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:
As View From The Wing points out, she may not have been drunk, but the combination of factors led the crew to believe she was a threat…and that is all that matters (as I know quite well…).
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
.. another case of silly passenger behavior for their 15-min of fame.
Very odd. Usually, the FAs are in the plane way before the passengers so she would not be in the terminal to see the gymnastics.
I am not convinced that the FA was not on a power trip.
I would be concerned that my ticket would be wasted, particularly if the gate agent would not rebook me.
Sometimes, it’s better to act as if you’re in a Communist country. Head down, don’t attract attention, go with the flow.
The flight attendant is an aboslute cow and total b*tch. It isn’t clear if that woman was drunk, but it is clear this horrible FA poorly represents Southwest.
A cow? You attack her appearance when she was just doing her job? She’s not a “cow” either. She has a real human body, like everyone else. Projection of your insecurities on someone else isn’t flattering, Jane.
1. 2-year-old takes mask off for 10 seconds to eat goldfish crackers: TOSSED!
2. Woman of color wears an outfit that makes Baptist Minister blush: TOSSED!
3. Woman has a glass of wine (or 3, who cares?) during a flight delay and tries to cheer up child: TOSSED!
Southwest seems like it’s really gotten away from it’s fun LUVing days when the FAs wore miniskirts and they handed out bottles of Johnny Walker.
I think the world has gotten away from miniskirts and Johnny Walker (or at least the mentality), for better or for worse.
Okay, I haven’t gotten away from Johnny Walker, just moved up the color chain over the years.
Maybe you should brush up on airline regulations if you think having 3 glasses of wine is acceptable before boarding an airplane.
You’re that rude cow FA, aren’t you? Your b*tchy replies throughout give you away, babe.
Any perceived threat to the safety of an airliner, it’s passengers and crew, has to be taken seriously. The pax should not have even made it to the aircraft door if there was concern.
When you chose to fly Southwest you should know what you are getting into. Another example of FAs making peoples lives miserable.
That FA shouldn’t wear a dress like that. It’s disgusting seeing her fat rolls.
Chad, I’m sure she has been approved, as fat as she is, to safely perform her job duties, including the ability to know when someone is slurring her words, as is the case in the video.
Fat people lack judgement and the basic ability to do simple tasks such as eat a sustainable amount of food.
Chad, what’s with the fat comments? That is your take-a-way from the entire video? If anything, she looks like she may have just had a baby. Her ability to perform her duties, to make a judgement call on behalf of the entire flight probably saved a lot of hassle once the flight was airborne. I would be glad to have a FA who knows her job and how to execute them, all while being rudely recorded on a cell phone.
Chad, are you 12? Because you lack any type of actual intelligence according to your comments. Clearly, you have a fragile ego if you’re really going to Monday Morning Quarterback something you know nothing about. Maybe your mom should re-teach you the basic principle of if you have nothing nice to stay, say nothing at all.
Flying reminds me of someone being in prison and imprisoned. Or just being part of a herd of sheep or cattle…
Tons of people get on SW flights drunk, and some carry on the drinking onboard. The FAs have seen it all before. To be denied boarding you really have to do some pretty stupid stuff.
A person with any sense would realize less than 1 minute into the filmed exchange that the FA has made her decision– you are not boarding. All of the talking after that is a waste of time.
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The comments on this thread – especially those that are directed at the FA’s appearance … are absolute trash. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
First of all, if something happens during your flight and your life in danger… are you going to care what your FA’s look like?! They are there to KEEP YOU AND EVERYONE ONBOARD SAFE! That is exactly what she was doing.
Anyone who has ever flown before knows that you can not fly if you APPEAR to be intoxicated.
It doesn’t matter if you are or not – if you are exhibiting behaviors that would lead anyone to believe you are not sober, they have every right to deny you boarding.
The flight crew is not always on board well before your departure. I’ve witnessed FA’s running through the terminal and boarding moments before general boarding begins.
