The Woman in Seat 7A

Most of us have already heard about this story and how it turned out to be a complete hoax. What’s interesting to me is how many people took this story hook, line, and sinker.

It’s not to say that I was somehow the only skeptic that had some questions about the story, but it’s telling how someone can post something on the Internet and how it will go viral in minutes.
The reason I haven’t commented on the story until now are just those questions that I did have that really didn’t add up. I’ve flown a lot in my time, and I’ve seen unruly passengers before upset because of one thing or another. I have to say though that I’ve never seen something like what was reported happen. Ever. Nor do I no of anyone who has seen a confrontation between two passengers occur on a flight without the crew stepping in to put a halt to whatever the disagreement may have been.
It just didn’t make a lot of sense. I mean, if this woman, “Diane” was being disruptive, the flight crew would have started by asking her to calm down and if she didn’t, they would have put her off the flight at the first stop, if it were not a direct flight. If it was a direct flight, because she’d ended up assaulting the other passenger (slapping him), they would’ve have TSA or police or someone waiting on the other end to escort her off the plane.
But just the fact that all of this went on and no one from the flight crew did anything made me raise my eyebrows a bit. In my experience, that would never happen. So that should have been the first clue to all of us that something is wrong with this story.
Also that over the days that this went viral, no one else on that flight and stepped up to say whether the story was true or not. Not even anyone from the crew. I can only imagine the trouble it would have caused the flight crew had this story been true.
The next part was the anonymous letter that came in from a supposed relative. Again, some swallowed that whole. We all know that anonymous declarations are not necessarily true. Not that they’re false, but unless the person in this case was willing to give their name, why would anyone believe anything said? I couldn’t see a downside in that person saying who they were, because there was some sympathy generated for “Diane” based on what was written and that the other passenger was mean-spirited.
So the author of this whole hoax gave us plenty of clues that this might be a hoax and what’s really troubling is how many fell for the story.
I honestly had no idea, but it did seem a bit strange to me. Was it possible this occurred? Sure. Probable? No. It seems that a lot of so-called skeptics were taken for a ride that they will never be able to recover from. Honestly? It makes some appear completely gullible. It really tells me that there are people out there on the Internet that take as fact whatever anyone writes. Wow.
This type of hoax should teach us all a lesson: before condemning someone on what someone else wrote or told them anecdotally, take a look at what’s being written or told to us with a skeptical view.
It might save a little embarrassment in the future.

13 thoughts on “The Woman in Seat 7A

  1. The “admin” on the main story (special stuffing) on this site fought people who suggested that Gale might be making the whole story up saying she always believes first person accounts. That’s not much of a skeptic.

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  2. Clearly she is NOT one of them. Nor does she understand argumentation very well either. Juvenile, really.

    Thank you for your rational argument btw. We might view politics differently, but I think we probably have similar views about skepticism.

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    • Thanks. I attempt to look at everything I hear or read with a skeptical eye. It’s important to not take someone’s word for anything. In politics, remember, both parties here in the U.S. Have their talking points. Some truths, some lies.

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  3. Over the years and many international and domestic flights, I’ve observed how flight attendants carefully manage dynamics. From Air Kuwait stewards, a few months following a hijacking, packing heat and scrutinizing every little movement, all while serving drinks and clearing litter; to the attendant on a puddle-jumper from the Twin Cities to Fargo, very politely explaining to a passenger how her full-length fur coat, a must for the tarmac in Winter, was a gift from her husband, and not affordable on her [read between the lines] salary from this [read between the lines] airline.

    Attendants are fully aware that in the confined space of an airliner, with no immediate egress, oil must be regularly poured on the waters. I recall a very delayed PanAm shuttle from JFK to Logan (back during PanAm’s protracted suicide). We landed so late that the ground crew had gone home. The lone stewardess actively kept us ragged passengers calm while we waited for someone to come and open the damn door. People grew very restless, with one man standing and screaming, “Let me off this fucking plane, this minute!” Our stewardess put her hand out and said firmly, “Sir, I need you to take your seat, now.” He meekly obeyed.

    Finally, she decided to let us out the back hatch herself.. “But we all need to stay calm and exit only when I call you,” she directed, “because this aircraft has a tricycle undercarriage, and we’ll tip over onto the tail if you all rush out at once.” We all loved and followed her without question.

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    • I hear you. I was once stuck on a fully loaded 737 on the tarmac at DFW for FIVE HOURS. You can imagine how cranky the passengers (including myself) became. They wouldn’t pull back to the gate and let people off because, there were no gates available. the crew did a great job of keeping people as calm as they could. when we were finally scheduled for takeoff though, they had to wait a few more minites to get more food and drink because the crew had given it all away to keep us as happy as they could.
      Personally, I wouldn’t want their job.

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  4. Dawn Gordon, stalker from Brampton Ontario with the IP address of 199.182.205.126, stopped in and barfed all over the place.

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  5. Dawn Gordon, stalker from Brampton Ontario with the IP address of 199.182.205.126, stopped in and barfed all over the place.

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  6. Pingback: Skepticism Requires Work | Conservative Skeptic

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