Too-Tense Flight Attendant Booted From Flight For Telling Passengers To Leave Plane “If They Have The Balls”

After all the stories of flight attendants who were perhaps a little too eager to toss passengers off flights for minor infractions, it’s a refreshing change of pace to read about a flight attendant who had to be removed from a delayed plane for taking his frustrations out on passengers.

According to the NY Post, things got tense during a long delay for passengers on an American Eagle flight leaving LaGuardia International in NYC en route to Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina.

First, passengers didn’t board the flight until 2.5 hours after its scheduled departure time. Then it got stuck in a line of 20 planes at the runway.

The plane then decided to return to the gate to refuel, which meant everyone had to deplane. Four and a half hours after the original departure time, passengers finally re-boarded the plane.

“People were getting really amped up at this point,” one passenger tells the Post. “It took forever to get back on the plane. The fuses were getting pretty low.”

That apparently included one flight attendant, who took to the plane’s intercom to announce, “If anyone has the balls to want to get off, I’ll let you get off! Get off!”

He also is reported to have declared, “I don’t care anymore. This is probably my last flight.”

“He’s being abusive verbally, my daughter was crying,” says another passenger.

The Post reports that several passengers refused to let the plane depart the gate with the attendant on board, and at least three families deplaned.

Port Authority cops were called to the plane and spoke to witnesses, but no one was arrested.

However, once the attendant was removed for questioning, the flight was canceled.

One source tells the Post the cancellation was due to an insufficient number of flight attendants, while the official American Eagle line was that the cancellation was related to the weather.

The airline denies passengers’ allegations that the attendant had been drinking, though it admits it did not administer a breathalyzer test.

“From what we can determine, this is just kind of a group dynamic that got out of control because of weather delays and things like that,” an American Eagle rep tells the paper. “He has been with the company for six years and has an exemplary record. And basically, it appears that the situation with the passengers became so intense that he actually began to cry.”

WATCH: Flight attendant rants at passengers over intercom after five-hour delay at LaGuardia


Edit Your Comment

  1. Phred says:

    “The plane then decided to return to the gate to refuel…”

    No, it did not. A little editing would go a long way here.

    • SerenityDan says:

      Hey maybe the plane is a Transformer, you never know.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        Must have been a Decepticon. An Autobot would never participate in a problem like this!

        • eccsame says:

          I never understood that the Decepticons could all turn into planes – except for the leader, Megatron, who assumed the form of a handgun. Which was great…if there was someone there to shoot him. Kind of useless otherwise.

          • Dave on bass says:

            Ha – was just watching some g1 transformers with my daughter last night.

            Not all of the decepticons turned into planes – mostly just starscream and his cadre – but they could all just fly as robots! What the shit was that? Autobots had to turn into vehicles to get around quickly, but the decepticons could just superman around.

          • Difdi says:

            Autobots originally were a resistance movement among factory workers and waiters and the like. Their forms reflect this. Cargo vehicles, utility vehicles, the odd fire suppression system, etc.

            Decepticons were originally the military of the government they all rebelled against. Tanks, fighters, space-going warships, and so forth. They joined the revolt started by the Autobots. But their forms reflect their origins.

            Combine the fact that a given individual’s form will always follow the same general pattern (cargo haulers will be cargo haulers, aircraft will be aircraft, etc) with lifespans in the millions of years and a birth rate so low as to be nearly non-existent, it’s not surprising at all that the forms Autobots have are generally poorly suited to combat.

        • Maz says:

          Silverbolt would. Dude is a chicken shit when it comes to heights.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      Why does every comment thread on Consumerist have to include someone who just has to point out the spelling, grammar and other errors in the article? Is it a compulsion? Are you just not able to control it?

      It’s just like when the utility company is digging up the street or a road crew is laying new pavement, there has to be that one old guy in Bermuda shorts and compression socks who just had to come out of his house and stand there and supervise.

      • SirWired says:

        Maybe because it’s frustrating that a site that is supposed to contain professionally-produced content evidently does not have people capable of proper proofreading.

