OMG: American Airlines Non-Rev Goes On Epic Tirade After Being Denied Boarding

Filed Under: American, Videos

Well, I think an American Airlines employee is about to lose their travel privileges, if they haven’t lost them already.

One of the benefits of working in the airline industry is that you get flight benefits, and in some cases you can share them with family. The catch is that when traveling on these benefits you’re expected to behave properly, or else your benefits are put in jeopardy. That seems reasonable enough, no?

Well, apparently not in this case.

A woman has posted a 28 minute video/tirade online after she was denied boarding on an American Airlines flight from Miami to New York.

She was flying from Jamaica to New York via Miami, and successfully got on the first flight, only to be denied boarding on the second flight. She claims she was denied boarding over what she was wearing, while a supervisor claims that it was primarily because she was cursing at agents.

One thing is for sure — it’s completely unacceptable for her to go on a public tirade against American Airlines like she did. You can’t travel on flight benefits that are a benefit of employment and act like this.

She does nothing but cuss about the airline for nearly 30 minutes.

“Don’t fly American Airlines, they f*cking suck, they can kiss my Jamaican black a**, and I will never be using them again.”

“I didn’t take it lightly when they were being f*cking d*ckwads, so I’m putting they ass on blast.”

“American Airlines can eat the sh*t out the dry of my f*cking a**crack.”

She says “I am not an employee, I can wear whatever I want.” She goes on to clarify that it’s her cousin who works for American Airlines, and the airline can’t control her — “I’m a goddamn entrepreneur, I don’t work for nobody. No offense to anybody who works for people, gotta get your bread.”

“The way they are behaving you’d think we are in the Emirates states or Dubai, where you gotta cover your head.”

The lady said “I ask you all to share this, to bring awareness to this great injustice.” So I’ll gladly share it.

Here’s the video:

Was American’s employee dress code actually being violated?

This isn’t the first high profile incident involving airline employee dress codes. Last March United had a story that went viral regarding someone traveling on employee benefits who was denied boarding for wearing leggings. That raised the question of whether airline employee dress codes were inherently sexist, since most of the prohibited items were things that women would typically wear.

Since then we’ve seen major airlines, including American, adjust their dress codes for traveling employees. Here’s how American updated their policy at the time:

For most of us, being comfortable in flight extends to the clothes we wear. American doesn’t have a prescribed dress code for our non-revenue guests. So, as long as your clothing is neat and clean and doesn’t offend or distract, you’re good to fly in any class (including premium cabins). If you’re looking for more specifics, here are a few:

  • When we say offensive or distractive, we mean you shouldn’t wear anything that’s overly revealing (like super short shorts or something that is sheer or see through). That also extends to swimwear or sleepwear (of course it’s always okay to change into your American-provided pajamas if you’re lucky to snag a First Class seat on a premium international flight!)
  • It also means to avoid any attire that is vulgar or violates community standards of decency
  • When in doubt, ask yourself, “Do I blend in with customers?” If so, you’re probably set

Bottom line

It’s debatable whether this lady was dressed in such a way that violated American’s very lax dress code policy. Personally I think someone traveling on employee benefits (and passengers in general, for that matter) should dress better than that. However, based on what we hear, that’s not even the entire issue, but rather also the way she was cursing at employees.

One thing is for sure, though. The way she’s acting is completely irresponsible. You can’t put an airline on blast like this when you’re taking advantage of a relative’s travel benefits.

I suspect that relative will be losing their privileges very soon.

What do you make of this situation?

  1. The state of those pants. Had I been a gate agent I’d have directed her sorry ass crack to the nearest Jimmy Jazz for something slightly more respectable.

  2. This is what liberal vigilantism gets you. Every drumstick that thinks their issue is the worst case of human rights violation.

    But we have a narcissistic manchild for president and once again a lower rank non white will be held to a higher standard than a white piece of shit for president.

  3. I miss the days when we actually had to dress up to nonrev, it set a much more dignified tone.

    In many ways airlines are to blame having continually watered down their employee policies to essentially not having a policy any longer.

  4. Torn jeans and flip flops is not proper attire especially if she is taking advantage of employee benefits. Dress appropriately and avoid embarresment.

