“We all breathed a sigh of relief when he was removed.”
An American Airlines flight returned to the gate after a disgruntled passenger refused to stop passing flatus. No, farting is not a legitimate tool of revenge on AA or any other airline.
Flatus Flounders Flight, Forcing Furious Fix
Last Sunday, January 14, 2024, an American Airlines flight from Phoenix (PHX) to Austin (AUS) boarded. It was late afternoon, American does not serve meals or snacks in economy class, and several passengers began to consume their own snacks before the flight even pushed back from the gate.
One passenger did not like the way the snacks smelled. He loudly complained, “Yeah, everybody let’s just eat the smelliest food possible all at the same time” and responded by ripping a loud fart onboard. Passengers reported the man was disgusted (possibly hungover) from the moment he boarded the flight, but the smell of food triggered him. As shared on Reddit:
This past Sunday I was on a direct American flight from Phoenix to Austin and I was seated near the row where this situation occurred. I’m simply sharing this because it’s somewhat entertaining, and no I did not film anything.
Before most people had boarded, I observed that this man was audibly disgruntled about something, maybe hungover, rough day idk, but as soon as he sat down he was grumbling about something under his breath, like “f*cking h*ll” or something.
Several minutes pass and majority of people are seated but we still hadn’t left the gate. I overhear him loudly say “You thought that was rude? Well how about this smell” and farted. Idk what provoked that comment, and while kinda funny to overhear, it was uncalled for especially coming from a grown man on an airplane nonetheless. The ppl seated immediately near him were ladies seemingly minding their own business. I didn’t catch anyone’s response to that but the guy seated next to me and I exchanged smiles and shook our heads.
It’s early evening and several people are having snacks or eating food (I don’t enjoy the smell of food on a plane, but it’s none of my business if people want to eat). The man who just purposefully farted moments ago decides to loudly and condescendingly say “yeah, everybody let’s just eat the smelliest food possible all at the same time”. A guy in the row over replied, “if you don’t like it you can fly private” to which fartman says “that’s so f*cking rude”, and another person nearby chimes in “I think we’d all agree you’re the rude one here.” Fartman replies something like “that’s just so low class” and the other guy rebuttals with “well you’re back here in economy with the rest of us” lol. There were flight attendants nearby who stepped in and said “that’s enough” to fartman and moved on.
The plane is finally taxiing towards the runway but comes to a stop. An announcement comes over saying “apologies for the interruption but we are returning to the gate, we will give you more info when we have it.” We get back to the gate and a flight attendant comes back and informs fartman that he will not be staying on this flight. He simply replies, “I don’t understand” and she tells him they’ll talk about it off the plane. He gets up, grabs his bag and quietly exits the plane. We all breathed a sigh of relief when he was removed, I think most ppl were on edge about what he may say or do next. The trip was only delayed by 15-30 minutes, so all in all I think American handled it swiftly.
It sounds like American Airlines handled the situation very well. It also sounds like this was the right call. Certainly, air pressure changes can induce flatus, but so openly ripping is uncalled for. While it appears the man was having a bad day, that does not excuse such juvenile behavior. A diversion would have been too much, but returning to the gate before takeoff to dump this loose cannon was the right move.
We must be mindful of others when we fly, especially in economy class where the shared space truly is shared space. Deliberately unleashing flatulence as a tool of revenge is not okay.
(Hat Tip: View From The Wing)