Ellen Flemming, a 71-year-old grandmother, was kicked off an Air Canada flight after she asked a flight attendant to remove wet trash from her seat pocket. The incident occurred during a flight from Toronto to New Brunswick, and Ellen was traveling with her husband and grandchildren. The flight attendant became angry and refused to assist her, saying he didn't handle garbage. When Ellen tried to dispose of the trash herself, the flight attendant allegedly swiped her arm away, causing the trash to scatter. Moments later, the pilot announced that the plane would return to British Columbia due to an "incident," which turned out to be Ellen.
Upon landing, Ellen was escorted off the flight by the police and informed that she would be banned from flying Air Canada again. The airline claimed in a letter that Ellen had exhibited aggressive behavior, thrown garbage on a food trolley, and kicked a crew member. However, Ellen denies these accusations, and other passengers, such as Helen Hollett, have defended her, stating that they did not witness any aggressive behavior from Ellen but saw the flight attendant acting irate and screaming.
The police found no criminal offenses and chose not to pursue a case against the grandmother. The incident has sparked outrage as many feel the flight attendant's response was disproportionate and unjustified. Critics argue that while passengers should respect the crew, they should also be shown respect in return. They question why the flight attendant refused to handle the garbage when it is a common practice on flights and suggest that his attitude reflects a lack of consideration and an entitlement complex.
This incident highlights the importance of respectful and considerate behavior between passengers and airline staff. It also raises concerns about the handling of customer complaints and the need for proper investigation before severe consequences, such as banning someone from flying, are imposed.