  5. I’m pretty sure even if she was a revenue passenger, she would have been booted off the flight for her behavior..

  6. My father was in the Air Force for a very strict country and he had been extremely disciplined. Every time we would fly (which was quite a bit) he would wear a suit and I would wear a t-shirt and jeans when I was younger and I felt like I was an outcast. Now I wear the same thing and sometimes I feel like I’m overdressed!

  7. The tragedy is, she think this is doing her case a service. And that doing the video is more important than comforting or feeding her child. Will someone please call child services?

  8. Her kid is crying and starving. Why doesn’t she just shut up and feed her kid. As the comedian says, “you can’t fix stupid”. And yes, her cuz will be out of a job sometime tomorrow.

  9. It’s a good thing AA isn’t run by Howard Schultz. We’re they, she’d be given a formal apology, free flights for life, the gate agents swiftly canned, and all operations would be halted for one day in August to re-educate all employees.

    It’s about time entitled jerks are told to pound sand and that’s the end of it. No capitulation. One set of rules for everyone and maybe we’ll get to have nice things again someday.

  10. I didn’t see her at the Centurion Lounge. Do you think she remembered to use her Priority Pass at the Corona Beach House?

  11. WOW. I am an AA Registered Companion. NEVER is that acceptable dress. Non-revving is a privilege not a right, respect the airline and their policies (though lax but respectful dress is the unspoken rule). Great Job Gate MIA gate agents! Embarrassing to see as another AA non-rev regular.

  12. This is 1 in a million, or 10 million. I never see people like this or witness any of the other dramas that feature on here and other sites. Fortunately they are so rare that they are “newsworthy” ( to give it a charitable characterisation). It’s a bit like those videos of crazy Walmart shoppers, only seen on the web, never in real life.
    This woman is severely delusional and one has to worry about the child in her care.

  13. I’ll not sure that she violated the dress code or not, but when traveling non-rev why take the chance? Also, you’re in a large international airport. There are stores there that sell everything from suits and ties to Hawaiian shirts. Just go, take yourself to one of them, buy a pair of pants and then change into them. Simple. But no… Doing the easy and simple thing is just too easy.

  14. I feel for the staff who have to put up with such an embarrassing cousin and being donned for that. Nothing worse than being punished for a relative’s act.

  15. If any revenue passenger responded that way they risk being blacklisted
    If she was non revenue or on a buddy pass not only should she be blacklisted but the police involved and arranged to return her and claim damages from her

    Or is this yet another case of an employee selling a buddy pass to an unsuspecting member of the public who was not aware of the rules and regs ?

  16. @Grant – if you can’t tell the difference between this and the Starbucks situation I think you need to take a good, hard look at your life choices and take a different direction. A non-racist direction.

  17. This seems like another Starbucks case to me, and the level of racism displayed in the comments here is deplorable.

    And lucky, the gate agents can’t possibly discriminate against this woman because they’re also women? wtf?

  18. Someone should inform this uneducated buffoon that Dubai is a part of the Emirates…and you don’t have to cover your hair there.

  19. I feel sorry for the employee. He will definitely lose his staff travel benefits. Most airlines follow these same principles:

    1) Staff travel benefits are non contractual and may be withdrawn at any time (ie BA crew that participated in legal industrial action lost their staff travel benefits for a period of time).

    2) Nominees behaviour is the responsibility of the staff member.

    3) Nearly every airline has a dress code of some degree. At BA it’s pretty relaxed. We can wear jeans and a t-shirt in any cabin for example. But the jeans can not have any rips, tears etc. Also, shorts never allowed. Except on kids.

  20. This is taking the ripped jeans thingy waaaaaaayyy too far. Is it that difficult to dress to the occasion?

    PS: Oh, why irrelevant in this case, dress for the body you have not the body you want…

  21. When I dress for my non-rev flights I wear shorts to my knees or jeans with no holes. Her dress certainly violates policy. This is very sad because her cousin may be held responsible for this. No good deed goes un-punished. When you are flying non-rev, you do not mess with policies, you play it on the safe side. If it says , no offensive clothes, well thats an opinion yeah.. you have to use good judgement. Myself and my family have used the benefits for a very long time , never with a single problem so it is not difficult.

