Alaska Airlines Removed Passenger for Catcalling Flight Attendant

A passenger was asked to deplane an Alaska Airlines flight in Seattle today, after catcalling a flight attendant during the safety demonstration. Passenger Amber Nelson first wrote about the incident on her personal Facebook page.

Alaska Airlines aircraft in the new livery

Alaska Airlines aircraft in the new livery

During the demonstration, a man called out “ooh, sexy!” when a female flight attendant was demonstrating how to use the life vest. The flight attendant paused the demonstration, and asked the male passenger to “be respectful.” As she walked back to her task, the man reportedly said “I’m just playing with you!”

The flight attendant then stopped the demonstration altogether, and had a conversation with her colleague in the front of the plane. The next think Nelson noticed was the male passenger being asked to leave the aircraft. He proclaimed “I didn’t do anything wrong” repeatedly as an agent walked him off the plane.

Alaska Airlines initially confirmed the story with Business Insider, but has since retracted that statement, saying they have not officially verified the incident.

Facebook comments were largely in support of the airline’s action, deeming the passenger’s catcalling unacceptable. Some claimed that he should be removed if even just for his interrupting of the demonstration:

side-as-1 side-as-2 side-as-3 side-as-4 side-as-5 side-as-6 side-as-7

Though a few also seemed to question whether it was an overreaction, or if offloading the passenger was necessary:

side-pax-1 side-pax-2 side-pax-3 side-pax-4

Lewd remarks should of course never be tolerated—that shouldn’t be debatable. I won’t inject my personal opinion in this, other than to say that one should always consider the mood of the cabin and demonstration. I can imagine how the situation might be different for a safety demonstration like the following famous one from Southwest. The announcement included “flight attendants are now walking down the aisle, hoping you’d tell them how good looking they are,” which then saw passengers whistling to flight attendants as they walked down the aisle:

You can read  passenger Amber Nelson’s full account below:

Today I had an experience that drove home so powerfully the way it feels to be a woman in the world today.

Before take off from SeaTac the flight attendants ran through their safety rules as they always do. Not all of us were paying very close attention. But a man in the row behind me changed all that by calling out “ooh, sexy!” in response to a female flight attendant demonstrating how to use the life vest.

He was in a middle seat with a woman on either side of him – they were clearly uncomfortable. Just in front of him, the two women in my row and I exchanged uncomfortable glances. Every woman I know has been through this kind of degrading experience. We were trapped on a plane with a guy who clearly disrespected women and saw us as his own personal entertainment.

We all looked expectantly at each other, what will we do? How will we handle this? We can’t let him treat her like this because, aside from the fact that it’s wrong, we all know that if he treats her like this, the five of us sitting around him are now maligned just like her. Before we could do more than glare in his direction, the flight attendant removed her vest, purposely walked up to him and said, “You need to be respectful,” and started to walk back to her task. He said, “C’mon, I’m just playing with you!”

As she walked to the front of the plane, the safety instruction was abandoned and she convened a conversation with her colleagues. Tense moments passed and we saw an affable-looking man board the plane and walk our way. The offensive man behind me started saying “I didn’t do anything wrong! I didn’t do anything wrong!”

The airline employee asked the man to gather his belongings and exit the plane.

It was everything we could do to keep from applauding as he was led away.

I felt honored as a patron of the airline – and as a woman – because Alaska Airlines supported their staff and those of us on board who were demeaned by another passenger’s juvenile and exceedingly disrespectful behavior. Thank you for taking this seriously.

Comments

  1. I’m thoroughly disgusted reading the Facebook quotes admonishing what the man did.. sure on the big scale of things it may appear harmless, but it’s not, we need to learn we do not live in a society where women are our toys.

    I’m sure that man would not have wanted his daughter talked to that was (if he has one).

    Bravo to Alaska airlines on this one.

  2. Unfortunately since a major political parties from runner so blatantly objectifies women; this trend will get worse, not better.

  3. I fully support the airline’s action.

    But “was it an overreaction”? There’s always More to the Story™ than the headlines, clickbait, and hearsay. What else was the passenger doing?

  4. To those who are protesting his dismissal for only speaking “2 words,” think of other one or two word phrases that can also get you justifiably thrown off of a plane…”bomb,” “f%#* you,” “die, America,” etc. I am not equating what this man said with terrorism, just pointing out the flimsy nature of that argument. The number of words this man spoke is irrelevant. Conduct and substance are everything. If the flight attendants, who in reality are a flight’s first (and vitally important) level of human safety protection & control, and other people around him felt uncomfortable or in any way threatened, that’s enough to lose your spot on the plane.
    This has nothing to do with knee-jerk Political Correctness. So tired of rudeness, sexism, racism, & general boorish behavior being ignorantly championed, applauded, excused (& nominated) because people have somehow equated responsible, respectful conduct with “being PC.”
    Applauding Alaskan Airlines and the flight attendant who didn’t just smile and blow it off, as it seems those who are “just joking” expect.

  5. He in way threatened the crew, passengers or plane. He was rude, yes, but his actions did not justify his removal. This was an overreaction plain and simple.

  6. This has nothing to do with being PC. As attractive as the flight attendant may have been, and as appropriate it may or may not be to tell her that when you meet her at a bar, she was working at the time, going through an important safety demonstration for all the passengers.
    People forget that although flight attendants serve us drinks and food, their most important role is to guarantee the safety of the passengers in emergencies. Therefore, from the moment the door closes until it opens again, passengers need to respect their authority. When a flight attendant is cat-called, her authority is diminished.

  7. “Ooh, sexy” is not a cat-call. “Hey sexy”, yes. It sounds to me like he was referring to the life vest, not the hag in it.

    Over-reaction, clearly. The only unacceptable action was what was performed by the airline.

    As a frequent flier with over a million miles Alaska Airlines response was unacceptable. My response is to not fly them until they get publicly apologize to gentleman that was removed from the flight.

  8. 2nd amendment….freedom of speech without persecution…..**poof** gone.!!
    Serious over reaction of the stewardess, airline, but clearly, the passenger should hve thought better… but, alas, the PC women are everywhere, looking for opportunity to bash someone below their level.

    • If he had whispered, “I have a bomb,” I guarentee he would have been removed. Learn the difference between freedom, rights, and priveledge regarding simple decency.

  9. Since when is common courtesy and civility considered political correctness? Let’s pick our dragging knuckles off the ground, people, and remember we started walking upright a long time ago.

  10. So it’s okay for flight attendants to mess with the safety announcements because all the passengers probably already know the shit and don’t care but a paying customers mess with u and your in a bad mood they get kicked off the plane, complete bull shit if you ask me

Leave a Reply

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