“Sir, you need to sit down right NOW!”

And for part three of the United 873 saga, here we go. You can read part one here and part two here.

This one is sort of similar to The Flying Pinto’s post yesterday about the most ridiculous excuses for a passenger that won’t stay seated.

Anyway, our flight was a bit late arriving and almost all the passengers (including moi) were connecting onwards. Nonetheless, despite the delay, everyone had at least 30 minutes to make their connection, which is plenty at IAD. As we’re taxiing in a passenger from the back of coach gets up and starts retrieving his carry ons, and then proceeds down the aisle. The flight attendant sitting by door 2L yells loudly “Sir, you need to sit down right now!” He responds with “No, I have a tight connection, I need to be off first.” At this point I couldn’t help but laugh, because I figured we’d have plenty of authorities waiting at the gate that would happily make his connection even tighter. 😉

Anyway, the flight attendant continues to yell at him “Sir, sit down right now. You’re endangering not only your safety, but other people’s safety as well.” He refuses to sit down though and we pull into the gate and the seatbelt sign is turned off.

The passenger sitting right by door 2L, however, decided to take the matter into his own hands, and they get into a verbal confrontation. The conversation goes a little something like this:

9C: “You’re not getting off before me.”
Moron: “Yes I am, I have a tight connection.”
9C: “You think you’re the only with a connection, you idiot?”
Moron: “I don’t care, I need to make my connection.”
9C: “Well next time you better stay seated. You’re putting me in danger, and I don’t appreciate that.”
Moron: “Don’t tell me what to do. I’ll get up if I want to.”

They go on for about a minute as the flight attendant stands by the door and peaks through the door to make sure the appropriate authorities are waiting for our “special” passenger. They were, so the door opens. Fortunately the rush for the connection stops these two from getting into any worse of a fight, and off they were. I was about ready for a fist fight, and there wouldn’t have been a better flight.

I let everyone get off first since I received an EasyUpdate saying my flight was already delayed, and I couldn’t help but just laugh and say “wow.” I of course thanked the crew for doing an incredible job.

I think this flight is a perfect example of how flight attendants are not overpaid sky waitresses, as some people like to put it. Kudos to this crew for being totally awesome and keeping their cool during a flight that would have left others in tears.

Filed Under: Travel, United
  1. Great story…I love when pax get into it on their own, especially when one defends a FA…and,I love getting your side of things, thanks for the mention: )

  2. @ Josh — Nope, the authorities were waiting for the passenger that *really* pissed off the flight attendants. 😀 Their fight was naturally broken up by their need to make connections.

    @ theflyingpinto — Hehe. I know what flight attendants would love to say sometimes (hint: Not “Hmm sir, I don’t know, that bag might not fit), so sometimes I just say it for them. 😀

  3. Wait a second, so the moron acturally got his way? he managed to get up, get his bag, talk to the front of the plane, and be amongst the first to deplane, without any concequences what so ever?

    How is that a good job on the flight crew’s part? Why did you thank them for being lazy and not doing their job?

  4. I don’t want to sound insensetive, but i happen to think over-paid sky waitresses/waiters are exactly what they are. Yes they have “knowledge” about the safety equipments on the plane, but the waitress at your local restraunt also knows the restraunts fire escape procedures. And you’re more likely to have to use the latter.

    We certainly don’t expect 50 or 60 year olds serving us at restraunts, why do we have to deal with grandmothers on planes.

  5. @ Sam — I thanked them because they did an amazing job handling the urinating passenger, and frankly I’m happy they let this passenger go. The last thing they needed was more drama. What else could the have done? It’s not like they could touch him or physically force him to be seated ten seconds from the gate.

    As far as skywaitresses go, first of all, they’re definitely not overpaid. Most flight attendants make less than waitresses. As far as the challenges of the job, waitresses don’t have to be stuck in a metal tube for seven hours when there’s a delay and deal with 300 pissed off people. They don’t have to wake up at 3AM to make it to work and then work a 14 hour day, only to work a redeye the next night which totally throws their schedule off. It’s not an easy job, in my opinion.

  6. @ lucky, they could of done their jobs and enforced the rules, and why couldn’t they have “touch” the moron, letting someone like that go is simply a terrible job on the FA’s part, they don’t have to do the extra working of dealing with this guy at the expense of other passengers.

    “Most flight attendants make less than waitresses.” that’s simply not true, i don’t see how FA could make less than minium wage.

    “waitresses don’t have to be stuck in a metal tube for seven hours when there’s a delay and deal with 300 pissed off people.” I suppose being stuck in a brick box for eight hours with a restaunt full of pissed off people is so much better.

    “They don’t have to wake up at 3AM to make it to work and then work a 14 hour day, only to work a redeye the next night which totally throws their schedule off” Clearly you haven’t seen the work schedule of an understaffed weekend, and i’m pretty sure that’s illeagal for FAs, but it certainly happens for waitresses.

    There are plenty of hard jobs out there, with lousy pay and long hours, i don’t disput the fact that being an FA is hard. And like you i do appriciate it when they do their job correctly.

    I do have a problem, however, with the fact that so many of them are trying to make their jobs sound more important by refering to themselves as “safety professionals”, and trying to seperate themselves from another group that dose pretty much the exact same job as them, just in a different setting. How is this different from garbageman trying to call themselves sanitation engineers.

  7. @ Sam — Given the situation I still think the flight attendants did a great job. They talked to him firmly, and we were literally ten seconds from the gate when this happened. They explained to him the problem, but didn’t do more. I’m not sure how trying to arrest a guy ten seconds from the gate would have been in anyone’s best interest.

    As far as my waitress comment, I don’t know many waiters that make minimum wage. Through the crazy tip culture in the US most I know are banking.

    As far as “flight safety professionals” go, you know I agree with you. Nothing drives me crazy more than an FA that complains nonstop as well. C’mon, you know how pro-customer I am. My only point is that it’s not a totally easy job.

  8. How many sanitation engineers or waitresses have to land the garbage truck or the four-top table in an emergency situation?

  9. @yosithezet – I agree with you, in my opinion, as long as he/she’s doing the job, whether he’s 50 or 60 yearsold, there’s no problem with that

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