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Update: AirTran trip 297: man Who created E-mail no On aircraft Say’s Airline Read Post

Last month, AirTran Airways trip 297 with over 70 passenger on plank was taxiing under the runway as soon as a passenger supposedly refused to revolve off his cell phone. After repeated attempts to have actually the passenger finish the phone call conversation, the captain returned to the gate, resulting in a 2 1/2 hour hold-up of the flight.

You are watching: Flight 297 from atlanta to houston

When the news story showed up online, comments consisted of the text of an e-mail from a man claiming to have been a passenger on the trip gave a an extremely different account the what take it place. We’ve check to call individuals mentioned in the short articles below, yet none have responded come our requests, together of this writing.

A variety of accounts explicate what took location have showed up on assorted blogs and also websites. We’ve contained a couple of of them here. As I have stated, we’ve been unable together of yet to separately confirm details.

UPDATE 12/014/09 12:18am: Debbie Schlussel has updated she blog to confirm she obtained a speak to this night from Tedd Petruna confirming he wrote the email featured in the comments section of the write-up below.

The News Story

AirTran Airways claims a flight from Atlanta come Houston with more than 70 passenger on board was delayed once a passenger refuse to finish a cell phone call.

AirTran spokesman Christopher White told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that flight 297, a Boeing 717, was taxiing on the runway in Atlanta Tuesday afternoon as soon as a crew member asked a passenger to rotate off his phone.

White says that after several failed make the efforts by the crew member to finish the conversation, the captain went back the aircraft to the gate.

White claims the passenger complied once he was asked to get off the plane. He states no charges were filed, and also that the aircraft departed for Houston 2 ½ hours later.

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Comment featured top top the site in response to the short article (can be seen here )

This was MUCH much more than a man with a cell phone! watch this story of the TRUTH! One week ago, I went to Ohio on business and also to watch my father. Top top Tuesday, November the 17th, I went back home. If you check out the files the 18th friend may have seen a blurb whereby a AirTran flight was cancelled native Atlanta come Houston as result of a guy who refuse to obtain off that his cabinet phone before takeoff. It to be on Fox. This was no what happened. I was in first class comes home. 11 Muslim men acquired on the airplane in complete attire. 2 satellite in 1st class and also the rest peppered themselves transparent the airplane all the means to the back. Together the airplane taxied to the runway the stewardesses provided the safety spiel we space all so acquainted with. At that time, among the men got on his cell and called one of his companions in the back and proceeded to speak on the phone in Arabic really loudly and an extremely aggressively. This took the first stewardess the end of the snapshot for she repeatedly told the man that cell phones were not permit

To which one of the males said “shut up infidel dog!” She saw take the camcorder and also he began to scream in her confront in Arabic. At that exact moment, all 11 the them got up and started come walk the cabin. This is wherein I had actually had enough! I obtained up and started to the ago where ns heard a voice behind me from one more Texan double my dimension say “I obtained your back.” I grabbed the male who had actually been top top the phone by the arm and said “you will go sit under or you will be thrown from this plane!” as I “led” him around me to take it his seat, the other Texan grabbed him by the earlier of his neck and his waist and also headed out v him. I then grabbed the second man and said, “You WILL do the same!” the protested yet adrenaline was flowing now and he to be going to go. Together I escorted him forward the plane doors open and also 3 TSA agents and also 4 police officers entered. Me and my new Texan girlfriend were told to cease and also desist for they had actually this under control. I was happy come oblige actually.

There was part commotion in the back, but within moments, every 11 were escorted off the plane. They then unloaded their luggage. Us talked about the occurrence and also were in shock that it had happen, when suddenly, the door open up again and also on walked every 11!! stone faced, eye front and robotic (the only way I can define it). The stewardess indigenous the back had been in tears and also when she observed this, she was having actually NONE that it! gift that ns was increase front, i heard and also saw the totality ordeal. She said the TSA certified dealer there to be NO method she was staying on the aircraft with this men. The certified dealer told her they had actually searched them and also were going come go v their luggage v a fine tooth comb and also that castle were enabled to proceed to Houston. The captain and also co-captain come out and also told the agent “we and our crew will certainly not fly this plane!” ~ a word or two, the whole crew, luggage in tow, left the plane. 5 minutes later, the cabin door opened up again and also a whole new crew go on.

Again…..this is where I had actually had enough!!! I gained up and asked “What the hell is walk on!?!?” i was told to take my seat. They to be sorry because that the delay and I would certainly be home shortly. I claimed “I’m acquiring off this plane”. The stewardess sternly told me the she could not enable me to gain off. (now i’m mad!) I claimed “I to be a grown male who bought this ticket, who time is mine through a household at home and I am going v that door, or i’m going with that door through you under my arm!! however I am going v that door!!” and I heard a voice behind me to speak “so to be I”. Then everyone behind us started to acquire up and also say the same. In ~ 2 minutes, i was walking turn off that aircraft where ns was met with more agents that asked me to compose a statement. I had actually 5 hours to death at this allude so why the hell not. As result of the quantity of world who gained off the flight, it to be cancelled. Ns was an alleged to it is in in Houston in ~ 6pm. I acquired here at 12:30am.

Look up the date. Flight 297 Atlanta to Houston. If this wasn’t a dried run, i don’t know what one is. The terrorists wanted to see how TSA would take care of it, just how the crew would manage it, and also how the passengers would manage it. I’m informing this to you since I want you to know…. The risk is real. I observed it through my very own eyes…. -Tedd Petruna

A second account appeared on The brand-new England Review and is attributed come a Chaplin. Again, we have been unable to confirm it’s authenticity.

