Dallas Cowboys Star Kicked Off American Airlines Flight Over Carry-on Size Dispute

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford was removed from an American Airlines flight yesterday over a dispute involving the size of his carry on bag.

He has since deleted this tweet:

Here’s what we know based on the football player’s account.

  • He was seated in an emergency exit row. A flight attendant told him his bag was oversized. Presumably it was protruding out from beneath the seat in front of him.

  • He didn’t want to check his bag because it’s ‘expensive’ but he eventually relented.

  • In the meantime he called the flight attendant “a bum” and “refused to move out of the flight attendant’s way for what he called ‘a minute.'”

  • After obstructing a flight attendant and giving them a hard time over his oversized bag which may have been in the way of egress in the exit row, he was ejected from the aircraft.

Passengers reportedly booed the ejection.

I haven’t seen coverage noting the specific flight he was on, though news accounts indicate he was headed to Windsor, Ontario. My guess is he was flying Dallas – Detroit. Crawford indicated he was placed on the next flight.

While I wasn’t onboard, if a 6’4″ 285 pound defensive tackle is admitting obstructing the path of a flight attendant while giving them lip over a safety request, I’d err on the side of the flight attendant. Though a Cowboys player two years into a five year $45 million contract with $25.7 million guaranteed flying coach is notable in its own right.

Crawford makes clear that despite the incident he still loves American Airlines.

And the DFW-based airline doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of a Cowboys player, either.

(HT: Live and Let’s Fly)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Wait. What? So what exactly does your comment about his having money have to do with him flying coach? If I recall correctly, Ivanka Trump & her entire family (spouse & kids) flew JetBlue over the holidays for vacation….Geesh!

  2. Wait a second. His twitter description (dispute with a gate agent) doesn’t match his description in the linked article (dispute with a flight attendant). What am I missing?

  3. Was it a dispute with an Customer service agent or a Flight Attendant?
    I can not stand American Airlines, United or Delta. Always poor service. They should let Turkish, Etihad, Qatar and Singapore fly in US domestic market and we will see that AA has to step up their game for sure.
    I was on an AA flight a couple of years ago to Miami, on my to go on a cruise out of FLL. When I got on board I was shocked that my aisle seat in business in a 3 class cabin was given away and I had to sit in the middle on the 777. I was not happy. I asked the Flight Attendant to let me put my 22 inch roller in the closet in the front between business and first. She declined and said that was a Flight Attendant storage, a total lie.
    Then I leaned over and since I was wearing glasses, I had to get close to her to see her badge for her name. She said, that I touched her and I was thrown of the flight. No compensation. Guess what? My bag was gate checked and they would not get my bag back. They flew my bag on the belly of the airport all the way to Miami, I even challenged them on the positive bag match but they would still not return my bag at LAX.
    I was at the gate, I asked for a supervisor. She apologized and they put me in a the crappy 757 First Class with a broken seat to Miami. When I arrived there my bag was stolen and gone. I had nothing before I went on that cruise ship.
    I still have not seen a single penny from AA. Can a lawyer represent me and file a suite against American?
    What should I do? How can they get away with this?

  4. I don’t know about his exact situation, but I feel the same way every time a gate agent tries to get me to check my bag. I have a 10 year old Travel Pro bag. I have nearly 1 million united flown miles. I never check it if I can avoid it. It fits in EVERY SINGLE overhead bin (smallest RJs excepted). It fits in the checker if I push hard. But I have had to get surly before – I mean, the BAG FITS. No FA has ever given me grief about it. BECAUSE IT FITS. But I have had to pitch a fit a dozen times because “the bag must fit without pushing.” Yet it fits in the overhead bins! Yet checking it is free because I have status! Morons. Absolute morons. Really insulting good customers because “it was OK to take your bag on the previous 1,500 flights, but TODAY, TODAY it is not OK.

  5. In a fight between overpaid useless gasbags that act entitled, and many times push their weight around to hurt nice innocent people, whose side should I take?

  6. As a long-term (very long term) AAdvantage flyer and AAL shareholder I don’t want this self-licking a$$hole on our aircraft harassing our staff and creating an uncomfortable situation for our other valuable customers.

  7. The AA apologist above shows just how rude and nasty American Airlines stakeholders can be to their flyers. Now I shall switch airlines rather then have flyers called self-licking $$holes. How arrogant of this Bruce guy. I hope others do likewise.

  8. @Allen You’re welcome. Our staff are amazing and the overwhelming majority of our customers are too. Sadly a very few customers feel that rules do not apply to them and/or they feel they are more special than everyone else in the cabin. Feel free to fly another airline sport.

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