NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York man who says he was denied a seat on a five-hour JetBlue flight and was instead told to “hang out” in the plane’s bathroom has sued the airline for $2 million, saying he suffered “extreme humiliation.”
When Gokhan Mutlu arrived to check in for a JetBlue flight from San Diego to New York in February he was told the flight was full, according to the lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court.
But Mutlu was allowed to board after a JetBlue flight attendant agreed to give up her seat and travel in an airline employee “jump seat.” It was not clear in the lawsuit whether the flight attendant was working.
However 90 minutes into the flight, the pilot told Mutlu the flight attendant was uncomfortable and he would have to give up his seat and “hang out” in the bathroom for the remainder of the flight, the lawsuit said.
The pilot “became angry at (Mutlu’s) reluctance” and said Mutlu “should be grateful for being onboard,” the lawsuit said. When Mutlu volunteered to sit in the “jump seat,” he was told it was reserved for airline personnel.
At one point, the airplane experienced turbulence and Mutlu sat on the toilet seat without a seat belt, causing him “tremendous fear,” the lawsuit said.
JetBlue was not immediately available for comment.
Reporting by Edith Honan, editing by Michelle Nichols and Todd Eastham