CREW

Are airlines too quick to throw sick passengers off a flight? Maybe not

Note: Today we’re introducing a new feature that we’d like to do as often as we can. We’re calling it “Op-ed” and, as the name suggests, it’s a perspective from the other side of the counter. Please be civil with your comments. Thank you.

The story on the face of it is a complete nightmare — a cancer sufferer with multiple myeloma, who was enjoying a Hawaii vacation with her family, was booted off her return flight on Alaska Airlines because she didn’t have a doctor’s note.

And, a passenger who recorded an exchange on a JetBlue flight between the flight attendant and a different cancer patient was removed from the flight in retaliation for refusing to erase a video of her interaction with the patient.
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Up in the air: Who is torturing whom?

skySandra Mennitto watched a flight attendant torture a passenger for almost two hours on a recent trip from Chicago and Harrisburg, Pa.

Well, not torture in the Zero Dark Thirty sense of the word. But almost as painful, she says.

“A gentleman behind me had a full leg cast,” she remembers. For comfort, he had stretched the affected leg into the aisle. And that’s when the attendant stopped him.

“She talked down to him,” says Mennitto. “She said, ‘Just get it out of the aisle.’ In severe pain, he forced his leg around and held it [below the seat].”
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Ridiculous or not? When flight attendants attack

Maybe I should take more road trips.

After last week’s column on flight attendants who hate their passengers, I’m pretty sure a “wanted” poster of me is displayed in every crewmember break room and galley.

I heard from passengers who shared their own horror stories of abusive crewmembers. I heard from airline employees who confirmed the sorry state of airline service and tried to help me understand it. And I heard from a small group of apoplectic flight attendants who thought the best way to counter the well-documented problems was to kill the messenger.
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Can this trip be saved? We want $1,000 for a bogus weather delay

I‘ve been weighing this case for several months, and still can’t decide what to do. Maybe you can help.

It comes to me by way of Jonathan Cook, who was a passenger on US Airways flight 1018 from Philadelphia and St. Thomas on Dec. 30, 2009. He represents a group of 80 passengers who were delayed almost a full day under mysterious circumstances. They want to be compensated by the airline, which insists it owes them nothing because it claims the entire delay was weather-related.

This case first was brought to my attention late last year and Cook has written to me several times since then. Let’s run through the highlights.
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