Instagram Fitness Star Booted from American Airlines Flight to New York

Jen Selter who is apparently a well-known fitness model but whom I had never heard of got into an altercation with an American Airlines flight attendant on Saturday during a delayed Miami – New York LaGuardia flight.

After sitting on the aircraft for a couple of hours the woman who reportedly dates New York Knick Kristaps Porzingis “got out of her seat to stretch and put her jacket away.” And a flight attendant told her she had to be seated.

“The plane wasn’t taking off. I told him to relax. But he had something against me,” she said. “He was so nasty.”

The flight attendant asked her if she wanted to, “get kicked off the plane,” and she sarcastically shot back, “yeah,” she said.

The attendant took her seriously and spoke to the pilot, who called the police.

“All of sudden five cops cops came up,” she said. “I was literally getting attacked.”

Basically it was the episode of The Newsroom where they learned Bin Laden had been taken out while stuck on the tarmac at LaGuardia.

Lecturing the flight attendant and telling him to ‘relax’ was mistake number one. Telling the flight attendant that indeed she wanted to be kicked off was mistake number two. Because she and her sister, along with another passenger, were indeed kicked off.

The captain is speaking to the woman, saying the crew wants her off. Selter pushes back, saying other passengers were up using the lavatory why is she being singled out? A flight attendant says the reason she’s being kicked off is because she said she wanted to be.

Remember that it’s United who promises only to call the police in cases of safety and security. Here an officer tells the woman that American’s customer service problem has been outsourced to them, that they do what American tells them.

Ms. Selter and her sister were re-accommodated on American today. According to the airline,

“Ms. Selter was asked to leave the aircraft after a disagreement occurred last night at Miami International Airport (MIA),” the rep said. “American offered her hotel accommodations and transportation, which she declined.”

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. Maybe it was a new MAX with tight seats and no seatback IFE so she needed a diversion. She decided to got to the lab but the opposing doors slammed into each other. The woman was so distraught she just wanted off the plane.
    Seriously though, if you advocate the flight attendants policing the MCE seats, this is exactly whats going to happen.

  2. Bad move arguing with the flight attendant. If you have a choice between beauty and brains, pick brains.

  3. Who pays these police officers? If they are state employed, should be tax payers. If airport employed, maybe passengers? Either way, I don’t think airlines pay the bill to hire police at the airports. So airlines should not abuse the police force. There should be a mechanism to prevent the airlines from abusing the police resources. If I understand it correctly this passenger was not a security threat but the FA wanted her out because of silly arguments. FA should drop their ego and do the CUSTOMER service because that is what the passengers are paying for.

  4. Bottom line – don’t start fights in airports or on planes. We used to know this, didn’t we? Back before we were all stars in our own minds?

  5. “Do you want to get kicked off the plane” does not seem like a salvo designed in any way to de-escalate the situation or increase the comfort or safety of the other passengers, nor minimize disruption. It’s a provocative power play that puts an annoying DYKWIA in her place, but completely unnecessarily.

  6. Dude you write a travel blog, I don’t think you’re in a position to act like you’re so much better than an Instagram model.

  7. @Charles
    Well in Gary’s defense, he doesn’t claim to be a “star” either. Anytime there is a story about a “star” that has to be qualified by some social media site, you can bet it’s just about some narcissistic, entitled idiot not playing nice.

  8. Instagram model??? Now for the FA, what a disgrace. They won’t reduce their arrogance until they find someone that fights back.

  9. What a caboose! That’s what passes for a fitness guru?

    Up is not down, cold is not hot, white is not black, and fat is fat.

  10. Why do these things always happen on flights between major DYKWIA cities such as Miami, LA, and New York?

  11. Why is this even news? She is hardly a star although you certainly took her bait. Maybe her and Stormy Daniels can start their own Youtube channel.

  12. @ken yes, the airlines are responsible for paying for any police, security, TSA/DHS/CBP/FIS officers at the airport. All costs including salaries and benefits are paid for through airline rates and charges. I don’t believe any airline is ‘abusing police resources’, they’re used as a last resort measure when airline requests are ignored..right or wrong, that’s a different topic.

  13. What a joke… even the captain came to calmly discuss it with them and he still chose to kick them off despite finding out she did nothing bad at all!!

  14. @Billy Bob

    What an asinine comment. She has what appears to be a very lean physique (look at her arms, stomach, etc) and you are calling her fat for having what you deem to be a large butt? You have a really distorted view of what fat is if you think she is an example.

    If she’s fat then I can bet you are morbidly obese

  15. Instagram ‘stars’ use contrived and carefully selected photos to tell a story. I’m guessing the same liberty has been taken with the facts.

  16. @bob i didn’t know what. But if that logic works, airline companies can hire police and use them in a way they want??? This kind of booting people for their ego should stop. Somewhere the incentive system and power control is screwed. Cant tell where

  17. Even the PR gobbledygook this time said she was removed “after a disagreement” and doesn’t even pretend there was a safety concern in her staying aboard. Pure power play and abuse of the police, who should not be involved in such a case at all.

