"Unlike Southworst, @VirginAtlantic seems to care," he wrote.
As for Virgin's less expensive competitor, said Smith: "Southwest still stands alone as Worst in Customer Service in my book."