Woman Crying About Father's Heart Attack Removed From Southwest Flight

Posted Jul 29th 2011 09:15 AMUpdated Jul 29th 2011 11:01 AM

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Two sisters flying to visit their father who recently suffered a heart attack were allegedly kicked off a Southwest flight after one began to cry.

Ricci Wheatley and Robin Opperman were on a Dallas-bound flight from Oakland Wednesday, when Wheatley became anxious because she is afraid of flying.

"I broke down and started to cry and I'm a little bit afraid to fly, so I said to the stewardess as she was passing, 'When you're going to be serving, I'll have a glass of wine,' Wheatley told ABC 7 San Francisco.

The flight attendant told Wheatley she'd had enough, even though Wheatley hadn't had any wine on the plane.

According to Opperman, Wheatley was crying softly as to not disturb her fellow passengers.

After the "misunderstanding" with the flight attendant, the sisters say they were removed from the flight.

Southwest didn't comment on the situation, but did pay for a hotel room and meal that night as well as re-book them to Dallas on Thursday.

This is only the most recent case of airline passengers getting kicked off flights. In April, a Horizon Air passenger was kicked off his flight for being too tall. In June, a man was taken off a United flight for using the F-word, while a college student got the boot from a US Airways flight that same month because his pants were too baggy.

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Alan Schlemmer

As with all once great companies, Southwest is losing it... Just look at Sears and GM for examples. Too bad, SWA was a great airline... maybe not for long.

September 24 2011 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
markblacksox

When I first started flying you needed to be dressed properly to sit in business class, they had warm towels at the end of the flight, little stickers for kids, and if you did fly with kids, they were expected to behave as civilly as possible as a kid can. Adults generally would act like adults.
Now that most people can afford to fly you can see that's exactly what you get. What you pay for. Drunks that should be going to pay their respects to a deceased relative who then get into an altercaiton because they think the airline owes them something more than the disocunted ticket they bought.

The airlines just as a matter of common sense can refuse service to anyone whom they think may cause a safety issue on a plane in most cases.

AND Why was it necessary to put the wine fact into this article? Do you think that this woman was stone sober and just grieving? Do you think this would have made it to AOL news had not some drunken and arrogant altercation happened between this woman and the flight attendant instigated by this woman.
There are some mean lfight attendants, but I can't imaigne any so cold haearted and wanting to lose their job so much that they would kick a pair of grieving sisters off a plane after she/he had found out why they were crying (especially, if as the article states, they were oding so very quietly).

The airline felt bad for them since their father died. That's why they put them up for the night. They understood why the lady was drunk and accomodated them. Something they did not have to do.
Article was slanted. Publish a real recount of what happened.

September 23 2011 at 4:11 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to markblacksox's comment
musicbizandvids

You OBVIOUSLY cannot read! The woman WAS NOT DRUNK! She was afraid of flying AND her father had just died! Instead of trying to create a story in your head and then taking the time to type a comment to that, why not comment on the STORY AS IT WAS DESCRIBED TO YOU? You were NOT there, so stop acting like you know that what happened was something OTHER than what was written. ALSO, you do not know WHAT these women paid for their tickets. Last minute flights (as is typically the case for funerals unless you somehow KNEW the person was going to die) are usually VERY expensive!!!!

September 24 2011 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to musicbizandvids's comment
Jackjames

"Last minute flights (as is typically the case for funerals unless you somehow KNEW the person was going to die) are usually VERY expensive!!!!"
Sorry, it seems you need to read the article a bit better, also. It says,
"Two sisters flying to visit their father who recently suffered a heart attack were allegedly kicked off a Southwest flight after one began to cry."
They were going to VISIT their father who recently had a heart attack. Where do you read he died?

September 25 2011 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Horn

Southwest Airlines has now reputation of being the Greyhound Bus

of the Airline Industry: Enjoy it...

Your company earned it from a DOZEN+ National articles of chaos about your company!

