A 71-year-old grandmother’s simple request to a flight attendant resulted in an unexpected and shocking chain of events, leaving her ejected from the flight and deeply upset. The airline’s explanation only serves to fuel outrage over the appalling incident.
Ellen Flemming, an experienced traveler, was flying with Air Canada from Pearson International Airport in Toronto to New Brunswick, accompanied by her husband and two grandchildren. She asked the flight attendant for a straightforward favor, never imagining that her inquiry would have such disastrous consequences.
According to Ellen, she noticed wet trash in the seat pocket in front of her and requested that the flight attendant remove it. To her astonishment, he angrily refused, saying, “I’m a flight attendant, and I don’t look after garbage.” Although Ellen was taken aback, she remained composed and did not create a scene.
As the food cart passed by, Ellen attempted to dispose of the trash herself, only for the flight attendant to reportedly swipes her arm away. The trash flew onto Ellen and her husband and eventually landed on the floor, where she brushed it away with her foot. Thinking the episode was over, she was soon proven wrong.
Moments later, the pilot announced that the plane would return to British Columbia due to an incident. To Ellen’s dismay, she discovered that she was the “incident” in question. Upon landing, she was escorted off the flight by police and informed that she was banned from flying Air Canada. The airline’s justification, claiming Ellen exhibited aggressive behavior, kicked a crew member, and threw garbage on the food trolley, left her bewildered.
Ellen’s account has been corroborated by other passengers, including Helen Hollett, who sat across from Ellen and her family. Helen insists that Ellen was not aggressive, but rather it was the flight attendant who acted irate and screamed during the altercation. The police have also found no reason to press charges against the grandmother, stating that no criminal offenses occurred.
It is crucial to emphasize that mutual respect between passengers and crew is vital. In this instance, however, Ellen did nothing wrong. The entire debacle began with the flight attendant’s “it’s not my job” attitude. If he had simply taken the trash and accommodated Ellen’s request, the entire situation could have been avoided.
In fact, flight attendants routinely collect trash from passengers after serving drinks, so why was this instance different? If this particular flight attendant considers disposing of garbage beneath him, he should consider a career change. A customer-focused attitude should be the norm in any line of work, regardless of the task at hand.
Unfortunately, Ellen paid a high price for the flight attendant’s arrogance and sense of entitlement. The experience should serve as a reminder that simple acts of kindness and consideration can go a long way in preventing distressing incidents like this one.
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