A first class American Airlines passenger was kicked off of a flight after requesting a predeparture beverage. He refused to leave after being told to do so a flight attendant and a pilot, so police were called.
He wants to know what he’s done. It doesn’t matter, he’s been told to leave and in the moment there’s nothing he can do about it. The request does not have to be reasonable. He’s going to have to comply.
About four minutes into video of the incident, the passenger’s phone was taken because he was recording the incident. Ironically video of the whole incident was shared online and it was clearly taken by an employee. Eventually he’s pulled from his seat, led out of the aircraft, and handcuffed on the jet bridge.
Since we don’t have video of what was said before the passenger was told to leave the aircraft, let’s assume he was rude when his request for a drink was denied:
Man forcibly removed from flight after refusing multiple requests to leave from attendants, pilot, and police. All started over being denied a pre-takeoff gin and tonic.
by u/losfathead in PublicFreakout
The passenger is largely being roasted in the comments on social media because he’s in first class and the altercation is over a drink. And it’s pointless to argue – escalating the situation only ends badly. But surely the airline ought to be calling the crew in here. Even if they weren’t going to offer predeparture beverages, they shouldn’t have escalated this either.
One of the key service elements of American Airlines domestic first class is the predeparture beverage. Passengers are supposed to be offered something to drink during boarding. The airline has emphasized how valuable this is for customer perception and handed out fortune cookies trying to convince them to do it.
Many flight attendants just don’t bother to do it, and the airline doesn’t actually do anything about it. The most important thing for the airline is an on-time departure, and sometimes there just isn’t time. If a flight boards late, and passengers are pouring down the aisle into the plane, flight attendants aren’t supposed to slow things down. And if ever questioned, all they ever have to do is suggest that they didn’t want to risk delaying pushback.
Since there are no consequences when they don’t do this part of the job, many crewmembers just don’t do it. Others are openly hostile to the idea.
- Their pay is calculated on flight time after the boarding door closes, so they don’t want to work before then.
- They don’t receive enough profit sharing, so don’t care if customers are happy and the airline profitable.
This is a comment about predeparture beverages an American Airlines flight attendant once left on this website,
You bought the seat in 1st. The service is optional. FAs are on board to save your ass not kiss it. …Are there no drinking fountains or restrooms in the terminal? …[Y]ou are so self absorbed , you whine about everything. Walk a day in someone else’s shoes for a change. Tip your flight attendant. They make less than minimum wage working double the hours they get paid for. You tip the waitress that brings your food why is this job any different?
It’s absolutely reasonable for a first class passenger to request a predeparture beverage. In fact it should be proactively offered. However if you’re a frequent traveler on American Airlines you know not to expect this. And arguing with your crew is never going to end up the way you want it to.