Friday, December 30, 2005

Don't Rock the Boat - Er....Plane!

A man has been "marooned" on a small island after he cursed and threatened crew and passengers on a flight from England to Tenerife.

Reading the story reminded me of a flight the Duchess and I took last February, returning from Hawaii and the Pro Bowl. The midnight flight was fine with us as we could sleep the trip back from Honolulu to Houston, enroute to Tampa.

Immediately after take off we laid back and prepared to nap when the quite substantial lady behind me began to punch on my chair back and demand that we sit up straight as she and her tall hubby had not enough room.

As patiently as I could, I explained that the seats laid back for a purpose.

She ranted on, threatening to make the flight a problem, and yelling at the stewardess who responded to the woman's objections with basically the same thing I had told her. The woman became more abusive, now directing her venom at the stew as she served drinks.

Next called was the Head Stewardess. This woman approached and heard the same threatening tale from the woman and then informed her that 1) We had every right to put our seats back. 2) She (the complainer) had NO right to verbally abuse either the stewardess or my bride and I, and 3) That if necessary the woman could be restrained with handcuffs if she did not cease the verbal attacks.

Fortunately the woman remained quiet the balance of the trip. On arrival in Houston, as the Duchess and I departed I noticed three policemen in 1st class, right by our departure path. We passed them by, and as the lady and her hubby followed us the police pulled her aside.

We later learned from crew members that the officers informed the lady she was guilty of assault and could be charged for creating a disturbance on a flight. The stewardess declined to prosecute, and thus it ended.

It was a perfect example of the fact that today airlines do not need to tolerate, and apparently do not tolerate bad behavior. That comforted the Duchess and I!