Posted by Matt Phillips
Travel troubleshooter Christopher Elliot picked up on an interesting item in Northern Arizona’s Kingman Daily Miner last week about an altercation on a flight from New York’s Kennedy to Las Vegas’ McCarran International airport. According to the Daily Miner, chaos ensued after passenger Marilyn Parver started taping a kerfluffle between a man sitting next to a loud child and the kid’s mother:
Parver said she thought the video would be a good example to show her daughter how children’s behavior affects other people.
Parver said she did not leave her seat or even stand up in it.
“I was not interested in who was involved, I just wanted the words being said,” Parver added, “so I did not adjust the exposure and kept everyone in full shadow.”
In the less than two-minute video, an off-screen man can be heard yelling at a woman to control her child and the mother responding also in anger.
“A JetBlue employee settles the dispute very appropriately,” Parver said. “There was no violence or extreme behavior.”
Approximately 30 minutes after the dispute, Parver said she was approached by the flight crew who were asking passengers questions about the altercation. When Parver told them she had recorded the incident, they requested she accompany them to the back of the plane, Parver said.
There she showed the video to three or four crew members, Parver said.
“After viewing the video, they demanded that I delete it,” Parver said. “I asked, ‘Why?’ The head-stewardess went as far as to tell me that I had broken a law by using an electronic item during the flight.”
At that time, another flight attendant accused Parver of wanting to put it up on YouTube, a video-sharing Web site.
According to the report, Parver continued to refuse to delete the footage and the situation escalated. Parver was eventually led off the plane in handcuffs. She never posted the video online, though (Elliot reports) she does plan to go on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and air the tape.
Compared to dramatic chipmunks, animal attacks — and of course, our beloved Andy Rooney — footage of passengers playing elbow hockey over the armrest doesn’t seem like a potential YouTube sensation. But then, there are exceptions: This video of two passengers scuffling on a Hong Kong bus went went wicked viral a couple years back, turning one of the participants into a minor celebrity, known as “Bus Uncle.”
While admitting he’s no lawyer, Elliot writes that he “can’t find any rules that would prohibit a paying passenger from filming the interior of a JetBlue aircraft or of any commercial plane. Parver said she phoned JetBlue later, and that a representative told her she could tape whatever she wanted.”
I know we’ve got some flight attendants out there reading? Is it policy to shout “cut” to would-be cabin cineastes? And if so, why?
Comments left from WSJ BlogComment by - August 14, 2008 at 11:48 pm