    She should have just gone and bought new jeans and list for the next flight.

  22. I fly non-rev for LX and usually I am even hesitant to push the call button. Beeing chosen as a travel budy is an honor to me and and when I fly on a standby ticket I would be ashmed If I would be on less than my best behavior. To dress better than the average goes without saying to me. I feel sorry for the FA who granted her travel benefits. So disappointed on many levels.

  23. AA’s lax policy is ridiculous: most employees miss the days of a decent attire requirement (not suit and tie), but it’s the new American; you’ll never catch me wearing shorts or torn jeans on a flight. Never.

  24. Disappointed to hear your logic that women do not discriminate women. Actually there are plenty of academic evidence that women do discriminate against women sometimes more than men. Your immature logic shows how ignorant you are on the discrimination issues. Also please try to include non-whites and more women to your contributors…they would bring different views to your blog. That is called diversity

  25. In this case since she is flying free you’d think she’d be grateful for the flight that was given to her and behave appropriately.

    This is different from a few cases on Southwest where a paid customer was denied boarding for their outfit, in that case I’d disagree with Southwest but in this case when you are given a benefit and then abuse it, well that is your problem and not the airlines.

    It is the difference between how you can do what you want at your own house but if you are visiting someone else you are expected to abide by their rules.

  26. @debit

    Check yourself, you rat.. This president has balls to say what he wants and doesn’t take doo doo from world leaders and free-bee-ers.

    Have a great day !

  27. My girlfriend and myself always travel dressed that way on Saudia and never found an issue :)))

  28. “Personally I think someone traveling on employee benefits (AND PASSENGERS IN GENERAL, FOR THAT MATTER*) should dress better than that.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    *Emphasis mine.

  29. Let em have it. AA deserves all the shade and shit they can get until they turn their airline into something better than the dumpster pile it is today

  30. Not sure of the whole story but she says she is not an employee which means she would be a D-3…pretty much the lowest priority when it comes to non-revs. I’ve seen D-3’s a few times act up and they seem worse than all the rest. She probably wasn’t told by the actual employee how all this works and how she should act (though the way she did act was inexcusable). The employee will be in quite a fix.

  31. I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry when watching this video.

    Congrats, your video went viral – but for all the wrong reasons!

  32. This right here is why I refuse to give buddy passes and I am super selective about who can travel on my benefits. This is insane and I would be surprised if her cousin even has a job after this.

  33. She was allowed to board in Jamaica but denied boarding in Miami, thereby stranding her and her child there. Logically, her bad language came AFTER she was denied boarding, not before. So it does seem like she was treated unfairly and inconsistently. If American decides to let her fly the first leg, it should definitely let her fly the secondl leg and complete her trip. That’s the real issue here — not the ripped jeans or the post facto cussing.

  34. What I find interesting is to see people defending this behavior and calling the racism card, as usual. This is stupid on any race or gender.

  35. This sounds like a case for child protective services. Taking a child on a late night flight, not feeding her, and btw she is not starving she is hungry, big difference. Funny have stuff like this becomes everyone elses problem rather than the person who caused the problem. Instead of ranting go take the child to get something to eat. Did she expect a five course meal on a late night flight to remedy her child’s hunger? If her wish is to leave the country because she was flying on a free ticket and didn’t follow the guidelines and everyone didn’t bow down to her, then okay, leave and enjoy the benefits of where you end up, but learn to take accountability.

  36. I grew up non revving for AA. I don’t get why people want to abuse the lax dress code. When I was six we had to wear collared shirts. The fact that I can even wear jeans is amazing to me now.

    It was drilled into me at a young age to always be respectful to flight attendants because they can always deny you boarding. It sucks because there is nothing you can do except file a complaint.

    Two times stick out that I was almost denied boarding (wrongly). Once, back when the dress code was stricter and I was wearing corduroy pants and it was likely only first was available, the agent told me I wasn’t dressed up enough and when I told her I wore those clothes on international AA first class flights (as a non rev) she told me I was lying. Luckily I got on in coach.

