American Airlines Flight Diverted After Can of Soda Spilled in Economy

American Airlines flight AA1090 from Miami to Chicago O’Hare diverted to Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday when a can of soda was spilled in the economy cabin on a power outlet.

American blamed a passenger for the incident.

“A passenger spilled a soda on an electrical item in the main cabin. Our highly trained crew quickly reacted, and resolved the issue. Out of abundance of caution, the crew made the decision to divert to JAX,” he said. He discredited reports of smoke in the cockpit.

The passenger, though, sticks up for himself.

[P]assenger Preston Wake doesn’t remember it happening that way.

Wake, 43, said he was seated in row 7 on the flight taking him home to Chicago when a flight attendant fumbled a soft drink and inadvertently drenched him.

“I can’t really tell you how far it went, but I was soaked,” said Wake. “I had to change my clothes and everything.”

The next thing he knew, Wake said the crew was preparing to land in Jacksonville.

American Airlines finally has a plan to put seat power in the legacy US Airways ‘basket of deplorables’ aircraft. Since this is the management team that decided to remove seat power from planes that used to have it when America West took over US Airways, there’s a little small part of me that wonders if the whole thing wasn’t contrived to begin building the case not to make this investment.

(HT: Ken A.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I remember the reason for removing seat power was because oil was well over $100/barrel. Allegedly, removing the seat power would make the aircrafts lighter and save fuel. Seemed like an overreach.

  2. That would have to been one magic spill for the passenger to have done it. That power outlet is placed in such a location that he’d have to reach down, expose his underwear brand (I won’t be caught without my Kirklands!) and splash that outlet.

  3. @sukwinder – and it really begs the question, was it really just a can of soda or was it one of the larger containers of juice or water? Not sure why the pax would lie with his story but it sure seems like AA is trying to avoid needing damage control on this one.

  4. Haha. I can see it now. For customer safety we will remove all seat power in our planes.

  5. At this point, I don’t care what AA does but would appreciate it if they offered a less confusing/random customer experience across their system. That still appears to be years away. Fortunately, I am no longer locked in.

  6. They also removed audio from the USAir planes under Porker, but left the controls in place so that every passenger had what appeared to be broken audio, always reassuring.

    His whole rein of error foretold the Trumpian level of blunderbuss also now revealed to benefit only the 1%. Economy class, meet Meels on Wheels.

  7. Who can live without power on a plane? EVERY seat should have UBS power in the seat in front of them AND power outlets for other items.

    Who can fly without power any more? can not take 1000 v battery with us because we can only take 1 personal item. Asia and European planes can do it so can US planes.

    I they want to save the 100 pounds then get rid of the people with their closets on a plane along with their ESA!

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