So much for sharing the wealth. On a recent American Airlines flight, a man was kicked off the flight from Philadelphia (PHL) to Atlanta (ATL) after it was discovered that he was ordering far too many complimentary drinks in first class and trying to send them back to his less fortunate friends in economy.
According to writer Katie Genter, who was aboard the flight, the man was in seat 1A, where he was offered a pre-departure beverage. After consuming his first drink, he ordered two more “double shots on ice.” The flight attendant informed him that only one drink could be ordered at a time, therefore, the man took the liberty to order a drink for the woman seated next to him.
After being served, the man took the drinks back to his friends. Although the flight attendant tried to intercept him, he insisted he had to use the bathroom, drinks in hand. The attendant informed him that there was a bathroom at the front for first-class passengers.
The man sat back down and then proceeded to text his friends to come up to first class. The flight attendant, no fool, again intervened. The man finally gave up and downed one drink and returned the other.
The plane, which was still on the tarmac, continued with the door open. Soon after, an American Airlines representative arrived and asked to speak to the man on the jetway. The doors then closed and the plane headed for the runway without the charitable passenger aboard.
According to Federal Regulation 121.575 on alcoholic beverages: No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him.
“The customer caused a disruption during the boarding process,” American Airlines told Travel + Leisure. “We did offer to re-book the customer on a later flight, but he declined and we provided a full refund.”
Last year, American Airlines was criticized for ejecting two professional basketball after a flight attendant accused them of stealing first class blankets. The players for the Memphis Hustle, Marquis Teague and Trahson Burrell, were on an American Airlines-operated flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Christmas Eve. As they boarded, they were handed two blankets from passengers in first class.
A flight attendant confronted the players and accused them of stealing the blankets. She then ejected the players and their assistant coach from the plane. After a manager apologized to the three men, they were rebooked in first class on another flight, but they ended up missing their team’s Christmas party. At the time, American Airlines said, “We apologize for what occurred on this flight. We take pride in bringing people together, and we know that on this flight we let some of our customers down.”