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Frontier Airlines Passenger Refuses Exit Row Instructions, Prompting Plane to Deboard

A Frontier Airlines passenger’s refusal to comply with exit row instructions led to the entire flight being deboarded. In a viral TikTok video posted on May 9th, travel blogger Tia (@travelwithtia23) recounted an incident where an unidentified woman, wearing glasses, engaged in a heated argument with airline staff. Despite fellow passengers urging her to cooperate, she adamantly refused, escalating tensions on board. ( More...

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EMK69 50
>>>>>>>>The video captures the woman in a confrontation with a female flight attendant, gesturing defiantly as she questions their authority.<<<<<<<<

Efforts to defuse the situation prove futile, with the captain eventually intervening to address the issue. Law enforcement is summoned, resulting in the woman’s removal from the aircraft

I guess she found out how much authority the flight crews have.
WhiteKnight77 19
When I can sit in the exit row of seats, I ensure that the FA knows that I can handle the door and get myself and others out and off the plane.

She would have been a liability if something had happened if she was allowed to fly in said row. At the minimum, she should have been allowed to move, but, she chose the harsher option and got a pair of chrome bracelets.
Andrew Turnbull 27
I suspect she refused to be re-seated because she wanted to keep the beaucoup leg room of THAT seat. Total, complete entitlement mentality. NO-FLY list her.
David Plummer 1
Exactly. I have been in the exit row on countless flights over the years. Every single time, the FA would do the little briefing, ask if I was willing and able to do the necessary duties, AND offered to get me re-seated if I wasn't comfortable. Every single time, regardless of the airline. And this goes back to when you actually had the pull the entire window plug and put it on the seat. These days, it is pulling a lever that causes the plug to open outwards.

If I was the appropriate person at the airline, I wouldn't hesitate for one second in signing the order banning her from the airline for life. There was absolutely no excuse for her behavior. The airline lost thousands and thousands of dollars because of her conduct. Even though there is an almost zero percent chance they would recover the costs, I would also file suit against her as a message to other would-be Karens.
Vaughn Blue Jr 14
My question is why did all the passengers have to deplane after the stupid woman was removed?
Mark Segal 7
That was my question as well. While I understand Sean's explanation and agree it makes some sense. it seems to me that emptying the aircraft to deal with one stubborn empty head just creates more inconvenience than all those other passengers asked for or deserve. Troublesome people are often disembarked without emptying the whole plane.
Sean Awning 5
I think the airlines have learned from past experience and decided it's better and probably faster to deplane everybody and then let the police and security deal with the unruly passenger. It's a good thing to learn from past incidents, right? it's what makes flying safer.
Sean Awning 22
If the unruly passenger refuses to cooperate with the police, it is safer for the other passengers to leave the plane and get out of the way, in case the unruly passenger turns violent when the police attempt to remove them from the plane.
Sometimes an unruly passenger actually calms down and starts cooperating with authority when there is no audience to escalate the situation.
Removing the other passengers means that they stop recording the incident. It reduces the chance that the unruly passenger will get angry with the people who are filming, and it also provides some privacy for the unruly passenger at a time of stress and distress.
Andrew Turnbull 13
But we've seen plenty of videos of someone being removed from a plane *without* all the other passengers being de-boarded. Why in THIS particular case was that necessary, is the question.
David Plummer 1
My guess is that there was a time issue with someone on the flight crew. Law enforcement may have asked for it, but, I've seen police remove troublesome passengers without deplaning. But, flight crew members are limited to a certain amount of duty time each day. Had the flight left on schedule, things would have been fine. If it was to be the last flight of the day for the crew member, an hour-long delay may have been too much. FAA regulations are not particularly flexible.
WhiteKnight77 3
That still would not stop people from making a video of them being walked out of the jetway and posting such on social media.
"People" have every right to record other people in any public place....we then have the right to publish said video.
Sean Awning 2
Fortunately, most of the police are more compassionate than that. They don't like to see someone else's bad day turned into other people's vulgar entertainment.
Dan Grelinger -1
It appears the criminals living amongst us are downvoting your post.

