An American Airlines flight was forced to divert and remove a passenger after they were accused of calling a flight attendant a “waiter.”
A flight bound for Georgetown, Guyana, returned to New York City’s JFK International Airport just two hours into the trip following a “disruptive passenger”. The passenger, who was identified as Joel Ghansham, was in business class when they claimed to have asked a flight attendant to help their put their bags in the overhead luggage storage after they had recently undergone surgery.
Joel, who is a “Guyanese cultural activist”, according to Guarana’s Stabroek News, took to YouTube to share their experience. They said: “He [flight attendant] was like ‘I don’t do that, I don’t get paid for that. But if you don’t like it there is always another airline.”
They said another worker apologised and helped with their luggage but Joel claims just an hour into the flight they were asked by the flight attendant, who allegedly refused to assist Joel, if they wanted anything to drink.
Joel replied: “No thank you, waiter” as they later claimed the flight attendant told her he wasn’t a waiter but “had the power to turn the plane around” – to which the passenger replied: “You must be God, so you do it.”
Just moments later, the pilot announced over the intercom that the plane was returning to New York and Joel was met by cops when the aircraft landed. Joel was interviewed by an agent from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) but denies any argument took place and refutes claims they were disruptive.
Joel said: “There was not a disruption. I never got up. There was not an argument, there was not a confrontation, and nobody touched each other. He was wearing a mask. He wasn’t even loud. It was just his pride.”
A spokesperson for American Airlines said in a statement: “American Airlines flight 2557, with service from New York (JFK) to Georgetown, Guyana (GEO), returned to JFK on Tuesday due to a disruptive customer. Safety and security are our top priorities, and we thank our customers for their understanding and our team members for their professionalism in managing a difficult situation.”
The incident comes after a Spirit Airlines passenger was caught urinating in a corner of the plane following a bizarre row. The passenger’s actions were triggered by the alleged denial of access to the restroom during the flight, according to airlive.net.
In the disturbing video footage, the woman can be heard shouting at the crew, “I need to p*ss two hours, you tell me you cannot — you close the doors.” Frustrated and apparently unable to hold it any longer, she squats down and relieves herself on the floor of the aircraft. It is unclear whether the plane was taking off or landing, which would explain why the toilets were closed.