    Another flight was where my bags were checked through to my final destination but I wouldn’t get on the flight so I asked to switch to a nearby city. The agent almost didn’t let us board because our bags weren’t checked to that city (which is an international rule but not domestic) I walked away and started crying in a corner and she waved me back and let me board. It would never cross my mind to even speak back to an agent as a non rev (especially not the employee!)

  37. Love your blog and understand the discussion, but all you’re doing is giving this woman what she wants – publicity. People like her should be ignored, it’s what they fear and hate the most.

  38. I wouldn’t dress like that in her situation.
    However, I feel like the main problem is that she was allowed to board the first plane from Jamaica in the same attire, but for whatever reason not allowed to board the second one. I feel like this is inconsistent and unprofessional of AA, because either you have a clear policy that applies the same way to everyone everywhere or you don’t.

  39. She should have given her cousin more respect for using her benefit. As someone who works for a company that offers benefits to my family and friends, she is the perfect example of whom I would or would not allow to be used under my privileged company benefits and perks. What a story tonight.

  40. You can’t non-rev and not be anything but a stellar passenger…this woman’s behavior is atrocious.

    I used to fly as a non-rev on US Airways (and then AA) when my aunt worked as a flight attendant for them, and it was always clear that you needed to look nice. Jeans were permitted, but they couldn’t have holes, tears, patches. I think you had to wear shirts with at least short sleeves and flip flops weren’t permitted. There was one occasion when I was trying to get back to BOI from PHX, and the only seat open was in first class (in which jeans were not allowed, and I was wearing jeans). After chatting with the gate agent, I was willing to go buy a sundress at one of the shops so that I could get on the flight. He was really nice and just upgraded a passenger, and gave me that seat. 🙂

    There was an occasion that my grandma and I were both flying non-rev, but couldn’t get seated together. My grandma had her small dog in a carrier under the seat, which was about 6 rows ahead of me. About halfway into the flight, I look up and see the dog standing in the aisle. Grandma apparently opened the carrier to pet the dog and she escaped. I literally dove onto the floor to snatch up the dog and take her back to the carrier. My aunt was a little curious about the rug burns on my arms when she picked us up from the airport. I don’t think anyone reported the incident, so thankfully they did not revoke her benefits!

    Be smart, people.

  41. I’m sorry but those jeans are dreadful and in my eyes unacceptable, especially for someone taking advantage of a work perk. The AA guideance is quite loose but to be she is clearly in breach of “neat, clean and doesn’t distract or offend.” No sympathy here.

  42. Ufff, if I were associated with this woman I would cut ties immediately. Her relative is going to loose flight privileges and the poor sucker who offered her a ride just wasted his evening. All because she refused to change her pants. She’s dead weight.

  43. For Delta, the non-rev policy clearly states, no ripped jeans. I’m pretty sure American’s non-rev policy is the same. I’m not sure if the official non-rev guidelines are open the the public. At any rate, all non-revs are representing the airline so she should have known that she needed to dress properly and not make a scene.

  44. Shame on her for going on and on like that! If she was traveling on a buddy pass, she needs to respect the terms of that privilege. She probably ruined it for her cousin! Shame on her also for displaying that behavior in front of her daughter, who only got upset when she put the camera in front of her face and said look how upset my child is! I’m sorry – unacceptable!

    Kudos to the employees of American Airlines – I would have called security for being harassed

  45. What was that employee thinking??!I had to stop watching the video because this nonrev was a hot mess and the employee by giving a pass to such a person as this has created such a nightmare for everyone she
    Encountered,this needs to be dealt with immediately it’s all in refs,so sorry fir the mia agts sho had to deal with this whack job.

  46. Those “jeans”! Come on!!! As someone who appreciates fashion, I feel a small tear in jeans can be cute, but when the entire pant leg is ripped open…just looks STOOPID!! Wow.

