A grandmother claims she was asked to leave the plane after she simply requested that a flight attendant throw away some wet trash. Things escalated quickly, and the woman was eventually taken off the plane.
In 2018, Ellen Flemming, a 71-year-old woman, traveled on board an Air Canada jet with her husband and two grandkids. A routine flight soon turned into an unpleasant encounter. One request led to her being labeled a “threat” to the passengers.
She was shocked and horrified by what happened, and the incident left her in tears. Flemming asked airline staff to remove trash she found in the seat pocket. The man allegedly told her he did not look after garbage because he was a flight attendant.
She claims he immediately became upset at her request. Later, when the food cart came by, Flemming attempted to discard the trash by placing it on the cart. According to her, the flight attendant aggressively hit her arm away, resulting in bruising.
The trash also landed on her and her husband. She kicked the garbage away with her foot. In a letter she received from Air Canada, she was accused of kicking the flight attendant. She denies this, along with their other accusations.
Things on the plane escalated after she kicked the trash away. She heard the pilot was turning their flight around because of an “incident.” Flemming could not believe she was the “incident” and was dumbfounded when she was escorted off the plane.
Police also told her she would no longer be allowed to fly with the airline in the future. The airline’s justification confused Flemming even more. They said she was removed because of “aggressive behavior toward a crew member.”
PASSENGERS DEFEND THE GRANDMOTHER
Flemming denies these claims. Other passengers who witnessed the incident have backed up Flemming’s story. Helen Hollett sat across from the grandmother and said Flemming was not “acting aggressively at all.” She revealed who was to blame.
She stated that the “irate” and “screaming” flight attendant created tension. Hollett said: “The thing is, most of the passengers on that plane didn’t even know what was happening.” Police also found no reason for criminal charges against Flemming.
Online users had a lot to say about the encounter. Many stated that it was “unacceptable.” A netizen wrote: “Seniors cannot be kicked out from a plane that is asking someone to throw away trash politely. She needs to sue that airline company.”
Another user pointed out that it was the job of flight attendants to collect trash. Regardless of this, many expressed that employees must always treat the customer well in a customer service-oriented occupation.