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Daniel Griscom 10
There are lots of good cops and some bad cops. We need to give the good cops the opportunity to do their job safely and well; we need to identify and remove the bad cops.

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Daniel Griscom 8
Blindly "backing the blue" would be just as dumb as treating all police as thugs.

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WhiteKnight77 8
In all my encounters with police, of any race, I have not had any issue or given any grief by them, even when not for being pulled over. If you have problems with police, maybe it is you, not them. Don't give them a reason for the apparent treatment you believe they give you and you will get it in return. Just being nice when pulled over can get you off with just a warning, and not a ticket or arrest.
Stephen Leftly 4
Perhaps you should try walking a mile in somebody else's shoes.

Sadly not everybody has the same experience.
Dan Grelinger 2
My 60+ years of experience have been like WhiteKnight’s. Instead of being obscure and misleading, tell us about YOUR (not rumors, not stories, not fake news) of all of your experiences, both good and bad, objectively. I’m guessing that you are just allowing yourself to be swayed by ‘hearsay’.
Stephen Leftly 0
Let me guess your ethnicity.....

There is just a ton of documented evidence that certain groups get treated worse by the police than others...

Many years ago I used to commute up the NJ Turnpike early every Saturday morning ..basically every Saturday morning for two years. After a while I noticed an unusual thing about cars being pulled over by the police and being a numbers kind of guys I started keeping track. From my own data it was obvious that black drivers were getting pulled over way more frequently than white drivers even though they were only a small percentage of the traffic on the road and from observation were not driving any different than anybody else....

Sure enough a few years later the NJ State police got seriously dinged for racial profiling and were put under court order to improve.

Racial profiling has been accurately detailed in lots of investigations in many different jurisdictions. So just because it hasn't happened to you does NOT mean it has not happened to somebody else.

It is YoU that is "obscure and misleading" with your head in the sand.

Dan Grelinger 0
You’ve said what I thought you’d say.

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srobak 6
Get bent. Walk in their shoes before you lip off like that.

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Dan Grelinger 9
How many doctors have OD’d on drugs they obtained with their privileges. When one doctor does that, I hope you are consistent and ban them all. Otherwise you are a hypocrite.
Your right. We had an MD go down, and figured he had a stroke...he was just that drunk (while working). MD's can be as deadly as the police, hands down - we however are held to a higher standard and DO NOT have Qualified Immunity nor Good Samaritan. Cops get protection, medical professionals are always under the bus.

Fact is, I bet no one watched the video I had posted a link to. Facts suck.
Dan Grelinger 3
“Cops get protection, medical professionals are always under the bus.”

Not really true. I’ve seen several examples of bad doctors getting ‘protection’ from the State Board of Healing Arts after falling prey to addictions.

Your statements lead me to believe you have fallen prey to deeply held biases.
srobak 7
Enjoy painting with such a broad brush because 1 cop lifted drugs in your er? If an entire hospital was banned for just one week because of medical maliciousness or doing symptom management instead of identification and treatment of causes then the entire hospital would only be allowed every 2 weeks a year.

I'm sure you have some insurance claims to inflate and file.
WhiteKnight77 4
They should ban medial personnel as you.
David Plummer 1
My guess is that a member of the crew was running out of duty time. It may have been an accommodation for law enforcement, but I'm betting it was a duty time problem.
goodness..some people just want to feel no one else can tell them what to do under any circumstances!the f/a's are required to ask any person in the emergency exit if they are capable,willing and able to open the door in the event of an emergency..they dont ask if the person will assist them with evacuating passengers..this woman has a definite problem....
Leo Cotnoir 17
She should be permanently banned from flying on any airline.
Jeff Zimmerman 0
We've really got to get out of this culture of wanting people banned from things as a first resort. We certainly don't know the whole story here anyway. But the immediacy of wanting people fired from their jobs or put on some no-fly list is getting out of hand.
chiefaviator 11
I see that point as well. But some things tend to warrant a company refusal of service.

