MSNBC: Passenger sues airline over flight spent on toilet

This is quite possibly the strangest story I’ve read in a long time, probably because it makes zero sense. From MSNBC:

NEW YORK – A New York City man is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for more than $2 million because he says a pilot made him give up his seat to a flight attendant and sit on the toilet for more than three hours on a flight from California.

???

the pilot told him to “go ‘hang out’ in the bathroom” about 90 minutes into the San Diego to New York flight

OK, here’s my first point of confusion. Whenever I fly a US airline on a flight with only two pilots (meaning no relief pilots), they’re always blocked off by the drink cart. I’ve never seen them go into the cabin to deal with passengers unless there’s a total emergency, and an FA’s jumpseat being uncomfortable doesn’t seem to fit in that category.

the flight attendant complained that the “jump seat” she was assigned was uncomfortable, the lawsuit said.

As an FA you’d kinda know how comfortable the jumpseat is, no?

When Mutlu expressed reluctance to go sit in the bathroom, the pilot, who was not named in the lawsuit, told him that “he was the pilot, that this was his plane, under his command that (Mutlu) should be grateful for being on board,” the lawsuit said.

I can picture certain pilots saying a lot of really dumb things. This simply isn’t one of them, and if this really were a command by the captain it’s not one I would have followed.

The aircraft hit turbulence and passengers were directed to return to their seats, but “the plaintiff had no seat to return to, sitting on a toilet stool with no seat belts,” court papers say.

Ah, now I can see the $2 million figure coming into play. I can imagine that the passenger suffered at least $1 million worth of emotional distress as a result of his fear of turbulence. Hmm, wonder if this is the same type of passenger that takes off his seatbelt before getting to the gate, uses the restroom when the seatbelt sign is on, etc.

OK, I’m totally confused here. I won’t ramble on more, but I’d love to hear what really happened. There’s obviously a pretty big piece of the puzzle missing here, and I’d certainly like to hear what it is. The $2m figure sounds like total hogwash, but that’s not surprising at all.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Comments

  1. Seems like a load of hooey. The airline would get fined over such an infraction, quite heavily I imagine.

    It was likely something much less sinister, perhaps they hit very hard turbulence and the pilot told the pax and FAs to take their seats immediately. The pax returned to their seat to find an FA, complained to the FAs in the jumpseat, and was told by the pilot via the FAs to sit on the toilet.

    I just don’t see it happening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *