This is a TNB Public Service Announcement. Fly Like You’re Human.
We at TNB were not aware this message needed to be provided. We were wrong. Frontier Airlines has had two reminders this week that some people abandon their basic humanity once they are no longer in contact with the ground. These patrons apparently believe that the airplane is, in fact, the Wild Frontier, where anything goes.
The first example comes from Orlando, where a pregnant deaf woman and her service dog were allegedly punched by another passenger. From the Daily Mail:
A video has emerged of a fistfight inside an Orlando Airport terminal after a deaf, engaged couple claimed a fellow passenger punched the deaf pregnant fiancee in the stomach, and punched their service dog in the head.
The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1OydOEiOy0
Now, the story, as most stories go, isn’t completely one-sided. The man who struck the dog, Timothy Manley, says that he struck the dog only because when it woke up and stretched, he was concerned because his wife is allergic to dogs. He also says that he merely swatted, not punched the dog.
The issue there is that if his wife’s allergies are so acute and sensitive as to be triggered dangerously by the proximity of the dog, any remotely responsible people would have asked to have their seat moved before the flight began, and possibly even left the plane. When the dog stretched, even though it is a great dane, it would have come at most a yard closer to the wife. No person with severe allergies risks being a yard away from something that could trigger them for the duration of a flight while knowing that medical attention would be greatly limited.
There was another reason he hit the dog. Maybe he doesn’t like dogs, maybe it was invading his personal space – always at a premium on an airplane, particularly in coach. But he did hit the dog, and his lie (or justification) about the reason calls his claim that it was merely a swat into question.
Of course, that prompts the question of who swats someone else’s service dog…
The deaf man, Matthew Silvay, confronted Manley about the incident. During that confrontation, he kicked Manley. Another instance of losing one’s basic decency, because that was not done in defense of the dog, which had already been struck and had retreated, and was not in danger of further attacks. This was just a man losing his temper because his dog was hit. Any pet owner would sympathize… but an airplane is not the venue for retaliatory strikes.
And neither is the terminal, after landing. That’s when Silvay waited at the gate and confronted Manley about the kick, and further argument ensued. Manley was pushed down by the much larger and younger Silvay. During the argument, Manley allegedly pushed the children and punched Silvay’s 20-week pregnant girlfriend, Hazel Ramirez, in the belly; reportedly, that’s what caused the push.
And that’s not the only one. There’s also Michael Allen Haag, flying from Denver to Charleson on Tuesday.
The woman told investigators that Haag asked her personal questions and kept looking at her “chest and legs as she was wearing a tank top and shorts.”
Haag then began to touch a second woman, according to the affidavit.
After first touching a sleeping woman’s fingers, Haag allegedly twice touched the woman’s legs. She then yelled, “Stop touching me.”
Okay, a little simple groping of a sleeping woman… that’s terrible, but it doesn’t compare to punching a service dog and a pregnant woman. Haag had to step up – or down – to challenge Manley. Haag was ready.
Having been moved to the back of the plane by the flight attendant, Haag decided he would strike back at the airline. That’s when he decided to urinate on the seat in front of him.
From CBS Denver: (click the link for the photo, if you feel you must see it. The photo was taken by a woman across the aisle from him. For those who don’t wish to look, it shows an arc of fluid from Haag’s pants to the rear of another passenger’s seat. As there is a large black luggage bag underneath the seat he’s urinating on, I expect the other passenger was rightfully offended.)
They’re airplanes. We’ve all faced the problems of cramped seats, sickly aislemates and the like. That’s no reason to abandon all traces of civility. Fly like a human.
Question of the night: What’s your worst travel experience.