Imagine your grandmother (or mother) being grabbed by the arm and moved down a plane aisle by a flight attendant. Is the flight attendant being gentle and understanding? Respectful? Particularly since your grandmother is from another culture and has been in route for 30-hours. In the case of Talat Taharia, a woman from Pakistan, the Jet Blue flight attendant forcibly moved her from the exit aisle and made her sit next to someone she doesn’t know. Taharia, however is looking at a planeload of fines. Here’s why.
According to the flight attendant, she had Taharia move from the exit row 15 times and Taharia “yanked her down the aisle.” Taharia is countering with that’s impossible. After all, look at her.
From this article’s description, it seems that Taharia wasn’t just in the exit row seat, but stretched out in the exit row floor trying to catch some shut eye. Poor thing, she’d been traveling for 30 hours, after all. She was pooped and saw some space. Maybe she’s not that big, a bitty person actually, not even her big toe would get in the way of the drink cart, and figured what’s the harm?
Also, according to the flight attendant, When the flight attendant asked her to move, it was Taharia who became crabby and grabby. She actually assaulted the flight attendant. The flight attendant said she could have been arrested even.
Who is right? Who pushed and who pulled? How many times did Taharia lay her head on the plane’s floor looking for some peace and quiet? The FAA has just thrown a book of fines, to the tune of $6,000, at Taharia.
Here’s what I envision happening. A misunderstanding where both people were not patient enough. To Taharia, the exit seat was open, and so was the floor, therefore up for grabs. One can sleep wherever there’s a space on trains. Why not planes? I’m also wondering how well she understands English, particularly when rattled. Also, considering that she just left family in Pakistan, and it’s not the most stable place on the planet, her emotions may have already been on edge.
The flight attendant, doing her job, saw safety first, and may not have known a darned thing about elderly women originally from Pakistan which may have heightened the problem. Only people who can handle the job of being in an exit row in case there’s a disaster are supposed to sit in one of those seats. The elderly woman was showing she couldn’t take directions all that well. Still, why not take the time out to help the woman find a solution to wanting to get some sleep? Supposedly the flight from Pakistan to the U.S. wasn’t full. Offer a suggestion about laying down across seats if there is an empty row, and whatever you do, don’t put an older woman next to a person she doesn’t know.
Here’s a truth about human behavior, when pushed negatively, people respond–negatively. From what I read, these two needed a mediator. That day back in November was not good for either one of them. [komonews.com]