A flight removal incident on Southwest Airlines reminds us that perceptions matter: even if you are not drunk, you still might be removed if you appear drunk…including performing gymnastics in the gate area.
Drunk Or Bored? Woman Claims She Was Unfairly Accused Of Being Intoxicated By Southwest Airlines For Doing Gymnastics
As the passenger describes it, her flight was delayed and she stopped by the bar for a drink. A little girl was crying while attempting to do gymnastics in the gate area for the flight. The woman decided to join her (she says to calm the child down) and started performing gymnastics too.
The flight crew noticed the woman 1.) had a glass of wine, 2.) was being loud, and 3.) was doing gymnastics. Consequently, she was denied boarding after being told she was intoxicated. An exchange between her, a flight attendant, and a member of ground staff was filmed and uploaded to YouTube:
Now I am not convinced at all that this woman was not intoxicated. She sounds tipsy to me in the video above and even her description of the video concedes that she was drinking:
The plane was late, then we had to de-board and we told it could be hours for our next plane. The group of friends my husband and I met grabbed a drink at the bar, and then continued to wait and talk to new people. Cutest little girl that just moved 10 minutes away from us in Castle Rock, CO was doing gymnastics so I tried my hand at a back bend. We laughed, it was cute, that was it. Then flight attendant wouldn’t allow me on the plane trying to say that I was ‘wasted’ – but didn’t have a good explanation. Absolutely unacceptable.
What makes me question the crew is that the flight attendant lies in saying that it is illegal to film flight attendants without their consent. This is simply false. If she lies about that, who knows what else she is lying about, and quite frankly, the flight attendant appears extremely rude and condescending (though others have praised her professionalism).
The takeaway is that if you appear drunk, you will be removed even if you are not drunk.
A woman protested her removal from a Southwest Airlines flight after flight attendants determined she was intoxicated. She claims she just had a glass of wine and was having fun with a child trying to pass time in the gate area. Perhaps doing gymnastics in the gate area of a busy airport is not the smartest move…unless you are a flight attendant.
The @SouthwestAir attendant in Spokane just did a cartwheel. I love this airline.
— Jaclyn Crawford (@jac31) September 25, 2015