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Aggressive, Vulgar Behavior from Uniformed Non-AA Pilot Passenger

Aggressive, Vulgar Behavior from Uniformed Non-AA Pilot Passenger

Old Jun 7, 18, 2:53 pm
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Aggressive, Vulgar Behavior from Uniformed Non-AA Pilot Passenger

Was on a late evening midcon (~22:30 departure) with a colleague last week. We were seated in F, which had multiple empty seats. At the conclusion of boarding, a uniformed pilot took one of the empty F seats adjacent to us.

As we were both awake and still had a journey ahead of us upon arrival, my colleague and I opted to stay up and politely converse. As the service began shortly after takeoff, my colleague noted a quiet "shut up" muttered several times. It was quiet enough, but we could make out what it was. This quiet muttering escalated and eventually became profane, with F-bombs and the like thrown in. It got gradually louder too, although it never reached the volume of typical conversational speech. Refusing to be intimidated by another passenger (let alone an employee traveling in uniform), we continued our conversation. The muttering continued as a near-constant barrage: "shut up, shut up, SHUT UP, mother****ers, shut the F*** up..." It was very clear what he was saying and that this was directed toward us. We were both in shock that someone would display this sort of behavior - flights have been diverted for much less. Additionally, I honestly do not believe that we were being unreasonably loud. Alcohol was not involved, and no one else in the cabin seemed to be bothered by us at all.

Upon landing, I turned to look at him so that I could get his information. He positioned his arm to intentionally obscure his name badge. All that was visible was his ALPA lanyard. I spoke to him and he said he is an AA mainline pilot rated on several of their staple domestic aircraft. I am intentionally withholding details (flight number, flight times, seats) for privacy. I reported this behavior to the GA right after the flight and to AA directly. So far, I've received phone calls from both customer relations and the AA corporate offices and they seem to be taking it seriously. Honestly, I'm absolutely amazed that this happened. Being harassed and intimidated by a uniformed pilot is a new one for me. Knowing how easy it is to get in trouble on NRSA tickets, I'm amazed that a uniformed employee would do this. I want to say that I am very pleased with AA's response. Hopefully AA handles this problem effectively.

Last edited by brewdog11; Jun 7, 18 at 3:08 pm Reason: ETA: pleased with AA's response
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Old Jun 7, 18, 2:57 pm
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Good for you for reporting it.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 2:59 pm
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Is it just me or are situations like this occurring more often? In the last 3 months Ive seemingly run into more rude behavior from GAs, FAs etc. than I have seen in years. Maybe just my bad luck but was wondering if anyone felt the same.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
Good for you for reporting it.
I was in shock that this happened. This was not a "bad day." IMHO, this behavior possibly indicates a more significant problem - it would have been irresponsible not to report it.

Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
Is it just me or are situations like this occurring more often? In the last 3 months Ive seemingly run into more rude behavior from GAs, FAs etc. than I have seen in years. Maybe just my bad luck but was wondering if anyone felt the same.
I haven't been flying much due to the usual late spring/summer lull, but I haven't noticed any trend. Had a slightly rude FA on a flight two days ago, but she just seemed fed up with her job and wasn't hostile to passengers. Mostly everyone has been decently friendly aside from the typical actively-hostile, burnt-out crew that I've come to expect on 20% of my TATL and TPAC flights.

Of course, we'll see if I agree with you when flying picks back up in late August...
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Old Jun 7, 18, 4:49 pm
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This was a red-eye flight, right? And you chose to have a conversation for the entire flight?
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Old Jun 7, 18, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by spongenotbob View Post
This was a red-eye flight, right? And you chose to have a conversation for the entire flight?
It was not; it was a late-evening midcon. Whether or not itís a red eye is irrelevant if two pax decide to have a hushed conversation.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by spongenotbob View Post
This was a red-eye flight, right? And you chose to have a conversation for the entire flight?

That's well within their right. If a person takes a red eye expecting to sleep then the onus is on them to bring eye covers, headphones, and other sleep aids.

It's a flying bus we are talking about here, not a Gulfstream G650.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:14 pm
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Were you able to record any of it?
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
That's well within their right. If a person takes a red eye expecting to sleep then the onus is on them to bring eye covers, headphones, and other sleep aids.

It's a flying bus we are talking about here, not a Gulfstream G650.
Agreed. Obviously, there is some expectation of reasonableness such as not yelling etc. but having a conversation is perfectly within that limit.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:23 pm
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If you look around and see no one else talking, that's a polite note that you shouldn't be talking either.The pilot certainly was quite rude, but so were you.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
If you look around and see no one else talking, that's a polite note that you shouldn't be talking either.The pilot certainly was quite rude, but so were you.
What? So if you and a companion are flying together and no one else is talking, you won't? What if the rest of the cabin in F are strangers - therefore they are on headphones or just not talking, you still can't talk to your companion?

Completely disagree with this statement. What next, if everyone isn't eating you shouldn't either?
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:42 pm
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I always carry an eyemask and earplugs with me when flying. Perhaps that pilot in F should start doing that too.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
That's well within their right. If a person takes a red eye expecting to sleep then the onus is on them to bring eye covers, headphones, and other sleep aids.

It's a flying bus we are talking about here, not a Gulfstream G650.
Exactly. I wonder if the non-rev pilot/passenger shout Shut the F** UP! to the FA's when they spend 5 minutes on the credit card spiel?

There's a new class of service coming, ala the Amtrak Quiet Car. The Q fare will now be a dedicated quiet cabin where any conversation is prohibited and offenders will be subject to removal from the flight, even while airborne.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 5:48 pm
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Iíve been a party to many conversations that still manage to make their way through noise canceling headphones or earplugs. What many may perceive to them as an acceptable tone, often is not.
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Old Jun 7, 18, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by apeortdz View Post
I always carry an eyemask and earplugs with me when flying. Perhaps that pilot in F should start doing that too.
Exactly!

Is it rude of someone to read with the overhead light on during a redeye, too? I don't sleep well on planes unless it is some sort of lie flat seat (which I get once a decade or so). While I wouldn't likely have a conversation, I have definitely read during redeye flights.

In any case, I bring earplugs, eye shades, and noise cancelling headsets. While these don't cover all noise, it helps quite a bit.
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