Airlines don’t mess around. When they feel there is a threat on board, no matter how innocent it might seem, they take precautionary measures to keep every passenger safe. Since the September 11th attacks, airlines have stepped up security measures because they never know who the next person might be to try to hijack an airplane. That’s why an airline in Canada turned the plane around and kicked a 71-year-old grandmother off their flight after she asked the flight attendant to throw away a suspicious piece of trash.
After Ellen Flemming was kicked off the flight, she decided to go public about the situation. She claims that she was taken off the plane due to false pretenses. It happened like this. Flemming came onto the plane and saw that there was trash left behind from the previous passenger. She said she asked the flight attendant to remove the trash and that’s when the flight attendant grew agitated with the grandmother. She refused to help Flemming remove the previous passenger’s disgusting trash heap. When she asked again, the flight attendant refused.
That’s when Flemming took action. She picked up the trash and put it onto a passing cart. The flight attendant slapped Flemming’s hand away and sent the trash flying over the cabin.
“He swiped my hand away, and the garbage, and so my hand came back and hit something on the way, and the garbage flew all over,” she admitted.
By this time, Flemming was furious. She kicked the trash into the aisle, growing aggressive and threatening. And that’s when the flight attendant reported Flemming’s behavior to the captain, who listened to the attendant and turned the plane around and landed – so they could eject Ellen Flemming.
After she was kicked out of the plane, Flemming went to the press to file her complaint with the airline. But Air Canada had a report of its own. It said that Flemming was removed from the plane because she kicked the flight attendant.
Flemming was on the plane from Kelowna to New Brunswick with her husband and two grandsons. She grew so angry with the flight attendant and Air Canada’s lackluster trash removal service after the flight attendant said, “I’m a flight attendant. I don’t do garbage.”
When it finally came down to it, Flemming kicked garbage into the aisle knowing that it would be harder for the flight attendant to ignore his “trash duties” with the trash interfering with everyone’s safety.
The flight attendant reported the incident to the captain. He came back and asked to speak with Flemming.
By this time, she knew she was in trouble, so she kept her eyes closed, hoping the situation would disappear. But the flight attendant didn’t give up. He returned with a female worker, who Flemming also ignored.
After ignoring two airline workers, the captain turned the plane around and ejected Flemming.
Another passenger heard about the turn-around and asked if she could pick up the trash just to avoid the problem. But the flight attendant assured the passenger it was for “the safety of the passengers.”
“When we landed (back in Kelowna) two police officers came on board,” Flemming remembered. “One stood right behind my seat, and the other stood in front. There was a service agent as well,” she said, as she started to weep. “They asked me to come with them, and we didn’t know what to do. We said ‘why?’”
Air Canada has banned Flemming from the airline.
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