Shoeless Joe, meet Shirtless José. One passenger suffered a meltdown when told that no window seats were available on his American Airlines flight to Florida.
Man Suffers Meltdown On Florida-Bound American Airlines Flight When Denied Window Seat
The incident occurred at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) at the American Airlines boarding gate of a flight to Fort Lauderdale (FLL). According to video uploaded to the popular “Only In Broward” Instagram account, a passenger meltdown occurred when a man was told that there were no window seats available for his 1 hour, 55 minute flight to Florida.
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Judging by the blinking strobe lights, it appeared this man tried to get onboard the aircraft a bit earlier as well…perhaps to stake out his claim to a window seat. Perhaps he forgot he was not flying on Southwest Airlines?
View From The Wing notes that “the best strategy is to book your window seat when you buy your ticket,” which is quite true. However American Airlines aggressively restricts seating in coach, such that many windows, certainly for the front half of the economy class cabin at the very least, will be restricted for AAdvatange elite members or available for additional purchase. This seat policy often only leaves a handful of window seats in the rear third of the plane available for pre-assignment, meaning if you book at the last minute you are out of luck unless you are willing to pay up.
It is not clear what sort of charges “Shirtless José” faces. He does appear to push one gate agent and places his hat on another. Whether that constitutes sufficient grounds to charge him for battery remains to be seen, but he likely faces charges or disorderly conduct and I expect he will receive a ban from American Airlines for his poor behavior.
I love window seats too…but having a meltdown that leads to arrest is hardly an appropriate reaction to finding out that I have to sit in an aisle seat or middle seat. Perhaps there was some alcohol or drugs at play, but the man should have just tried to buy out his seatmate onboard. Surely, the time in jail will cost him a lot more.
image: @onlyinbroward / Instagram