Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

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swdchile
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Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby swdchile » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:03 pm

OMG. Gotta vent. After 9 months in Chile, my wife and I finally were headed back to the US to visit our kids for a couple weeks. When we booked our flights we were lucky enough to get adjoining seats for the entire trip. Last night when we boarded the plane in STG for DFW, AA had changed our boarding passes and we no longer had adjoining seats. My wife talked with the attendants hoping to arrange for us to sit together. It took a few minutes and several people were gracious enough to accomodate us.

The entire time this was happening, I stayed out of the way in the galley waiting until things were sorted out. When things were sorted, I walked back to my new seat next to my wife and had no sooner sat down when an agent approached and informed me that the attendants smelled alcohol on me and I was deboarded.

In the 2 hours before boarding the flight, I had 2 beers, 2 shots of tequila and a cheeseburger. I admit I must "medicate" a little before flying. I was not disruptive. I was not interrogated as to my ability to "control" myself. I said nary a word to anyone on the flight. I am so pissed right now I'm seeing red. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

In a cheer to Chile, after I was taken off the plane, every single person I dealt with totally questioned the decision to have me taken off the flight. In fact, in an unprecedented move, the Chilean manager that debriefed me on the incident told me she was so embarrased by the US flight attendants decision that she gave me vouchers for a hotel and 3 meals while I wait for my flight tonight. At least AA put me on the next night's flight and it didn't cost me anything.

But, what the hell?! I should not have been kicked of the flight. I truly believe it was retaliation for my wife forcing the issue to sit together. And if everyone that smelled of alcohol were deboarded, I think most flights would be half empty. Thanks for reading my rant. I feel better already.
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby zer0nz » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:40 pm

#$%&/()
mm, let me see, done over 300 flights in my life..... i would say 30% after drinking alcohol.... never had that problem!, then again never fly to USA!!!! now i know why people dont like the USA much these days!

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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby admin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:42 pm

That is what you get for trying to fly on a US airline back to the united police states of America. Those tickets are cheap for a reason.

Next time fly LAN and have your kids meet you a in a friendly third-country like Mexico, Canada, or perhaps Cuba.

A few months ago some person called me and asked if I could stop by their home in Chicago to discuss their residency application for Chile. Sorry, we don't travel just to discuss residency applications even inside Chile. I said, "no problem, I just need a $100,000 US deposit for considering the idea of travelling to the US". No promises that I would would go, just that I would entertain the idea for that amount.
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby FrankPintor » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:53 pm

Agree with the other posters, I have 30k points with AA and no idea what to do with them because I don't want to fly AA and I really don't want to go the US. The tickets are cheap because of the rotten experience offered.

Maybe you could look into the possibility of taking some kind of legal action in Chile, since the plane was on the ground I understand Chilean law applies. You had witnesses and maybe got names?
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby admin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:03 pm

well, there is a whole mess of international agreements covering them. There was a similar incident some time ago involving a US airline and a famous person flying out of Spain to Chile. Can not recall the details at the moment.
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby swdchile » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:23 pm

If I had at any moment acted or said something out of line I would own up to it, but I didn't. Interestingly, the first question I was asked in the debriefing with the Chilean manager was whether or not I was pulled aside on the plane and "interviewed" to determine my capacity to fly. When I told her no, she was stunned. Makes me wonder what the AA procedure is in this case and if it was followed.

I spoke with my wife earlier and (I don't know if I'm proud of this or not) she raised such a stink on the flight last night that she was handed a notice that she had to sign that said that if she didn't settle down and stop complaining that she would be taken into custody upon arrival in the US. Thankfully, she is not behind bars this morning. I don't know how she did it, but she managed to avoid the ultimate threat of the TSA.
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby admin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:44 pm

My father's most over issued legal advice, "no one can make you do anything, but they can sure as hell make you wish you had".
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby jehturner » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:46 pm

Oh no. This falls into the same bizarre category as being searched after you've already boarded the plane (which happened to me once).

Makes you wonder whether they really did it for the reason they claimed, given that they had already tried to separate you once (which in itself is unusual).

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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby admin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:18 pm

yea, seems they were intent on keeping you and your wife separated.
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby regioncentralX » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:41 pm

If you can take a few barbs in a forum that might actually be seen by American Airlines PR people, you might want to post your story (be objective and factual as possible) on the FlyerTalk.com American Airlines forum.
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regioncentralX
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby regioncentralX » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:58 pm

Questions:

At what point did you find out about the seating change? It sounds like you were boarding with your passes with the original chosen seats and was then informed (probably when they scanned it at the gate) that you would be sitting elsewhere.

How did your wife go about asking for the seating changes on board? Did she immediately bug the attendants? Did any of the passengers that were asked look pissed off enough to complain to the attendants? Your wife's tone of voice, manner?

When the ejection happened, was the pilot present? It is supposed to be the pilot's call to make the final yes or no decision on such matters.

And lastly, be aware that this is FAA regs at work not DHS/TSA though flight crews have now been empowered to be more tyrannical and petty in conjunction with TSA since the 911 scam. FAA regs from way before 911 state that passengers must follow the orders of the flight crew no ifs ands or butts.

RCX usually flies AA via DFW coming and going and is always medicated (usually at the SCL AA club outgoing and at the AA domestic clubs returning). Need to know if this is a NEW policy or something :wink:
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Re: Victim of TSA badged flight attendants

Postby st130811 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:43 pm

Right or wrong - according to the FAA regs, no interview is required, nor does the apparent intoxication have to have annoyed anyone. Simply by appearing to be intoxicated, the pilot is prohibited from allowing the passenger to fly. Having worked for airlines before, I can report from experience that ticketing/gate agents would often give the pilot a "heads up" if the smelled alcohol or noticed any signs of intoxication (especially if the person had annoyed them somehow, even well before boarding the flight). Obviously, the rule is not consistently applied. I have thought it may be purposefully vague to give pilots leeway and discretion.

TITLE 14--AERONAUTICS AND SPACE
CHAPTER I--FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
(CONTINUED)
PART 91_GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES--Table of Contents
Subpart A_General
...
(b) Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a
person who appears to be intoxicated
or who demonstrates by manner or
physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs
(except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that
aircraft.


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