Old Apr 27, 17, 5:16 pm
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Arizona
Programs: BA (GGL), AA (statusless), HH (Diamond);
Posts: 2,724
Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
Seems to me that the passenger who took it upon herself to help him ended up being as loud as, if not louder, than him.

This is a whole other dimension and problem, this scenario of strangers who suddenly decide it is their call to be referee, sheriff or teacher and invariably end up making a situation much worse. We saw it last week in the American Airlines stroller incident, where that guy almost got into fisticuffs with the CC member. If he had just held his peace, things would have calmed down a lot quicker.

I actually really hate self-appointed sheriffs and I think they get some enjoyment from stirring things and making them worse, far from really wanting to help. I've seen it happen a couple of times on Swiss trains (which I am riding every day at the moment) and there is almost never a good ending to it (but I see very few incidents for all the hours I spend on the trains, in truth).
While that's always the risk, there's been a lot of press lately at least in the US about the bystander effect. I tend to not just stand by if I see something that is clearly not right or just, and I would hope if someone saw me being treated poorly that they would say something. I've not watched the video of the AA flight, just speaking generally.

A few years ago after spending the night at JFK during a major AC fire in JS (all hotels were full by the time my flight was canceled) and then over to EWR at 4am to have a better chance of getting home, a woman was going a bit crazy with some US agents because she did not make her flight (thousands of people had been stranded). I saw that the gate agents were losing their cool and were clearly going to call the police, so I walked over to the woman and asked her what was wrong. Apparently she was on a trip to spread the ashes of her recently deceased husband, and just wanted someone to listen to her story.

So I listened, and after she had calmed down, I calmly explained that all the flights were full and it was obviously not an ideal time for this to happen for her, but that it certainly would not make things better if she got arrested. After she was calm, I walked up to the agents, explained that the woman was going through a difficult time, that her husband had recently died, and asked if they could they try to get her on the next flight, and they found a way. I was also standby on a different flight and made it home thanks to those same agents, and I ended up giving the gate agents the US equivalent of a golden ticket. They asked me what I had said to calm the lady down, and I said I just simply let her talk and listened.

My point is, being a bystander doesn't mean you need to start a fight of your own, but it also doesn't mean you must ignore things going on around you. I think every major IRROPS I've been in I've ended up helping at least a few passengers get on their way.

Now, I have no idea what this passenger was like on the flight or the actual facts as I was not onboard, but in hindsight at least, there must be a better way to handle this than having to tie up a 65 y/o man and then landing such that they had to return the entire flight to London, and stranding two passengers on a remote island.
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