      • Phred says:

        Because it’s incredibly poor writing and even worse editing. The state of much journalism today is abysmal, from professional writers down to supposed high school graduates who can’t construct a simple sentence, much less a full paragraph. And I say that as someone with more than 30 years of professional journalistic experience.

        • Golfer Bob says:

          So in other words, you’re the old guy in Bermuda Shorts and compression socks trying to be relevant despite the fact that nobody asked his opinion. It’s rude, aggressive and overly pedantic to constantly red pen the Consumerist posts. It’s also distracting. If it bothers you so much, why not just read somewhere else? However, if you are going to invoke the ideal of professionalism, then you should address your issues with the editing team privately instead of coming into their house and rubbing their faces in it. Maybe you could even start your own blog and collect examples of abysmal writing from all over the internet which you could then dissect and analyze. Otherwise if you are just going to hang around and be a boor, at least loosen your socks and relax.

          • Phred says:

            Simple solution: Don’t read my comments if you don’t like them.

          • Blueskylaw says:

            So if millions of people have a problem with Bunk of America, it should be discussed in private so as to not let the world at large know how terrible they are? A little public shaming goes a long way.

            • Golfer Bob says:

              If you think the blog is that bad, why are you here? If you have a problem with the content they produce, wouldn’t the most efficient way to contact them about it be via email or their contact us feature? Considering the volume of comments made on a daily basis, do you really think they have staff to sit and filter through looking for the journalistic critiques?

              Maybe the blog folks can install an “error” button on each page, then when all of you see that dangling participle or extraneous comma you can hit that button and report it lest we suffer the downfall of society and hasten the zombie apocolypse due to a misplaced modifier or a verb in the wrong tense.

          • Phred says:

            “…you should address your issues with the editing team privately instead of coming into their house…”

            They invited me into their house when they made it possible for me to post comments. Regardless, I refuse to knuckle under to the dumbing-down of America by accepting these gross errors as par for the course. Heck, a freshman high school newspaper editor should have caught this error, and if I were an English composition teacher grading this particular article I would have reduced it by at least one letter grade. I guarantee you that’s what my English teachers would have done, or worse. The internet has made us lazy, and we are worse off because of it.

            • Golfer Bob says:

              This isn’t a blog to discuss spelling, editing, grammar, etc. If you can’t stick to commenting about the issues presented, then you should go somewhere else. Otherwise, you are just a puffed up boor.

              • SJActress says:

                He has just as much right to comment on the horrible editing on this site as you have to piss and moan about how you don’t like him doing it.

                You are not a comment moderator, and you are doing a horrible job of following your own advice.

                • Golfer Bob says:

                  There is so much irony in your post, it’s quite funny. Thank you. I needed a good laugh and this was it.

              • Phred says:

                Ah, yes, name calling, the last refuge of those who have depleted their quiver of logical arguments.

                • Golfer Bob says:

                  Says the person whose comments have consisted of 90% of the typical internet replies, with the exciting and always stellar grammar, spelling and syntax error posts trending to the top. The only one you missed is telling me that I don’t have a life.

    • taaurrus says:

      How come you’re not wondering why a plane that is in line to take off … has to go back and refuel? Shouldn’t the plane ALREADY have fuel in it if it’s in line to take off??!!

      • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

        I’m just wondering maybe they just used up all their fuel with waiting. I don’t know policies but maybe they did have more than enough for one more flight back before the next refill but apparently ended up with not enough after all that wait?

      • racermd says:

        “Then it got stuck in a line of 20 planes at the runway.”

        While sitting and idling in line waiting for takeoff, they’re burning fuel. Even if they shut off the engines, the on-board generator is still going to be running so things like the computers, radios, climate-control, etc., will still operate. If, like most airlines, they only put in enough fuel for a quick taxi, takeoff, flight, and landing (with a little bit extra to account for variables like wind and other weather), they certainly could have needed to go back to a gate for a quick top-up. Compounding matters, the flight was already delayed by 2.5 hours before it even left the gate which means any projections on time on tarmac need to be adjusted thanks to the variable flight loads at many airports.

