Please Return Your Toilet Seat to the Upright Position: Man Sues After Being Forced to Sit in the Airplane Bathroom During Cross Country Flight

Gokhan Mutlu of New York is suing after JetBlue Airways forced him to sit in an airplane toilet for a flight from California to New York. He was asked by the pilot to assume the throne after a flight attendant asked for her seat back — because the jump seat was uncomfortable.

Mutlu was traveling on a a “buddy pass,” or travel voucher that JetBlue employees can give to friends. He was told that he could not board the flight because a flight attendant took the last open seat. However, she then agreed to use the jumpt seat to free up the seat for Mutlu. After 1 1/2 hours, however, the flight attendant changed her mind and wanted the comfortable seat. Since he was not an employee, the pilot told him that he could not sit in the jump seat. That left the toilet.

Despite this objections, the pilot told him that he was in charge and Mutlu would need to go to the bathroom for an extended visit. After setting up shop in the bathroom, he was later told that he could return to his seat.

He now wants $2 million — a ridiculous amount. However, the pilot’s resolution of the problem is clearly negligent and probably negligent per se (in light of airline regulations). Moreover, as a common carrier, airlines have a greater burden under negligence tests.

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8 thoughts on “Please Return Your Toilet Seat to the Upright Position: Man Sues After Being Forced to Sit in the Airplane Bathroom During Cross Country Flight”

  1. I voluntarily gave up my seat yesterday on a flight from Midway to LAX so a large Muslim family could sit together. I was promised as many beers as I wanted and got to sit next to a girl named “Aubrey.”

  2. Once the flight attendent gave up her seat she had to suck it up. I understand that seat must have been very uncomfortable and the flight was long. I would hope she would take frequent walks down the aisle and never offer to do this again.

    Putting someone in the toilet is not a working option. If they would have hit severe turbulence the blue shit really would have hit the butt and the head everything else. Then the airline would be looking at a lot more that 2 million. This was a stupid decision. No it isn’t worth 2 million but the guy should be compensated enought to buy gold fixtures for his bathroom to commemorate his flight!

  3. Man what a waste. Give this guy two free flight tickets & the attorney the time of day and call it a done deal.

    I am so sock of all this BS being passed on to the consumer in the form of higher costs for everything.

  4. I agree, Rafflaw, but they have free cable. Not in the bathroom, of course, but free cable (and a choice of snacks)! It’s a tough choice. Free cable versus physical safety. I will have to get back to you . . .

  5. Prof. Turley,
    I agree that the 2 million is a ridiculous amount, but the decision by the pilot to take away his sear in mid flight is was a very bad one. Even if you don’t look at their own regulations, how could the flight attendant “change her mind” after agreeing to give up the seat? I am tired of the airline industry and their non-friendly skies attitudes. No wonder that they are losing money by the millions.

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