Everyone’s a critic, as the adage goes, and aboard a long-delayed Southwest flight, one man seems to have learned that the hard way.
KTXL-TV reported an eyewitness account of a traveler being ejected from a flight, after several hours of waiting, allegedly over a joke made to the flight attendant. On Wednesday, after a maintenance light led to a delayed takeoff, which lasted long enough to require the plane’s refueling, one passenger’s ill-timed crack led to major issues, according to passenger Peter Uzelac:
“He said something [like], ‘They should be passing out vodka because we’ve been waiting so long,’” Uzelac said.
Uzelac says the flight attendant, who he described as young, did not take kindly to that comment.
“She came by and was like, ‘I don’t think that and I didn’t like your joke,’” he explained. “Then my wife tried to butt-in there and say, ‘Look it, we’ve been on this plane for hours.’ And she says, ‘Well, so have I, so get used to it.’”
Uzelac and the other passengers were shocked by the flight attendant’s reaction.
The flight attendant was then seen on a phone at the front of the plane, and shortly thereafter local sheriff’s deputies came to remove the man from the flight. According to Uzelac, “People started yelling then... In fact, people stood up. I stood up. People were saying, ‘This man didn’t do anything’.”
As much as we appreciate a good vodka, the response seems decidedly excessive. Or perhaps there’s another side of the story we haven’t heard. For its part, Southwest has already issued a thoroughly corporate statement about the incident: “We regret any less-than-positive experience a customer has onboard our aircraft. We welcome over 100 million customers each year, and we aim to maintain the comfort of all while delivering Southwest hospitality. We will share this report with our Customer Relations Team.”
The man was not charged with any crime. He will return to the world, and boy, are his arms tired.