A very sad story out of Orlando, where two middle-aged sisters were deemed a “security risk” and thrown off a flight, prohibiting them from saying goodbye to their father on his deathbed.
As their Allegiant Air flight prepared to take off for Asheville, North Carolina, one sister received a text message that their father — already in a hospice — had only hours to live. Due to the last-minute nature of the booking, they were not seated together. She walked back to her sister (seated somewhere behind her) and sat down nearby. A FA ordered her to return to her seat. Rather than complying, she explained what had just happened and ask for permission to stay where she was.
The sister piped in that the FA was being rude.
The Allegiant FA allegedly told the sisters to “keep their personal problems off the plane”.
That triggered a panic attack in the sister. The FA notified the captain, who returned the aircraft to the gate. Deemed a “security threat”, the women were escorted off the aircraft. The FA allegedly lied to authorities that the sisters refused to obey orders and used foul language.
Hours later their father died.
You can watch the heartbreaking story here:
Fellow Passenger Backs Up Sisters on YouTube
We know their are two sides to every story and perhaps the sister was not as polite to the FA as she intimates above. We also know that rule #1 is to follow FA safety instructions when onboard a plane.
But come on! Their father was dying! The two sisters just wanted to be near each other!
Another passenger stepped forward and posted this on YouTube:
Listening to that further makes me side with the two sisters. Her narrative, though, slightly contradicts the sister’s above. She claims the sisters were always seated across form each other and neither ever rose from their seat. I have a feeling she started paying attention after the commotion began.
Allegiant released the following statement:
At Allegiant, we rely on our crew members to provide and oversee a safe environment for every passenger, on every flight. We expect that authority to be exercised both judiciously and consistently, with empathy and with good judgment. We take this customer feedback seriously and are in the process of conducting an investigation into what occurred.
Now, the sisters are calling for the FA to be fired. I think they should be calling for the captain’s head instead – it was his call whether to throw them off or not and he cowardly caved into what sounded like a monster of a FA.
My condolences to these two sisters on the loss of their father. I trust they they will receive an apology from Allegiant.