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To sue an airline for them not allowing you to properly sit during a long flight or not? That is the question...

To sue an airline for them not allowing you to properly sit during a long flight or not? That is the question...

Old May 13th, 2008, 04:49 AM
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To sue an airline for them not allowing you to properly sit during a long flight or not? That is the question...

Man Says JetBlue Seated Him on Toilet

NEW YORK (May 12) - A New York City man is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for more than $2 million because he says a pilot made him give up his seat to a flight attendant and sit on the toilet for more than three hours on a flight from California.







Gokhan Mutlu, of Manhattan's Inwood section, says in court papers the pilot told him to "go 'hang out' in the bathroom" about 90 minutes into the San Diego to New York flight because the flight attendant complained that the "jump seat" she was assigned was uncomfortable, the lawsuit said.

Mutlu was traveling on a "buddy pass," a standby travel voucher that JetBlue employees give to friends, from New York to San Diego on Feb. 16, and returned to New York on Feb. 23, the lawsuit said.

Initially, Mutlu was told a flight attendant had taken the last seat on the plane, but then he was advised she would sit in the employee "jump seat," meaning he could have the last seat, the lawsuit said.

The pilot told him 1 1/2 hours into the five-hour flight that he would have to relinquish the seat to the flight attendant, court papers say. But the pilot said that Mutlu could not sit in the jump seat because only JetBlue employees were permitted to sit there, the lawsuit said.

When Mutlu expressed reluctance to go sit in the bathroom, the pilot, who was not named in the lawsuit, told him that "he was the pilot, that this was his plane, under his command that (Mutlu) should be grateful for being on board," the lawsuit said.

The aircraft hit turbulence and passengers were directed to return to their seats, but "the plaintiff had no seat to return to, sitting on a toilet stool with no seat belts," court papers say.

Some time later, a male flight attendant knocked on the restroom door and told Mutlu he could return to his original seat, court papers say.

Mutlu's lawsuit, filed Friday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, says JetBlue negligently endangered him by not providing him with a seat with a safety belt or harness, in violation of federal law.

A JetBlue spokesman declined comment on the lawsuit Monday.


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2008-05-12 18:43:04
alexa35 is offline  
Old May 13th, 2008, 05:48 AM
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Sue.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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Guess I didn't realize the flight attendant needed to sit for so long. Aren't they "usually" standing when not taking off or landing.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:13 AM
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jbass, I think you missed the point that this flight attendant was not working on the flight, but flying as a "freebie" passenger. Since she was an employee of Jet Blue, then she was allowed to sit in the jumpseat, but didn't like it so took the "real" seat instead.

I suspect that there was some animosity from the pilot in the whole idea that some JetBlue employee was giving away free seats to friends to use. Is the "buddy pass" really designed to be given away free to friends? Or is it a system that normally allows an employee to take along a friend for free with him? In any case, I don't think either justifies the actions that took place.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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NeoP...The Buddy Pass is a free ticket, made available to, in this case, Jet Blue employees as a "perk".The employee gives it at his/her discretion, as a stand-by accomodation.As I replied on the Airline board, my flight attendant friends are telling me there is much more to this story than meets the eye.The pilot is not normally aware of non revs on a flight.It just snowballs from there.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:26 AM
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Thanks for the clarification. I have had friends who worked for other airlines who had "secretively" given tickets to other people which they said they really weren't supposed to do, so I thought maybe this was the same.

And you're right. It's really hard to believe the story the way it's being told!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 07:18 AM
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A Buddy Pass isn't necessarily a "free" ticket--it's a greatly reduced stand-by ticket. Me thinks the flight attendant had some connection to the pilot and when she complained about her seat--he decided he would try to make her more comfortable. When you travel either as a non-rev (like the FA) or on a buddy pass, you are at the beck and call of the airline. We used to have to dress up (dresses, pantyhose, suits and ties) but they've relaxed that a bit. (Parent of a FA and used to be non-rev'er--can't get a seat anymore!)
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Old May 13th, 2008, 07:40 AM
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"The pilot told him 1 1/2 hours into the five-hour flight that he would have to relinquish the seat to the flight attendant, court papers say." - WHAT?????

A pilot is allowed to walk out of the cockpit after 9/11? UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Don't they have security rules for the pilots not to open the cockpit doors?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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Just got an email for one of my F/A friends....This F/A will be lucky to get a job selling hot dogs on Coney Island....And the PILOT......Home Depot is lookin good......
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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There's got to be more to this story than we're hearing.

Isn't having someone "sit" in a non-seat against all sorts of FAA regs?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Faina,

On a recent flight I ntoiced that a flight attendant used a galley cart to block access to the cockpit door area while the pilot and co-pilot both came out to use the bathroom.

So yes, the cockpit door is sometimes opened in flight.

And IMO, there is no question since the person is already suing the airline which should offer a very interesting "side" of the story.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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321go, the jump seat has a seat belt and (I think) a shoulder harness...it is as much a seat as any other, insofar as the regulations are concerned.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Did the toilet have a lap belt or harness?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:39 AM
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I must be missing something. You can sue for damages, or you can sue for an equitable remedy (make the other guy do or stop doing something).

Damages do not mean I got my feelings hurt or I was inconvenienced or I was frustrated or even that I was done wrong. Damages mean an injury of some kind, either to the person or to the pocketbook.

Write a letter to the editor, protest in front of Jet Blue's headquarters, demand an apology, tell everyone you know Jet Blue sucks. But file a lawsuit without damages? I expect this lawsuit will eventually be dismissed, but only after lots of tax dollars have been spent getting it to that point.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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NP-You're correct, I missed that; thought the F/A was working the flight.

I think the FAA would have a problem with the "toilet" being considered "a seat". You can't make this stuff up.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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beach dweller, I'm no attorney, but I think you're basically right. You can sue a store and win because you slipped on their wet floor, but you can't win a suit saying the floor was wet and you could have slipped but didn't.

When recently those people were held on planes for hours on end (Jet Blue sounds familiar here), I don't think anyone could successfully sue because of the horrible discomfort or inconvenience -- unless they got sick or injured as a result. No?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 09:20 AM
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BeachDweller, a customer was in a potentially dangerous situation due to the action of JetBlue employees. He will sue for that, and also emotional distress.

The damages were mental, not physical. Or maybe the membership in the mile high club did not meet his expectations
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Old May 13th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Yes, bobmgr, the jump seat does (my mom was a "stewardess" back in the day, and they even had seatbelts back then ), but I was actually thinking of the toilet. I'm pretty sure no seat belts there.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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I wonder if the pilot told the guy to go sit on the "poop deck."

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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:03 AM
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You can't be in the toilet during a flight landing. I was once on a BA flight from London to JFK and a child locked herself in the toilet and couldn't get out. The pilot could not land the plane until they kicked the door in a got the child seated.

All bloody hell broke out on that flight. Passengers were screaming because the pilot would not land the plane. "We are going to miss our connection. Get the &^%# kid out of the loo," was a standard reaction.

Thin
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