Posted May 13, 2008 by Carl Unger
Some days, this job seems too easy. When I saw the following headline from the AP this morning, a blog entry pretty much wrote itself:
"Man sues JetBlue for making him sit on toilet"
Oh, how the sarcasm did gallop freely through my mind, a veritable parade of cheap jokes and witty one-liners ("JetBlue debuts 'Golden Throne' seating class;" "Man gets best (and worst) seat on JetBlue;" etc.). I figured this would be the easiest entry yet. And then I read the story, and things got a little wacky.
The man in question, Gokhan Mutlu, of Manhattan, alleges JetBlue forced him to sit in the lavatory after his seat was given to a flight attendant. Apparently a flight attendant complained that the jump seat was uncomfortable, and the pilot gave the flight attendant Mutlu's seat instead. Mutlu was then assigned to the bathroom, where he sat for roughly three hours (cue the Gilligan's Island theme song in my head…).
Further complicating this story is that Mutlu was traveling on a "buddy pass," a standby voucher JetBlue employees can give to their friends. So technically, Mutlu was not a paying customer, which I suppose could, in some twisted way, invalidate his claim to a seat.
In this era of rampant and frivolous lawsuits, it's difficult to separate fact from fiction, so I don't want to come down too hard on either side of the story. That said, if an airline ever evicts you from your seat, you could do worse than the restroom as a fall-back option. Sure it's small, unsafe (no seat belts!), and—well, let's just say it's a bathroom.
But at least you could make a few bucks!
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