A new account of the JetBlue toilet lawsuit by Gokhan Mutlu is now out, differing substantially from the original story. The version that was in the news on Monday resulted from a $2M suit filed in New York for forcing this passenger to sit in the toilet. The story sounded “ludicrous” to me, and I said so (See: Jet Blue Hit With Toilet Lawsuit).
While JetBlue didn’t respond in public to the allegations, another version, albeit third hand, dripped out in the comments in my blog in the post above.
According to this account, Mutlu was riding free and the captain was the one who got him on the flight:
He begged [captain] to help him get on flight – excersising Caring value CA said he would ASK jumpseating (Not [deadheading]) FA if she was willing to give up seat for pass rider. She was.
Then when the captain went to answer the call of nature mid-flight:
When on bathroom break, non rev approaches barrier and again really thanks CA for helping him get on. CA replies no problem – I didn’t really do anything -if you want to say thanks its the FA who gave up her seat..have a nice day.
And that, apparently, was the last the captain saw of the man until after the flight:
Sees nonrev after flight – very upset. He let [flight attendant] sit in his seat and she fell asleep. Other FA’s would (correctly) not let him sit on FA jumpseat. He was too timid to wake up FA and didn’t know what to do.
I can’t say if this is inaccurate water-cooler gossip or an accurate account. The account is likely a mixed bag, as most such stories are when passed along like the game of telephone, but I think it’s safe to say that JetBlue’s account will likely vary substantially when they do respond to the suit.
The original story just seems a bit too bizarre. There would simply be waaay too many witnesses for any flight crew to allow such a violation of flight regulations to occur — and it would involve the entire flight crew letting this happen. I remain skeptical of the original account.
- JetBlue Sued by Man Forced to Ride in Lavatory (Lowering the Bar)
[T]his guy (and/or his lawyer) is demanding more than the entire lifetime economic output of most Americans as compensation for being required to sit on the toilet for about three hours.
I had a roommate that used to do that for free.
- Man Claims Jet Blue Made Him Sit in Airplane Lavatory for Hours ($2 Million Lawsuit Included) (The Gothamist)
If this is what a Jet Blue “buddy pass” is, we totally pass.
- Follow-up: Forced to sit in the toilet stinks, but does it deserve $2 million (Gadling)
My point, which is really a question, is this: Why $2 million? Although I am on Mutlu’s side, for what that it’s worth, I’m wondering whether his suing JetBlue for $2 million doesn’t seem a tad, well, greedy, like he saw an opportunity (no doubt goaded by some lawyer) for a quick pay day and took it.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons