The New York Post has a Page 6 report about an incident that happened onboard an American Airlines flight from LAX to JFK.
It might be a little extreme, but if I was Tom Horton, the new CEO or American Airlines, I’d probably just ban celebrities. There was the Alec Baldwin incident, as well as a few other celebrity incidents on Southwest Airlines the last couple of years; it’s probably just better for everyone if celebrities take private jets.
At the very least, I’d institute a rule that limits the number of celebrities on a single flight. Such a policy would have avoided the kind of situation that happened on Monday, when one celebrity refused to give up his seat to another celebrity.
According to the article, Al Roker, meteorologist for the Today Show, was returning from Los Angeles to JFK on American Airlines flight 4. On this route, American operates a 767-200 with a 3 cabin configuration: economy, Business Class, and their Flagship First Class service. Al Roker was seated in 2H in First Class.
Next to him was Van Halen band member Alex Van Halen , in seat 2J, and across the aisle from Roker was Van Halen’s wife Stine Schyberg in 2D (Eddie Van Halen and his wife, Janie Liszewsk, were seated in 3H and 3J).
Van Halen and his wife were unhappy about their seating assignments and complained (loudly according to witnesses) about the situation, so the gate agent asked Roker if he would mind moving, but the weatherman declined. Moving would have put him closer to a passenger traveling with a dog and Roker explained that he has an allergy to dogs.
According to the article, Van Halen and his wife were vocal about their unhappiness and eventually ended up swapping seats with two passengers in Business Class so that the couple could sit next to each other. (Hey, I guess When it’s Love, moving from Flagship First Class for Business is no big deal).
I’ve been in Roker’s situation before, and have always agreed to swap, but I would have done the same thing considering the allergy. Truthfully, there are times that I’d rather not move, but do it anyway to avoid the awkwardness of saying no to someone and then having to sit next to them for three hours (in an alternate universe, Alternate AAdvantage Geek snarls something like “These seats are assigned for a reason and if I wanted to play airplane seat roulette, I’d be on Southwest.”).
Since it’s a slow AAdvantage news day, I thought it would be a good time for the first ever AAdvantage Geek reader poll.