Reading Light Aboard Aircraft Leads to Outburst

A reading light was the cause of a tantrum by a Tacoma man aboard an Alaska Airlines aircraft during an overnight flight from Honolulu to Bellingham International Airport, according to a spokesman for the Washington State Police.

The unidentified man — who is 50 years old — reportedly asked a female passenger to turn off the reading light above her seat so that he may sleep during the flight. Her refusal to do so led to an argument, which led to the outburst laced with profanity.

Although the male passenger was allowed to go home, he could face criminal charges for his role in the incident.

Bellingham International Airport is located in Washington north of Seattle but south of Vancouver.

Is this a severe case of sleep deprivation? What would you do if you attempted to get some sleep, only to have the passenger near you refuse to comply with your request? What if it was music from a personal audio player and not a reading light that was preventing you from sleeping? How could this situation have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties? Is a compromise possible?

Please share your thoughts.

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Comments (Showing 3 of 3)

  • jimmylo at 11:04am August 05, 2012

    I really there were 2 solutions to this problem:
    1. Simple on – wear a eye mask.
    2. Buy the row.
    The passenger who wanted to read was in the right – if you are THAT needy, pay up or deal with taking mass transportation. Period

  • NotSoFrequentColorado at 9:54am September 25, 2012

    Well admittedly he’s a jerk. But … did he have a weapon? Did he commit or threaten violence? Yes he insulted his seatmate and disturbed the other passengers. But screaming babies and people who talk loudly nonstop disturb others too. What kind of world have we come to when a person gets arrested for cussing someone out, just because he’s on a airplane? I expect to get flamed for this, so bring it!

  • Kaiaaa at 7:19pm September 25, 2012

    Many reading lights are adjustable. If this was one of them, could they have agreed to aim it a little farther away from him? I agree the eye mask is a brilliant solution that wouldn’t break the bank.

    People don’t need to have a weapon to hurt someone. He definitely could have posed danger to her, and did not appear to have a hold on his temper. He needs anger management classes for lashing out at her for HIS lack of preparation.

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