Over the years, you’ve no doubt heard many horror stories of passengers being mistreated and humiliated in a variety of ways. It is entirely possible that you even have a horror story or two of your own.
A cursory look back over just the last few months, reminds us of such incidents as the one involving foreign customs agents who accused a Pennsylvania social worker of “being in contact with an illegal substance” and forced her to a body cavity search.
Then, there was the disabled woman — an Olympic champion no less — who was forced to sit on the plane for nearly two hours waiting for a wheelchair (after the airlines broke hers!) and was given no assistance to get to the restroom on time, resulting in an embarrassing accident for her.
While, admittedly being a totally different type of embarrassing situation, the latest such incident occurred back in February when New York resident Gokhan Mutlu arrived to check in for a flight from San Diego to New York on JetBlue.
He was told that the flight was full but was still allowed to board the plane after a flight attendant agreed to give up her seat and travel in an airline employee “jump seat”.
In a $2 million lawsuit filed by Mr. Multu in New York State Supreme Court against the airline, he alleges that 90 minutes into the flight the pilot approached him and told him that the flight attendant was uncomfortable and that she wanted her original seat back and that his only option was to spend the remainder of the flight (the next three and a half hours) “hanging out” in the airplane bathroom.
While the confrontation between the pilot and Mr. Multu occurred, the flight attendant in the meantime took Mutlu’s seat, closed her eyes and pretended to sleep.
The pilot “became angry at (Mutlu’s) reluctance” and said Mutlu, told him that he “should be grateful for being onboard.” When Mutlu volunteered to sit in the (now empty) jump seat, the pilot told him that it was reserved “for airline personnel only”.
The lawsuit states that the poor man suffered “extreme humiliation” over his lavatory imprisonment for the remainder of the flight which “seemed like an eternity” and that at one point, when the airplane experienced extreme turbulence, he even had to sit down on the toilet seat (obviously, with no seat belt) and that caused him “tremendous fear”.
I would also imagine it caused him tremendous anger.
When reached for comment, all that a JetBlue representative would say is that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
We want to hear what you think of this incident. Perhaps you’ve even had such experiences of your own that you’d like to sound off about? Tell us all about it in the comments below!