An Orange County man told CBS Los Angeles that he’s angry over how he was treated on the recent flight because of his weight, claiming that he was told to deplane after the passenger next to him complained.
According to his side of the story, an elderly petite woman was seated in the aisle seat next to him, and she didn’t appear pleased with the arrangement.
“She was clearly not particularly happy, got up and left and went towards the front of the aircraft,” he said.
Soon after, he says a crew member ordered him off the plane.
“A young gentleman in a vest with an American Airlines emblem on it turns to me and says: ‘Sir! You need to take your things and deplane immediately. Come with me,'” he said, adding that the the employee told him the woman seated next to him had complained that he didn’t fit in his seat. “I was in shock.”
He said the airline didn’t offer a solution like moving seats, and that he was only told to get off the plane. After begging the employee to ask the woman who’d complained to switch seats, he says she agreed and he was able to re-board.
“The worst part was being treated as if I was some sort of criminal. Not only a criminal, but a fat criminal,” he told the news station. The airline reportedly sent him two emailed apologies.
In a statement to Consumerist, American Airlines apologized again for the passenger’s experience.
“We always aim to give our all of our customers the best possible travel experience and we fell short of that with [the passenger] while trying to accommodate another passenger,” a spokesperson told Consumerist in an email. “We’re investigating what happened both onboard and afterwards in our follow-up to ensure similar circumstances are handled better in the future.”