Usually we hear airline horror stories involving only one passenger who has been booted off a flight for alleged misbehavior, and it is a case of that one passenger’s sadly unsupported word against, all too often, all the flight attendants who close ranks and support each other.
But how about a situation where three passengers, unrelated to each other, are all booted off a plane by one flight attendant? The three women corroborate each other’s stories, and the flight attendant seems to have nothing and no-one to support his actions?
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Isn’t it only the captain of a flight who has the authority to call the police and have them forcibly remove passengers from his flight? And doesn’t he only do that after carefully consulting with the flight attendant making the complaint and the other flight attendants on board, and perhaps after personally intervening and making an informed balanced decision?
So how now to explain the unmitigated outrage inherent in this story of three women who were booted off an Airtran/Southwest flight shortly before it was due to Palm Beach? (As well as the text, there are two video clips that play, one after the other, which add more to the story.)
One woman had the temerity to ask the flight attendant to please be careful with her bag in the overhead because it had fragile contents. The flight attendant’s response? To more aggressively shove other bags up against her bag.
The second woman pointed out to him that her seat had a broken armrest. The flight attendant’s response? He said ‘I’m not talking to you’ and poked her in the arm.
The third woman said, upon seeing police and airline staff remove the first two women ‘Why are you doing this, they’ve done nothing wrong?’. The flight attendant’s response? He ordered the police to remove her too.
Apparently, at Palm Beach, and with Airtran/Southwest, rogue flight attendants capriciously control what happens on flights, while the police meekly do what these flight attendants tell them to do, and the captain hides away in the cockpit, wanting nothing to do with anything.
The one piece of potential good news? One of the three women booted off the plane is an attorney……