Last week I brought you details about a passenger who went berserk on an American Airlines flight from Tokyo to Dallas after her in-seat charger would not fully charge her phone. New details have emerged about what occurred onboard.
Update On American Airlines Seattle Diversion After Seat Charging Dispute
Four hours into the 11-hour journey, Waka Suzuki became irate when her phone stopped charging. Blaming flight attendants, she brushed them aside, rushed up the aisle through the premium cabins, and began banging on the flight deck door, hoping the captain would help her out.
Instead, the captain diverted to Seattle after declaring a “Level Three Lockdown” and the woman was arrested.
A couple flight attendants who were onboard commented on my previous post. While unequivocally condemning the actions of Suzuki, I had said:
There is no defending Suzuki’s actions, but I have to imagine the crew may have been dismissive of her. No offense to many of the wonderful flight attendants at American Airlines, but I can just see a senior DFW-based crew screaming at her slowly in English, as if she was a little child, and perhaps not even trying to address her power issue.
And this was based upon my travels to Asia with U.S. airlines over the years, including American Airlines. Sadly, on multiple occasions I have witnessed flight attendants yelling at Asian passengers who did not have a clear grasp of English, as if a higher volume would translate to better understanding.
I speculated that something like this may have occurred onboard and therefore added fuel to the fire.
But flight attendants onboard weighed into to correct me. For example, one said:
Matthew, Three Japanese speaking flight attendants, one native, were accommodating her at her seat and allowing her to move to ANY of the other 150 open seats in coach. Her phone was charging, just not to 100%, as she was using it but it was not sufficient in her mind. I realize there are embarrassingly rude flight attendants but please don’t make assumptions on these stories, just the facts that you can obtain. I have just given you some, as I was there!
You should not make assumptions if you to wish be taken as more than a common blogger. I was on the flight and there were three Japanese speaking flight attendants, one native female, working with her for the first few hours of the flight and accommodating her in any seat (there was maybe 150 seats open) she wanted and explaining to her that her phone isn’t going to be 100% charged while she is watching videos or playing games on her phone.
They were even plugging in their own phones showing that it is charging. I realize there are embarrassingly rude FA’s but to make that suggestion without facts, regardless of experiences, is not journalism, it is opinion. So, if this is an opinion piece then my mistake, keep up the ‘good’ work, otherwise it is best to report the facts obtained not opinion based on a few experiences.
I was wrong and want to own up to my false assumption. Three Japanese-speaking flight attendants were onboard and all diligently and compassionately tried to explain to the passenger that the in-seat charger simply could not offer a full-charge on her mobile phone. Despite those assurances and allowing her to repeatedly move seats to try different outlets, she still became enraged and attacked a flight attendant.
While assumptions are warranted at times, when you assume you risk making an ass/u/me mistake, so next time I’ll assume the best and not the worst.