American Airlines Pilot Ejects Passenger

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

American Airlines is taking their turn in the hot seat over an incident last week where a pilot intervened to have a passenger removed. Prior to boarding her flight from Miami to New York, Tamika Mallory had a disagreement with the gate agent over whether she was to be seated in a middle or aisle seat, but thought the dispute was behind her as she walked down the jetway with her boarding pass in hand. Mallory says she was stopped by the pilot who reprimanded her over a conversation with the gate agent. “Then he said to me, ‘Can you get on this flight? Are you going to be a problem on this flight?’ I said ‘No, I’m not. Actually, I’m fine. But I will write my complaint down. He looked at me and said, ‘You’re going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane.’”

After taking her seat, Mallory’s name was called and she was asked to come up to the front of the aircraft where the captain identified her, and she was removed from the flight along with a person travelling with her. Mallory says she has been told by airline representatives that the pilot mishandled the matter: “He had no business getting involved in a seat dispute,” said Mallory on Twitter. American Airlines has not been forthcoming with an apology or alternative course of events. Although lacking video, Mallory’s ejection from the flight has been getting media attention in part because she is a well-known gun control and civil rights activist.

Comments (31)

PIC exercising his authority to prevent a problem in the air. Maybe not PC but a legal action.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | October 16, 2017 3:05 PM    Report this comment

That's the problem with these "activists". They need to learn when to stop being activists and when to start being regular human beings. On a long flight there's no room for someone that likes to agitate the crew over some perceived slight against her. She states "he had no business getting involved in a seat dispute," but the pilot in command has the FINAL WORD on who gets on the plane!

Posted by: John Burke | October 16, 2017 5:50 PM    Report this comment

"He had no business getting involved in a seat dispute,"

Wrong. The captain has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of the flight. That sometimes involves removing passengers who can't behave themselves.

It seems to me that the nice lady simply needs to grow up a bit.

Posted by: Blaine Nay | October 16, 2017 8:13 PM    Report this comment

Activists are not the "problem", Activists usually are doing us all a service in alerting the rest of us to unsafe conditions, toxic workplaces, un-just laws, child abuse, auto-safety and countless other things that make our lives safer and more enjoyable and they often restore 'dignity' to all our lives by their actions. Of course, we don't all agree with how activists work but we also don't have to work with the assumption that all activists are out to make trouble. Remember that poor doctor who was dragged, kicking and screaming off an airline? Remember him? He was not an activist! But the majority of airline workers agreed that it was a wrong and wholly Undignified thing to do.___Posted by Frederik Penn.

Posted by: Rik Penn | October 16, 2017 8:24 PM    Report this comment

That's the problem with these "activists". They need to learn when to stop being activists and when to start being regular human beings.'

Couldn't agree more. The list comprises second amendment zealots, religious fanatics, racists, fascists, nationalists, populists, nativists, birthers, nazis, anti-immigrant, and conspiracy idiots.

And the pilot was out of line, PIC or not. Read the article.

Posted by: Dave Miller | October 16, 2017 9:24 PM    Report this comment

I read the article. Obviously there was something the woman said, or maybe it was her attitude that led the gate agent, then the crew, and then the pilot to believe that she might get out of control and disrupt the flight. Once she's on the plane it's too late. Sometimes you have to read between the lines in an article. I don't have a problem with activists. They just need to know when to turn it off. As Blaine said, "It seems to me that the nice lady simply needs to grow up a bit."

Posted by: John Burke | October 16, 2017 10:26 PM    Report this comment

The 'potential' for disruptive behavior is not grounds for ejection. If that were so, alcohol would be banned, carry-ons searched for drugs, etc. and medical histories would be demanded from all passengers. This is the world we want to live in? Maybe precogs at airports scanning passengers before flights?

The article I read said nothing of her making a threat - only the pilot did that by saying, "you're going to get yourself a one-way ticket off this plane"-

And she's the one who 'needs to grow up a bit?'

There was nothing 'obvious' of what the woman said except for an assumption - and the assumption she was lying when she said 'No, I'm not. Actually, I'm fine. But I will write my complaint down', in response to his rude, unprofessional question.

He was being a real a-****, and AA knew it.

Posted by: Dave Miller | October 17, 2017 12:15 AM    Report this comment

Somehow I doubt that, but AA will likely remain silent to stay P.C. Besides, this was her account of what happened and her account only. It doesn't pass the smell test. One thing i've learned about activists whether they lean to the left or the right...they usually have an agenda, and are often looking to pick a fight.
Not a good attitude to have before boarding a flight. She's only responsible for herself, the pilot is responsible for the passengers and crew. when she said 'No, I'm not. Actually, I'm fine. But I will write my complaint down', that sounds like she's still picking a fight! You could be right, maybe the pilot was just overreacting? Maybe in the coming days we'll hear the other side of the story.