So there is a decent chance your flight crew will see you in the terminal.
Not that any of that matters. Y’all don’t pay the flight crew any mind anyhow.
But rest assured if this lady was allowed to board and then caused a scene… we would be seeing those videos too. Except you would be talking about “how was she even allowed on the plane?!”
Tiffanie, I think you are correct that everyone would be attacking the FA and her colleagues had the passenger been allowed onbaord and created a scene. Sometimes a judgment call must be made and it may be wrong, but is not unreasonable. I also think it is a weak rhetorical argument to attack her weight. I think her tone of voice, finger-pointing, and lying about FARs was very unhelpful. Best to focus on that.
It’s hard to judge her & her tone of voice as I wasn’t there to witness this with my own eyes.
What happened prior to the recording is unknown to anyone watching the video. She may have been very polite in the beginning. Who knows.
What is evident however, is that she was in the midst of an intense situation that had been going on long enough, that this passenger had time to get her phone and record.
I’m also not sure “lying” is the right word to use. Is it in the FAR’s that recording is not allowed? I don’t believe so. However it IS Southwest Airlines policy (as well as common decency) that you must ask permission to film crew or other passengers.
Perhaps she used the wrong term in the heat of the moment.
Yes girl! Bunch of keyboard warriors judging someone from their parents basement. Unless you are in the aviation industry, you don’t know what they deal with. When I was an FA, I had a woman have 2 drinks and was fine, then once in the air, the elevation kicked in and she was a disaster. You can’t kick someone off the plane like you can a bar . When you are in the air, it’s too late. These comments are disgusting. She should not have even had to deal with these pax. I had a pilot override my call to not let a lady on once and she was literally popping up during takeoff switching seats and was an absolute mess. I refused her alcohol on the flight and didn’t give her a chance to even argue with me. She asked and I said you aren’t getting any alcohol and walked away. She didn’t ask again .
I feel like half the reason we have FAs is that a union exists. Replace them all with some vending machines that role down the isle and an armed guard at the front of the plane.
Rocky, FA’s existed long before the union for them did.
And tell me, how much help would a vending machine have been on USAirways 1549?
The FA’ s are there for your SAFETY, they serve you drinks and snacks as a side benefit.
Because a vending machine is going to save you when you choke on your pretzels, huh? Or when the airplane is on fire and you open the door into more fire because you know nothing about the 6 weeks of training “vending machines” go through. Ignorance at its finest.
This beautiful flight attendant was doing her job!!! Protecting the passengers and crew. They have protocols to follow!! The child was not hers to “entertain” Mind your business! Maybe acting like a grown person, with the mentality of a grown person escaped her after that “Glass of wine” Seriously!! What grown person thinks it is appropriate to do back bends and cartwheels in an airport? Or… maybe this person thinks the world revolves around them? Get in line sweetie, you’re behind the 100+ passengers that decided to behave themselves before they boarded the aircraft! To the FA… Thank you for your vigilance to protect both passengers and crew
Exactly, why are we picking on the flight attendant who was merely looking out for the rest of the passengers that were not drunk? All you have to do is listen to the passenger’s voice and you can tell she is blitz. Unfortunately, you can’t predict the behavior of someone that is drunk when they are in the air and you have few options. I have witnessed flight attendants risking their own safety to try and get drunk passengers to stay seated for landing. This is a safety issue. Unfortunately, there are rules and we live in a society that thinks rules don’t apply to them, and to heck with all of the rest of those that are on the plane.
I had the same thing happen to me on a flight from Cancun. We flew into Vegas to catch a commuted to Salt Lake. The plane was running late so the gate person/stewardess said there is a Hooters right down the way there, why don’t u go have a drink and we will call u when ur plane arrives. So we did, they called our names, we ran, huffing and puffing trying to hurry w all our bags, and the stewardess says u can’t board the plane, you’ve been drinking. And as she is saying that, 2 off duty pilots board the plane. Basically they gave our seats away and I almost went to jail as well, lol.