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Seat Poacher Refuses to Return Seat, Gets Handcuffed to Wheelchair

Seat Poacher Refuses to Return Seat, Gets Handcuffed to Wheelchair
Jackie Reddy

An American Airlines passenger became verbally aggressive with staff over his assigned seat and was taken off the plane by police, who handcuffed him to a wheelchair. The incident, involving a man named as Peter, was captured on film by a fellow traveler on Monday on an LA-bound flight from Dallas.

An American Airlines passenger who became verbally aggressive with staff over his assigned seat was taken off of a recent service from Dallas to Los Angeles by police, who then handcuffed him to a wheelchair, The Daily Mail reports. According to Fox News, the incident occurred on Monday on American Airlines Flight 2460.

The incident involving the male passenger, who has been named only as Peter, was caught on film by fellow traveler John Gilbert.

The outlet reports that Peter, who had been given a seat in the back of the plane, moved to a different seat directly behind the flight’s first-class section. He reportedly would not move when the traveler allocated to that seat attempted to sit down.

Footage of the incident, as taken by Gilbert and shared via the outlet, shows Peter becoming verbally aggressive with members of the flight. He is heard to shout, “Don’t force me. Don’t violate my freedom. That’s my seat. You don’t like it. Switch it and I’ll stay on the plane and I’ll go.”

Despite being warned over his language, he continued to shout at crew. Peter was then told that, unless he sat in his assigned seat, he would be taken off of the flight.

The man declined to follow instructions from cabin crew and passengers deplaned while police were summoned as a result of the incident. Four officers eventually removed Peter from the flight, handcuffing him to a wheelchair and taking him off of the plane. He can be seen struggling with police as he is removed.

The flight’s departure was delayed by about 45 minutes.

Weigh in on extreme seat poaching in the Flyertalk Forums. 

[Image: YouTube/ WFAA]

View Comments (12)


  1. sfoeuroflyer

    July 30, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Put him on the do not fly list for life. There are norms for behavior and those who cannot adhere to those norms should never be allowed on any plane.

  2. htb

    July 30, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Why inconvenience everyone by deplaning everyone? The only reason I can think of is being afraid of publicity.

  3. MimiB22

    July 31, 2019 at 6:50 am

    He sounds like one of those extreme Sovereign Citizens, who refuse to recognize or cooperate with authorities. They are believers in complete personal freedom, but lack common sense. You can check out some encounters on YouTube, getting themselves in trouble because they refuse to follow orders from police when stopped for traffic violations, as one example.

  4. RandyN

    July 31, 2019 at 7:06 am

    @sfoeuroflyer I agree! Airlines need to start blacklisting passengers. Fools who disrupt flights need to be reduced to using Greyhound.

  5. DFW_Airwolf


    July 31, 2019 at 7:11 am

    Was wondering about Deplaning everyone. But I am guessing that is now the Protocol after that person got forcefully removed from that United flight. We need to have Mandatory Criminal Charges against people like this. I read elsewhere that he was not even Arrested. If the small minority of people who cant fly with everyone else need to face consuqences like Criminal Charge and being Banned by the TSA from entering any airport.

  6. BOBAD

    July 31, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Despicable anti-social behaviour by the seat bandit which is deserving of a lifetime ban on flying on any airline.

    Such neanderthals have no business being allowed to come into contact with reasonable fellow-travellers and aircrews who obey civilised regulations which are in place for the benefit of all.

    No bad publicity here – I would support any airline who acted in similar fashion.

  7. m44

    July 31, 2019 at 8:10 am

    I cannot hear a thing on the video. Anyway – what is the standard for language that qualifies for this treatment of all other passengers. Who was punished here? I guess this fellow is lucky he did not get his teeth kicjed out like they do elsewhere in America.
    @sfoeuroflyer – stay on eurotrash side of the pond. We the People left euro not to be subjected to judgements like yours.
    @FLYERTALK — foxnews and daily mail? really. Can you rely on less fake and trashy outlets?

  8. Jackie_414

    July 31, 2019 at 8:50 am

    htb, ???????????

  9. OMSHH

    July 31, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    @m44: it is possible that the “sfo” in sfoeuroflyer places him on the side of the pond where A-Holes like you get a special form of treatment for their nasty hateful attitude!

    And by the way, sfoeuroflyer’s suggestion for a form of punishment for the seat bandit sounded a lot more appropriate and certainly a lot more civilized than your barbaric suggestion!


  10. petercascio

    July 31, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Deplaning would have happened to ensure the safety of the other passengers. When you are dealing with a clearly irrational person who refuses to follow all instructions — and when you have no idea what the person’s state of mind is — then you don’t want anyone else around when police armed with tasers and firearms become involved.

    When you are deplaning everybody there is also a chance — you have no idea how big, though — that the disturbed person will follow the other passengers off the plane because an automatic reaction might kick in: “Everybody’s leaving the plane, I always leave the plane when everybody disembarks, so I’ll get off as well” and the situation would be defused without the potential of violence. That could work sometimes, but clearly it will depend on the individual.

    In any case, you’ve now got your other passengers away from a potentially dangerous situation.


  11. CEB

    August 4, 2019 at 11:18 am

    m44, I suggest you take your flaming elsewhere. It does not belong on a travel forum where respect for fellow posters is expected.

  12. horseymike

    August 7, 2019 at 4:34 am

    give this nut job the boot …. for life.

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