Mr. Jerk

April 25, 2009

in Passenger Stories

It was early 2000 on a flight from New Jersey to Atlanta. I was finally going home after a long working four-week trip. The flight was packed. Truly, sardines have more room in those cans. Spring hadn’t quite arrived. It was relatively warm, but there was still snow on the ground in Jersey. However, conditions in Atlanta were full on summery.

I’d learned to only have carryons to get me through the terminal quickly, so I only had one lean bag (that contained a small purse) and a computer. Apparently, several women were flying together and wanted to carry their fur coats to sun-drenched Atlanta with them. Could they carry them in their laps…no. They took up every inch of overhead cabin space. Of course, I ended up having to check my bags so that their animal skins could ride in style, but that’s not where the problem really arose on this flight.

I get to my assigned seat and there is a gentleman (term used loosely) sitting there reading a newspaper. I politely tap him on the shoulder and tells him that he’s in my seat. He continues to read. People are backing up behind me and can’t get to their own seats. I politely tap him again and the same scenario occurs. At this point the attendant from the back comes out and asks what is going on. I inform her that this man is in my seat and won’t relinquish it. She proceeds to tap him on the shoulder. Now, he’s ignoring BOTH of us. The woman sitting beside him actually speaks and says that he’s got to be kidding.

The attendant asks me to come to the back so that the other passengers can get to their seats and we will resolve it afterwards. Sure enough, once we can get back to him, he just continues to ignore me, a steward and the stewardess. The attendants figure out who he is because of the remaining empty seat. You know…the small seat in front of the bathroom with no leg space. Yep, that was his seat and he just was not going to sit there. The steward asked me to sit there so that we could take off. Hell, I didn’t want to sit there either. I won the seat lottery and wanted to claim my rightful winnings. People began to plead with me so that we could leave.

At this time, a real gentleman offered me his seat, which was opposite and just behind Mr. Jerk. I sat there trying to burn a hole in the back of Mr. Jerks head with my eyes. Mr. Jerk NEVER said a word to anyone and just continued to hide behind his newspaper for the entire flight. I don’t think I’ve ever been so all out mad.
Signed, Mrs. C

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Hugh April 15, 2009 at 3:16 am

The FA should have stepped in and MADE him move. There was no excuse for her pawning that burden onto you. He should have moved or been forcibly removed from the plane by marshals.

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Nacho April 15, 2009 at 6:52 am

Wow, that's just plain-out rude. What an asshole. You were much more polite than I would have been — I mean, you didn't kick the back of his seat or anything!

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DenaT April 15, 2009 at 7:56 am

Yep. They should have just kicked him off the plane. He was ignoring the direct instructions of a flight attendant, which is a violation of the law.

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Annoyed Flyer April 15, 2009 at 8:20 am

What airline was this? That's horrible. On the other hand, knowing that I can get away with just sitting there an ignoring the FA's is good to know.

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Onslow April 15, 2009 at 11:55 am

Outrageous! He should not have been able to get away with it. The FA should have had him removed from the aircraft.

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Craig April 16, 2009 at 9:12 am

Wow, truly outrageous! I would encourage anyone who encounters a similar situation to stand their ground. Those of us who are obeying the rules are being trampled on by a small percentage of the traveling public. We must take a stand. This man should have ben escorted off the plane and put in the custody of the TSA. I applaud you because you are cuteous and willing to compromise – so have I been, but I think we are part of the problem -we need to stand up….

Craig in Scottsdale

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Amit April 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

Too bad it was before 9/11 or marshals would have been called in and gone ape-shit on him. What an a-hole!

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Karl April 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm

You might have accidentally spilled your Coke all over his lap and then said, "Oh, I'm sorry sir, I didn't see you sitting there."

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Leo April 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Someone tried that with me once and I threw a complete fit. I stood next to him and started farting while I called the flight attendant over. He finally left…

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Rob April 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm

You can fart on demand Leo?

No excuse for refusing a request from a FA. I'm surprised he wasn't kicked.

And Mrs. C. should have never been asked to compromise.

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Brett April 29, 2009 at 3:29 am

You should've kicked his seat or something…g

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Susan May 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm

lol @ leo

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Laura Cardwell May 27, 2009 at 10:31 pm

I hope you bought something really nice to Mr. Gentleman.

Mr. Jerk…I would have sat on him.

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Atari May 31, 2009 at 8:53 pm

lol @ rob

I don't understand. . . agh. I wouldn't have accepted that other man's generous request. No one should have to pay for this man's unconscionable audacity.

What a feckless boor.

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