Is the increasing number of airline cabin incidents the final verification that the Apocalypse is upon us? It seems that there are nearly one-a-day reports of passenger or passenger vs. flight attendants incidents. The number of people being arrested at airports and on airplanes appears to be skyrocketing exponentially. Today’s commercial airline travel is getting more onerous as we go and there appears to be an undercurrent of “It’s us against them,” attitude and those we call “them” are the enemy as opposed to paying customers. It is certainly a double-edged sword and these all-too-frequent confrontations are spontaneous and perhaps even blameless—unless we want to consider the possibility of the premise that the good old US of A is being undated with in-your-face confrontational people.

Rather than pontificating about airline travel let me now entertain you with the following recent news reports relating to life in the airliner cabin:

Family Tossed Off JetBlue Flight for 2-year-old’s Tantrum

When their child misbehaved, the family was removed from the plane, costing them
$2,000 out of pocket

BOSTON (KTLA) – A vacationing Rhode Island family was thrown off a recent Jet Blue
flight to Boston after their two year-old misbehaved.

Dr. Colette Vieau, her husband, and their daughters Cecelia and Natalie were trying
to fly back to Boston from a vacation in Turks and Caicos when Natalie, age 2, refused
to sit down.

Her parents got her seat belt fastened and held her in place, but the family was
kicked off the flight anyway.

Dr. Vieau described her interaction with the flight attendant over her daughters’
behavior. “We were holding them down with all of our might, seat belt on. And I
said, ‘We have them seated. Can we go now?’ She said the pilot made a decision to
turn the plane around,” Vieau said.

The airline said in a statement, “Flight 850 had customers that did not comply with
crew member instructions for a prolonged time period. The Captain elected to remove
the customers involved for the safety of all customers and crew members on board.”

But Dr. Vieau insists, “We did what we were asked to do. We weren’t belligerent,
drunk, angry or screaming. We were just having a hard time struggling with our

With no other flights that night the family was stranded. After finding a hotel
and re-booking their flights, the changes cost them an additional $2,000.

A Flight Attendant Refused To Let Passengers Off A Plane After A Video Player Went

Surging Energy Prices Are Already Taking A Toll On One Area Of The Market
Writer and tech consultant Jeff Reifman was on an Alaska Airlines flight from Miami
to Seattle when something strange happened.
Apparently, a rented video player went missing, and one of the flight attendants
was hell-bent on getting it back.
In fact, she threatened to detain them, saying that “the cabin doors would not be
opened and that passengers would not be allowed off to catch connecting flights,”
claims Reifman.
The “horrified” Reifman posted about the encounter on his blog, where he made the
observation that “threatening to detain all your passengers over transgressions
by other flyers is about the dumbest thing you can do for customer loyalty.”
It may not be the worst thing, but it’s up there. Any time a worker resorts to threatening
an entire group of customers, that’s not going to do anything positive for a brand.
To make matters worse for Alaska Airlines, it turns out that the flight attendant
was in the wrong anyway. The airline’s policy is to keep track of who rents the
video players so that they can check later. Plus, the player was actually located
before the flight landed in Miami in the first place.
We know this because Alaska Airlines quickly went on damage control and explained
exactly what happened on its end, which was great crisis management.
Spokesman Bobbie Egan went to Reifman’s blog and posted this apology in the comment
section of the post:
Mr. Reifman,
The flight attendant’s announcement to our passengers onboard this flight was inappropriate
and did not follow our procedures. The video player was located before the flight
landed in Miami and we should have shared this with our customers. In regards to
the suggestion that we note the seat number of passengers renting these devices,
our flight attendants are trained to do just that when renting the video players.
This step was not followed on this flight. We are following up with the crew of
this flight to make sure they understand our procedures.
I apologize for any alarm this caused you and the other passengers onboard this
Bobbie Egan, Alaska Airlines spokesperson
(This incident was extracted from a recent Curt Lewis Flight Information newsletter)

US Airways Flight Diverts To PDX Over Cabin Confrontation

Couple Said To Be Trying To Join The Mile High Club

It would appear an amorous couple onboard a US Airways flight Thursday forgot the number one rule when attempting to join the Mile High Club: discretion.

US Airways Flight 1473 left Seattle, WA just before 1500 PST Thursday, en route to Las Vegas when the aircraft diverted to Portland International Airport due to a… well, disturbance on the plane.

The aircraft turned around over southern Oregon, and landed at PDX at 1700 PST.

“The people across the aisle from us were fooling around in their seats and they decided to go to the bathroom and fool around and they threatened the flight attendant,” passenger Jessica Smith.

US Airways didn’t comment on whether the couple had been caught in the act, but did acknowledge a confrontation between the two passengers and the cabin crew.

The A320 took off for Vegas once again — sans the couple, who weren’t charged or arrested — about 45 minutes later.      (A rhetorical question: If I put a blanket over my lap and have my hands underneath the blanket, can the flight attendant deem that I am masturbating and have me dropped off in West Texas or some other God-forsaken area?)


American Airlines flight attendant goes bonkers

And then we have the American Airlines flight attendant who lost her emotional bearings and started blurting out volatile and caustic statements over the cabin PA. This unusual turn of events, resulted in passengers intervening to help the other flight attendants defuse the incident. The cabin of a passenger airline is a stress-inducing environment and the “acting out” by less than stable occupants who are stuffed into these “high-speed flying culverts” will continue.

This blog is prepared by Ace Abbott, the author of The Rogue Aviator; in the Back Alleys of Aviation. (

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