Virgin America Passenger Says He Was Blocked From Flight Because Crew Didn’t “Feel Comfortable”

We’ve all heard stories of airline passengers being removed from planes because of apparently minor disputes with the flight crew, but a Dallas man says he wasn’t even allowed to board his Virgin America flight because he made the crew uncomfortable.

The man, a lawyer who is also the vice-chair of the Dallas Plan Commission, was trying to board his Virgin flight home to Dallas at NYC’s LaGuardia airport when he was stopped by a gate agent and told he could not travel on this flight.

The gate agent told him that the crew did not “feel comfortable” having him on the plane and that it was the captain’s decision. After speaking to the crew, the gate agent further explained that the boarding refusal occurred because the man had apparently rubbed a flight attendant the wrong way, metaphorically speaking, earlier in the day.

“She said I cut in front of a flight attendant on my way inside the airport and that they didn’t feel comfortable with me on the flight,” he tells the Dallas Morning News. “I said if that was the case then I would apologize. She went back on the phone and said I wasn’t allowed on the flight.”

The man, who is Irani-American, says that he hopes his ethnicity was not the cause of the rude treatment. He ultimately flew home on American Airlines.

The airline is refusing to explain why it blocked the traveler from boarding, and will only say that it was a “misunderstanding” and that it is sorry.

Virgin America offered him passes for two free flights on the airline and to reimburse him for the ticket he had to purchase on American.

Rather than keep the tickets, the man arranged to donate the two free tickets to the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas.

He tells the Morning News that all he wanted was an apology, which he received. As for the tickets, he explained, “I don’t like the idea of throwing freebies at the problem.”

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