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A dream retirement trip to Costa Rica turned into a nightmare for a 74-year-old British grandmother after she got into a physical altercation with a flight attendant over an empty tea cup. Angela Siddell is now suing JetBlue under the Montreal Convention, which holds airlines liable for passenger’s injuries onboard international flights.
According to Siddell, she went to the lavatory while flight attendants were doing trash pickup. When she returned to her seat, she realized that they had already come through. She got up, took her empty cup to the galley, and left it there for flight attendants to dispose of when they were back in the galley. When she returned to her seat, a flight attendant allegedly approached her and accused her of throwing the cup in the galley. She tried to tell her side of the story, but was cut off by the flight attendant.
The Daily Beast reports that Siddell then went to confront the flight attendant and said she wanted to file a complaint. She asked for the flight attendant’s name and ID number as well as the captain’s name. This request was denied. She began to write notes on her air sickness bag to document the situation. The flight attendant blocked her name badge and allegedly became violent.
According to the complaint:
Plaintiff was shoved from behind several more times by the JetBlue cabin crew member causing Plaintiff’s head to strike the exit door multiple times and causing Plaintiff to sustain physical injuries, including a black eye, and bruises and swelling of the temple region and other areas of Plaintiff’s head.”
Two flight attendants then allegedly handcuffed her and “applied pressure to Plaintiff’s torso causing Plaintiff to have extreme difficulty breathing.” The plane from Liberia Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) then diverted from its intended destination (New York John F Kennedy International Airport) to Orlando International Airport (MCO). Siddell and her travel partner were then handed over to waiting law enforcement.
Anthony’s Take: There seems to be some details missing from this story. I’m not sure why a flight attendant would assault a passenger unprovoked or even over trying to get their name or badge number. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
(Image Credits: JetBlue.)
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