Passenger sues Jetblue airline for making him sit in toilet during flight

16 May, 2008: A man from New York, the United States, has sued jetBlue, a low-cost airline based in the United States, for $2 million for having denied him a seat on a 5-hour flight and instead being told to “hang out” in the plane’s bathroom.

When the passenger in question, Gokhan Mutlu, arrived to check in for a jetBlue flight from San Diego to New York in February 2008, he was told that the flight was full, according to the lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court.

He was allowed to board the plane after a flight attendant of jetBlue agreed to give up her seat and travel in a “jump seat” meant for airline employees.

JetBlue Airways Corporation is headquartered in the Forest Hills neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens.

According to reports in the US media, 90 minutes into the flight, the pilot told Gokhan Mutlu that the flight attendant who gave up her seat for Mutlu complained that the “jump seat” she was assigned was uncomfortable and that Mutlu would have to leave his seat and “hang out” in the bathroom for the remainder of the flight, the lawsuit said.

When Mutlu at first refused, the pilot became angry at his “reluctance” and said Mutlu “should be grateful for being onboard.” When Mutlu volunteered to sit in the “jump seat,” he was told that it was reserved for airline personnel.

When the aircraft hit turbulence, the passengers were directed to return to their seats, but “the plaintiff had no seat to return to, sitting on a toilet stool with no seat belts,” court papers say.

When the plane experienced turbulence, Mutlu sat on the toilet seat without a seat belt and he felt “tremendous fear,” the lawsuit added.

However, Mutlu acknowledged in his complaint that he was allowed to return to his seat once the flight hit more turbulence.

Gokhan Mutlu, of Inwood section of Manhattan, added that he suffered “extreme humiliation” during the flight.

He also charged in the lawsuit that JetBlue “negligently endangered him by not providing him with a seat with a safety belt or harness, in violation of federal law.”

Mutlu was traveling on a ‘buddy pass’ – a standby travel voucher that JetBlue employees give to friends, from New York to San Diego on February 16, 2008, and returned to New York on February 23.

According to media reports in thee US, officials of the JetBlue Airways Corporation declined to comment on the charges levelled by Gokhan Mutlu, saying that the airline had yet to receive the suit.







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