        There are a number of factors involved here that could have led to the plane having less fuel that it would have needed to take off, fly, and land at the appropriate destination which is exacerbated by airlines trimming the amount of extra fuel carried for each flight – fuel is weight, weight is drag, drag is inefficiency, and inefficiency costs the airlines money.

        • AngryK9 says:

          It has nothing to do with airlines trimming anything. Contrary to what Hollywood tells you, an airline cannot simply decide to put less fuel on a flight because they want to. If the total gross weight of the aircraft is a specific number, then they have to put a specific amount of fuel on the aircraft. No exceptions.

          Fuel load is calculated based on several factors including (but not limited to) payload weight and balance, destination, expected weather conditions, etc. There are federally mandated minimums and maximums that airlines must adhere to. If a minimum tolerance is crossed, the aircraft must return to the gate to take on more fuel. The flight crew has some discretion depending on the situation. For example if they have not yet crossed but are close to a minimum threshold, the Captain can, if he feels it is necessary, request a return to gate to take on additional fuel. He cannot, however, request more fuel than the maximum tolerance for that flight. An aircraft will never leave the ground if it has less fuel than it needs to complete the flight. If it does, then you better hope that Captain Sullenberger is your pilot.

          Incidentally, in aerodynamics weight does not cause drag.

      • CRCError1970 says:

        What I find interesting is that they needed to deplane to refuel.

        I’ve been on more than a couple of aircraft that did not deplane to refuel.

        Most recent was earlier this month. I was on a flight from Tokyo to Detroit and bad weather forced Detroit to close, Our 747 landed in Grand Rapids and we refueled on the taxiway. We didn’t even go to a gate.

  2. Phred says:

    Just wondering how long it will be before airlines prohibit the use of video recorders on their aircraft.

  3. Press1forDialTone says:

    That flight attendant is just pissed off because he’s being dumped for exceeding
    the weight restriction.

  4. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    //several passengers refused to let the plane depart the gate with the attendant on board//
    This line interests me a lot – how exactly did the passengers prevent the plane from departing without being arrested or added to a no-fly list or some other bad consequence? Is this a technique that people on other flights can apply?

  5. josephbloseph says:

    Really, the official airline reasoning for the cancellation was non-refundable weather? (I’m assuming that weather as opposed to their own employee would benefit the airline as far as refunds, compensation, or that sort of thing).

    • Coffee says:

      Yup…I was thinking the same thing…if there’s good proof that weather wasn’t an issue, I would hope that the FAA fines the shit out of the airline for fraudulently keeping customers’ cash.

      • HSVhockey says:

        Fines for this should be double the cost to fill the seats on the flight at the highest rate for each class with the ability for people to request the refund out of the take in. Also proceedings for determining the fault should consist of a single person making the decision, a position that is randomly given to a professional mediator type who gets a stoplight report from a random weather expert and a random expert on commercial aircraft. No trial, no long committee meetings and no chance for the airline to explain its case.

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I’m pretty uninformed on video devices – what was with the triple-view wierd camera thing?

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      It looks to me like the person shooting the video used the vertical mode for the phone, and the tv station added the sidebar zoomed videos to fill what would be black space. This video shooting phenomenon is well covered in this informational video…

  7. Will Print T-shirts For Food says:

    If this was Soul Plane, he would have had his ass handed to him on a chicken-grease lined plate.

  8. ZenListener says:

    I don’t think this kind of thing happened when flight attendants were stewardesses and wore tight uniforms and big smiles.

    (There’s no ‘Notify me of hateful replies’ option here…)

    • ferozadh says:

      You know that casino intro scene from Swingers? When Trey talks about the cocktail waitresses? Think of American Eagle as “the midnight to six shift on a Wednesday”.

  9. consumed says:

    Crap like this is why I’d much rather take Amtrak, drive, or just not go at all, than sit in a pressurized tube with a bunch of other whiny insane passengers/flight attendants.

