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Flight Diverted After Flyer Strongly Objects to $12 Fee for a Blanket

A Hawaiian Airlines passenger was removed from a flight after escalating a customer service complaint about in-flight price gouging for some covering to help stave off the chill.

A chilly passenger on a Wednesday morning Hawaiian Airlines flight from McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) was left out in the cold after he objected to paying a $12 fee for the use of a blanket. The plane soon after made an unscheduled landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) where the dissatisfied customer was removed from the aircraft.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the unidentified 66-year-old flyer demanded that the crew contact the home office to help explain the high sticker price of the plastic-wrapped inflight amenity. The outraged passenger reportedly insisted that because he would be using the meager covering to provide a little protection from the crisp cabin temperatures, the exorbitant price for a bit of warmth was unwarranted.

In an effort to appease the unhappy traveler, the crew put the cranky traveler in touch with a company representative on the ground. After failing to convince the airline to reconsider the strict corporate policy on blanket rental fees, the aggravated passenger allegedly told the less-than-helpful customer service agent, “I would like to take someone behind the woodshed for this.”

The passenger’s folksy turn of phrase was apparently taken as a threat and the plane was forced to divert to LAX. Police and federal agents met the flight and the “unruly passenger” was escorted from the aircraft.

While initial media accounts reported that the incident was sparked by sticker shock over a $12 blanket fee, the airline disputed at least one detail of the events. Hawaiian Airlines officials told the The Honolulu Star-Advertiser that a $10 fee is charged for the use of a blanket in the economy class cabin, rather than the $12 fee that was widely reported.

After hearing the passenger’s side of the story, authorities decided that the heated dispute over a blanket did not rise to the level of a criminal threat and the passenger was released at the scene. He was reportedly able to take a later and hopefully toastier flight from LAX that same day.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
KenTarmac November 16, 2017

$12 is robbery regardless. It was probably $10 + a service fee or sales tax or some other screwy fee that brought the total to $12. Even if it was $10 that's like a 400% mark up on a blanket that the airline probably gets in bulk for $2 each.

NYC96 March 14, 2017

Poor customer service? NOT. How bout poor planning on the passengers part. One person on the plane is hot, another is cold. Tend to get cold on flights? Bring a jacket or a blanket. Personal responsibility. Watch women board flights in Florida in the middle of weather wearing Tank tops and flip flops heading North. Plan accordingly.

heathriel March 11, 2017

Actually, they're using less fuel by keeping it cooler. It costs more to *heat* the plane at altitude, as the aircraft is naturally colder (due to outside temperatures.)

ioto1902 March 11, 2017

A dime's a dime. Who cares if passengers are unhappy ? Who cares if FA are put in a difficult situation ? As long as shareholders get big bucks.

riced March 11, 2017

Sounds like the pilot ought to be taken behind the woodshed (by the airline) for such a stupid decision to divert.