American Airlines flight attendants applauded when I was thrown off flight, says first class passenger
And all because, she says, she didn't want to sit next to a dog.
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Airlines are nice to people up front for a very human reason.
They make the most money out of people up front.
You'd imagine, then, that they'll do anything to please those First Class members.
This isn't quite the case. Remember the man who says he was kicked out of First Class in order to accommodate another First Class passenger of even higher status? Yes, that was on United.
Now American is accused of behaving even more coldly to a First Class passenger.
RELATED: More airline horror stories
As Gary Leff reports on his View From The Wing column, a regular First Class passenger was seated close to a big dog.
She says that the pooch quickly "tried to jump on" her. I'm not partial to any passenger trying to jump on me. I certainly wouldn't like it if it was a dog.
Worse for this woman is that she claims to be allergic to dogs. She says she was offered another seat in First Class.
Oddly, this seat was also next to a dog.
What was it about this Miami to LA flight? Were the passengers headed to some canine convention?
Here, however, is where we come to the sticky part of this woman's story.
"I said to a [..flight attendant] that I hope we don't need to make an unplanned stop to which she replied 'we don't want that to happen' I replied that I didn't want that to happen either. I returned to my seat and did my best to shield myself from the dog," she said on Leff's Facebook page.
Perhaps this wasn't the wisest thing to say on her part.
You might see this as akin to telling a bomb joke to a member of the TSA. People in uniforms tend to be humor-free, especially in the US.
Too many flight attendants, no doubt inspired by company policy, tend to act in both paranoid and draconian ways these days.
And so it was that a gate agent arrived and asked her to leave the plane.
"I thought he was joking but when I realized that he wasn't, I complied as I know the FAA rules concerning crew member compliance," she told Leff.
It's what the woman says happened next, though, that some might find troubling.
"As I disembarked, a few of the [flight attendants] were applauding and cheering because I was being removed," she said.
Ah. Oh. Was this entirely necessary? Even if the cabin crew had taken an immense dislike toward this customer, did they have to show it?
Or is the woman's account a touch exaggerated here?
I contacted American to ask for its view and will update, should the airline assign me a reply.
The woman says that even though there were two more flights that day, she didn't manage to get away till the next day. She says American offered her no compensation.
As always, there's likely to be more to this tale. I wonder, however, why, if the dog really did jump on her, its owner wasn't asked to disembark first.
One can always understand the presence of service dogs. I've never seen one less than well-behaved. There is, though, an increasing tendency for passengers to bring on so-called therapeutic dogs, there to offer some form of unspecified emotional support.
These can occasionally seem less than truly therapeutic for those around them and, indeed, can grate on people's emotions. This may, at times, be that their owners claim these are emotionally supportive dogs, but the truth is that they're just household pets.
The gray area, of course, lies in how much effort the Flight Attendants made in order to help this woman out. Or did they quickly decide that she was one of those passengers and acted accordingly?
Many First Class passengers travel alone on business. Was there really no way of shuffling the seating around in order to make everyone happy? Surely the dog owner would be no more happy to have their pooch next to someone who didn't want to be near a dog.
Why not, in fact, put the two dogs next to each other?
Oh, what am I saying? Patience doesn't seem to be paramount on airlines these days.
Who can forget the video of a Flight Attendant challenging a passenger to a fight? Which airline was that again? American.
Of course, perhaps the most surprising thing here is that the woman didn't take cellphone video in order to prove her case.
That's de rigueur on airlines these days. Even in First Class.