In this case she purposely posed a threat to safety. And a costly disruption of service.

If someone comes into your home and trashed the place an threatens the safety of your family, I'm pretty sure you would not allow them back in.

The same for a business.
David Plummer 21
Frontier should ban the Karen. There is no right to fly and no one should have to put up with this kind of behavior from a supposedly grown adult.
Trevor Susman 6
They shouldn't have argued with her she was enjoying being the big deal they should have just called the police she probably loved the attention of all the passengers were giving her she a disgusting person that only cares about herself she must go and get a job in the circus as the head clown
beilstwh 5
This is such a stupid thing to argue about. The sum total of the "helping" you fellow passengers is to open the exit door
angus thom 1
It's optional to also shout <follow me!!>
hwh888 8
Not sure how she was given the ok when seated at a evacuation seat? She was pleasant and responsible before boarding ?? Then somehow reversed? She should be placed on a no fly list or at least never be allowed a evacuation seat.
JESS Kalinowsky 4
Really quite simple: [a] arrest her for not following directions [b] serious fine [c] ban her from all airlines. She is obviously a trouble maker!
Dan Grelinger 0
Well said! Spoken like a true tyrant!
WhiteKnight77 1
Dan Grelinger 1
I already watched the video on Twitter. This one just looks like an edited one.

If you had a point, it was not well made.
Leo Cotnoir 7
I have long thought that airlines should add extra leg room at exit rows to make egress easier and that they should recruit volunteers to take evacuation training then be issued certificates entitling them to those roomier seats.
angus thom 1
I agree - but - that opens the door (no pun intended) for some lawyer to sue you for some perceived/implied responsibility.
Everyday, another trailer park takes flight. God bless the U.S.A.

I salute you discount airline pilots!
Jean Johnson 3
Off the main topic, but a related topic. On a past flight I sat in the row behind the exit row. In front was a couple with their mother, I assume.who was very elderly, frail and small and did not speak English, but she was told to say "yes" by the two others when asked if the are willing to assist in an evacuation. I asked the flight attendant if that was ok, the woman obviously could not help in an evacuation. The f/a told me all they needed to hear was the "yes". I was stunned and wonder to this day if that "yes" is all that is needed.
I don’t know . In my personal opinion, The incident was not handled properly and could have been avoided.

First of all The front line customer service is responsible to oversee who can occupy an emergency exit prior to boarding the Aircraft.
He/ she most answer The question:
Are you an Able bodied person?
Eventually, must be willing to follow Crew instructions.
It’s repeated on the aircraft by flight Attendants.

If he/ she refuses to follow specific directions, they cannot occupy an emergency exit.

Simply if he/ she cannot do so or disagree, they are reseated by The crew .

How can such behavior and actions be considered to relay on someone to help others to safety?

