American Airlines made this statement to Fox & Friends regarding the story we posted last week of a first-class passenger who was given a warning that he might face federal charges for asking a flight attendant for a glass of orange juice:
We are in the midst of a thorugh investigation. We do not just speak with the customers filing the complaint. We are also talking to all the crew members, not just the flight attendant in question. When the investigation is complete we will take any appropriate action as necessary.
The story has some legs, with pickup on Fox and apparently the local Dallas Fort Worth stations have been tracking it pretty hard:
A comment left on Galley Gossip, by John Reid, the passenger who was given the formal warning, gives further incident into the events that took place:
“I am the airline passenger whose request for orange juice has caused so much internet traffic. Although the vast majority of the responses on the blogs have been overwhelmingly supportive of me, I’m surprised and disappointed at a few of them that have actually been empathetic towards the flight attendant. If I wrote everything that happened on that flight, my own response would be longer than most people would care to read. Thus, I’d like to point out a few facts for the time being:
1) Before that ill-fated flight, I had never even met the writer of the article that has caused so much internet discussion. He would have absolutely no reason to lie or embellish a story about someone he’d never met.
2) A passenger seated across from me later told an AA representative that at least four passengers had issues with this flight attendant, and added that I “happened to be the unlucky guy she exploded on.”
3) Every single passenger in my row as well as in the row behind me (thus, the only passengers that could see what transpired) all walked off the plane with me in unison when I was told that I’d have to meet with an AA representative at the arrival gate. At least two of them without my even asking volunteered to be witnesses for me.
4) All 6+ of these passengers/witnesses not only passionately defended me to the AA rep. at the gate, but all of them stayed to talk with her for at least 30 minutes. Most of them had either connecting flights or important places to go. (I’d like to ask the readers of this blog a question. If this type of thing had happened to you, even if you were totally “in the right”, what are the chances that every passenger in your section of the plane would walk off with you in unison and spend 30-60 minutes of their valuable time defending you to an AA representative.)
5) One passenger was so unnerved by her intimidating behavior that he told the AA representative that if this flight attendant was working his connecting flight, he would not board the plane.
6) My witnesses are not stressed-out, snotty businessmen as some have wondered about. Almost all of them belong to a women’s religious group that promotes peace. One could not have assembled a group of people that was more deferential and polite than this group.
7) Not only has AA already called me to profusely apologize, but they have called other passengers on that flight as well to apologize. I know of at least two others on that flight that have filed complaints with AA regarding incidents that were either partially or totally unrelated to my own.
8) I wanted to have this incident quickly fade away, and I diligently avoided engaging this flight attendant for the rest of the trip. The incident itself was not all that eventful. What was disturbing was that the flight attendant spent the rest of the flight attempting to get other passengers to testify for her regarding what had happened. As each passenger in my section individually told her that they disagreed with her version of the incident, the flight attendant progressively grew angrier and more determined to turn a “molehill into a mountain”.
9) For the readers of the article who think this flight attendant was just “having a bad day” and should be left alone, please remember that she handed me a formal warning that threatened potential legal action. The Customer Service Manager who met all of us at the arrival gate stated that while he was shocked by the story we all told in unison, also mentioned that the warning letter was a serious matter that had to be investigated by multiple entities. I ask the readers of this blog how they’d react after being told that by this Senior Manager, especially if they had literally millions of frequent flyer miles with this airline, as I do.”
Listen to the story
Of an AA morning flight
When a passenger
And a flight attendant
Had a great big fight
On an early Sunday morning
When the day was bright and new
On a flight from Sacramento
On AA Flight Six Fourteen
There was this bitter dame
A first class flight attendant
And Helen was her name
A passenger in first class
He got his breakfast tray
And asked this flight attendant
“Can I have some OJ?”
Helen rolled her eyes, now
She thought “This guy a jerk.”
“You must be new to first class, dude
“Cause that’s not how this works”.
He said “You’re condescending
Now don’t get smart with me
I’m one of your best customers
‘Cause I’m an EXP.”
Well, this made Helen madder
She set the poor guy straight
“The authorities will meet you
When we get to the gate.”
I’ll ask the other people
If they’ll back up my tale
They’ll say you interfered with me
And you might go to jail.”
So she asked the others
But no one volunteered
She scared the other passengers
They all thought she was weird
They said “We saw the whole thing
We think you’ve flipped your lid!
And when we land in Dallas
We’ll tell them what you did!”
(Sometimes) when you fly AA
This is what you get get
A bitter flight attendant
On a shiny silver jet
And as for crazy Helen
Well, she’s still on the loose
So if you ever see her
Don’t ask her for orange juice.