Man Blasts Video Of Trumpets, Downs Rum, And Steals Passenger’s Phone On American Airlines Flight

Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon writer Chase Mitchell took to social media to share his bizarre experience flying American Airlines from Los Angeles to Philadelphia on Friday.

Sitting in the economy section on an Airbus A321neo, the man beside him asked if he’d give up his aisle seat for the middle occupied by the man’s wife. Failing to understand the need to offer ‘value for value’ should have been a sign that things were headed south on the five hour eastbound journey. But since Mitchell was sharing to social media in real-time it’s clear he didn’t see where this was going, and even swore off documenting further drama.

The man without headphones was watching “trumpets. Just really loud footage of trumpets” which is bizarre in its own right. And blasting the sound of trumpets. He also didn’t understand how Mitchell could have been streaming content to his phone inflight – the TV writer noted the lack of seat back entertainment on American Airlines – “[t]his is one of those planes w/o screens behind the seats.”

Trumpet man and his wife, “three rum and waters in,” complained about being told they’re supposed to use headphones when listening to shows or music. But they weren’t drinking rum and water. They were “shooting mini bottles of rum and chasing it with water.” And that’s when things got weird as Trumpet man “starts having outbursts” and dropping f-bombs and declaring that he’s becoming ill.

He needs to get up and out of there VERY fast, so I get out of his way. After a long time, he comes back to his seat. Right when we’re all back situated, he IMMEDIATELY needs to go again

Each time I’m standing up to let him out, I’m making sure to unhook my phone from the seatback and put it back in my pocket. …Every time he sits back down, he’s really performative a/b how sick he is – keeps yelling “I THREW UP 3 TIMES” …closer to landing, he needs to go a THIRD time. This time he’s straight up rude about it.

Mitchell got up, urgently before the man became sick at his seat, and failed to secure his phone. Then he couldn’t find the phone. He looks everywhere. He looks under the seats, under his seat cushion. He even asked Trumpet Man’s wife, who ignored him. He desperately needed his phone – he didn’t bring his computer, didn’t have nay phone numbers or even know where he had a hotel reservation for the night.

That’s when suspicion turns to The Man, since flight attendants said he thought Mitchell was using the phone to coordinate a conspiracy on board.

Another passenger chimes in that he “SAW the guy yank the phone out of the seat on his way to the bathroom.” So now the man has the phone – in the lavatory. A flight attendant suggests he ask the man if he has the phone. The man becomes paranoid.

The man is taken off the aircraft on arrival. Mitchell is brought out onto the jetbridge as well. The man admits to taking the phone – but claims that the phone is evidence of Mitchell’s conspiracy plot. Mitchell gets his phone back – and opts not to press charges.

Conspiracy-minded people need to drink less on airplanes.

(HT: @pir8z40)

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. Why do you post these things like any of us really care?

    Americans behaving like Americans.

  2. He or the airline should’ve pressed charges. Otherwise that a-hole is just going to make someone else’s flight miserable in the future.

  3. I have commented repeatedly the there is a need for creation of a system to prevent mentally ill and otherwise impaired people getting into planes. Why would you ever allow someone out of control like that to get into a metal tube flying at 30K feet?

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