He's outta here!

February 01, 2011 2 Comments A+ a-

Quick story.  I'm in Sao Paulo and going back to bed shortly.  That's all I've done today is sleep!

Last night, we were boarding passengers for our flight to Sao Paulo.  I was working the 2L "boarding door" on the 777.  This is the door the passengers enter through on this aircraft.  My job is to direct traffic.  Some people need to cross through the Business Galley (right in front of them) to get to their seats; some can cross over mid-airplane; some stay on the same side as the aircraft door.

A large man entered with a fist full of boarding passes for him and his family.  They are splayed out like a poker hand of cards.  I directed him to cross through the Business Galley.  As he is through the Galley, and turning right to head towards his seats in Coach, our Purser, Adam*, is trying to "swim upstream" and come from the back of Business towards the front of the airplane.  He asks Lisa, who is opposite of me at the 2R door, to hold up the traffic for a moment so he can come up.  Lisa says, "Hold here for a moment, please."  There was no response, as the man and his family continued to try and move towards their seats.  "Stop here for just a minute, please," Lisa asks again.  Still, no response.  Thinking a language barrier, she puts her hand up in a "STOP" fashion, like this:

The man turned around and exploded in anger!  He was yelling, and cussing, with his finger pointing in her face!  It was incredible show of rage!  I was afraid Lisa was about to be struck by the man!

He had turned around and saw Lisa's hand up in the "STOP" sign, and accused her of hitting his 10 year-old son.  He was so out of control!

Adam rushed the line of people in the Business Aisle and forcefully said to the man, "I am in charge here.  You speak to ME!"  And the man continued to yell, with veins nearly bursting in his face.  Even after it was explained what had happened, and the boy said he didn't get hit, the man was still enraged!

He made his way back to his seat.  Adam called the Captain and the Customer Service Supervisor.  The family was allowed to stay, but the volatile man, and his luggage, were quickly removed from the aircraft.

There is no room for this sudden, violent anger on an airplane.  A misunderstanding, for sure, but a quick question to his son would have prevented all this.

Or, would it?  Who knows what else could have triggered his anger.  I am glad we didn't have to find out.

*All names changed to protect the innocent!


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February 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM delete

If Flight Attendants DON'T stand up in situations like this- then Passengers will think it's acceptable behavior.

So I guess we can add "Behavioral Therapist" to the list of duties of our job.

February 3, 2011 at 10:16 PM delete

Hopefully he learned his lesson!