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June 02, 2008

Only a Sicko Would Laugh at This

By: Bernard Chazelle

This is upsetting, possibly racist, and just outrageous.

So why is it I can't stop laughing?

New York Post: A Manhattan man is feeling flush with anger after he says he was forced to sit in the bathroom for three hours on a cross-country JetBlue flight.

Gokhan Mutlu is now suing the airline for $2 million for having "mortified, disgraced, degraded and shamed" him by confining him to the can.

Mutlu says the bizarre incident happened Feb. 23, when he was a standby passenger for a flight from San Diego to New York.

He was told the flight was full because a flight attendant was taking the last available seat, but was then told she would sit in the "jump seat" and he could have her seat, 2E, the suit says.

He was issued a boarding pass and took the seat, but got a rude awakening as he began to doze off about 90 minutes into the flight.

That's when the pilot called him "towards the front of the plane, towards the cockpit, and advised the plaintiff that he would have to give his seat up" to the flight attendant, the suit says.

"The plaintiff was puzzled and asked what was going on," the filing says.

The pilot told him the "flight attendant wanted to be more comfortable and that the 'jump seat' was not comfortable for her."

Mutlu "asked if he was being directed to surrender the seat issued to him and to take the 'jump seat' for the remaining part of the flight, which was about 3 ½ hours."

The pilot told him the jump seat was for "for personnel only," the suit says.

"Even more puzzled and perplexed, the plaintiff asked if the pilot was directing him to stand for the remaining part of the flight," it says.

The pilot said no - Mutlu should just "go and 'hang out' in the bathroom," the suit says. In the meantime, the stewardess took Mutlu's seat, "closed her eyes and pretended to sleep."

When Mutlu began to argue, the pilot "became angry at the plaintiff's reluctance to go . . . to take his place in the rest room and took a much harsher tone with the plaintiff, advising him that he was the pilot, that this was his plane, under his command, and that the plaintiff should be grateful for being onboard," the suit says.

Mutlu says he was "imprisoned" in the bathroom for hours, which "seemed like an eternity."

He was ordered back to his seat when the plane ran into heavy turbulence, the suit says.

"Plaintiff walked back to his seat embarrassed, humiliated, mortified, disgraced degraded and still shocked beyond belief," and tried "to cover his face" as he walked up the aisle, the papers say.


Posted at June 2, 2008 10:03 PM

Gotta say I don't get what's funny about this. It's weird creepy behavior by the airline crew, but I'm missing the humor.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at June 2, 2008 11:15 PM

This could be an attempt at enlarged prostate humor, where a visit to the bathroom may seem like an eternity.
Not really funny, McGee.

Posted by: donescobar at June 3, 2008 12:15 AM

My guess is the airline ain't laughin'. (hope he gets his money before they go belly up like several airlines these dayz)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 3, 2008 12:25 AM

Personally, I'd like all airlines to go belly up.
(Though preferably not when I'm onboard.)

PS: humor is not about the passenger, the pilot, or the airline. It's about the lawyer. That's what makes the piece such good comedy writing.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at June 3, 2008 01:16 AM

This Modern World posted about this a while ago.

Posted by: Save the Oocytes at June 3, 2008 10:15 AM

This needs to be made into a film, only with the plot having Mr. Mutlu plan a fine revenge while he's on the plane - not to endanger anyone, but to make them all really sorry they are on the plane (really sorry), and that includes the stewardess and the pilots. And why should the passengers be made to suffer? Because apparently no one objected or stood up for Mr. Mutlu. I wish I could write it for him.

I hope he wins a barrel of cashola. There's a new book out entitled "Dear American Airlines," about a passenger outlining the crap he's put up with for years. Haven't read it, but look forward to it.

Posted by: catherine at June 3, 2008 10:37 AM

I guess I don't get the humor either...

Posted by: Justin at June 3, 2008 01:59 PM

Not laughing here, either.

Posted by: Aunt Deb at June 3, 2008 02:31 PM

To explain humor is like explaining why sex is fun.

But let me try this.

"Plaintiff walked back to his seat embarrassed."

NOT funny.

"Passenger walked back humiliated, mortified, disgraced, degraded and still shocked beyond belief."

NOT funny.

"Plaintiff walked back to his seat embarrassed, humiliated, mortified, disgraced degraded and still shocked beyond belief,"


Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at June 3, 2008 06:28 PM

Nope. Still not funny. Stick to what you do best - posts that are dry and whiny.

Posted by: scudbucket at June 3, 2008 11:08 PM

I think the article was pretty funny.

Posted by: Joe at June 6, 2008 05:43 PM