A Southwest Airlines passenger was removed from a flight at Sacramento International Airport last week after jokingly asking a flight attendant if the water being handed out was vodka.
According to KTXL, the May 8 flight from Sacramento, California to Austin, Texas by way of Los Angeles had been delayed for several hours because of a maintenance light and the subsequent need to refuel when flight attendants began to pass out water to passengers.
“He said something [like], ‘They should be passing out vodka because we’ve been waiting so long,'” passenger Peter Uzelac told KTXL, referring to the unidentified man’s witty remark.
Uzelac said the flight attendant, who he described as young, was not amused.
“She came by and was like, ‘I don’t think that and I didn’t like your joke.’ Then my wife tried to butt-in there and say, ‘Look it, we’ve been on this plane for hours.’ And she says, ‘Well, so have I, so get used to it,'” added Uzelac. “Then all of a sudden, I see her on the telephone up in front.”
Uzelac said fellow passengers came to the man’s defense after the plane turned back to the gate and several Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies came on board to escort him off.
“And people started yelling then. In fact, people stood up. I stood up. People were saying this man didn’t do anything,” he told KTXL.
The man wasn’t charged with any crime but the incident prompted Uzelac to file a complaint with Southwest against the flight attendant. “If they have this in their records, you know, maybe it will prevent this from happening again,” he said.
“I have been flying for decades and I’ve never ever seen anything like this.”
Southwest stopped short of apologizing in a statement but said it would share the report with its customer relations team.
“We regret any less-than-positive experience a customer has onboard our aircraft. We welcome over 100 million customers each year and we aim to maintain the comfort of all while delivering Southwest hospitality. We will share this report with our Customer Relations Team,” the airline said.
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