This is not a game . It’s planning for a possible evacuation.
MikeYQR 2
Put her on a universal, permanent, no-fly list. If she doesn't like taking a bus, then allow her 'on' the plane (ie: strapped to a wing perhaps) but not allow her 'in' the plane.
She should have been made to stand in the jetway so that the deboarding passengers can let her know what a piece of crap she is for ruining their day.
Doug Fehmel 2
What a way to get your moment of fame and be featured in the FlightAware Newsletter.
Richard Smith 2
So I guess we must now turn flying into a political agenda ? You act bad, you suffer the consequences proportionate to your nonsensical actions. Safety is #1.
Cheryl Hurtak 3
I wonder if a deep dive on her would find that this is potentially a stunt conjured up to promote the “travel tik tok” site of the girl that took the video and proceeded to talk about it adnauseum (with her shirt so low she was nearly exposed)? People will do anything for clicks these days.
Cleffer 3
Oh, Frontier.
James Patterson 1
I do believe the exit row should be reserved for those of us who are 6'2" / 188cm or better.
j/k but I wouldn't complain! lol
Jay Powell 1
I've been travelling a lot the last 3 months...domestically and internationally...the 13%, those who wreak havoc on civilized society, have been causing LOTS of problems in my experience...this is out of hand. 6 out of my last 7 flights have had problems either at the counter or on the aircraft by the 13% gang. Something has to change...
It's too bad that even though the article mentions the video twice, there is no link to actually view the video. Anyone happen to know hwere to find it?
randy everett 1
Youtube has a bunch of them. Just search for Frontier passenger
Rory Armstrong 1
I’m I wrong or when you book one of those seats ( for the extra leg room and at an up charge)…is there not a preliminary note that you must agree to the terms before purchasing it?…if not how did she get that seat?….just asking..
ko25701 1
If the FAA would simply arm the FA's with a Tazer or Billy-club, all this nonsense would stop. That Karen should be relegated to Amtrack for life.
rmchambers 12
I'm sure the good people that take the train don't want her on Amtrak either.
Chuck Lavazzi 11
We take Amtrak frequently. Don't wish this case of terminal entitlement on us.
avionik99 -6
Afterward, she reportedly went right back to shopping at the nearest Wal-Mart.
srobak 1
Deplane her. Not the whole plane.
A silly technicality, perhaps, but it's "deplane", not "deboard". As one may also say "unboard", related to "board" and "reboard".
dilkie 6
it should be "disembark" ... like it always used to be before we started inventing new words to mean the same thing. What was I reading this morning? Oh, yeah, Ohio is now calling offenders "justice impacted individuals"
Scott Hickman 5
Yes it is "deplain" and "depeanut". per M&M Corp.
James Patterson 3
I just munched a handful of delicious red skin peanuts. I guess that means I am empeanutted!
RECOR10 -4
Brian Freeman 0
I haven't seen the video (nor do I care to)but I'll bet I can tell the woman's ethnicity. And before anyone inquires the relevance, I can only tell you that ethnicity in particular has little to no conflict resolution skills.

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The Dude 0
Link to the video?
Dan Grelinger 0
Self Service! Click the link above, read the first few sentences to find the handle for the poster of the video, highlight it, right click, hit lookup. It will be the first search hit. Click that, and relish this moment that you have found you’re not powerless after all!
Steve Horn 0
Dan Grelinger, way to be helpful while also being a dick...
Dan Grelinger 1
And you have just shown yourself to be, a what?
Steve Horn 1
Someone who realizes you can be helpful without being a dick
Dan Grelinger 1
So, I was helpful, and didn’t drop to the low level of calling someone names.

And you were not in the least bit interested in being helpful, and just dropped to the level of calling people names.

You know, I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now. Thanks!
Steve Horn 1
Sometimes Dicks and Karens have no self awareness.
Dan Grelinger 1
My words exactly!
Yassine Cherfouni -1
Decision making is the key to success.
Frontier Airlines has Frontiers too that cannot be overstepped Or be arrogance to defuse the situation.

As stated previously, I believe the situation was not properly handled.
Prevention is the best option and solution.
Like I said in my previous post, The customer service is responsible for reminding a passenger who’s trying to purchase or occupy an exit row , there are clear conditions and requirements to be able to occupy the exit row. The customer service gate Agents and the supervisor failed to do so.
The flight attendant was Right of reinforcing THE EXIT ROW REQUIREMENT , ask questions and be briefed of the exit row strategy.

Why disservice and punish all The passengers?
The decision to deplane all the passengers was unprofessional, unfair , unreasonable and unnecessary.
It can only cause further delays for that flight, or a landing aircraft that needs that gate to deplane its own passengers. Other passengers will be waiting at the destination .
The Alleged passenger refusing to comply with crew instructions should simply be asked to be reassigned or reseated to another seat , possibly giving her a courtesy voucher if the person had paid for an exit Row.

Furthermore, it does not warrant to prevent someone from ever flying again or being put them on the no flying list .
Hopefully, Airlines will learn from this situation and educate their gate agents to avoid and pay close attention to safety and Exit rows.
Exit Rows are a verbal contract between The occupants and the crew members.
One should not interfere with crew safety instructions.


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