The reality star, who once weighed 700 lbs., buys a second seat or brings a traveling partner

By Elaine Aradillas
Updated February 17, 2010 08:00 PM
Credit: Alex Oliveira/Startraks

Weight-loss reality star Ruby Gettinger knows how Kevin Smith feels.

“The first time I went on a plane I was close to 700 lbs. and I had no idea how small the seats were,” says Gettinger. “The man sitting next to me was not happy at all! I felt so bad!”

Gettinger, who stars on the Style Network’s Ruby, has lost nearly 400 lbs. since that flight, but flying still isn’t easy, she tells PEOPLE. “After that experience, I never flew without a friend to sit next to me, or I would buy two seats.”

She doesn’t know all the details of director Smith’s recent removal from a Southwest Airlines flight, but the Savannah, Georgia, resident says she can imagine.

“This kind of stuff should be taken care of in private before someone like me or Kevin enters a plane,” she says. “We need to remember that we may have different shells, but we are still the same on the inside.”