First a pro-Trump voter before the election, now an anti-Trump voter after. A woman was thrown off an Alaska Airlines flight from Baltimore to Seattle on Saturday after berating a Trump supporter in a conversation she initiated.
As I witnessed, Washington, DC was packed over the weekend. Many were in town to celebrate the Trump inauguration while many were in town to protest it. The election was undeniably bitter and passions are still raging on both sides.
A husband and wife were on an Alaska Airlines flight home from Baltimore to Seattle after burying his mother. Throw in a mix of sadness along with a crushing election defeat and you have a very tense situation.
A man boards the plane and sits down next to the woman. She asks him if he is in town to support or protest Trump. He responds that he was in town to “celebrate” and “support democracy” which apparently enrages the woman. (I’d have to imagine it was clear he was a Trump supporter).
She flags down a FA and asks that the man be moved, saying she does not want to sit next to him. The flight is full and the FA tells her she has “no right” to move another passenger.
The lady then tears into the Trump supporter, stating–
You pretend that you have the moral high ground but you put that man’s finger on the nuclear button. That man doesn’t believe in ‘climate change.’ Do you believe in gravity? Did you know gravity’s just a theory?
Another FA appears and informs her that she and her husband will be removed from the flight. She then claims she is just trying to get home, mentioning her mother-in-law passed.
She is escorted off to cheers and chants of “USA! USA!” from other Trump supporters on the aircraft.
Watch the videos here. There is no way to defend this woman’s behavior since we have no indication the man was at all obnoxious to her beforehand. Even if he was, that would not excuse this reaction. I understand that having a short fused-passenger on an airplane is never ideal, but I wonder what would have happened had the FA just moved her instead of the man?
I snickered at how the woman’s husband seems to pretend he doesn’t know her. But I don’t snicker at her emotions. Many are still deeply wounded by the election results and this sort of passion is not a surprise. Nevertheless, it is not appropriate on an airplane. I trust this woman will find peace and rest, overcoming her pain over the election results.
With all due respect to your position, I find her demeanor and behavior to be wholly unacceptable regardless of the “pain” from which she is suffering. When did civility get replaced with hysterics? It is absolutely okay to disagree with someone or something, but one’s message is completely denigrated when one behaves this way (see Ashley Judd at Women’s March).
Look, being in “the business” I have come to realize that people who are normal 99% of the time absolutely lose their minds and all sense of social graces when they travel via air. It still doesn’t excuse the behavior. We’re all under various stresses in our lives – it doesn’t give any of us the right to behave in the manner that this woman did.
The real story from this incident is the male flight attendant and how he handled this situation. My wife is an FA for a competitor airline and this young man should be championed for the way he handled a very tense situation with a woman who had clearly become unhinged and thought that she had every right to behave the way that she did.
Too many articles/stories are written about FAs misbehaving and/or not handling situations properly. I am disappointed that your article and others have not pointed out his actions and the manner in which he handled this.
I second your opinion Tristan. There are good and no so good FAs as there are good and no so good in any profession. In this particular case the FA could not have been more competent and professional while remaining firm that this woman would have to leave the aircraft. My hat’s off to the gentleman, and your thoughts have spurred me to write a letter to the airline on the subject. Perhaps someone in management will recognize that, while he was “just doing his job,” his performance was above par.
What has also been under-reported is that many other passengers were complaining about this woman’s conduct before boarding. Accounts I’ve read say she was accosting and harassing people in the boarding area. And more than one person complained after boarding. It should be recognized by those critical of the airline’s actions that an airline crew simply cannot take the chance that the situation will escalate when the aircraft is off the ground. Those complaining about the decision, criticizing and second guessing the Captain’s decision, would no doubt be the ones complaining the loudest and longest about their “inconvenience” had the woman remained on board and created a disturbance that forced the flight to return to Baltimore.
The Teump supporter should have been the one thrown off the flight. What and uneducated jack-ass.
Why? The lady was the one causing the issue.
BTW I am not a Trump surporter
Uneducated huh? How would you know what his level of education is? Assuming you consider yourself “educated” I’ll remind you that education is in no way a measure of intelligence. You’re the poster child for that truism.
I was on that plane. That woman was nuts, she started harassing families in the boarding area because they had come to the inauguration with their children. She screamed and cursed at everyone on the plane including the FAs and pilots. I don’t think anyone would have wanted to sit next to her. The two gentlemen that took their seats were given a round of applause as they boarded.
If the husbands mother truly did die, then I feel so sorry for him being married to such a horrible woman. He needed her support and instead, she gave him shame. Maybe he is happy she missed the flight.
The husband looked so embarrassed, but he did and said nothing during her entire tirade.
This is very sad. Honest, people- we do need the share the country, the plane, everything, no matter what we think of “the other guys”. I do feel sorry for the guy who just buried his mother.
The woman should not have done what she did, and the other passengers should not have cheered as she left. What are we coming to???
They were cheering because she gave them all the middle finger. She still sees that she did nothing wrong and she was the victim.
Other articles I have read regarding this incident stated that the women was disruptive before and during boarding. Also, according to the Facebook page of the man seated next to her (whom she yelled at), she told him, “And I’m entitled to get drunk and puke in your lap!” The fact that her mother-in-law had just been buried is sad (if it’s true), and her dislike of the current president may be intense, but it is no excuse to act as she did. Most of us know that when you fly, you may be sitting for a few hours next to folks who did not vote for your candidate, who don’t cheer for your team, and who don’t practice your religion, but who want to get to the same place as you. We remain civil so we can get to where we’re going on time.