For those who’ve sat next to the toilet on a long flight, take heart: At least you weren’t sitting ON the toilet for the flight. This story seems too good to be true, if by “good,” we mean comedy gold, reinforcing our already nasty impression of American aviation.
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.
Awesome. I don’t know if this is really true, but for the sake of airline-hell story one-upsmanship, I’m really hoping it is.
Mr. Mutlu was traveling on a “buddy pass,” a perk given to airline employees (in lieu of job security, salary, pension, and other accoutrements) which lets friends travel for close to free. But a low fare (which is what a buddy pass effectively is) doesn’t mean you have to sit on the toilet. Especially since that’s a safety issue:
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.
Would it have been okay if a female flight attendant had knocked, instead?
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.
JetBlue’s courtroom strategy may resort to a counter-accusation: that Mutlu tampered with the lavatory smoke detectors while in there. And perhaps he ignored lighted signs and placards, too. Take that, safety video!
Thanks to reader J for the early heads-up!