    I wish Texas had a high speed rail system linking Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

    • little stripes says:

      You might want to read some horror stories about Amtrak before you say that.

      • HSVhockey says:

        Yep. Back in the early nineties my family and I took a train to Orlando. On the way back the train got stuck outside of Jacksonville in the BFE and lost power on a 105 degree day. The A/C didn’t work and soon the interior of the train was 120+ degrees. At first they wouldn’t let people off the train to get fresh air and said we all had to stay. One gentleman whispered something in the ear of one of the employees though and after making a face like he had just seen a ghost they let us step off for awhile as long as we stayed next to the train. Oh and yeah, a week or so later that same train/route was on the news. Thank God I wasn’t on it then, cause It derailed and killed a bunch of people:

  10. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    //The plane then decided to return to the gate to refuel//

    Why couldn’t they have turned off the motor during the 2.5 hours the plane was sitting there? Then it wouldn’t have used up so much fuel.

    • ferozadh says:

      The motors run to recharge electricity.

      • Phred says:

        Which powers the ventilation, the AC, and other on-board systems passengers rely on.

      • and_another_thing says:

        Don’t those planes have small energizers that run on the jet fuel, avoiding having to run the main engines?

        • dcatz says:

          They have ram air turbines for providing emergency power in the event of an engine failure but those require the plane to actually be moving since they use the power of the wind.

        • dcatz says:

          Some planes also have an auxiliary power unit, mostly the newer ones. This is a generator that runs off of jet fuel. But it is not a requirement; the plane can get its starting power from the ground infrastructure.

        • SirWired says:

          Most do, but some regional jets do not.

        • AngryK9 says:

          It is called an APU, or Auxiliary Power Unit. Not all aircraft have them.

          In this case, the aircraft was either a CRJ-700 or a Challenger 870. Both of which have APUs if so configured, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the APU is operational. The APU is usually only used when the aircraft is parked at the gate and the flight crew wishes to run the air conditioning/heating system during preflight, or when starting the mains, or if ground power is not available.

          Then again, they’re not actually allowed to sit in line on an active taxiway without engines running anyway.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      You’re not serious, right?

  11. Snapdragon says:

    “People were getting really amped up at this point,” one passenger tells the Post. “It took forever to get back on the plane. The fuses were getting pretty low.”

    That apparently included one flight attendant, who took to the plane’s intercom to announce, “If anyone has the balls to want to get off, I’ll let you get off! Get off!”

    I really don’t understand this sequence. People were lining up to get ON the plane, and he was yelling at people and daring them to want to get OFF?

    • AngryK9 says:

      No, they were already re-boarded when this started.

      You see, people get grumpy when their plane doesn’t leave on time. It is a difficult concept for most people to understand that there actually are a plethora of external factors that can affect the flight which truly are outside of the airline’s ability to control.

      So naturally when these people get grumpy, they start complaining. They complain to, and often put blame on, the first airline employee they see. When you have 50 people b**ching at you and/or blaming you for something that you have absolutely NO control over whatsoever, it gets beyond extremely frustrating. Even the most experienced, highly trained professionals reach a point where they just want to explode.

      Fortunately, most of them manage to keep themselves in check. Everyone, however, has a breaking point.

      Having worked in the industry for nearly 20 years (no, not as a flight attendant), I understand the extreme pressures and stress these folks have to deal with. Honestly, it is a wonder that this doesn’t happen more than it does. Ticket Agents, Gate Agents, Passenger Service Representatives, Flight Attendants, Captains, First Officers, Flight Engineers…these people have the hardest jobs in the industry in my opinion, and you know what, I respect every damned one of them.

  12. Buckus says:

    Well, at least he didn’t pop the emergency slide and run off…

  13. SirWired says:

    While the FA was out of line, no passengers should have been taking their frustrations out on the FA, as if they have any control whatsoever over delays, lines, refueling, boarding problems, etc.

    • BorkBorkBork says:

      People don’t care. All that matters is THEM. If they don’t get their way, they need to take it out on anyone else.