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