SANTA ANA, CA — American Airlines is investigating after passenger Chris Shelley says he was forced off an AA flight because of his weight.
CBS LA said Shelley’s ordeal began after he boarded an AA flight from Dallas to Orange County last Friday. A woman sitting beside him “was clearly not happy and got up and left and went towards the front of the aircraft,” said Shelley.
Shelley, a retired U.S. marine, was then told to de-plane. “A young gentlemen in a vest with an American Airlines emblem on it turns to me and said ‘Sir! You need to take your things and deplane immediately. Come with me.’ I was in shock,” Shelley said.
According to reports, the woman beside him complained about him being too large for his seat. “They told me anyone over two inches in the seat cannot sit in the aircraft,” he said.
Shelley said he had to beg the employee to ask the woman to simply switch seats as the airline “did not offer a solution”. Once she agreed he was allowed to re-board the plane.
American Airlines has sent Shelley two apology e-mails. A spokesperson said the company has launched an investigation.