Viral Video Shows Drunk American Airlines Passenger Denied Boarding

Video circulating in social media shows a man being denied boarding on an American Airlines flight at Dallas – Fort Worth because he’s reportedly drunk. He complains that he’s trying to fly to see his fiance, slurring his words about a non-refundable ticket and asking over and over “why I can’t go?”

He eventually gives up, realizing he won’t be allowed to board. It’s an incident in 3 acts, and three videos. The first shows the confrontation with the gate agent. The second shows him hunched over his carry on near gate A9. And the third shows him being taken away by police.

American Airlines has succeeded in stopping vendors at the DFW airport from selling alcohol to go any longer. Their government affairs team is trying to get this policy change imposed in Charlotte, too. Despite no to go alcohol, this passenger shows up to the aircraft sauced. He may have been pregaming at home before showing up at the airport, or continuing the party in a restaurant prior to boarding.

I’d point out though that the American Airlines gate agent dealt with the situation calmly. You’ll note that there are two agents at the gate, freeing up one to handle this man and prevent a dangerous situation from developing on board, while the other agent handles boarding the aircraft.

Two gate agents is increasingly rare at American Airlines, especially with passenger numbers falling as Labor Day approaches (traditionally leisure travel begins to slow at the end of August and into the fall), business travel not yet returning to take its place, and the virus continues to spread in the U.S. American only assigns one agent to a gate when a flight is less than 80% full.

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. Questions

    1) I detected a bit of a foreign accent. Anyone have any ideas?
    2) What is the piece of paper with the red strip in video 1?

  2. Stephen W. Bank Robbers and right wing whackos cover their faces too! Its not a conspiracy. Its NOT about you all the time. Its about caring for each other. You need help. Cover up or stay home please.

  3. @Stehen W: the drunk is wearing a mask as well. So is he the bully? You are too ignorant for words. Amazing I have read someone that ALMOST makes @Jackass Waterson sound logical.

  4. @Ray I’m pretty sure the only reason the customer is wearing a mask is under the threat of violence.

  5. It takes an hour wait just to get coffee at the airport. I find it hard to believe people are getting sauced at the airport with labor shortages and long concession lines. The boozing must be happening before getting to the airport.

  6. It doesn’t take too many drinks to get sauced when there is no food in the airport and on the flight. Most of these passengers are Leisure traveler’s and don’t know how to pace themselves or eat before drinking.

    The airports need to have basic food to serve and if a passenger wants 1 drink okay, but two may require an appetizer. In addition, they need to start selling food in coach, even if its a sandwich, as sitting with alcohol in your system and then being at an altitude of 10k ft in most planes with make you react worse.

    Need Corporate Travel Back!

  7. Can we arrest all the druggies and drunks on the subway too? Oh wait, that is transportation for the working class masses. Elite whites travel by plane and cannot tolerate this on the way to their beach home or their board meetings.

  8. @Patrick: “How did he get past TSA?”

    TSA does not yet administer breathalyzer screening tests to passengers as it slows down passenger screening. Besides, passenger projectile vomiting from enjoying too many adult beverages before an American Airlines flight does not appear to be a TSA screening mandate.

    Many savvy travelers who learned they could avoid hangovers by simply staying drunk may have used Gary’s advice and ordered the Platinum American Express card to enjoy a wide variety of benefits. AMEX membership has its privileges. You can use your Platinum American Express card to access the Centurion Lounge at DFW. Accordingly, this allegedly drunk guy may enjoy a cocktail developed by one of the nation’s top mixologists, Jim Meehan, or explore wines handpicked by renowned wine authority Anthony Giglio before his flight or his police escort off the DFW airport property. In addition, members (with a boarding pass) can sponsor two guests into the lounge. Therefore, his two police officer escorts and the drunk guy could all enjoy a refreshing beverage as a bonus. There are limited alcohol offerings from 7 am to 10:30 am and cocktails with a full bar available from 10:30 am to 7 pm at the DFW AMEX Centurion Lounge. Always drink responsibly.

    Regarding mixologist Jim Meehan, he worked at some of New York City’s most revered restaurants and bars, including Gramercy Tavern and the Pegu Club, before opening the James Beard Award-winning bar PDT in 2007 and the second branch in Hong Kong a decade later. A journalist and former editor of Food & Wine Cocktails and Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, Jim’s books, The PDT Cocktail Book and Meehan’s Bartender Manual, have become industry favorites worldwide. He and his family currently reside in Portland, Oregon, where he oversees his consulting firm Mixography Inc. The more you know.

  9. American should lobby to remove alcohol from people’s homes too to lessen the chance of them drinking before coming to the airport. They should also work on full burkas for ALL women, banning women from education, employment and driving

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