Air Tran trip 297 occurrence – Chaplain Dr. Keith A. Robinson

Air Tran Airways trip 297 was booked to leaving Atlanta in ~ 4:43PM in route to Houston understand Airport. Due to the fact that of my place as Corps command of the Houston regional Community Chaplain Corps, I frequently wear mine Chaplain jacket together I travel. Like some sort of heavenly magnet, the Chaplain jacket invites conversation with a wide selection of civilization who space struggling with problems in need of a comforting ear. My connecting flight was late and the door to the jet method closed prior to my boarding. So, also though ns was rescheduled on a much later flight much from C?16 I worked out down v a newspaper and also only 1/4th the my continuing to be cell phone call battery.

While waiting at the far-off gate, ns noticed top top the scheduling monitors that trip 297 had returned to gate C?16 and was reserved to leaving at 5:45PM. I hurried back to door C?16 in really hopes of boarding my original trip after the strangely returned to the gate.

Upon arriving at the door I noticed the there to be a look at of solemn worry on the faces of the gate attendants. Ns asked if I could get on flight 297 as soon as they went back to the gate. Their deals with indicated a distinctive level of tension that let anyone in the seating area knew that there to be a problem on board. As soon as I approached lock a couple of moments later on I said, “I to be a Chaplain. Is over there some means that I have the right to be of help?” lock said, “No.” Obviously, an occasion had occurred that they would certainly not speak about.

Over the next thirty minute officials from air Tran started getting here at the gate, flashing their badges and going down to the plane.

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…and then there is this account that is quite different than the rather from yet one more passenger…

FAA to investigate cell phone usage on Atlanta flightThe federal Aviation administration is investigate what brought about the two-and-a-half hour delay of a Tuesday flight from Atlanta come Houston, an company spokeswoman said Wednesday morning.

An AirTran spokesman claimed a man traveling v a team Tuesday afternoon refuse to rotate his mobile off prior to takeoff. Yet the mrs sitting behind the male said it wasn’t a phone in ~ all, and feels the entire incident to be the result of poor communication.

“He was not talking ~ above a cell phone, it was a camera,” claimed Nancy Deveikis of Marietta. “He was looking in ~ pictures.”

A flight attendant request the man twice to revolve off the device, Deveikis said. Yet it to be clear the guy did not speak English, she said. Although the man was traveling with others, the rest of the group was seated throughout the plane.

When the male did not respond to the trip attendant, she take it the camera native him, Deveikis said. Deveikis, who presented ajc.com through her boarding happen for the flight, said she watched the exchange from straight behind the guy in seat 28A and also the female trip attendant.

“She grabbed it indigenous his hand and basically stated I’ll it is in holding this until you gain off the plane,”Deveikis said.

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From an aviation blog, this write-up lists added details not mentioned in the other accounts.

Airline Travel…What girlfriend Really must Know!!!

An AirTran passenger, who was traveling v 12 others, was using his cabinet phone prior to takeoff, an airline spokesman said.

It’s unclear even if it is he was talk on the phone, snapping photos or texting, AirTran spokesman Christopher White said. Yet to airline officials and also flight attendants, it didn’t matter. The aircraft had pulled far from the gate, and also the phone was on, White said. “Passengers are forced to follow instructions of the flight attendants,” local FAA spokeswoman catalent Bergen said.

AirTran report the occurrence to the FAA, Bergen said.The federal transportation Security management will not handle the incident, speak it is a customer-service issue in between the passenger and also the airline, a TSA spokesman claimed Houston-bound trip 297 was scheduled to leaving Hartsfield-Jackson international Airport at 4:40 p.m. Tuesday.

The Boeing 717 to be taxiing top top the runway when a crew member request a passenger to turn off his phone, White said. “Flight air stewardess were informing him, ‘Turn off the phone, turn off the phone,’” White said. However the guy didn’t speak English, which complicated the matter, public official said.

Once the pilot learned that the issue, the turned the plane around and also headed earlier to the gate. The guy was asked to leave, White said. “We can not taxi through the cell phone on, and also we definitely can’t take it off,” White said. “Language barrier or not, you start to target up versus interfering through a trip crew.”

Another human being in the team – someone who might speak English – got off also to act as an interpreter, White said. So, why didn’t he leaving his seat to assist in the first place? “He told trip attendants the he can have helped during the taxi time, but he didn’t desire to acquire up,” together passengers space to be sit at that time, White said.

The remaining 11 passenger in that group complied with them off the plane as well, White said. “It’s a well line that we have to play,” White said. “Is there any type of safety or security reason to bring the aircraft back? Yes, there was a safety and security reason.” AirTran gave the 72 various other passengers on the aircraft the option to continue to be on that trip or move to one more one without paying any fees, White said. The the staying passengers top top the plane, 12 chose to take an additional flight.

The 11 others in the 13-passenger team got ago on the plane, i beg your pardon took turn off for Houston, White said. TSA officials spoke to the male with the cell phone and also the other human who was acting together an interpreter, and they take it a later trip to Houston, White said. White decreased to determine the passenger. No charges were filed. And, for AirTran, the situation is closed.

See more: Elvis What Does The Fox Say, What Does The Fox Really Say

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So what taken place on flight 297? I’m no sure. It’s either an incredible news occasion the media has fully overlooked, or an exceptional tale based ~ above an yes, really occurrence. You’ll have to decide because that yourself. It’s also possible that the stories might not conflict at all as each individual is offering their account indigenous a different vantage point.