If you’re scheduled to go on a flight in the U.S., you can be pretty sure that the airline and airport personnel will act certain ways during a confrontation. Hopefully they’ll use de-escalation techniques, but if the poop is really hitting the fan, you can be reasonably sure they won’t get physical during the altercation.
Apparently, that’s not the case all over the world.
Back in November, two passengers, Jorge and Gabriella, were scheduled to fly KLM from São Paulo, Brazil to Dublin, Ireland, with a transfer in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. They had special permission via a Brazilian court ruling that they could take their rabbit, named Alfredo, on board.
Rabbits are typically not allowed to be brought into the cabin. And unfortunately, due to a miscommunication, the staffers working for KLM in São Paulo weren’t aware that the couple had gotten an exemption. So they tried to stop Jorge and Gabriella from bringing Alfredo onto the plane.
That didn’t go over well. This is the footage @mennoswart, a Dutch journalist, got at the airport:
(Translation of below: Fighting for a rabbit! Screams and screams in São Paulo. Passenger Jorge gets into an argument with@KLM ground stewardess He wants to take rabbit Alfredo in the cabin of a KLM plane, on a flight to Ireland 1/3 @KLM_press #KLM)
Knokken om een konijn! 🥊🐰 Gegil en gekrijs in São Paulo. Passagier Jorge krijgt ruzie met @KLM grondstewardess 🥊 Hij wil konijn Alfredo meenemen in cabine van KLM-toestel, op vlucht naar Ierland 1/3 @KLM_press #KLM pic.twitter.com/XoRCEieSVC
— Menno Swart (@MennoSwart) November 20, 2021
- 0:00 – From the beginning of the video, you can see the woman from KLM dishing it out to Jorge and Gabriella as much as they’re yelling at her. Not exactly a way to deescalate a situation 😉
- 0:33 – You can see the KLM woman’s stance is almost daring him to do something.
- 0:35 – I swear she was almost ready to pop him one.
- 0:54 – OK, Jorge admittedly threw the first punch but…
- 0:57 – …then the security guy(???) punched him back?!?!?!
Anyway, everyone eventually calmed down and things eventually straightened out. Jorge, Gabriella and Alfredo were able to complete their travels the next day.
(Translation of below: “There is talk of an ‘internal misunderstanding’, according to @KLM. A day later, Jorge, Daniela and rabbit Alfredo Rabbit face are finally allowed to fly to Ireland Airplane)
KLM made a statement about the whole incident:
“We deeply regret this, KLM disapproves any form of violence. Both from employees as from passengers. We are investigating why the situation got so heated. Both passengers and the rabbit were able to continue their journey the next day.”
“Due to an internal communication error, the decision to exceptionally allow the transport of a rabbit in the aircraft cabin, based on a court decision, was not communicated in advance to our crew,” the airline continued.
Typically, for animal welfare and safety reasons, no other pets than dogs and cats are allowed on board: …that’s why the ground staffer was so impressed that they stopped the passengers before boarding.”
So the story had a happy ending. But wow….yeah…don’t piss off Brazilian flight crew, huh? 😉
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