September 19 2011 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lucybella59

I have done more than my fair of traveling, and I feel that some (not all) flight attendants can be a bunch of flying ******. Everyone wants to be a Kris Jenner and marry a wealthy passenger. Well, forget about it. The days of the flying models are OVER. I was once asked by a "*****" on an Eastern flight if I would like a magazine, I asked if she had one in particular (my bad), which was PEOPLE, and the woman went on a tear that lasted more than five minutes. She finally told me that she would read out the names of ALL the magazines, and I could then select from those that she had named. I have never mistreated a flight attendant in my life. As a matter of fact, I thought I was saving her valuable time. She tried this same stunt with a group of Jewish travelers from New York, who proceeded to rip her a new one. I could relay many more stories, especially when the flight attendants would try to use me as a "babysitter" for unruly children flying alone or as a nurse for a passenger who is blowing grits next to me. Believe me, this is why I prefer male flight attendants. Not everyone is flying for leisure, and in this economy, Southwest should be glad that anyone flies with them at all.

September 17 2011 at 3:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Bruce Lee

Kick all crying babies off the plane too. I hate the little brats.

September 14 2011 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MontereyQueen

Four years ago while flying back from a Disneyland vacation on Southwest, flight attendant "Theresa" harrassed my daughter and I because she thought we had called her rude when it was actually the person behind us. She threatened multiple times to throw us off the plane. It got to the point, where I told my daughter don't even look at her when she comes by. She then started trying to be nice, but over doing it.......offering us extra snacks and drinks. As soon as we landed, we went to the Southwest office to lodge a complaint. "Theresa" followed us downstairs and had a melt down in front of the Southwest manager on duty who could only give us her business card and suggest we call 911 if she got near us in the parking garage. When I wrote Southwest, all they would do is say what a wonderful employee "Theresa" has been and gave us a $200 Southwest credit.

September 14 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
E

This is all a crying shame: crying is not a crime.

September 02 2011 at 5:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Infobab

This is not about flight attendants taking this on themselves. There was undoubtedly a complaint from another passenger or passengers about this woman's behavior. I fly SW and and am impressed by their staff, but they don't arbitrarily come up and boot you off or say something unless someone complains or you are noticeably out of line. I was on a flight a couple of years ago with two teenage girls across the aisle who did nothing but bicker, complain and misbehave for three hours. The grandparents were unable to do anything about their bratty behavior.

Landing to make my connection, I told the gate agent that if those four were getting on the same flight, I wanted to take a later flight, I would not sit for any length of time on the same flight. Several other passengers did the same. Supervisors pulled the grandparents and girls aside and apparently said something because, while they did not get on my flight (THANK GOD!) , all four of them looked suitably chastised.

This woman must not have been crying as "softly" as she thought and other passengers must have been aware of her emotional condition.

Let me just say this, when you fly, you are NOT the only on the plane. The standard of behaviour is to be as well-behaved and quiet as you can and not disturb the 200 other people around you. Period. If you are bringing children, PREPARE them for the flight. If you don't, don't call me names when I have to turn around and tell your child that kicking the back of my seat the entire flight is not acceptable. Crying and screaming at any age just shows that you should have stayed at home.

August 30 2011 at 1:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Infobab's comment
Carolina_D

I am SO over airlines, and flying in general. We read stories like this every day of the week. I used to be a flight attendant, and we would have never gotten away with this s**t! We were specifically instructed to do everything within our power to help/soothe passengers who might be in a fragile and/or emotional state. It is not unusual for things such as this to happen. To kick a woman off a flight when she was flying off to see her father, for possibly the last time, is simply unconscionable. This attendant should lose her job, and the passenger should sue the airline. She has lots of grounds for doing so. Too many people are being given too much power these days, and some people simply aren't suited for having any power at all. It simply goes to their heads and they will excercise said power at the drop of a hat, simply to prove that they DO have power. Something has to change. The airline industry is sinking and taking the rest of us along for the ride. This story simply illustrates my reasons for never flying unless it's a total emergency. I will either drive myself or stay home. I hope others follow suit...I know my friends and family have done so.

August 27 2011 at 2:38 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Bohdan

I for one find this offensive. We are humans and we cry. Others do worse things.The flight attendants jumped the gun and must be fired! The women who were thus insulted should file a class action lawsuit asking for a million dollar compensation. This is a moral injury that will never fade! Shame on the stinking people that now live in America! Who hired these dastardly stewardesses? There should be huge penalty imposed on the airline for this outrageous behavior!

August 27 2011 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bohdan's comment
Jess

I am hoping you meant for this comment to be amusing, because I found it hilarious. You state "the flight attendants jumped the gun" and then go on to say they must be fired, the women should file a lawsuit for a million dollars, the stewardess is dastardly, etc.. HAHAHA, who is jumping the gun now? Thank you for the laugh!

September 26 2011 at 1:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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