Posted by: John Burke | October 17, 2017 12:55 AM    Report this comment

Ms. Mallory has posted a 15 minute video on-line where she explains the incident from her perspective. It is pretty clear that the gate agent, and especially the captain, could have handled things better. As for Ms. Mallory's behavior, you can listen to her story and decide for yourself.

Posted by: kim hunter | October 17, 2017 1:07 AM    Report this comment

"Ms. Mallory has posted a 15 minute video on-line where she explains the incident from her perspective"

Activists, by definition, are not agreeable nor tolerant.
Her point of view, therefore, is also biased toward being disagreeable and intolerant.
If her disagreement at the gate was so LOUD that the pilot heard it at the other end of the Jetway, then the pilot is rightfully concerned about the other passengers.

If you want a window or isle seat, get there early and/or pay for it.
Yelling at others to get your way is uncivil, rude, and just plain selfish.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 17, 2017 8:09 AM    Report this comment

"Activists usually are doing us all a service ..." Oh really, Rik. So the people demonstrating at Berkeley (destroying property and costing enormous sums of money) and other places ... disrupting society ... are doing us all a service. I think not. Where did you learn that ... ? I'd love to say what I think but I'll bite my tongue. Activists think they're the judge and jury ... they're not!

The PIC is within his rights to eject anyone off of his airplane for any reason. Period. It may not be good PR and he may have to answer for his actions subsequently but I'll bet he doesn't suffer any ill consequences. Not only is safety an issue, the comfort of his other passengers is, too. It's HIS call. On a private tour of a very large ocean liner a few years ago, I noticed the Brig. I asked about it and was told that it was used a lot more than most people realize. Too bad they don't have one on airliners.

The FAA Administrator issued a "Kindler and Gentler FAA" memo a few years ago to all employees. It effectively outlines how to deal with people who break FAA rules. If they have the right attitude," they get a bit of tweaking and move on. If they don't ... they suffer the consequences. That applies here, too. In any Society, as the numbers proliferate and the space between individuals consequently diminishes, it's imperative that everyone acts reasonably. This woman caused an issue and the PIC decided he didn't want her aboard. The only redeeming thing she did -- as I see it -- was cooperate to walk off the airplane v being dragged. That Doctor could have done the same thing but ...

Posted by: Larry Stencel | October 17, 2017 8:10 AM    Report this comment

Right on Larry.

I have been on airline flights where one disruptive passenger spoiled and disrupted the flight for 300+ civil and polite passengers. If the Capt felt that she had potential to cause a problem then he was within his legal authority to deny boarding. And yes, airlines do deny boarding for drunk or unruly passengers.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | October 17, 2017 10:57 AM    Report this comment

This reads like it was written as a theoretical exercise in a corporate sensitivity training session. Let's all break into groups and discuss our feelings.

Posted by: Dave Gampfer | October 17, 2017 12:05 PM    Report this comment

We have heard exactly one side of the story. Presumably the pilot has a point of view as well. This would not be news except for the fact that it is an activist involved. Also, the news media has a proven track record of mistakes, if not outright lies.

Posted by: Edward Codrington | October 17, 2017 12:22 PM    Report this comment

Her problem was that she bought a low cost ticket and then got a lousy seat assignment?
Well missy, welcome to the real world.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 17, 2017 1:25 PM    Report this comment

I think she accepted the real world quite well. Just read that, according to witnesses, she was calmly sitting in the middle seat, not aisle, despite her claustrophobia when the pilot said he wanted her off the plane.

Yeah, I can't wait to hear from the pilot as well. And the airline, and any witnesses.

Real cool, Fraser, calling her missy.

Posted by: Dave Miller | October 17, 2017 1:47 PM    Report this comment

If the pilot in command thought there was a potential for the flight being disrupted by "Tamika" who among us is in a position to challenge his judgement? Flawed judgement or otherwise.

Or is it being said that a PIC does not and should not have the discretion to deny boarding to anyone that he feels could possibly be a threat?

Posted by: Jeff Land | October 17, 2017 2:02 PM    Report this comment

Dave, think about it.
IF it had happened the way that she described it, then she would have made her flight like the rest of traveling public and not had a story to tell. Judging from her parents and her history, I imagine that her language was a bit more colorful and heated than she later describes here. Obviously if the pilot can hear you from the ticket counter, then you are a disturbance to civility.

