An American Airlines First Class passenger was forcibly removed from the aircraft after being disgruntled and throwing a tantrum when he was refused a pre-departure drink of gin and tonic.
Apparently the unidentified passenger requested a gin and tonic prior to departure. As a First Class passenger with American Airlines, he is actually entitled to a pre-departure drink.
For unknown reasons, the passenger was refused the gin and tonic, whereupon he became difficult. Flight attendants eventually requested the passenger to disembark, and when he refused, police officers were called to intervene.
The incident, which occurred on an American Airlines flight on April 7, 2023, was caught on video.
The video starts with police officers already onboard the aircraft, and the passenger still refusing to leave.
The passenger appeared to repeatedly ask why he needed to leave, and police officers explained that the flight attendants and pilot had already requested for him to disembark.
Section 44902(b) of the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), known as ‘permissive refusal’, provides pilots with broad authority to remove passengers. The pilot in command assumes the role of the air carrier and can decide whether to remove a passenger from a flight for safety reasons.
At one point, the passenger tried to record the incident with his mobile phone, but the police officers took his phone away.
After several minutes of arguing and with the passenger still not budging, police officers can be seen forcibly removing the passenger from his seat, handcuffing and dragging him across the aircraft aisle.
At this point, the passenger can be seen crying and bawling loudly while telling the police officers to stop. He was eventually escorted off the aircraft.
Coincidentally the incident, which was sparked by a request for gin and tonic, occurred just a couple of days prior to National Gin and Tonic Day, celebrated on April 9, 2023.