NEW YORK- American Airlines (AA) Flight AA2557, en route from New York (JFK) to Georgetown (GEO), Guyana, encountered an unusual incident that resulted in the plane’s return to New York just 45 minutes after takeoff.
The disruptive factor behind this unexpected decision was identified as a rude flight attendant who engaged in a confrontational interaction with an Indian-origin passenger.
American Airlines Flight Diverted to New York
Indian television personality Joel Ghansham, recovering from neck and eye surgeries, requested assistance from a flight attendant on the Boeing 737 MAX to stow his carry-on bag in the overhead bin.
The flight attendant refused, stating they were not paid for such tasks. Further suggested Ghansham find another flight if dissatisfied. Eventually, another crew member helped the passenger with his bag in the business class section.
Later, when the same flight attendant took Ghansham’s drink order, the interaction turned even more unpleasant. Ghansham’s response was met with forceful repetition, prompting him to respond rudely with a sarcastic “No thank you, waiter.”
The situation escalated when the flight attendant claimed the power to divert the plane due to the perceived disrespect. In response, Ghansham retorted, “You must be God, so you do it.”
The Decision to Divert
The flight attendant promptly reported the incident to the captain, who made the decision to turn the plane back to New York.
Notably, there were no reported threats or physical altercations, only a clash of egos between the crewmember and the passenger. Upon landing, Ghansham was met by police but later released.
According to eyewitnesses, the passenger acted inappropriately, but many felt the flight attendant’s behavior was worse.
While crewmembers discussing the incident on social media acknowledged the passenger’s misconduct. They believed that diverting the flight was unnecessary and that a report should have sufficed.
Cabin Crew Procedures
American Airlines encourages crewmembers to file CERS (Cabin Event Report System) reports when dealing with unruly passengers. These reports are crucial in initiating an investigation process with corporate security.
To ensure the effectiveness of such reports, they must be accurate, corroborated by fellow crewmembers, and submitted promptly.
This helps prevent legal challenges and expedites actions to restrict passengers from flying with the airline in the future. The acronym A.C.T. (Accurate, Corroborated, Timely) is emphasized as a guide for crewmembers.
In conclusion, the unfortunate incident involving Flight 2557 highlights the significance of maintaining professionalism and respectful communication on flights.
While both the passenger and the flight attendant could have handled the situation better, the decision to divert the flight seems to have been influenced by a momentary confrontation rather than a tangible threat.
Ensuring timely and accurate reporting of such incidents can aid in resolving disputes without unnecessary disruptions to flight schedules.
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