Flight Attendant Stories

Really Rude! Urinating On Another Passenger…

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On August 12, 2011 it was reported that a drunk passenger – a U.S. Olympic hopeful – who had consumed 8 drinks emptied his bladder on a sleeping 11-year-old girl as he stumbled down the aisle inflight to use the toilet.  Robert “Sandy” Vietze, 18, was aboard JetBlue Flight 166 from Portland, Oregon to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport when the incident happened.  Vietze was quoted as saying, “I was drunk, and I didn’t realize I was pissing on her leg”.

Vietze’s action violated the USSA code of conduct and team agreement according to a representative of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.  As a result, Sandy Vietze has been dismissed from the U.S. Ski Team.  When the plane arrived at the gate in New York, Vietze was issued a federal summons for indecent exposure, a misdemeanor, and he could face up to one year in jail.


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Meet Iurii Chumak.

The 53-year-old was recently arrested after allegedly groping a flight attendant while onboard a British Airways flight traveling from London to New York on April 28, 2011. Chumak, seen in the mug shot on the left, was photographed by the United States Marshals Service after being forcibly de-planed in handcuffs.

According to The Smoking Gun, Chumak placed his hand up the flight attendant’s skirt and “grabbed her genital area” when she bent over to pour coffee for another passenger and “began to run his fingers back and forth”. Although the incident was witnessed by a second flight attendant, who immediately placed him in restraints, Chumak maintained that he had simply been “drinking on the airplane, fell asleep, and woke up in restraints.” The second attendant told the FBI that a male passenger had previously complained that Chumak–drinking from a bottle of Dewar’s–had “bothered and verbally abused” his wife.

Since his bust, Chumak has been locked up at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was named last week in a misdemeanor criminal information charging him in connection with the in-flight April 28 incident (the filing of an information–in lieu of a grand jury presentment by federal prosecutors–often indicates that a defendant is negotiating a guilty plea).

Chumak’s lawyer, Sergei Orel, declined on May 31 to comment about his client’s case.


On March 27, 2011 another groping incident happened but this time on Delta Airlines Flight 269.  

An Israeli rabbi flying to New York from Tel Aviv allegedly twice fondled a female passenger as she slept, and when the woman angrily confronted him, he claimed, “It’s a mistake, I’m asleep,” according to federal court records.

About 90 minutes into the 12-hour flight, rabbi Bidany allegedly reached over to the sleeping woman seated next to him and “placed his hand under her blanket, on her groin, and was groping her genital area.” When the victim, identified only as “Jane Doe” in the complaint, “jumped back,” Bidany “quickly removed his hand from her groin.”

The woman told the FBI that she then “pulled her blanket back over her head and body.” But minutes later, Bidany allegedly again “reached under the passenger’s blanket, this time groping the passenger’s breasts.” “What are you doing, stop touching me,” she told Bidany.

He replied, “It’s a mistake, I’m asleep,” according to FBI agent Ambrisco. The female passenger “then left her seat to advise the flight crew of the incident.” Delta personnel confirmed to the FBI that the passenger had reported the inappropriate touching to them, and one crew member described the woman as “visibly shaken and frantic.”

Saul Bienenfeld, Bidany’s lawyer, declined recently to discuss the case against his client, but said that the rabbi “asserts his total innocence” and states that the alleged sexual contact “never occurred.”

Following his arrest, Bidany posted $250,000 bond and was ordered to surrender his passport and limit his travels to the New York City metropolitan area. At his April 5 arraignment, the Orthodox rabbi sought permission to return to Israel, though that request was denied by a magistrate judge.  Later, Bidany bail was modified and he was allowed to travel to Israel from April 14 to May 1 for the Passover holiday. He had also recently learned his father was gravely ill.  Bidany’s bond was increased to $500,000.  His trail was scheduled for May 4. 

Let the Layover Begin!

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                                        One day they’re going to say these were the good ole days!

The Last of the Lockheed 1011 Stars

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Engines ready?  Go!  This is not a Lockheed 1011 flight simulator.  It’s the real deal.

Ewchie, Coochie, Woof, Woof

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Puppy on Australian beach.

Sheila, Oh Sheila!

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A kangaroo snow creature with a baby – called a joey – in her pouch!  Sheila was created by an Australian visitor to NY during the holiday snow storm on Long Island.  Our thanks to Huw for his delightful work!

Tricky Tongue

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Oh, my gosh!  Her tongue loops 3 times!!  Can you do this?!  Passenger departing JFK in December, 2010 takes her unique talent with her.

Leaving the Snow Behind

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Travelers leaving JFK airport in NY during the Christmas holidays to go to far away places.

New Year’s Eve in Times Square

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 Celebrating New Year’s Eve for 2011 in New York City with all my friends!

Click this link:  Bringing in the 2011 New Year in Times Square

A Sad Tail

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The death of seven puppies this past August, 2010 on an American Airline flight from Tulsa to Chicago may have been caused by heat.

Immediately after the puppy deaths, the Humane Society called for an investigation, saying, “If these puppies died because of the hot conditions in the cargo hold, then this would be a violation of the Animal Welfare Act…the suffering that these animals may have endured before they died is difficult to imagine, defenseless puppies (probably) trapped inside a sweltering cargo hold.”

American Airlines conducted an animal autopsy on each puppy, called a necropsy, with inconclusive results. According to a spokeswoman for American Airlines, even though the autopsy results were inconclusive, the reports stated heat may have been a factor in the deaths.

A shipper put the puppies on Flight 851 scheduled to leave Tulsa, OK at 6:30 a.m., but the departure was delayed by storms in Chicago.

As the plane sat on the tarmac, the temperatures rose to 86 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, even though American Airlines’ policy dictates they will not fly animals when the temperature is above 85 degrees. The airline claims cargo temps typically are between 50 and 70 degrees.

Baggage handlers taking the puppies to a kennel area at O’Hare Airport grew concerned because the puppies looked lethargic. Employees tried to cool down the dogs, and they were taken to a vet’s office, but five died initially and two others died later.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that pet owners not fly their pets in airline cargo holds.

Most airlines will allow one animal in the cabin per coach, business, or first class, but it has to fit under the seat in front of you and you can’t take the animal out during the flight.

Some suggestions to safeguard pets in flight when they are shipped in the cargo hold:

• Fly animals only on direct flights
• Put ice cubes in a plastic bag and, just before departure, put the cubes in a water dish to insure your pet can hydrate
• Insist that your pet be removed from the plane if the flight is delayed.
• Be certain you see your pet’s kennel cage loaded onto your flight, and if at all possible, use a professional pet transportation company, such as those found at Independent Pet Animal Transportation Association (IPATA).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is conducting a separate investigation of the American Airlines incident.

What’s the message here?  Transport your pet in the passenger cabin of the aircraft if you can. 

For more information about transporting pets by air click here:  https://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_pets/ 

and…here:  https://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=PETS&parentnav=TRAVEL_RECREATION&navtype=RT