"No, you're going to get off this plane...RIGHT NOW!!"

I had closed my eyes briefly as the remaining zones loaded onto American Airlines 1602 in Dallas.  Moments earlier, I watched as one passenger, two seats in front of me, attempted to stow his roller bag in the overhead compartment and in doing so, the backpack, still on his back, nudged a woman in the opposite side of the aisle.  It seemed like a very light brush but no one likes having a pack in their face.   The woman complained and the pack wielding man, turned and apologized profusely.  That pretty much ended the incident and I rested my eyes a bit, thinking about what time I had to get up earlier that morning to make the flight from Baton Rouge that would connect me to the flight to Sacramento.

Moments later, I was startled to hear, "No....you're going to get off this plane, RIGHT NOW!"  The flight attendant yelled again, "Yes you are!  Get up, you're not flying on this plane!"

I couldn't  tell exactly what had happened so I leaned over to the grinning guy next to me and asked, "What's up?"

"That woman two seats up took a swing at the flight attendant."  He added, "The flight attendant pulled a bag out of the bin to repack it and the strap dropped down on that woman so she took a swing and hit the bag the attendant was holding."

Further commotions erupted with some more words I couldn't make out, then the attendant headed up toward the front with haste.  The woman turned and pleaded her case that she was merely trying to knock the bag strap away from her to protect her $1,000 pair of glasses but a couple of other passengers, told her that wasn't what they saw.  Now, I have some pretty expensive glasses and I was a eyeglass wholesaler in a previous life and I can tell you they were not a thousand dollar pair of glasses, but that's another issue.

Five minutes later, another flight attendant approaches the lady in seat 21D and asked for her version of the story.  After a bit of discussion, flight attendant number 2 gets the lady to come up to the front to work things out with the captain.  Good cop, bad cop thing going on here, I think.

Now, we're 20 minutes late on the departure already.

A few minutes later, the woman comes back and starts retrieving her carry-on bag and while she's doing it begins to once again, tell her version of the incident.  Several other passengers, already looking at their watches tell her just to "suck it up and get off the plane, lady."  Thankfully, she relents and heads back up to exit.    A few minutes later, another female passenger, who was on standby, takes the seat.

Flight attendant #1 came back and joked and laughed with the passengers regarding the incident.  She collected a half dozen business cards, I'm guessing to have some witnesses that would take her side in case the disenfranchised passenger decided to lawyer up.  She admits that the captain wanted to let passenger #1 fly if she would apologize to the flight attendant but the ladies told him no.  "If she flies, we don't"   So, to avoid a mutiny, the captain ejected passenger #1.

By this time, we're already 45 minutes late closing the front door.  That, with the car rental agency being temporarily out of cars, caused me being an hour late getting to Modesto.