@RaRaNath tweets his experience in first class on American Airlines yesterday flying from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to Miami.
It’s a 2-hour, 900 mile flight with meal service up front. The customer didn’t get his first choice of meal, didn’t understand why, and apparently took it personally.
First class customers can pre-order their meal choice up to 24 hours in advance of the flight. If they’re not booked in first or don’t pre-order then with no change in time zones on the flight standard meal order is to take customer preferences on a Northbound flight from the back of the cabin forward.
Whether or not the flight attendant followed the proper procedure in taking meal orders, there weren’t enough pasta dishes onboard for everyone that wanted one.
Sometimes a customer’s first choice isn’t available. That’s true on any airline (although some carriers over-provision more than others). Etihad has run out of biryani on me several times.
A customer may not understand this. The passenger likely wasn’t denied their first choice of meal because of age.
It seems to me to be part of the flight attendant’s job to explain it calmly and ideally patiently. I’ve seen plenty of angry customers not get their meal choice, but I’ve never seen that escalate to threats of law enforcement.
— Ra Nath (@RaRaNath) June 6, 2016
I would emphasize that we don’t know exactly what transpired before this video. We have only the passenger’s perspective.
We don’t know how this appeared to the flight attendant at the time. Perhaps the passenger was less calm and collected than he seems in his after-the-fact tweets (although he seems calm in the video, that could be intentional).
Still in this video it’s the flight attendant:
- telling the customer to ‘shut up’
- putting his finger in the customer’s face
- threatening the customer with arrest
That seems highly inappropriate even in the absense of broader context for the incident.
And I think we can all agree, an entree salad as a second choice is perfectly fine and not worth going to prison over.