Nothing is wrong with calling Tamika "missy" because I'm sure that she called the under paid ticket counter person words that we cannot use here in civil discourse.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 17, 2017 2:51 PM    Report this comment

'then she would have made her flight like the rest of traveling public'

Which, by accepting the middle seat, it seems she fully intended to do. But hey, like every other opinion here, it's an assumption.

'because I'm sure...'

Except we're not, are we, Mark.

Obviously, I'm not a cool-aid drinker. I've seen Captains fly passenger-loaded planes into mountains, oceans, read about drunk, pissed, racist Captains and drug-slaved Captains. Sleep-apnea Captains. (just threw that one in for levity)

All kinds of Captains. Let's hear from this one, eh? Unless it's fake news media - those rascals - whatever shall we believe?

Posted by: Dave Miller | October 17, 2017 3:10 PM    Report this comment

Let's use logic and reason.
IF she fully intended to take the seat assignment, she would have done so without argument.
IF she fully intended to take the assignment but gave the gate attendant an argument; then she was not a nice person.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 17, 2017 5:33 PM    Report this comment

Bye bye Tamika....grow up!

Posted by: COLLIN REESE JONES | October 17, 2017 6:51 PM    Report this comment

Logic and reason, ugh, how limiting.

Ok. After having her seat changed at the kiosk, fully intending to take the middle seat would be illogical and therefore eliminated. Actually, the opposite would be the reasonable expectation.

Finding the 'reason' she surrendered the fight and took the middle seat would be interesting. Could she have been the bigger person? Ha! I joke with unreasonable, impossible assumption and folly.

Maybe she isn't a nice person. Was the pilot? Was the attendant? So many questions, my head hurts. Gonna watch the Cubs. Cheers.

Posted by: Dave Miller | October 17, 2017 6:53 PM    Report this comment

Other passengers said Mallory was kicked off because she was screaming f-bombs at the staff and in front of children. Other passengers have video of her doing that. Mallory's own twitter feed said "Only reason this pilot got involved was to assert his white male power over who he thought was just some uppity black girl. That's it."

Respect is earned (being removed from civil society is also earned).

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 17, 2017 10:31 PM    Report this comment

The incident, a pilot and passenger plus all these comments shows that the world is lacking in what it needs most - love. Real love endures all things.

Posted by: Don Lineback | October 18, 2017 7:33 AM    Report this comment

Yes, all we need is love.

Might make a good title for a song.

Posted by: Jeff Land | October 18, 2017 8:42 AM    Report this comment

This is the same airline industry who wants to take control of the ATC system.

No thanks.

Posted by: Dennis Koehl | October 18, 2017 8:42 AM    Report this comment

"Racial injustice": Expecting blacks to obey the rules. Bah.

Posted by: karl schneider | October 18, 2017 8:51 AM    Report this comment

You don't need love to utilize public transportation or public forums; just civility.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 18, 2017 9:18 AM    Report this comment

I see a lot of willingness to blame Mallory based on speculation. Please, guys. Don't do that. "Reading between the lines" is not evidence. You don't know what the conversation at the airport was about, but several of you have assumed it had to be about Mallory's politics.
Maybe the conversation was about her health and comfort. Yesterday, I dropped off at Philadelphia International Airport a passenger who has been having serious sciatic pain. She had seating requirements too.
You. Don't. Know.
Having been driven to great irritation by United personnel in the past 10 months, and having watched one gate person be particularly rude to an anxious, fatigued and non-threatening passenger, I know that airline personnel have a knack for irritating their customers.

Posted by: John Schubert | October 18, 2017 1:43 PM    Report this comment

Evidence is overwhelming that everyone who buys cheap seats on an American Airlines affiliate has to be prepared to endure seat changes like Tamika Mallory was asked to. Evidence is also overwhelming and conclusive that all other passengers that boarded in middle seats on her flight accepted the terms and boarded without incident.

It's not prejudice nor politics, discount ticket holders have to expect minor inconveniences.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 18, 2017 7:52 PM    Report this comment

The air lines and the air line employees are in business to move passengers. The last thing they want to do is to deny a passenger a seat. However, some passenger's deserve to be denied boarding.

I blame "Tamika". She is an agitator. Agitator's agitate. She just agitated the wrong guy. The rest of us "sheeple" just have to put up with her antics.

Good for the PIC. Good for the rest of the paying passengers. Good for the flight crew.

Now will she use this as a lesson in civility? Probably not. The world is against her. Certainly in her own mind.

Posted by: Jeff Land | October 19, 2017 8:44 AM    Report this comment

Add your comments

Log In

You must be logged in to comment

Forgot password?


Enter your information below to begin your FREE registration