A man from San Francisco is suing over a soda fight that occurred on-board a Virgin America flight from PHL-SFO. According to ABC News, the man claims that he tried to order a soda several times with three different flight attendants, but each time was told he had to use Red, the in-flight touch-screen entertainment system, to order any food or drinks. The passenger refused to turn the system on and was told by a flight attendants that they did not like his attitude. Upon landing, a group of local police officers and TSA agents were waiting for him in the jetway and escorted him to the gate for questioning. Apparently, the flight crew reported him for yelling profanities, being hostile in-flight, and purposely not flushing the toilet! The man denies all charges and has since hired a lawyer.

He and his lawyer sent Virgin a Letter of Demand, noting that he has since experienced, “depression, worry, and anxiety surrounding his detention by law enforcement.” He asked for $50,000 and an apology; the company offered $3,000 to settle, he said, but no apology. He refused, and Virgin then offered $5,000. He again declined, and subsequently filed suit.”I’m going to have some kind of record because of a flight attendant fabricating events?” “They’re being given too much power. That’s what concerns me. The only thing I have is my reputation. Lies just irk me. And it’s such a weird one.”

Strange indeed…check out the full article and Virgin’s reaction here.

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Jimmy May 3, 2013 - 12:38 pm

What a joke..

Paul May 3, 2013 - 12:42 pm

wonder if this was like the dude who took a picture of his seat and was escorted off the plane.

jason May 3, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Initially,I thought the guy was a fraud but seeing that he has refused some decent compensation makes me think that maybe he is telling the truth.

Some, lets say very few, FA are just rude and bossy. I guess the new post 9/11 police state has given them too many rights to forget common decency and respect for a fellow human being.

Brent May 3, 2013 - 2:12 pm

He should’ve been happy with the $3k or $5k. He was just being difficult by refusing to use “Red” to place his order, just like every other customer on the plane did.

I hope Virgin wins and sticks him with their attorney fees.

Mateo May 3, 2013 - 2:13 pm

Sounds like that jerk French Canadian on Air Canada that sued Air Canada for not understanding the drink Sprite. Blacklist these losers.

Marvin O'Grovel May 3, 2013 - 2:31 pm

Maybe I missed something – since when was it illegal for a business to provide lousy service? Even if we stipulate that the passenger is telling the truth and the FAs were total jerks, what grounds does he have for a lawsuit? A bag of peanuts and a note reading “Grow Up” would have been more than he deserved.

Mikey May 3, 2013 - 2:43 pm

NO shortage of lawyers when they get a whiff of a potential payoff.

David May 3, 2013 - 5:02 pm

I say good for him. I had a similar incident while on. Delta flight recently. It obviously did not involve the use of electronic ordering, but rather over the FA’s rule that must put my tray table down in order to receive a drink. Thankfully no police or TSA involved.

Carl P May 3, 2013 - 6:18 pm

I just ran out of drink coupons and they won’t take cash. No telling what’s going to happen now.

Carl P May 3, 2013 - 8:32 pm

I read that he now suing for $500K.

His own quote “I said, ‘I don’t want to turn this thing on. I don’t have time for your attitude’ shows his level of self entitlement. Another member of the DYKWIA club.

I couldn’t be an FA and put up with a lot of the passengers.

Neal May 3, 2013 - 11:46 pm

You people are missing the point of the lawsuit. It is not about the lousy service that he received from Virgin. It is about the involvement of law enforcement and having him detained without good cause. Based on these facts, the passenger has a meritorious claim for the tort of “abuse of process.” This is no longer about a bitchy flight attendant who won’t bring a passenger a soda and a self-entitled prick of a passenger who wouldn’t turn on his electronic system. This is about abusing the legal process.

Paul May 4, 2013 - 12:12 am

@adam there is an error in your article. According to the ABC/Yahoo article, it was the FA who said “I don’t have time for your attitude”.

adam May 4, 2013 - 8:50 am

@Paul – You’re right, thanks. Updated. I agree with several of the comments. WIthout being on-board we have no idea just how “disruptive” the passenger was. Is it likely that it rose to a level where law enforcement needed to be involved? Probably not. On the other hand, what’s the appropriate compensation for the embarrassment of being escorted off the plane for a potential FA over-reaction worth??

Carl P May 4, 2013 - 12:50 am

The point of the lawsuit is money. I can’t be convinced there is some altristic cause here. At what point does one passenger’s demands become enough of a distaction to FAs (which have safety duties as well as a drink server) and other passengers that law enforcement should get involved (at least for questioning)? Probably never if you think a wrong call will cost you a half million. The abuse of the legal process here is the suit.

ed May 4, 2013 - 6:16 am

Agree with #11. Disagree with #12 — that’s why the lawyers are in it, not why the prick is making a stink.

Danny May 4, 2013 - 8:12 am

My question is why couldn’t he just turn on RED

HikerT May 4, 2013 - 8:58 am

#12 mindset = the terrorists continue to win

HikerT May 4, 2013 - 9:21 am

Looks like comment #s are changing. Replace #12 with anyone who thinks there was reasonable cause to detain this man.

Rich C May 4, 2013 - 12:04 pm

What a joke. This guy is so full of it. He was acting like a jerk on the plane and got called out on his actions.


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