The world has officially gone mad. Or at least that what it feels like these days when it comes to air travel. What used to be the “friendly skies” are seeming more and more like the Wild West. Passengers are being dragged off of planes, kicking and screaming, toddlers are prevented from using the toilet and then having accidents, seats are being taken from those who have paid for them, legroom is disappearing, fees are increasing, and everyone is in a bad mood.
Writing about these incidents, it has gotten to the point where it almost seems fake — like we must be making this stuff up, because surely no company you pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to for services would treat customers this way, right? Wrong. Because there has been yet another incident.
Passengers of an easyJet flight in Nice, France, are the lucky winners of this week’s air travel abuse lottery. The plane in question was supposed to leave for London at 10:35 a.m. The passengers boarded but were held on the plane for two hours because of a refueling issue. They were then permitted to return to the terminal, but there was not enough seating or food and many of the people on the flight had babies and small children with them. Twelve hours after the flight was scheduled to depart, all hell broke loose.
The NY Times reported:
“Why are you smiling?” a female passenger yelled at a gate attendant, according to a video of the episode published by the British newspaper The Sun. “This is a disgrace. We have children, babies.”
“Babies!” another woman interjected.
In the background, a man moved toward the attendant at the gate and, while holding a child in his left hand, tried to snap a photo of the attendant with his other hand. The employee swiftly slapped the cellphone to the floor.
The man retaliated, shoving his hand into the attendant’s shoulder and then his face. The attendant, regaining his footing, lunged forward and threw a jab into the man’s face. People gasped.
The incident was caught on camera and posted to Twitter.
When angry passengers reached out to the airline, easyJet apologized and issued statements:
“We are concerned to see this — it is not an easyJet staff member & they do not work for our ground handling agents,” the airline said on Twitter.
The airport said in a statement on Facebook that the police were investigating. “Whatever the circumstances, the airport management firmly condemns this incident and has immediately asked that this staff member to be suspended,” the airport said.