A former NHL hockey player wanted to put their feet up on the bulkhead. A flight attendant wouldn’t have any of it. Matters escalated, and now the player is suing American Airlines.
Jean-Francois Jomphe is a former ice hockey player for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes. He was taking a flight home from Kansas City to Phoenix on July 22, 2021 on AA2005, the morning departure. He claims he needed to place his feet on the bulkhead to elevate them as a result of leg surgery. Although he also says he’s regularly placed his feet on the bulkhead without incident. So he’s that guy.
In his lawsuit, seeking $100,000, he says a flight attendant hit him on the shoulder and told him to take his feet off the bulkhead. (Cue cheers of joy from frequent flyers, everywhere.) He says he followed the crewmember’s instructions but was kicked off the flight anyway for being disruptive.
He likely wasn’t so cooperative, though, because the suit also relays that he argued the point about the bulkhead – wanting to know why he had to take his feet down, and claiming doing so risked giving him blood clots.
He was re-routed on a connecting flight, causing him to miss meetings which led to “serious disruption” for his business.
- An airline’s schedule is never guaranteed. If the meetings are that important, leave more of a buffer to make it to your destination. Airlines disclaim this sort of liability to begin with.
- And if staying exactly on time is crucial to the future of your business, you’re really choosing to fly American Airlines?
The pro sports veteran claims his shoulder continued to hurt after being tapped by the flight attendant. He also says he was embarrassed and so experienced emotional distress.
There have been many news reports lately about passengers behaving badly on commercial airline flights. The seeming rise in these cases is unquestionably regrettable. This case, however, arises from conduct on commercial flights that often does not make the news – extreme and outrageous conduct by out-of-control flight attendants,
Is it possible that the flight attendant tapped him too hard? I always find it odd that when a flight attendant bumps my shoulder with a galley cart, they often put their hand on my shoulder to apologize. In essence they’re apologizing for touching me by touching me.
And is it possible that they were overzealous in kicking him off the flight for standing his ground on his poor inflight etiquette? Certainly. But he made it West the same day, and if he lost business opportunities because of a missed American Airlines flight either the opportunities weren’t important enough for him to leave more of a buffer for or they weren’t really ever his to begin with.
(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)