On August 18, 2018, a plane got turned around mid-flight and a passenger kicked off the plane over garbage dispute.
The plane took off from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Air Canada flight 8946 just after 8 am. On board is Ellen Flemming and her family eager to get home after spending the previous night in the airport after their connection to Saint John got canceled.
The debacle started when Ellen wanted to put her water bottle in the pouch in front of her when she pulled the pouch out her hand and fingers were covered in wet garbage.
The flight attendant replied:
“He just stood up tall and said, ‘I’m a flight attendant, I don’t do garbage.’"
She was shocked at the reaction of the flight attendant and was unsure what to do next until a cart came down the aisle and thought to herself that there is usually a little garbage container on the top of the cart, so she would just put the wet garbage in that. She reached out to drop the garbage in the bin but the flight attendant swiped her hand away, on its way back her hand hit something and the garbage flew all over.
Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.
Flemming commented that she pushed the garbage into the aisle with her foot and the flight attendant again refused to help with the disposal of the garbage. Fellow passenger Helen Hollett said:
“She just asked him to take the garbage and she was very nice about it and then he just, he got really mad.”
Both women said Flemming tried to de-escalate the situation by closing her eyes not wanting to respond when two flight attendants tried to speak with her. The pilot then announced that the plane was turning around due to an unruly passenger.
When the plane landed in Toronto, two Peel Regional Police officers and an Air Canada agent boarded the plane and asked Flemming to disembark the plane immediately and got told by the Air Canada agent she could rebook another flight. However, once at the Air Canada desk, the manager of the desk said:
“You’re not ever flying Air Canada again.”
Eventually, Flemming bought a ticket with Westjet to Halifax and arranged transport home from there.
Air Canada confirmed via email to Global News that they removed a passenger from the flight on August 18, and they called authorities to meet the flight once landed.
In a letter from Air Canada corporate security dated August 30 addressed to Flemming, they state she exhibited aggressive behavior towards a crewmember, kicked a crewmember that told her to wait until the member could return after serving food to pick up the garbage, and threw garbage on the food trolley.
In the same letter, they also state that there is no ongoing prohibition banning Flemming from traveling on Air Canada flights. Flemming denies their version of events.
In an emailed statement:
“Police spoke with the individuals involved in the incident and other passengers seated in the vicinity of the incident. Based on the information received, it was determined that both parties got involved in a loud verbal dispute. Police concluded that they committed no criminal offenses.”
Airlines are seemingly taking a hard stance on what they refer to as passenger safety as also showed during flight in which an unnamed air hostess got fired after her boyfriend proposed to her in May onboard a China Eastern Airlines flight.
The romantic proposal went viral on Chinese social media at first shared by Chinese news video platform Weibo on May 19, a Chinese microblogging site and social media platform, also uploaded to their YouTube channel later the same day.
It did not go unnoticed by members of China Eastern Airlines as they sent her a letter of dismissal on September 12. The letter apparently stated that the romantic proposal caused a disturbance that could have endangered the safety of the passengers.
The respective airlines Air Canada and China Eastern Airlines both refused interviews about the incidents that occurred on their flights.
Thankfully, when a plane falls out of the sky, it is mostly from mechanical or other operational issues with the plane itself, as demonstrated when a small aircraft had to make an emergency landing on a busy highway one Saturday night in August 2018.
The emergency landing was filmed by Eric and Brandi Geer from the Bay Area as they were driving along the San Leandros’ westbound lanes of Highway 580. A Cessna 172 had engine trouble and was unable to make it to the closest airport forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing not far ahead of the couple.
Geer started honking the horn and swerving across the road flashing lights in the hopes of alerting other drivers while Brandi called 911. The plane landed safely, and no one was injured. Brandi commented after the landing:
“It looked like the pilot waited for a gap in traffic, then drops the plane down near the 164th street exit. He was able to hold that plane up until all the cars got out of the way, and then he landed it and then he immediately went over to the side.”
Due to the skill and judgment of the pilot, all ended well, but perhaps the major airlines are trying to prevent accidents that could be harmful to passengers that are in their power to avoid.