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The Tale of the Obnoxious Airline Passenger

There’s a delicious story that’s been going around for a while, with one variation dating back as early as 1978. Whether it’s ever happened or not isn’t the point; the lesson it teaches is what’s important. Ain’t that the purpose of story anyway?

The gem goes something like this:

A fiftysomething-year-old white woman arrived at her seat in the Coach section of a crowded airline flight, which happened to be located next to a black man. Disgusted, she immediately summoned the flight attendant.

“I cannot sit next to this unpleasant person,” the woman said.

“No problem, ma’am,” the flight attendant said. “Let me see if I can find another seat.”

After a few minutes of searching the Coach section for an available seat, the flight attendant returned to the woman with an update.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but there are no available seats here in Coach. I’ll check with the captain to see if there’s something available in First Class.”

After ten minutes, the flight attendant returned to the woman with another update.

“The captain’s confirmed there are no more seats in Coach, but we happen to have an available seat in First Class. While it’s against company policy to arbitrarily upgrade a passenger from Coach to First Class, we also don’t believe in forcing a passenger to endure an entire flight sitting next to an unpleasant person.”

“That’ll be fine,” said the woman. “Thank you.”

The flight attendant pointed to the black man.

“Sir, please retrieve your personal items and come with me.”

Love them apples.

Snopes scraps this tale up to legend status. But we all know legends — like good jokes — are rooted in truth.

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