  47. Getting ‘Dissed’ by a complete Moron who
    Now ‘feels’ that her ‘Rights’ have become a ‘Privilege is disrespectful not only to her gate agents, fellow passengers and her RELATIVE…’
    It’s Her Sorry Ass that will be committed to flying solo once her ‘relations’ are removed from privilege…let her Walk back to Jamaica…

  48. Wow I am speechless. Someone was good enough to give you a buddy pass, you need to look respectful and show respect. You just caused your cousin a world of hurt. Even if the cousin keeps their job, and somehow gets to give out buddy passes, the poor cousin will never hear the end of it. A few years ago two people on passes were denied boarding. they of course tried to pull a race card, but the airline held firm and stated correctly they were not dressed properly for first class. We need to all improve our manners.

  49. This is the most disgusting episode I have ever witnessed. As a retired Airline Customer Service Agent I congratulate the MIA Gate Agent for denying her boarding. Plenty of clothing shops on Terminal D where she could have purchased a pair of slacks, then disposed of the shredded Jeans. She does not have any pride in her appearance, even her ‘mouth’ was abominable. There is a dress code for all airline non revenue travel. Her cousin certainly did not advise of pass riding dress, and should certainly be reprimanded, if not fired!

  50. The unhinged, such as Mr. Debit, will always work Trump in as a reason for abhorrent behavior.

  51. Entitled, arrogant, abnoxious, trashy frreloader. That’s what I need next to me on my full fare txt.

    Kudos to the gate agents for keeping this “lady” in check.

  52. Just wondering why “Debit” had to make it a political issue…tacky like the torn pants she wore.

  53. I only watched the first 20 seconds on mute just to see her clothes. I don’t think those pants meet the dress policy. Those pants do not “blend in with other customers” and I think they almost qualify as “short shorts” in the front. Yikes.

  54. She was allowed to get on the plane in Jamaica because…Jamaica is Jamaica. I doubt she will receive much sympathy.

  55. She was allowed to get on the plane in Jamaica because…Jamaica is Jamaica. I doubt she will receive much sympathy here. I was thrown off the basketball team (in 1968) because my hair hit my neck collar. I was denied entrance to disneyland for long hair and Levi blue jeans (about 1971-72). I was refused exit from Morocco because my middle name is David and I had an Israeli Stamp in my passport (1975). Denied service at restaurants and other places in the South but never threw my family under the bus.

    I’m caucasian.

    I am not a supporter of big airlines but….

  56. Puh…first of all I guess she will gets in huge trouble with her cousin-the AA employee…because he gets lots of pressure with his company…sure he will loose his benefits for a while.

    Thats what my company (Lufthansa) would do with me when my travel buddy would put a video like this online…
    Her behaviour is absolutely crazy.
    Next time she has to pay full fare for her travel for sure…

  57. This certainly appears to be a staged event with the aim of launching a lawsuit. The scary thing is that there is a remote chance that this tirade will be rewarded in some way.

    Quite amusing that the two gate agents are being accused of racial prejudice. Perhaps they have a thing about rude and out of control Jamaicans but that is hardly racial.

    You read almost daily about people being removed from planes when their behavior is nowhere as extreme as this person is displaying.

  58. This woman is sick! Thank you AA for not allowing her on the plane like that. My heart goes out to the poor child. AA didn’t make her child cry. What a sad thing to see a mother act like that! Where’s DCFS?

  59. Oh my. The poor employee who offered this non- revenue/buddy pass did not atress the seriousness of abiding by pass rider rules. This is the type of incident that will encourage airlines to dispense with buddy passes, altogether. At some point, the cons will outweigh the pros.
    Sometimes we have to use our “indoor” voices. Sometimes we need to be polite and humble even when we are enraged.
    Emotional self control is the main and absolute key to success in life.
    4 words: Have you no dignity?

  60. Amazing how people’s stupidity has no limit. Even as a revenue passanger you should not dress like this, imagine on benefits. Because if people like this the air travel benefits are being removed. What a stupidity !

  61. Yes she might have been dressed inappropriate for a non-rev traveler, but in her defense she should have been denied boarding in Jamaica not in miami, or she should have been ask in miami once they notice her dress code the first time to change her pants and that is if she had her bag with her and not in the belly of the plane. This is typical of an agent feeling power and not looking at the real problem which was the agent that led her board in the first place out of Jamaica. Some employees gets that power trip and this one in miami denied her boarding for all those full fare passengers that she could not denied. The non rev, yes she is ignorant, but she is half way to her destination and should have been allowed to finish with trip with her child. She he is not a fault from Miami, but the agent from Jamaica that the permitted her to board in the first place.

