A male passenger who made an inappropriate comment to an Alaska Airlines flight attendant as she was conducting a safety demonstration Sunday was escorted off the aircraft before takeoff, according to an airline representative and a passenger aboard the flight.
The incident occurred while the Boeing 737 was on the tarmac at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Ann Zaninovich said was preparing for a flight to Burbank, California.
Amber Nelson, a passenger on the flight, wrote on her Facebook page that the attendant had been demonstrating how to use a life vest when the passenger — who was seated between two women — called out, "Ooh, sexy!"
"Before we could do more than glare in his direction, the flight attendant removed her vest, purposely walked up to him and said, 'You need to be respectful,' and started to walk back to her task," Nelson wrote. "He said, 'C'mon, I'm just playing with you!' "
Nelson said an airline employee subsequently boarded the plane, telling the man to gather his things and leave.
"I felt honored as a patron of the airline — and as a woman — because Alaska Airlines supported their staff and those of us on board who were demeaned by another passenger's juvenile and exceedingly disrespectful behavior," Nelson wrote. "Thank you for taking this seriously."
Zaninovich confirmed Nelson's account of events Wednesday, but didn't have additional details on the incident. Zaninovich said the airline backed the flight crew's initiative in handling the situation.
"We stand behind the actions taken by our employees," Zaninovich said.