  18. The F/A may have gotten word from the flight deck they were clear to taxi and that everyone needed to be seated. If passengers are up during taxi the F/A could get fined by the FAA.

    Right or wrong, it’s never a good idea to get into a power struggle with a person in a position of authority.

  19. The entire situation is dumb… But, should be a lesson to everyone, the aircraft doesn’t belong to you. Even if the employee who is kicking you off is wrong, you’re not going to win the argument there on the aircraft.

  20. Well, in the way probably most important to her the “fitness model“ won. She is getting publicity.

  21. LMAO……fitness model.

    See that pic of her arse? Looks like someone offering up her booty to the masses.

  22. Did you see in that second video, how she started sniveling and getting all sad about it when it became apparent she was getting off……..the airplane?

    Post that to your prostitute Twitter account, Jan.

  23. Just because you paid for a ticket doesn’t mean you have the right to act like a moron and stay on the plane…

  24. The F/A and the captain clearly escalated this customer service issue. If they were getting ready to depart after a very long delay why didn’t the captain announce it and ask every to return to their seats. So many times AA (and other carriers) have silent captains. If the F/A knew they were ready to depart, all he had to do was to tell her that and offer to put her jacket in the overhead or hang it. From what we can gather from the story here is that he made no effort to be either informative or helpful.

  25. Time for some de-escalation training down in Miami it seems. More should be expected of paid employees at work.

  26. Flight attendants are often times rude and nasty and power tripping because they know they can say the magic words “security threat” and kick of a passenger for any trivial reason. The flight attendant should never have even said- do you want to get kicked off the plane. Completely unnecessary and she was clearly picking a fight. Flight attendants have forgotten that they are in a customer service oriented job and should stop being aggressive with their customers. The power trips airline employees have needs to be addressed because this happens way too often and they have turned into bullies!

  27. “After sitting on the aircraft for a couple of hours” – yea see this is why people hate AA. They are giving this woman crap for standing up after having everyone on the plane sitting in their seats for hours. You know that the FA provoked this reaction intentionally asking her if she wanted to be removed. Airlines treat passengers as cattle not people and this seems like a situation where a professional could have deescalated it but yet again we see a FA taking it up another notch just to prove they have some small amount of power over passengers for a limited period of time.

  28. If, in fact, the flight attendant said that the reason she is being kicked off is because she wanted to be, then AA is wrong. Amtrak doesn’t turn the train around just because someone has a temper tantrum in Car 6. No, they throw them off at the next stop. If in fact she was given a choice between getting off the plane or remaining seated, her answer did not matter unless it was a medical emergency or similar. For the sake of the customers, she has to stay on board until the plane lands. If cabin crew want to escalate a non-volatile situation, they need to start compensating all of the customers that expected the airline to do their best to maintain their schedule. That’s right, its not about the cabin crew or the attention getting passenger, its about the customers.
    AA failed their customers for letting the Flight Crew and Cabin Crew escalate a situation that was not out of control. And, I believe, based on their actions of accommodating this group and not pressing charges following deplaning, they need to PAY UP. How many customers? Those on the plane, and those waiting for the plane… 200-300 perhaps. .
    What if, after the plane returned to the gate, the plane is delayed another two hours for some other factor, say two planes bump into each other, or another passenger has a claustrophobic moment, or a baby starts crying? The Cabin Crew is not suppose to fall for these shenanigans.
    More questions: Was the flight overbooked, and were there people at the gate that were denied boarding that, now, could get seats? Or, did the D0 clock reset based on passenger altercation? Very clever AA, very clever….

  29. Clearly most commenters are distracted by her job title and photo. Let’s say she is an accountant instead. Is it right for American Airlines crew to treat her this way?

    Frankly in my job if I was looking for confrontation I could run into multiple “disagreements” every day, and if I was on a power trip, I could summon authority figures, even the police, to solve my inadequacies in interacting with people. However, I get regular training on how to defuse potentially difficult situations, and I am evaluated on how competently I do that (among many other things). In a real crisis, I should summon help, obviously. But I am expected to use my training and skills to handle most situations on my own. Flight crews need to do that too.

    I believe that one step would be to require any personnel involved in removing a passenger from a flight involuntarily to fill out a detailed incident report within 48 hours, including the question, “Please identify the steps you took to solve the problem yourself before requesting assistance.” The airline should also request a statement from the passenger. No, the passenger is not always right, and sometimes a passenger’s statement would be false, but I think such a protocol would encourage crew to go into problem solving mode whenever possible rather than power trip mode.

  30. SFdude I call a spade a spade. That’s a big fat butt.

    I couldn’t care less about PC, snowflake.

    You may commence with the personal attacks now. I expect it from your type.

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