A woman claims a man assaulted her while she was sleeping on a Southwest Airlines flight. However, in trying to analyze the claims, I’m failing to see a clear motive.
Tray Table Violence On Southwest Airlines
Saarah Sareshwala was flying from Orlando (MCO) to Phoenix (PHX) on Southwest Airlines flight 1630 on Saturday. During the flight, she decided to take a nap, using the tray table to rest her head. At one point, she was awakened by a violent impact. She was not sure what caused it (even thinking she may have inadvertently banged her head on the seat in front of her) and rose to use the lavatory to check on any potential injuries.
While she was up, Sareshwala’s seatmates allegedly confronted the man for his actions. They were awake and witnessed him “deliberately” try to harm Sareshwala. He was indignant and cursed them out, also purportedly claiming, “The f*cking b*tch got what was coming for her.”
Ok, stop. Here’s my question. What could she have done that made the man so angry? Was she banging her pushing her head against his seat? By leaning on the tray table, did she rock his seat? Was she snoring?
We do have this clue:
Here’s one of the pages that Gabi [last name redacted], one of Saarah’s seatmates, wrote down: pic.twitter.com/oBfsCkQlOZ
— Faraaz Sareshwala (@fsareshwala) September 25, 2022
Perhaps she had drifted off to sleep and was suddenly awakened and hit the seat hard in front of her. Then perhaps he responded in anger by reclining on her.
If the man did what is claimed he did, there is no excuse or justification no matter what led to it, but it would certainly help to understand whether something triggered this man and if so, what.
Here’s why. I get annoyed myself when an idiot in front of me reclines quickly and without warning. I know not to position my laptop too far up the tray table for fear of damaging it if the person in front of me quickly reclines. It also drives me crazy when the person in front of me thinks they can extract more recline by leaning back against the seat with all their weight, causing it to rock back and forth. In fact, if this happens too often I’ll push back on the seat. Sometimes children need to be treated like children, though violence is never acceptable.
But this is a totally different situation. Here, it is alleged that Sareshwala was not leaning back on someone, but simply using her tray table to rest her head. It still strikes me as odd that the man in front would get so angry.
Flight attendants were notified and moved the women. Phoenix police met the aircraft upon arrival, took a report, but made no arrests. The matter has been referred to the FBI.
You can read the full Twitter account of the incident here.
I find this whole incident strange, but it is a reminder of how tempers flare when people are confined to close quarters on an airplane. If the man is guilty as charged, I hope Sareshwala will find him and press charges. But this story presents another cautionary tale about using your tray table for sleeping.
What are your thoughts on this alleged incident of tray table violence on Southwest Airlines?
(H/T: View From The Wing)