  62. I feel sorry for her cousin who may very well lose his/her job because they are responsible to her actions. It goes further than the Goodwill reject clothes she was wearing when she takes reacts with such an air of entitlement instead of appreciating that she’s flying in a pass, which is an employee benefit and comes with restrictions. Pajamas? Please. Those are only for first class passengers on international flights and there’s no way she was ever going to get that. She deserves absolutely nothing from American!

  63. While the jeans are indeed a disgrace, as there seems to be more holes than fabric, it’s somewhat understandable how a passenger that perhaps doesn’t travel frequently and has had to make use of a buddy pass to do so, might not be able to understand why she was allowed to board in Jamaica but not Miami.

    While the outfit is still unacceptable, there needs to be consistency otherwise the airline is just asking for this kind of trouble from self-entitled, enraged passengers.

    Then again, we don’t know how she responded to gate agents – who may well have offered for her to change her clothes and proceed with boarding. More likely she thinks she has a better shot at making some money out of a lawsuit for “discrimination”…

  64. Newsflash:

    Girl…..your “baby” looks like an overfed pig. And you are a POS.

    We can’t wait for you to move back to Jamaica so you can resume your rewarding career as an “entrepreneur”.

  65. I have to wonder why the employee would give a pass to a hot mess like this woman. Surely he/she knew there might be a problem.

  66. What a mess? This situation is unfortunate. She should not have been boarded initially in Jamaica in that attire BUT she also should not be stranded midway through her trip. AA dropped the ball at the gate in Jamaica. She is quite ignorant, does not know basic etiquette and has absolutely no concern for her cousin or her kid. She obviously has no money to feed the kid (who only cried when she was exposed on camera) or to buy something decent to wear at the airport. She was traveling with a trash bag. SMH! She should be banned from all airline travel, revenue or non revenue and should stick to greyhound from now on! Sad that no one reeled her in during this live 30 minute rant of hers.

  67. Looks like the employee dropped the ball and failed to coach this moron regarding policy. Those horrible jeans were embarrassing and made her look like a fool. Looks like she was also going to try to get on another flight wearing the same outfit. Come on lady, do you have an iota of common sense? You are a non-rev passenger flying standby, no one owes you anything. Dress well, shut your trap, act considerate towards the gate agents and your chances of getting on flight increase greatly. But no, you want to do it your way and whine about it when surprise, you are turned away. How is that our concern, exactly? Your focus should have been caring for the poor crying child, yet you showed absolute no motherly instinct for her, instead focusing entirely on YOU and how you feel. You’re a disgrace, as a woman and a mother.

  68. As an AA employee this has always been a policy with not only non-rev’s but with buddy passes as well!! The policy is respectfully the employee’s to let whoever is flying on your pass is representing the employee. Her cousin who works for AA will definely be called in regarding the incident. The answer to her question is her cousin should have told what the non-rev employee policy is before allowing her to travel on her/travel pass, as she is not paying for her flight. She’ s paying a very reduced rate. Her cousin will probably lose her job because of this action. The Airport from which she departed should have informed first not allowing her to board first of all. The rules of policy are given to every airline employee at the begi nning of employment. The smaller countries have always attempted to overide set rules and guidelines….. This also applies for interline and international flights whereas they can set your continuing method of travel and pay full fare!!! When your paying as a non-rev and not full fare she shoul be quiet an be blessed. It is up to you to feed,clothe, and shelter your child. Feed her mom!! I’m sure looking at her mother i would be quite embarassed to say the least…. This the very reason i was very selective in allowing anyone to fly on my benefits, because of these actions and she’s a what kind of an entrepreneur????
    With the several different ways to pay and fly as a non-rev which is used to fly all over the world including her cousin’s health pkg., hotel,cruise, car rental,mail, and host of other benfits are lost because of her disinformed very rude cousin. Sorry, she also has no legal basis to bring suit lol.

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