Lynne Meadow was flying back from Rome to New York last summer when a chatty flight attendant accidentally roused her from her sleep. She quietly shushed the young man, Chris Boone, and went back to sleep. Little did the Manhattan Theatre Club executive director know, this small move was to spark a drawn-out, uncomfortable ordeal. After dealing with a different crew member over some problems with her fold-out movie monitor (must have been first class – ooh!), she eventually approached Boone again. Having mistakenly broken her TV screen, she apologetically brought the entire object (it had snapped off) to Boone. The Sun describes what happened next:
Mr. Boone, who had noticed the many requests Ms. Meadow had made to the staff during the flight, confronted her in anger when she showed him the screen, the complaint says, exclaiming: "You destroyed airline property! There is no way this could have come off by itself." Ms. Meadow claims she followed him into the galley, where he said, "From the moment you 'shushed' me during takeoff, I knew there would not be enough attendants on this plane to take care of you." Mr. Boone, she said, would not hear her explanation and told her, "The authorities will deal with you on the ground." At that, she began to cry and was comforted by other flight attendants.
When the flight was over, four or more Port Authority police officers met her, the suit claims, and detained her in front of the other passengers. She had to surrender her passport, was denied a phone call, and, following a police interview, was transferred to an agent from the FBI. After an hour, she was released without charges and her passport was returned.
This report comes from a complaint that Meadow filed with the New York State Supreme Court, charging Continental Airlines and Boone with "emotional distress and humiliation and for providing her with faulty equipment on the flight."
In our recent post about a group of passengers who were so antagonistic to their flight crew that the plane never left the ground, the comments revealed a tremendous amount of anger on the parts of both passengers and airline staff. We sense a lot more stories like this coming in the near future. Is the air-travel industry the only one in which the companies and clientele are engaged in actual battle?
Earlier: Airline Travelers’ Bill of Rights Overturned on Appeal. You Will Stay in Your Seat and Like It, Hear?
Is Delta-Suing Dad a Jerk, or a Voice of the People?
Angry New Yorkers Scare Crew Off American Airlines Flight
Naomi Campbell Banned, Skies Return to Friendly
Related: Gridlock at 30,000 Feet: What went so catastrophically wrong [NYM]