A Kenyan woman has narrated how she was assaulted in Ethiopian Airline by another woman. The victim reported to the airline crew and the step taken by the staff humbled someone. Here is the story.
“This woman assaulted me on-board Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 846 from Cape Town to Addis Ababa.
See what happened was, about 1 hour after take-off I reclined my seat slightly to get comfortable. Immediately the lady seated directly behind me tapped my shoulder and asked me to pull my chair up. ‘But why should I?”, I asked….given that, the seat wasn’t reclined all the way to it’s maximum reach – (not that the tilt allowance on an economy seat is that much anyway). Her response was something along the lines of needing all the room she paid for, as well as needing to watch her screen and place meals on her tray….to which I responded that I’d obviously straighten my chair when it was meal-time, and that the tv screens could easily be angled back & forth ….and that she could also opt to recline her seat as well.
She continued to be curt and rudely insisted that I should listen to her … 😕… I asked her to look around the cabin at all the reclined seats – many of which were reclined back further than mine…and that she quit being inconsiderate and to stop interrupting me while I watched a movie.
At this point she was visibly upset, talking loudly to herself about ‘teaching me a lesson’. She got up and stomped over to get the cabin crew area 🙂 When one of the flight attendants came over to find out what the issue was, she told this crazy lady to calm down and that I had a right to recline my seat.
Me: “That’s the same thing I told you, I have a right – just like everybody else”
Crazy lady: “Shut up with your South African rights bullsh*t.”
Me: “…errrr I’m not even South African”
Crazy lady: “I don’t give a flying f**k where you’re from or what they tell you there. You have no rights!”
Me: “It’s 2017, do you hear yourself?”
Crazy lady (very loudly): “I don’t care! I paid for my seat and you are encroaching my space”
Me: “I assure you my seat was not donated to me by any NGO…. so, back to my rights. You do realise we have equal rights?”
Crazy lady: “You have no rights! Sit upright and behave yourself!!!!”
Me: … (laughing now)… “you’re delusional”
**at this point I didn’t see her hand coming as she struck me across my head**
Honestly, I was so shocked I didn’t do or say anything for several minutes, I needed time to accept what had just happened…. other passengers and cabin crew intervened. The captain was informed, and I was assured that there will be security waiting when we landed at the airport in Addis.
Fast forward to landing time, crazy lady wormed her way to the front of the line of passengers trying to get off the plane, luckily she’d been marked and was asked to step aside and wait for due process. Unfortunately we (cabin crew, crazy lady and myself) waited for the security to come for quite a while, but they never showed up ….meanwhile my connecting flight to Nairobi was about to leave (& so was hers to Tel Aviv – although I couldn’t be bothered if she missed her connecting flight). I had to make a quick decision whether to stay on and pursue formal charges – and miss my flight (plus a number of meetings back in Nairobi) + pray there’d be another flight I could catch soon after……or to simply let this incident go.
I chose what I think was the ‘middle ground’.
I told her I’d settle for an apology recorded on my phone – and that I’d post it online for all to see! She agreed (although like I told her, I don’t believe she was sorry at all)
P.s – a special thank you to the kind flight attendant, Merhawit who was gentle & firm and very supportive throughout the ordeal”
Here is a link to the video where the woman was forced to apologize