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Wed, May 14, 2008

Man Says JetBlue Forced Him To Sit In Lav

Hey, Anything's Better Than Coach...

We'd say that something smells here... but we don't wish to imply anything, or go for an all-too-obvious pun. A New York City man claims JetBlue Airways forced him to give up his seat on a February flight, forcing him to sit in the plane's lav during part of the five-hour flight from California.

The Associated Press reports Gokhan Mutlu is suing the low-cost carrier for over $2 million following the alleged February 23 incident.

According to the lawsuit, Mutlu -- who was traveling from San Diego on a standby "buddy pass" voucher, given to him by a JetBlue employee -- was told by the plane's pilot to give up his seat for a flight attendant who complained the jump seat was uncomfortable.

Mutlu says he was initially told the non-reving flight attendant had taken the last seat, but that she later decided to sit in the employee jump seat so he could have the seat. The flight attendant later decided to take the seat, however, Mutlu claims... forcing him to sit in the jump seat.

It's here where the story gets interesting. Mutlu says the pilot told him he couldn't sit in the jump seat, as only airline employees are permitted to sit there. So he was purportedly told to sit in the lav.

When Mutlu complained, the lawsuit claims the pilot responded "he was the pilot, that this was his plane, under his command that (Mutlu) should be grateful for being on board."

The suit also claims when passengers were told to return to their seats due to an encounter with rough air, "the plaintiff had no seat to return to, sitting on a toilet stool with no seat belts."

A male flight attendant eventually knocked on the lav door, and told Mutlu he could return to his original seat.

Mutlu filed the lawsuit Friday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, claiming JetBlue endangered him by not providing him with a seat equipped with a safety belt. JetBlue hasn't commented.



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