Elderly couple kicked off flight to Spain for not knowing English

Aby Rivas
Nov 23, 2018
11:23 P.M.

An elderly couple was unceremoniously kicked off a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Spain after the language barrier made a small inconvenient with a flight attendant be blown out of proportion.


The KLM airline operating between Amerstand, Holland and Madrid, Spain is the new object of online accusations after passenger shared a Twitter video explaining that an old marriage was kicked off of their flight for not knowing how to speak English.

Source: Twitter/grubio92

Source: Twitter/grubio92

The misunderstanding started when one of the flight attendants moved the man’s carry-on without his permission, prompting the senior to protest in Spanish. According to Antena3, the man had a laptop on the bag and was asking the flight attendant to be careful with it, as he didn’t want it to be damaged.


However, the language barrier was big, as the flight attendant only spoke English, and eventually, the man became hostile toward the couple. He raised the issue to the captain of the crew, who decided that the best solution was to throw the couple off the flight.

Source: Twitter/grubio92

Source: Twitter/grubio92

Even though the wife tried to act as a mediator in the discussion, the airplane’s staff called security, and two men hoped on the plan ready to escort the couple back to the airport. The rest of the passengers did not completely understand the situation, so the senior explained it by saying:

“He wanted to move my baggage, but I said to them ‘Please don’t, I have a computer in there and I don’t want to damage it.’ The pilot then beckoned me towards him with his finger like this, without even approaching me, and said he was throwing us off the plane. Please accept my apologies.”

Source: Twitter/grubio92

Source: Twitter/grubio92



The fellow passengers were outraged by the decision, yelling cries of support to the man, who jokingly said: “we should all leave the plane.” However, the conflict had already delayed the flight, and the passengers could only sit and watch as the couple exited the plane.

The man told Antena3 that they were left behind to their own devices, and he and his wife had to pay for a night in a hotel before buying a ticket in a different airline. He also revealed they would be suing KLM for the traumatic experience.



The airline, on the other hand, released a statement with a different version of what went down, claiming that the man was behaving threateningly.

“We take great care to ensure the flight is as comfortable and safe as possible,” the flight crew said in an onboard announcement as cited by El Publico.

“Unfortunately, we cannot always control the behavior of our passengers. In order to offer a pleasant flight, our employees have been trained to recognise threatening situations. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope to see you all on one our flights in the near future.”



This is just one of the many incidents aboard airplanes that have been recorded on video by passengers this year.

While this incident was related to a misunderstanding caused by language, racism has become a constant issue aboard flights in the past few months.

One of the most outraging cases was that of a white man who refused to sit next to an elderly black woman on a Ryanair flight, causing distress to the woman and getting his way when a flight attendant ended up changing her seat.


And last month, an aggressive white woman was kicked off a plane for calling a flight attendant the N-word. She was allegedly upset because the man asked the passengers to get ready for departure by pulling up their seats and trail tables.

These type of cases are proof that, unfortunately, tolerance and kindness are not that common these days. If only people would be open to solve issues without recurring to violence of any kind, the world would probably be a better place for many.

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