The largest expert travel community:
  • 768,777 Total members
  • 6,044 Users online now
  • 1,721,317 Threads
  • 31,538,939 Posts

Southwest Flight Attendant Removes Passenger From Flight Over Joke

Southwest Flight Attendant Removes Passenger From Flight Over Joke
Jennifer Billock

A recent Southwest Airlines incident saw a passenger getting removed from a flight because of a joke he made that the flight attendant thought was in poor taste—even though as he was being removed from the plane, other passengers stood up on his behalf to say he didn’t do anything at all warranting it.

Recently, a passenger was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight for making a joke that a flight attendant didn’t like—even though other passengers stood up for the man who made the joke and said he did nothing wrong.

The plane, which was scheduled to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles, had been stuck on the tarmac for several hours because a maintenance light came on before takeoff. A flight attendant was handing out water when a passenger joked that it should be vodka because everyone had been waiting so long.

The flight attendant was not pleased, apparently frustrated as well with being stuck on the plane for hours. She called local police and had the man escorted off the plane.

“And people started yelling then,” fellow passenger Peter Uzelac told MSN. “In fact, people stood up. I stood up. People were saying, ‘This man didn’t do anything.’ I have been flying for decades and I’ve never ever seen anything like this.”

Ultimately the passenger was not charged with anything, though he was removed from the flight.

“We regret any less-than-positive experience a customer has onboard our aircraft,” Southwest said in a statement, reported by MSN. “We welcome over 100 million customers each year, and we aim to maintain the comfort of all while delivering Southwest hospitality. We will share this report with our Customer Relations Team.”

Have you been witness to an unfair incident like this one on a flight? Join the conversation in the forum.


[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (9)


  1. Mtothe M

    May 15, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Sounds like the FA was bitter about missing out on a hot Tinder date – and took it out on a passenger. Quite unusual behavior for a Southwest FA though – I expect that from many other airlines.

  2. weero


    May 15, 2019 at 6:15 am

    > Ultimately the passenger was not charged with anything, though he was removed from the flight.
    Charge with what? Drinking water? Not drinking vodka?

    Shame on the FA and SouthWest for keeping such a person but also shame on the police for “following orders” from such a person. They should have refused to to pay Securiate for that person.

  3. mvoight

    May 15, 2019 at 7:05 am

    If he was kicked off, wouldn’t that mean the pilot approved of the action?

  4. m44

    May 15, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Stupid is stupid does.
    Who and why gives power like to the flight attendants. The idiots who did it are also fine with a police killing people just because they a scared of nothing real.
    I hope the affected passenger finds a good lawyer and reasonable court for the insult and damages it created.
    This is what happens in police state that has no citizen protection. I assume police was removing and why did they not remove the dangerous to society steward(ess).

  5. Tailgater

    May 15, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Gee, sometimes that all the SW flight attendants do—make humor about safety regs and all. I guess a passenger joking about vodka over water it too much? Many years ago something similar happened to me. Waiting for a very late Greyhound bus to arrive to pick passengers up, I joked that “maybe we should start a protest” not directing this to the driver but, he overheard me and had security refer me to local police and I was arrested (refused to leave premises and walk 1/4 mile to bus station to catch same bus there) despite other passengers sticking up for me.

  6. TonyBurr

    May 15, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    Typical stupid response by an airline – actually, insulting. It is another example of the over empowerment of FA’s. Their power has gone way too far. This FA should be fired.

  7. SFRower

    May 15, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Something must be missing from this story. Where was the threat to anyone, other passengers or flight crew with a simple comment such as that. There had to have been some escalation. When trying to find out more, turns out this was not SFO, but Sacramento (SMF) where the incident occurred. Great reporting!

  8. Gigantor

    May 17, 2019 at 1:41 am

    The US has become the “Wasteland of the not-so-free”.

  9. skidooman

    May 17, 2019 at 10:52 am

    She badly overreacted. She should be explained this is never acceptable.

    And I do agree that the police should stop blindly following FA’s orders. Sorry, but this is not why we pay taxes. Before you escort anyone out of a plane, there needs to be a valid reason otherwise what the airline is doing is refusing to honor its end of the bargain.

You must be logged in on the FORUM to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in News

Could Making Planes Better for the Environment Be This Easy?

Jennifer BillockFebruary 25, 2020

It’s Official. Checked Bag Fees Are Going Up

Taylor RainsFebruary 25, 2020

10 Things We Found Out About the TSA on TikTok

FlyerTalkFebruary 24, 2020

Copyright © 2014 Top News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by Wordpress.


I want emails from FlyerTalk with travel information and promotions. I can unsubscribe any time using the unsubscribe link at the end of all emails